Transitioning to Minimal: SKORA Running Shoes Review & Giveaway {Closed}

This Giveaway has closed.  Check our most recent postings for other great giveaways.



It's been just over a year since I started running regularly.  Sure, before that - I did an occasional 5K.  But I knew nothing about proper gear, training plans, nutritional fuel, or even proper shoes!  But now I'm trying to keep up with the big kids - the ones that run half marathons.  And I had to step up my game a bit. I began by looking outside the traditional big name sport shoe makers. Instead I looked at the smaller companies that specialize exclusively in running shoes. 

I've tried out many different shoes this past year. But I was really excited to partner with SKORA Running, a young Portland, Oregan based running shoe company with a unique mission.


SKORA is a new company with new vision and philosophy. This means that we can do things differently and are not in a position of trying to undo all the marketing and design practices that are the foundation of conventional athletic brands and products. 
At SKORA, we look at things differently We believe that running shoes should be built to encourage running performance that is as biomechanically correct as possible, with minimal interference. Our footwear lets people run naturally. Run Real is our philosophy and we stand by it.  
Run Real is more than a statement, it is a way of conducting business. We believe that runners are smarter than most brands give them credit for. We are free-thinking and challenge conventional wisdom. We believe in common sense, rational principles and challenging the status-quo.

I like that SKORA treats their consumer intelligently.  Runners are discriminating, discerning, savvy. We know what we like. And so does SKORA.  And they are smart enough to deliver it.

I couldn't wait to try a pair!

I was sent the 'Base'.  This model is recommended by the good people of SKORA as a good introductory, transitional shoe.  





Why minimal?:

I feel like there are hundreds of better explanations than mine to this question.  For me, it boils down to the fact that I am not a fast runner, but I am always looking for ways that I can become stronger, lighter, or faster.  Minimal shoes make your legs feel less clunky, less heavy.  Done right, they should feel more like a natural extension of your legs and feet.  Minimalist running will also make your feet, ankles, and legs stronger. Period.  I run mostly trails so I definitely want stronger legs.  Don't you want stronger legs too?



About the shoe design:


They are zero drop - meaning your heel is level with the rest of your foot. (Unlike most running shoes that have slightly lifted heels.)  But there is some cushioning in the soles - so you don't feel unprotected from the ground.


They are a pull on style - think of a diving shoe - with Velcro fasteners across your instep... and get this --- an adjustable Velcro tab on your heels!  





So if you have a narrower or wider heel - you can tighten or loosen to fit.  This is one of those things that you never knew you needed.  But now that I have it, I resent the fact that my other shoes don't!


The shoe can be worn with or without an insole. Personally, I like the insole as it adds an extra bit of cushion.  However, the inside of the shoe is 'finished' and smooth. So if you wanted to go sockless and insole-less, you could do so - very comfortably even.


This model is made a of a mesh-like fabric. Breathable?  Oh yes!  Perfect for warmer weather and warmer climates?  Oh yes!



Fit:


The 'Base' are true to size.  I wear a 7 - 7.5 in dress shoes and an 8 in almost all my other running shoes.  I am comfortably wearing a 7.5 in this shoe. I can even wear thicker socks and have enough room in the toebox to not worry about my toes hitting up front, or getting black toenails.  In other words, a perfect fit. With the Velcro fastenings, your feet will be snug as the proverbial bug in a rug.



Terrain/Running Conditions:


The Base are trail and road ready.  I got in workouts on both surfaces and the shoes performed beautifully. 


Trails: I do favor trails and in the past have had the issue of gravel working into my shoes.  Doesn't happen with the Base.  The area around my ankle fits as snugly as a sock and nothing can get down there.


Rain: No problem.  The fabric is like a sieve and you won't get water pooling inside your shoes. It will run right out.


Sand/Mud: The shoe's mesh won't keep all the sand out, but it won't trap it inside either.  Pop out the insoles and rinse out the mud with a hose.  Good as new.


Snow:  ha ha. I live in Florida, so I didn't try it in the snow.  But if I did, I'd try a different pair of SKORA - like the Form (leather), and wear some wool socks.



The Verdict

  • Is it possible to crush on shoes?  Then these are my 'shoe crush'.  These are the Brad Pitt of shoes.  Elegant construction. Sophisticated. Beautifully designed. Tougher that they look. Rugged even.
  • I would definitely recommend the Base to a runner looking for a smooth transition toward minimalist shoes.  
  • The cushioning will allay your fears about feeling unprotected from the pavement.  
  • They are very lightweight - but they are neither the lightest nor the most minimal in the SKORA lineup.  Reach out to SKORA for guidance on selecting the best shoe for you.

NOTE:

When transitioning to minimal running shoes, please do so gradually.  You are waking up new leg muscles.  If you shock them completely and suddenly, they will rebel on you.  I knew that I should start slowly - but I didn't.  I was too excited to just put them on and run.  And... my calves were very angry with me for a few days.  So I had to start over - and I started with walking one week. Then a little jogging for short distances. Then a bit more the next week, and so on.  The transition is best done gradually over the long term.

SKORA offers excellent advice in this blog article:  http://skorarunning.com/blog/transitioning


So you want to try a pair of SKORAs?  I've been allowed to host a giveaway for a free pair.  You don't have to choose the Base, it can be a different model.

Also, if you can't wait for this giveaway to end and you want a pair now.  Check out their site for some excellent Black Friday deals.  25% off!  Or Cyber Monday - the Base will be 2 for 1!  I wonder if Santa will bring me another pair...


Terms of the Giveaway:
1) Giveaway begins Thursday November 28 and ends Thursday December 5 at midnight. Winner will be announced on this blog, and notified on Friday, December 6, 2013.
2) Must be 18 years or older to enter. Must be a U.S. resident. Winner must provide a US mailing address to receive prize.
3) Sign in through Rafflecopter below to enter. With your first entry, the app will only capture your e-mail or facebook name. This is so we can reach you if you win, in accordance with sweepstakes terms. Your contact info will ONLY be used to contact you if you win.
4) There are additional opportunities for multiple entries.

5) One winner will receive one pair of Skora running shoes.
6) The winner will be chosen at random using the rafflecopter app below.
7) In the event the winner does not respond to contact attempts via e-mail or facebook name provided within a one week period, another winner will be selected at random.
8) Void where prohibited.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure of Material Connection: No financial compensation was received. I received one pair of SKORA running shoes in exchange for this review and promotional giveaway. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will be good for our readers. All opinions stated on this blog are our own. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

40 comments

I have just been introduced to zero drop shoes last month. I'd love to try these!

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I have just been introduced to zero drop shoes last month. I'd love to try these!

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I've been looking at the Skora Forms and Phases. I'd be curious to try out the new Phase-X.

I typically run on road and treadmill, but I've been adding in trails as of late.

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I'd love to try the Skora Form. I run on treadmills, roads and light trails, probably in that order of frequency.

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I would LOVE a pair of the Forms! And I usually run on the road and trails.

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Jen mod

I like the Core. My son is a runner, mostly trails and road.

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I have a pair of Forms that I love. Love the blue camo ones!

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I love SKORA shoes - I have the Cores but would love to try something different.

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Phase-X I think!

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I like the FORM - STEALTH BLACK/CYAN - Men's
My husband and I usually run on trails
Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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I would love to try the Form. I run a combination of street and trails but if given my choice I will choose trails. Great review!

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Wehaf mod

I run on streets and sidewalks, and would like to try the Base.

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I like the Core shoe. I usually run on flat road or sidewalk.

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I actually tried the Core on at a running store today. Liked them a lot, but ended up with a different brand since I was really more in the market for a rugged trail shoe today. I'll be considering them next time I need new road shoes, though. (Or if I win!)

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The Forms looks pretty good to me!

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I usually run on blacktop or a trail! I like these! http://skorarunning.com/form-r01-002w05.html

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Would love to try the Core ones.

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Love the FORM! Pavement running, some track and some trails!

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I love these shoes! I like the white ones! I usually run on the treadmill or road but need to expand to trails!

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I would love to try Core! :)

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I like to try the Base to have something to start with and grow

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I normally run on the roads but I've recently transitioned to the trails.

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Love the skoras!n I like the core but would try any style. They are all so stylish! (and I'm typically a road runner)

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Already have a pair of the Phase - would love to try the Form.

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I want the phase-x. Or the cores. Love my Forms

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I adore their shoes! I really want to try the core :)

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Anonymous mod

Their shoes look so amazing - I have no idea what type I'd choose, I'd have to really check out each style in depth. I usually just walk/jog on the street - I really don't like being on the sidewalk so I stay in the street if possible and almost never exercise on a treadmill - hate it!
(Danielle F. - cladfamily101@aol.com)

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I love Phase X I honestly love running on the beach!

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Brandi Dawn mod

I love the CORE GREY/BLACK/WHITE Men's shoe!!!

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Anonymous mod

Cool contest

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http://skorarunning.com/phase-x-r02-001-m06x.html
thansk
aunteegem@yahoo.com

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Dorena mod

I love the blue camo in the Form shoe. Thank you for opportunity to win a pair of shoes

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White Form Please!

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I have heard about these shoes before and given my penchant for wearing Vivo's, I am very interested in trying these.

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I would love to try the Cores!

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I'm kind of confused as to the differences in models, but the Bases are likely going to be my new treadmill shoes when the MN winter doesn't allow me to be outside.

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The base would probably be my choice, but I'm also checkout out the core!

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I wold like to try the Forms. http://skorarunning.com/form-r01-002w06.html

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I think I would like the forms. I usually run on the road, sometimes trails.

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Brandi Dawn mod

I love the CORE. I do mostly trail running. Occasionally on the pavement, as well.

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