Gear Review: Skora Base Shoes First Impressions

Recently, I was offered the opportunity to review a pair of Skora Running shoes. I jumped at the chance. I’m someone who loves new shoes, and running gear in general, and I was happy to review the shoes. I picked out the super cool looking Skora Base in the blue/white color. I’ve only worn them once, so this is a preliminary review. I decided that something like shoes needed two reviews – one of my first impressions and one once they have some miles on them.

Skora shoes are built on the philosophy that running shoes should be made practically, for real runners in the real world. Thus, their slogan, “Run Real”. Skora shoes are designed using RealFit technology and are manufactured to offer a natural fit that encourages natural performance and foot movement. The Skora Base shoes are zero drop, have minimal cushioning, and feature a specially shaped outsole to offer a natural, close to the ground feel and encourage natural foot movement. They also feature an anatomically correct fit, including a wide toe box and asymmetrical lacing for comfort.

I was super excited when my new shoes arrived because, let’s face it, they’re cool looking! I selected a pair that doesn’t have laces, but has an elastic strap for a customized fit.

Cool, right? I immediately liked the look of the shoe. I think the strap is clever and interesting. They certainly don’t look like any other shoes I own. I also love the color. It’s pretty and soft and the reflective detailing on the heel, toe, and side of the shoe is a nice touch. I tested out the size of my new shoes. Turns out they run a little big (I usually wear a 9.5 and needed a 9), so I had to send them back. A few weeks later, my shoes were in and ready for a test drive.

I tested the shoes out on a quick recovery run in a friend’s neighborhood. It was the perfect day for running – 68, sunny, and breezy – so we decided to fit in a quick run. I slipped on my new Skoras for the run. The fit of the shoe is noticably roomy in the toe box. I loved that. I liked being able to move my toes freely and the flexible material made it easy. The toe box is wide, but the fit isn’t too large thanks to the snug fit through the mid foot. The elastic strap at the mid foot ensures a tight, custom fit. I cinched my shoes up and hit the road.

At first, the feel of the Skora Base is different than even a low-drop shoe. There is some molding in the heel and forefoot that gives them a distinct fit. The heel molding feels like a cup and my feet slid right in. There definitely is very, very minimal padding. I could feel every rock, stick, and bump in the road. My friend and I decided to run on a variety of surfaces to ensure a good test. I liked the close to the road feel. I generally run in lower profile shoes and I like to wear a responsive shoe. The Skora Base fit the bill. I felt close to the ground and connected to the running surface. My feet were very comfortable in the shoes. I loved the wide toe box and enjoyed the feeling of space around my toes. I also liked the snug fit through the mid foot. It ensured a great fit despite the extra room in the toe box and the heel cup area. The shoes stayed put on my feet, and, thanks to the comfortable fit, were easy to run in. The only down side to the close to the road, responsive fit and feel – the sensitivity of my poor feet. Part of our run was on a gravel road that isn’t well traveled. Large chunks of rock are everywhere. I could feel every large rock and I even have a bruise on the bottom of one foot from a particualrly poorly timed landing on a large rock.

The bottom line – I like the feel and structure of the Skora Base. They run a little large, so consider going a half size down. They have a close to the road feel that’s great on most surfaces but I don’t recommend running on gravel roads in them.

I’ll post another, more complete review when I have some miles on the shoes, but so far, so  good. The Skore Base retails for $110 and can be found online here.