Disclaimer: Since I have received these shoes and written my review I have been asked to be an Ambassador for SKORA.
In early December I was fortunate enough to be contacted by a newer running company to test a pair of their shoes out. While SKORA has only been selling shoes for a majority of 2012 they have been around for quite some time in an effort to make their product the best in the industry and it shows. SKORA comes from the polish word for skin and that is exactly what they try to replicate with their minimalist shoe line.
I was impressed with the attention to detail right out of the Fed-Ex box. The slim, clean-cut box gives you the impression you are about to open something special, and in my opinion you certainly are. The magnetic seal is definitely a nice touch and certainly makes the box a bit more elegant.
The Base comes in three color schemes. A bright yellow, black and silver. I ordered the shoes in yellow, not only because I like yellow, but because they stick out. If I was going to be testing out these shoes I wanted people to ask me about them so I would be forced to answer questions that I might not have thought about on my own. Right out of the box I put them on and immediately fell in love. I walked around my house in them and did not want to take them off, they were super comfortable. I felt like I was putting on a pair of slippers instead of a pair of running shoes! After about 10 minutes I took them off and put them back in the box until I was ready to put my first miles on them. The straps system is a nice touch. Especially for triathletes that will typically swap out laces for EZ laces for speed of transition.
At the current moment SKORA's are not available in a large amount of running stores so you have to order them online. Another nice touch is the Prepaid Return label so that you can ship them back to the company for a different size as long as they have not been run in outside. Sizing for me seemed to be true to my current size but you can always check with the folks at SKORA before ordering and they are more than happy to help with any sizing or other questions you might have.
Prepaid Return Labels is a nice touch.
Nice Flexible Sole!
Run 1: Outside: At first walking outside in them felt a little awkward, the curved out sole and curved forefoot gave the shoe a little bit of a roll factor but once I got going and running that roll factor dissipated quickly. I could feel the ground underneath my feet but securely. One thing I immediately noticed was the great grip on the ground I was getting. It happened to be an extremely foggy night, with a light misting as well as wet ground. I was pleasantly surprised that I had some noticeable extra grip that I normally didn't get with my running shoes.
Run 2: Treadmill: This was my first attempt at running fast in them as well as on tired legs. I ran after a hard bike workout on the treadmill. Once again that roll factor disappeared as soon as I started running and it felt natural to be running. The one thing I made the mistake of was running in thick socks. My feet got a bit hotter than usual however there were no issues with hot spots or chafing, so it really wasn't a big deal.
Run 3 & 4: Race: I took them out for a spin at my first race since getting them. Showing up with the bright yellow shoes had some athletes talking since they had never seen the shoes before. I got asked a few questions about them as well as got a little heckling. One athlete said something along the lines of with shoes that bright you better hope you win. Once the race started I started off in the front of the pack with another runner that I knew I would be going head to head with for the overall title. We were shoulder to shoulder almost the entire race with the exception of some of the turns where one of us wound up slightly ahead of the other, he eventually broke away for good but I ended up holding on to second place. I enjoyed the real feel and It led me to a new 5k PR! Afterwords I still had to get the rest of my miles in so I ran another 8 miles once I got home at a nice comfortable pace for a total of 13+ miles without any issues.
January & February: Since I received the shoes from SKORA I have had them in my rotation and haven't looked back. I fell in love and use them a few times a week rotating them with Brooks Green Silence. I've run in rain, ice, snow, and even in the heat of Florida when I went to go visit family. I have run around 200 miles in the base alone and these will definitely be my go to shoe for my short course racing this year!
After 200 miles on a comparable shoe, they hold up quite well!