Thursday, April 25, 2013

Skora Core Shoe Review

Skora Family.

As a Skora Ambassador, I have been looking at photos of their new line for quite some time and salivating at their two new models: The Core and The Phase. Expanding the Skora line to four models (adding to The Form and The Base), the shoes, both extremely light weight and highly flexible, create a more natural, evolved experience that their predecessors. I’m quickly falling in love with The Core (if planning to buy the shoe, click the link to for a 10% price break).

Out of the box.
First off, the shoes look awesome. They have a great leather build, a futuristic look, and they hold up to their web appearance. When people see this shoe I get questions, lots of them, and interest. The curb appeal is high and I couldn’t wait to put them on and my wife couldn’t wait to play with them. Once I pried them from her hands, I went for a walk in them barefoot, and the ground spoke to me. My other Skora models have ground feel, but The Core, with a stack height of 11mm, hugs the earth. The insole, a meager 3mm fit, provides comfort without masking your foot’s sensations. You feel pebbles, bumps, and cracks in the concrete. Plus, when a headlight or flash hits the shoe, the outline of the shoe glows, a feature that provides a nice touch of safety for a mostly nighttime runner.

That said, I’ve used the shoes for both speed work and recovery. My first workout, a series of 300m intervals leading my middle school girls, felt fast and fleet of foot. The shoes grasped the ground and I felt more secure driving my legs off of them than in the Forms. Most of this sensation came from the flexibility of the shoe—it moved where I wanted it to at all times and grabbed the track with ease. Yet, I did notice the lack of padding in comparison with my everyday shoe, the Form. After about five miles, I detected some tenderness in my forefoot, something that will abate with time as I acclimate to the new ride.
Since then, I’ve taken the Cores off the track, hitting the road and the grass. On the grass, they outperform any trail model I’ve ever touched. They still feel fast, and at times I thought I was barefoot and actually was shocked when I noticed I was wearing shoes. Such thoughts only made the workout more fun, pushing me through my intervals. On the road, you miss the thickness of the insoles found in Skora’s other models, but in terms of an easy or recovery run on the road, they are perfect—you are forced to confront and work on form while stepping lightly.

Beyond running, the shoe is great for casual wear. I’ve already found myself wearing them in place of my Vivobarefoot Dharma when outside of work. My first such go around came at our regional track meet, where I sported the cores for over twelve hours without the calf and leg pain I had wearing old Nikes the week before. I felt great standing around and had no problem running across campus to deal with issues as they came up. After such a day, the Cores were nominated to walk across Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Winding through fantasy craziness, I never once thought about what was on my foot, instead enjoying the day with my daughter (minus the afternoon rain).

  • The toe box is amazing—wide, open, and perfect to allow your toes to spread out. You will not get blisters in this shoe, because your toes will not rub together.
  • You feel everything, with or without the insole. You can walk and run the way you are intended to walk, with full sensation. 
  •  Flexibility. These shoes bend every which way, and they do so with little to no effort.
  • This shoe is sexy. Foot candy and I cannot say it any better. The leather looks and feels awesome. 
  •  The heel is fixed. On the Form, it tended to sag at times, now it is a bit more rigid and hangs where it should.
A wide toe box versus a narrow.
  • You feel everything. I love this fact, but many people may not. Understand that Skora’s motto is run real. You will run real in this shoe. 
  • Padding. This is an elaboration of con one. If you want to run on a pillow, don’t buy this shoe. If you want to run real, it has sufficient padding for speed workouts, trail runs, and road runs around the 5-7 mile range. 


  1. You use Core like I use Phase, for those EZ runs where you are not working too hard, so you can use the shoe to help develop better form and strength. I've used Phase (which has a similar outsole) for 10+ miles with segments around 10k-half marathon pace. I usually only move to a thicker outsole for speed work or races.

    1. I actually prefer the Core for I-training on soft surfaces (grass and track). They are great for high speeds, but start to hurt a bit after I get over 6-7 miles. The RO2 platform being just a bit too soft for my feet as of now. I'm hoping that fact will change soon.

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  3. Hi, I live in a tropical country and humidity level is high. Will it be difficult to take care of the leather? My dress shoes tend to mold after not wearing for around 3 weeks. Thanks!

    1. What country? I live in a very humid region as well, Florida, and this time of year run in typically 70%+ humidity and often in the rain. My Cores have yet to grow anything and shed water fast, my Forms are somewhere between 600-700 miles right now and have held up just as well. If you are worried about leather, consider the Phase (
      ), it is essentially the Core but made with synthetic materials (same platform, etc. but a bit cheaper).