Friday, March 20, 2015

SKORA Tempo Review

SKORA Tempo's
photo credit: Steven Stam

One of the benefits of being an ambassador for SKORA is that I get to wear test some of their shoes before they are released to the public.  I get sent either a pre-production style and ask for feedback on how the shoe can be better or they send out shoes right before they are released so if any questions come up, I have experience running in the them.  About 2 months ago, I got my hands on their new style the SKORA Tempo.  Realizing that I love most of the SKORA styles on the market I was super excited.

Before I get into my review, I want to say that just because I am a SKORA Ambassador, I do not have to say that I love the shoe if I don't.  In fact, SKORA wants honesty because they want to get the most accurate information out to help runners make smart decisions.  Their ultimate goal is to help runners run and be comfortable.  So if a shoe isn't right for someone, they understand that. If you have read my reviews in the past, you know that I am brutally honest, even if I don't like something.  All I want to do is help runners get the best possible shoes on their feet.

Let me say that what first brought me to SKORA a few years ago was their bright yellow SKORA Base style.  I loved how yellow the shoe was and had to try them out.  Let's be honest, we're all vain when it comes to running gear and want to look our best.  Yellow is my favorite color so I'm always drawn to shoes that are bright.  So when I opened the box containing the Tempo's, I was immediately in love with the love of them.  They were BRIGHT YELLOW.  Just the way I like them.  Taking away from their color (though it is hard to do), the shoe has a wider toe box than normal, the upper material is a very light mesh, and there seemed to be more cushioning than other of the SKORA styles.

I honestly think the shoes lasted less than 2 minutes from when I opened them up to when they were on my feet and I was out of the door for my usual 6 mile Central Park loop that I test all shoes for the first time in.

How did they fit?
Tempo in action
In one word: comfortable.  Like super comfortable.  For those who are not a fan of shoes that essentially have zero cushioning, these are a far cry from them.  They aren't as cushioned as other shoes on the market, but they feel like they are.  The new material on the sole of the shoe is extremely hard, unlike other SKORA models.  I could instantly feel the difference between the Tempo's and other styles.  I have worn the SKORA Fit's for about a year now and those feel like slippers on my feet.  The Tempo's are a little harder when my foot came in contact with the ground, but not in a bad way.  They have a different design and material on the sole than what most people are used to so it took about 10 steps to get used to them.  Everything after that was just amazing.

The one thing that I had to get used to was how light the mesh was on the upper material.  Being that it was in the middle of the winter when I first got the shoes, running outside in them often left my foot freezing.  I had to wear warmer socks with them.  Not that big of a deal, but it was something I noticed, especially in this past brutal North East winter we had.  The flip side to this is that in a few months during the hot summer months, my feet wont be as hot.  They will be well ventilated and will cool faster than other shoes.  It will take some getting used to, but that's the only thing I could say was out of the norm for me.

One of the strangest things that I found with the shoe is how fast I am in them.  Since it's my "off-season", I try not to tax my legs so much and try not to do really fast runs.  Well, this is actually impossible in the Tempo's.  Because of the harder soles, I feel like I "bounce off the payment" and my stride was so much faster than normal.  I noticed this on hills.  My cadence was faster going up the hills, but on my descents, I felt more controlled, while going faster than normal.  I thought maybe I was just excited for my first run, but as I have put hundreds of miles in them over the past few months, it still continues to be the case.  I have even asked other SKORA Ambassadors on their opinions and they feel the same as me.  This shoe is ridiculously fast, even when I'm not trying to be fast.

The Tempo's are designed for putting high mileage on them and long training runs.  But for every run I go on now, I'm constantly reaching for the Tempo's.  They can be the for everything shoe if you want them to be.  I used to wear the PHASE's for speed work, but the Tempo's are allowing me to have faster runs, so I'm using them for that now.  The FIT's were my everything shoe last year and I worn them in the NYC Marathon.  Having the Tempo in my arsenal complicates things a lot for me because I think SKORA has hit it out of the park with the Tempo's.  When I am rotating my shoes for my runs, I find myself missing the Tempo's if I am not wearing them.  The wider toe box, the cushioning and the increased speed that I am getting from them are very noticeable when I don't have them on.

If you want a little more cushioning than a traditional minimal shoe, the Tempo's are perfect for you.  If you want a shoe that has a little less cushioning than a traditional shoe than the Tempo's are for you.  The only person this shoe is not perfect for is for the person who doesn't want to enjoy their run.

I really can't find a reason that someone won't enjoy this shoe.  It drops on Monday, April 6th, so be sure to get yourself a pair

Check them out for yourself at

RunReal everyone

Fact Sheet for the Tempo's to get you familiar with this awesome shoe

Sunday, March 8, 2015

What do I wear?

One of the many benefits of having partners, sponsorships, and being a brand ambassador is that you get race gear to wear.  However, when you have more than one company to help promote and you have more than one race outfit to wear, how do you decide which race kit to wear and when?

For example, on the right of this page you can see how lucky I am to have some great product and company partnerships.  Out of that group, I have race kits for HoneyMaxx, Cobb Cycling, and Fusion Sports USA which I am expected to wear during my races this year.  So how do I pick which race to wear which race kit?  Do I put their names in a hat and then decide that way?  Do I rank my partnerships and then compare to which races I am doing and then have the more important races get the more important race kits?  There really isn’t a way to make this easy?

Some products are easy.  Since I only run in Skora’s, these will be on my feet regardless.  My sunglasses and helmet are all Rudy Project, so that solves that problem.  Headphones aren’t allowed on the course, so I can’t wear my X-1 audio gear.  Likewise, I can and still will be promoting all of the products since my fluids will be HoneyMaxx and my saddle is Cobb, as well as I have visors for all of these brands which I’ll be wearing.

But the big question is how do I pick which race outfit to wear for each race?

Right now, my schedule includes an Olympic Distance Tri in May, Escape from Alcatraz in June, and Challenge Pocono Half in August.  I’m sure there will be one or 2 more added this season.  In terms of importance, Alcatraz is a bucket list race so I am excited for that, and Poconos is a Half Iron distance so I can call both of these my “A” races this season.  The May tri is a prep race for Alcatraz, but I am expecting to be on the podium for it. 

So where does that leave me with what I should wear?  I want to get as much publicity for each brand as possible, but I also want to be as comfortable and fast as possible in each race.  It’s a great problem to have, but it still begs the question:  What do I wear and when?