Barefoot Shoes


The BASE and FORM models reviewed here today are SKORA’s first foray into an increasingly crowded minimalist shoe market. But as we pointed out, SKORA prefers to eschew terms like “minimal”, “natural” or “barefoot” in favor of their marketing tagline “run real.”

A few weeks ago we took a quick first look at two pairs of running shoes from a new running company called SKORA. The BASE and FORM models reviewed here today are SKORA’s first foray into an increasingly crowded minimalist shoe market. But as we pointed out, SKORA prefers to eschew terms like “minimal”, “natural” or “barefoot” in favor of their marketing tagline “run real.” What is “real running?” According to the Portland, Oregon based company, they believe that “running shoes should be built to encourage running performance that is biomechanically correct as possible, with minimal interference.” When you boil down all of their marketing jargon, it comes down to encouraging midfoot/forefoot running instead of heel striking through the use of less support and less heel cushioning. So how’d they do? Read on to find out!

Initial Impressions

In this review we’ll be taking a look at SKORA’s only two models: the BASE and FORM. The BASE has a distinctive Velcro secured strap system while the FORM can be easily identified by itself off-center lacing pattern. Opening the boxes I immediately noticed SKORA’s attention to detail. The shoe boxes have a slick magnetic closure that snaps the lid shut with a satisfying click. The second thing I noticed was an overwhelming smell of new shoe. I was just about knocked off my feet by the smell of fresh leather and something that reminded me of fresh aerosol paint. I’ll be interested to see if any other BirthdayShoes readers have similar smell related experiences.

Sole & Uppers

The outsole of both the Skora Form and Skora Base is effectively the same.
The outsole of both the Skora Form and Skora Base is effectively the same.
The BASE and FORM models share the same zero drop sole with the only difference between the two shoes coming in the uppers. The sole is made up of an outer sole, midsole and an insole. It starts with a 4mm rubber tread that has slightly raised lugs suited for asphalt running. Next comes a 5mm midsole and on top of that is a 4mm removable insole rounding out 13mm of total material between your foot and the ground. The insole has slightly raised bumps which give your foot a little more grip inside the shoe. While these shoes are geared towards road running, you could easily get away with using them on hard packed dirt or sections of grass. For trail running in looser conditions, you’d probably want to consider something a more aggressive tread like the VIVOBAREFOOT Neo Trail. As for the uppers, the material above the toes and metatarsals on the BASE is made of a thin synthetic mesh material that provides plenty of breathability. When you wiggle your toes can you easily see the material flex as you point your toes upward. The criss-cross strapping system with an inelastic band and Velcro fastener is somewhat unique and both models share an elastic Velcro heel strap that theoretically allows you to cinch things down even tighter. The rest of the upper around the ankle is made of a soft and comfortable padded mesh. The BASE uppers are all one piece with no tongue that your foot easily slips into. The look of the large strapping system on the BASE reminds me a of a triathlon cycling shoe which generally has one large Velcro strap across the top.
The upper of the Skora Form features asymmetrical lacing, goatskin (outside) and sheepskin (inside).
The upper of the Skora Form features asymmetrical lacing, goatskin (outside) and sheepskin (inside).
The FORM, on the other hand goes the opposite direction from the BASE’s synthetic material with a high quality goat skin upper and sheepskin lining. The leather is soft and supple and the lining has a grippy, almost sticky, feeling to it. It should also be noted that the goat skin on the FORM isn’t nearly as breathable as the upper on the BASE. The laces are asymmetrical and run diagonally up the side of the shoe. While the FORM does have a tongue, it is attached as one piece to the upper at the arch of the foot in a fashion that is reminiscent of New Balance’s Minimus Zero Road shoes. The stitching on the uppers is first-rate and the over construction gives a premium feel to the shoe. Both pairs have a wide toebox that I found comfortable. For frame of reference and comparison, I’m comfortable in just about any pair of Vibram FiveFingers, prefer the 2E version of the Minimus Road Zero, and generally find anything by VIVOBAREFOOT to be comfortable, almost to the cusp of being too wide. The FORM also comes with an extra pair of blue laces that match the SKORA blue, which gives you a nice option if you have fashion qualms with the black laces.


The upper of the Skora Base has a unique, velcro-attached criss-crossing strapdown mechanism for dialing in fit.
The upper of the Skora Base has a unique, velcro-attached criss-crossing strapdown mechanism for dialing in fit.
I generally run in Vibram FiveFingers (SeeYas and Bikilas being my current favorite VFFs) and I tend to like a snug fit in my running shoes. I was slightly disappointed in the BASE’s strapping system as I felt my foot wasn’t locked down as much as I would like. I also found the elastic heel strap to be fairly useless and ineffective in tightening up things either. I was much happier in the FORM, which has a little more structure to it in the upper where I could cinch down the laces to get a better fit on my foot. The heel cup fit snuggly and the removable sole didn’t slip around under my feet at all.

Ground Feel

As one of the main features I look for in a running shoe being a thin sole with excellent feel for the ground, I found both pairs of SKORAs to be disappointing. The ground feel and transmission is muted due to the combined 13mm of rubber tread, midsole and insole between your feet and the ground. The rubber used in the tread is not particularly compliant and lends a stiffness and inflexibility to the overall feel. (For comparison, think of the sole flexibility on the first iteration of the Minimus Trail—it’s decent, but now where near what you’d find on a pair of VFFs). While SKORA’s marketing doesn’t like to use the term “minimalist” even if it did, it would be incredibly misleading. Don’t get me wrong, these shoes are zero drop and have nowhere near the over cushioned “foot cast” feel of typical running shoes, but they certainly can’t compare to VFFs or some of the other ultra-minimalist shoes reviewed on this site. Even when compared to other competing company’s offerings, like the previously mentioned New Balance Minimus Zero Roads which have a similar 12mm stack height, the SKORAs come up short.
The Skora Base on the right has noticeably more toe spring (lift at the end of the shoe) than the Skora Form (left).
The Skora Base on the right has noticeably more toe spring (lift at the end of the shoe) than the Skora Form (left).
I also have a few other minor nit-picks. Both shoes have a fairly aggressive toe spring (curvature of the front of the shoe upwards) with this being more severe in the BASE than the FORM. Another thing I noticed was that the tread has a slight “raised platform” section on the sole at the heel. When wearing them for the first time, standing with my weight relaxed on my heels, I could feel some rocking and instability when shifting my foot in a lateral motion. While neither the toe spring or the side to side instability had much of a noticeable effect when running, it seems like a company focused on “real running” would not have included these features.


The Skora shoes come with a bit of product info inside the box.
The Skora shoes come with a bit of product info inside the box.
Both models did just fine on the road, track, local paved paths and even a little light off-roading on packed dirt surfaces. They are comfortable to wear and give a plush ride. I preferred the FORM over the BASE since I felt like I could get a tighter fit with the laces. I never experienced any blistering or hotspots while wearing socks or even going sockless. As I’ve mentioned, I prefer a thinner sole on my running shoes so I ended up taking out the removable insole. This gave me 9mm of stack height which felt much closer to the feel I like. Unfortunately, with the insoles taken out, the SKORAs are left with a somewhat unfinished and rough feel to the inside of them, which is a shame for such a pricey shoe (pricing details below). It has been unusually dry this Spring in the DC region, so I haven’t been able to take them out in the rain to see how the tread pattern performs under slick conditions. I’m also interested to learn how the leather holds up under wet conditions. SKORA touts the water resistance and durability of the leather they’ve used on the FORM, claiming that while ordinary leather can take 24 hours to dry and can result in hardening and cracking, their leather can dry in as little as 6 hours and still feel soft and supple.

Colors, Price and Availability

The BASE comes in silver (photoed here) and blue colorways and will run you $125. The FORM comes in black (photoed here) and “natural” colorways, which is a white and red scheme. But here’s the kicker—if you thought VIVOBAREFOOT or some of Newton’s offerings are expensive, you’ll have sticker shock when you see that the FORM, being the flagship of the two models, will run you a hefty $195. Currently available only in men’s sizing from size 8 to 12 in half size increments, you can’t try these shoes on before you buy as at this time they can only be ordered online at The good news is that all SKORAs are shipped with a pre-paid FedEx return shipping label so swapping out sizes should be easy. On top of that, shipping is free within the continental United States.


So what’s my final take on things? Here’s my pros/cons list: Pros:
  • Zero drop sole
  • Well constructed, premium feel
  • Comfortable plush ride
  • Shipping/returns made easy
  • Price (I expect this to be the biggest deterrent for most!)
  • Could have a more minimal sole, but perhaps a good transition shoe to VFFs or barefoot
  • BASE model fit could be more snug
  • Heel strap doesn’t do much
Bottom line: if you are a strict Vibram FiveFinger runner looking for a shoe with a bare minimum of sole and great ground feel then you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re feeling spendy and are the type of runner who prefers a bit more cushion SKORA might just have something for you. If you’re looking to make the jump from a traditional running shoe to barefoot or VFF running, then SKORA’s offerings may be a (pricey!) option. As a casual walking shoe I find both the BASE and FORM to be a good street shoe option that pairs well with jeans or shorts. For me SKORA has a place in my closest as the shoe I put on after a long run or hard race.

Photo Gallery

Below, Skora BASE in grey and FORM in black.

Update on Insoles – 5/4/12

After this post was published there was quite a bit of feedback in the comments. It appears that these shoes are very polarizing—readers either love them or hate them. Furthermore, a point of discussion that kept popping up was the insoles. The question is, do you keep them in and add an additional 4mm of stack height, or do you take them out for a more minimalist feel? Going a little more in depth in to this topic, I’d like a offer a few pros and cons of removing the insoles. Pros:
  • Improved ground feel, on par with minimalist offerings from most other companies
  • Extra room for your feet if the uppers are too snug
  • The “plush” ride is gone. (love it or hate it)
  • For a $195 shoe made with “real running” in mind, you should have to strip it down to make it work for you
  • The insoles have raised bumps that add a bit of traction under the midfoot and toes. Without the insoles, I felt my feet slipping around in the shoe at faster paces, even with them tightened down (wearing thin sythentic socks may have something to do with this)
  • With my feet moving around, the added friction made the bottom of my feet heat up
  • The “plush” ride is gone. (love it or hate it)
Here are a few pictures of close-ups of the insole and the interior of the FORM with the insoles removed:

By Tim

I’m am a bicycle advocate by profession and an Ironman triathlete for fun which keeps me healthy and fit. I got into minimalist footwear during the summer of 2009 after dealing with injuries resulting from running in “normal” running shoes. Check out what’s going on in my life through photos at [url=][/url] or follow me on twitter: [url=]@TimKelleyDotNet[/url]. Get to know Tim better via [url=]his interview here[/url].

35 replies on “SKORA BASE & FORM Review”

Kyle from Skora here. I would just like to comment on a few things for your readers.

First, thank you for the extensive review Tim. Good write up and photos.

About The Forms and getting them wet. Mine will probably hit 600 miles today, and I’ve had my share of running in mud and downpours. The shoes simply get softer over time, even with multiple instances of being soaked to the bone. I have never ran in other leather shoes, so I cannot compare. But I’ve had no issues with the shoes and rain.

I know exactly what you are talking about with the Bases not getting quite as snug as you would like. For my road running (especially during ultras), that extra room is really what I prefer. For a trail, I like them to be more snug. With myself, that is simply liner in vs liner out. Having the liner in does let me utilize the strap better.

I transitioned from 3400 miles in Vibram classics to the Skoras. When I sent my first wear-testing pair back, I found myself running in Vibrams wishing I still had the Skoras. I found I needed a bit more shoe for trail running and the longer distances.

We designed the slight amount of toe spring into the shoes since your toes do lift during the run gait.

Out here in the Black Hills National Forest I’ve used the shoes from road all the way to 85+ degree days on rocky technical trails without any traction or heat issues. Of course a trail shoe will eventually be released, but we feel the Forms are darn close to ideal as is.

If someone is looking for the ground feel of nearly barefoot or in ultra minimal shoes, these are obviously not the shoes for you. For barefoot/VFF wearer, these would be like me giving a review to a pair of Nike Lunar Racers. It’s all about utilizing the best tools for you 🙂

Thanks again for the review, I hope I can address any other questions or comments from your readers

Kyle Kranz

How much running did you do without the insole? With the insole installed you couldn’t pay me to run in these. Remove the insole and they’re my favorite closed-toed minimalist shoes. And, indeed, they are true minimalist shoes once you remove that fat, spongy, and utterly useless insoles.

I’ve run in Vibrams for years up to the marathon distance. I know what I’m talking about. If you didn’t spend serious time in these with the insole removed you really need to redo this review.

(Skora’s were specifically designed to be used both with AND without the insole)

I like the look of the FORM as a general porpoise shoe. @Kyle Why did you decide to go with leather upper in a running shoe? Is leather a good material for a running shoe? I don’t run much so I would not know.

I think I would be interested in the Form as an everyday shoe. The price is a major factor. That is the one reason I probably would not pick up a pair.

How much room is there in the toe box. I am very particular about my toe room. For example in a size 10.5 or 11 how wide is the shoe at the widest part?

I may end up picking up a pair of these… though they are not high on my list of must have. I just really like the unique design of the upper and the lacing system on the FORM.

I have one suggestion for the base. I noticed the strap is secured to the shoe on one side and then you adjust it from the other. This means when you pull it tight you are essentially pulling the instep side of the shoe around your foot. I wished it was made truly symmetrical, and you had the Velcro on both sides of the shoe. That way you could strap the shoe tighter in a more even manner (From the inside and outside)… I hope that makes sense.

Great first generation design. I hope your the company does well. I look forward to their future design iterations.

@ Dave – Agreed about the insole. 95% of the 600 miles in my current Form are w/o Insole and wearing the thinnest Injinji socks available. While 100% of the two pairs I wore as a wear tester were with the insole. Of course with those two pairs I did a 100 and a 50 mile ultra, both on light trails. So a little extra protection was welcome.

@ Robert – Leather is an extremely tough material. Sooo good for a trail shoe especially. In my Forms, I bet I get onto at least a little trail during half of my runs. My favorite thing about the leather is that over time it has gotten softer and more flexible. But not like a synthetic shoe. When that gets flexible it often means it’s becoming worn out. Also, like a high quality Brooks leather bike saddle, which will form to your sit bones, the leather of our shoes will, over time, form to how your foot is shaped and how it moves.

Here is a photo of a size 11 Base, sitting on a ruler. Just for you Robert 🙂

And I made this video quick to show you how the straps work:

Thanks for the comments and suggestions so far!

Kyle Kranz from SKORA

I just don’t understand your assessment regarding ground feel. Did you do a long run on asphalt with the insoles removed?? Over several years I’ve run in: VFF Bikila, VFF KSO, Terra Plana Evo, Soft Star, Merrell Road Glove and Trail Glove, and Minimus Zero Trail. This includes two marathons in Vibrams.

I’ve run in Skoras for over one month including several 13-mile training runs on concrete.

Here is my assessment of the Skora Base:

With those thick insoles inserted they feel way too squishy and not up to par with other minimal shoes.

With insoles REMOVED they obviously feel thicker than Vibrams, a little thicker than TP Evos, and have slightly better ground feel than the Merrell Road Glove and Minimus zero. The 9mm stack height is LOWER than the Merrell’s and New Balance!

When you remove the insoles the bottom of the shoe is finished nicely – it is designed to be worn without insoles. The roughness you feel is due to the upper. Because the fit was optimized when wearing the insoles, when you remove them it creates some space in the upper which leads to rubbing.

I’m trying to be objective, and I could write a good deal about the Skora’s shortcomings. Additionally, I’m not associated with them or any other company – I’m just a dude that runs a lot. That said, I find your review inaccurate regarding the ground feel and flexibility of the sole. On the minimal spectrum, the Skora is, at the very least, on par with the Merrell Road Gloves and New Balance Zero Trail once you remove the insole.

@Kyle thanks for both the photo/video 🙂

That video really illustrates how the strap works. It looks like it works much better then I imagined.

They both look like 2 very appealing models. I am particularly drawn to the FORM. I love leather shoes. I think ascetically speaking it looks fantastic. Even though I am not much of a runner I think they would make a great everyday shoe.

Do you have plans to go into retailers like Born to Run ( and other running stores?

There is something really artistic about their shape. You managed to achieve a since of symmetry while actually being quite asymmetrical. That is an artistic style I really connect with.

Again cheers on the launch!

I tried a pair of these on at a local store that specializes in running shoes and gear. I tried them without the insoles. They had decent ground feel, similar to my Merrell Tough Gloves. The reinforcement in the midsole felt kind of weird, but overally, I really liked how they felt. The weirdest part was, when I put them on I actually felt like breaking into a run once i started moving in them, and I don’t run. Due to the price, I won’t be adding these to my shoe collection any time soon, but I have to admit that I wish I could.

@ Robert – Thanks for the compliments 🙂

We do have retailers on the ground and online and are of course looking to expand into others. If you have a local running shop that you suggest carry SKORA, you can either have them go to our website at and fill out the form to get more information on becoming a distributor, or email me at kyle at skorarunning dot com and we can contact them and say that they were recommended to us.

Since this shoe is not really minimalist it’s a bit strange seeing it on Birthday Shoes. Never the less, if you come here, you are fair game. I’ll just say it up front; I despise toe spring in running shoes.

“We designed the slight amount of toe spring into the shoes since your toes do lift during the run gait.”

Yeah, so what? It is only like that for a very short amount of time in the entire gait cycle. Why force the toes into that position for the whole duration of the gait cycle? So “Real Running” means you put the toes into an unnatural position for the majority of the gait cycle? Brilliant! – Do you see my point? I wish Skora success, but it will not be coming from my wallet.


Minimalist is a pretty undefined category and we’ve covered plenty of shoes that:

– have toe spring
– have greater stack heights
– are heavier

Really, what’s minimalist or not is up for grabs and needs some defining. We’ve taken a stab at it here:

That said, I hear you on toe spring and your point is well made (your toes aren’t sprung all the time, so why stick toe spring in the sole). That said, even some of the most minimalist shoes out there have *some* toe spring. For example, see the Invisible Shoes Connect or Contact huaraches soles.

Every shoe is going to unnaturally affect your foot. End of story. So what compromises designers make to create a shoe that functions reasonably well with minimal effect on the foot — that’s not a back and white issue. Adding toe spring isn’t arbitrary in other words, as much as you may not like it personally.

@Jeepman – The slight amount of toe spring in the shoes does nothing to force the toes into any position. The Base and Form are flexible enough that while standing, the spring disappears with little to no effort from the wearer. There has not been a single instance when I’ve noticed the spring.

Toe Spring:

Without any toe spring, the front of the shoe will scrape the ground upon a normal forefoot landing (because the foot is plantarflexed). Therefore, SOME toe spring is needed unless the shoe is so paper thin that flexing your toes upward – as you do before impact when running barefoot – flexes the sole of the shoe upward to prevent it from scraping the ground.

I’ve put some miles in the Base and feel it could use less toe spring. However, I still acknowledge that minimalist shoes need some toe spring. Perhaps the level of toe spring in the Form (which is slightly less than the Base) would be more ideal.

i am a triathlete as well as a runner, so my decision to purchase a pair of skora base partly included T2 considerations. over the years i have followed this shoe trajectory while working on my form:
VFF flow (max race distance 13.1 miles)
vivo EVO (max race distance 25k)
saucony hattori (max race distance 13.1 miles)
skora base (very few miles yet, no races)
i have also worn VFF bikila and merrell trail glove for at least one run (6.2 and 4 miles respectively). all of these shoes have presented some compromise or other, mostly related to width and wear without socks. and that is the most important point in this comment — fit is a very individual thing

the first thing i did with mine, both in the store and after getting home, was remove the insoles. the 9mm stack height and sole flexibility is very similar in feel to merrell trail gloves, and it feels more flexible and less insulating than the hattori i just spent the last year in.

i do think skora base are minimal — certainly so if merrell gloves are minimal — because they are zero drop and will hurt if using a heel strike. i think 10mm to 15mm is about the limit that a shoe can be called minimal, and with the insole removed they are 9mm. trail gloves are 12mm, my outgoing hattori are 13mm, and bikila are 7mm. they’re not even at the thicker end of minimal. they thinner than the merrell road glove so glowingly reviewed on this blog! i mean, the reviewer doesn’t have to like the shoes in any way shape or form, but simple data clearly places them in the minimal category.

hopefully after a few more weeks of half-iron training, i will be able to report back about sockless and 10+ mile performance. these shoes are not perfect, but they are the closest i’ve gotten to *my* needs in a minimal shoe. and they’re definitely minimal.


the toebox part of the shoe should be much wider to begin with.
not just FLEXIBLE. roomy and soft yet durable.
some people have these “weird” toes (i do!) and even “normal” toes have to get
a lot of room to spread nice and easy.
that’s a bit tricky since it tends to over-size the shoe- but only in the toe area. so, it’s a bit confusing when it comes to sizing.
the toe area will seem half size bigger than the rest of the shoe but that’s the only way to a healty and natural barefoot-like shoe.
to my opinon, that is.

I think the whole toe spring debate is generally much ado about nothing.

Personally, I think the real factor is the stiffness of the sole. If the sole has spring but is very flexible (like invisible shoes), it will have a very minimal affect on the foot. Conversely, if the sole is more rigid and has toe spring (like the Brooks Mach whatever), the foot is going to be affected much more.

I am wearing my SKORA Forms right now, and I do not notice the toe spring at all, unless I focus on it. I also agree with Kyle that the soles are flexible enough that they easily flatten completely when standing.

If you want another good opinion about toe spring, please check out Jason Robillard’s thoughts on the topic at He knows about as much about barefoot/minimalist running as anybody.

Justin: Excellent comment about every shoe affecting the foot in some way or other.

Honestly, it is all about personal preference. There are so many choices out there now that, although no one shoe is perfect for everybody, everybody can find the right shoe for their wants/needs.

@Robb – Thanks for the comments! Good luck with your training. If I ever get back into triathlon (did one Ironman) the Base will be a great shoe!

I really like the fact that the SKORA shoes are so perfect if you need less stack height and want the insole removed. Or for those that need a bit more, leave it in 🙂 It is important to know that removing the insole (or going sockless) will change the size of the shoe in comparison to your feet. My Bases would be much too large if I went sockless and removed the insole.

@ Barefoot Shrimp – I’ve had this very conversation with the CEO of Skora, David. The reason that all shoe companies can’t make the toe box bigger for the 5% of runners who need that large of a toe box, is simply because it’s only 5% of the running population (estimation). It would cost too much to completely re-design the entire shoe, for such a small amount of the population. Of course they would like to, but financially it’s not viable.

I sense a growing frustration in the in the barefoot/natural running community – not just on the forum here. I include myself in this too. Great anticipation is meet with disappoint time and time again. We keep waiting for the next great thing, but it never happens. The manufacturers either molds toe spring into the sole, cups the sole on the edges (NB Road Zero), makes the sole too stiff, isn’t zero drop, the toe box is too narrow, or they think a 20mm stack height is minimalist. I’m also not accepting the excuses the manufacturers are making for not following the repeating narratives of what the minimalist community wants in a shoe.Robert (Bearfooted) even started a dedicated thread about the features wanted in a minimalist shoe.

It’s not like any of this hasn’t already been said in one form or another. Because of this, I respectfully disagree that minimalist shoes have not been defined very well. Look anywhere on the internet and you will find it. So far the best example of what a enclosed toe minimalist shoe should look like is the Altra Samson. It’s not perfect, but it comes a lot closer than anything else currently on the market.


If “clear” is 10 people with different criteria and different “most important features,” well I’d question how clear it is.

Skora and Altra both seem to be incorporating a number of these features — toe spring is just a dealbreaker for you, right?

Personally, I’m like Aaron — toe spring doesn’t really bother me so long as the shoe is flexible.

@Jeepman — that altra samson is an amazing shoe. if i were only a runner, i would strongly consider it. it felt great in the store. and, frankly, the minimus zero road would be about perfect for me if my feet weren’t so ridiculously wide. as it is, they’re basically unwearable.

@Justin — i’m with you on toe spring. and on the clarity of just what is minimal. even zero drop seems somewhat negotiable in the minimal shoe marketplace.

@Kyle — your review on the white line blog did a lot for me seeking these out in my area. only one store carries them, but i got to do a direct comparison to minimus zero road and trail, merrell road glove, and altra samson. given my previous experience with the hattori, bikila, EVO, and VFFs, i felt pretty well informed and confident in my pick.

Love that you picked up on the the NEW SHOE smell and the fantastic box. That is also what I noticed first, and made me more excited than I should probably admit.

I’m also a Skora reviewer (Forms) and recently switched from Vibram Sprints (five half marathons) to the Forms for at least the summer months in AZ.

While the Forms are fantastic to wear around with the insole, removing it helped the ground feel. I also like that the Forms get more comfortable every time I put them on, which gives me much hope for the next few hundred miles.

Happy to answer any questions anyone has, but know that I’m not a super-awesome ultra runner, just a guy that runs 3-5 miles every other day as part of a training regimen for half marathons and a triathlon. And I’m, so far, strictly a road runner. No trails for me.

discard anything kyle kranz says…he works for skora and will say anything…i tried the shoes for a month…100 miles and they were horrible…terrible design…went back and bought 2 pairs of decent shoes for what they charged for them


I think Kyle’s been pretty transparent about his relationship to Skora — obviously he likes the shoes (obviously you don’t). That said, if you’re going to comment, you might as well provide constructive feedback and not just a vitriolic, angry response. “Horrible … terrible design” doesn’t do anything for anyone.

I have the Forms and have been pretty happy with them. I have tried other zero drop shoes (VFF,Merrill’s, and Newton MV2s) all just didn’t work for me. The Skoras have. I have been able to get up to 7 mile runs with them and I can’t say that about the others I tried. I know what you mean about the smell of the shoe it is grat out of the box and still is that way three months later. It will be interesting with the ot weather approaching to see how they feel. I know I ran with them in Hawaii in March and had no issues with leather shoes an heat.

I just wanted to back Kyle here and let everyone know that I have a pair of Forms which I absolutely love. I am mostly a trail runner and I love the way that the forms get more comfortable the longer I am on the trail. Yes, they may cost a little more than other shoes but the upper has not ripped on me and the outsole is as solid as when I started. I go out on my long runs and I am actually excited to put this shoe on because there is nothing that causes discomfort. I strongly recommend try a pair on at least, I just raced the Trail Mix 50K in Bloomington, MN and they were amazing for me. I loved the way they flew up the climbs and they were strong on the downhills. I would recommend any serious runner to think about minimalism at the very least but I can give my person experience to any ultra runner looking for a great shoe.

@ “fast runner”

Thank you for at least trying out our shoes. I hope you enjoy your two new pairs of decent shoes that you purchased.

It was perfectly clear in my first post that I worked for Skora. I was a wear tester for the brand before being asked to join the company. I would not have accepted their offer if I did not whole heartily believe in their shoes and their philosophy.

But thanks for your comment 🙂

@ Everyone else – Here is very recent photo with 620 miles in my Forms, they are holding up well. I have ran in them in temps up to 85 degrees, and it has been fine. I wear thin Injinji socks, which help keep my feet cool. While maybe not as cool as a thin mesh upper(such as the Base) they are far superior than any other leather footwear.

@fastrunner: I also completely back Kyle here. He isn’t a salesman, which is obvious from his posts. He doesn’t gloss over any aspects of the SKORA’s just to increase their sales. He has been nothing but honest and forthright. I think it is great that he has commented on this site, because he knows more about these shoes than anybody else.

If you didn’t like the shoes, fine. Tell us why, but keep it objective. We all have shoes we don’t like, but there is no point in bashing somebody else because you had a bad experience with shoes they like.

My comments on the Skora hold true for almost every ‘barefoot’ shoe. The shoe has nothing to do with the runner. I can put on a pair of basketball shoes and still smoke 90% of the people who gush over these ‘barefoot’ shoes. Here is a good quote: “Kenyan runners race in low-support shoes, but they mostly train in big, chunky, cushioned sneakers, just like your average, plodding Western jogger. Oddly, though, and contrary to Lee’s (Saxby) theories, these big shoes don’t force the Kenyans to run heel first. They virtually all run in a lovely, smooth forefoot-first style – what Lee would term “barefoot style.” The shoes, it seems, make no difference.
-Adharanand Finn, Running With the Kenyans

I bought the form and previously posted I was dissapointed in the video preview post of these shoes. But I only ran a couple of times without the inserts and this is a very different shoe without them. I gotten to actually really like them sans insert, I’m not training for any races but I run 3X’s a week ranging anywhere from 3 to 8 miles and i’ve found myself really enjoying them. They are comfortable, roomy which I like and a nice big toebox for the little piggies.
The biggest reason I like them is running in Vibrams causes pain in my right Achilles heel which has progressively gotten worse over the last 2 yrs. Skora solved that issue and the pain has pretty much gone away these last 2 months since I been running in them.
No they are not Vibrams or some ultra minimal shoe, but I feel as if they offer a lot of minimal features ie. zero drop in a shoe that protects your feet. I run in a park system that has both dirt bridle trails and asphalt paths and the shoe works well on both.
As for the price it’s high and it sucks but how many pairs of vibrams (I have 5) or other footwear do most of these users on this forums have? I’ve experimented enough and I think i’ve found my running shoe for road and trail all in one. Oh and the black form looks badass and receives a lot of compliments. I hope Skora does well.

Had the BASE and they became my favorite running shoe, only problem is the strap is nice but on longer distance my feet was moving a bit in the shoes and caused some chafing under foot. Just received the FORM and they are amazingly comfortable look like a winner!

Kyle from Skora here.

@ pmlarocque – No offence, but your feet moving inside the shoe could be a form issue as well. If you are landing flat and darn close to under your center of gravity, there should be little if any movement.

I do agree that the Base simply does not get as tight as the Form does. When I go on hikes I prefer the Form since there is a lot of foot movement inside the shoe while walking in the Base.

Glad you like the Form, it’s really a great shoe!

@ fastrunner – Yes but those are athletes who have, in most cases, always ran with a midfoot form. I would midfoot strike in a pair of Nike Shox. Minimalist shoes make it much more comfortable to do so, in my opinion.

@ mike – Thanks for the comment! Glad the shoes are growing on you 🙂

after about 60 miles of running during my half ironman training i found a few things about these that i’d like to share since it came up again.

first, without the insole, these shoes are definitely minimal. that are far more minimal than the hattori. so much so that my feet were sore after my first run in them.

second, the toe spring is an issue for me without the insole. my second toe rubbed against the sole and front of the shoe enough to partially lift my toenail.

the solution to both of these issues was to put the insole back in. my toenail reattached and my feet went back to what they’re used to for running.

however, i’m also glad to say that my very sensitive feet were most happy in these shoes without socks. sometimes the conditions were just right to cause some rubbing, but most of my sockless runs were a joy. running with socks was fine, too, and i even considered wearing them for the race.

alas, i was injured in a bike crash two weeks before the race, and i haven’t been able to work out for the last four weeks since the crash. unfortunately i had to skip the race.

bottom line is that these shoes are not perfect, but from my experience with a great deal of minimal shoes, these shoes offer more positives than negatives compared to any other minimal shoe i’ve tried. i’m looking forward to getting back out in them as soon as i’m healed.

Too much cushion. My plantar condition kicked in by the 2nd run. It had been on pause for 2 years dammit. Very sad, because I had sky high hopes for this shoe.
The bulbous heel and weebles wobble but they don’t fall down feeling of this shoe is horrible.
The soft leather and styling are truly first rate touches.

for what it’s worth, they said on facebook that they’re working on a new sole that will be wider, thinner, and have less (or maybe no) toe spring. these were the three issues i’ve had with mine, so i’m hopeful the new sole next spring will really take care of the issues i’ve had. i’d honestly be just as happy if NB made a wide enough for me minimus road zero, but a wider, thinner skora sole would be great, too.

Some food for thought for y’all:

– minimalistic running shoes have been around forever, even after Bowerman designed his “Waffle”.

– a “true barefoot feeling” could be a false term, esp. folks using(and abusing) it spent vast majority of their lives in regular shoes.

– anybody ever seen the bottom of the foot of the person who spent the whole life w/o shoes?

In this respect a “true barefoot feeling” may refer to something that as a matter of fact is not “real”, since the “real” means a thick layer of skin, resistant to broken glass etc.

I have worn Soft Star running mocs. The sole is completely flat unless the moc fits so snuggly at the toe that the toe rises. I had problems tripping on sidewalks and falling. I fell so hard about three times that I injured my right shoulder when I fell and rolled. I don’t run in Soft Star mocs anymore. I recommended to Soft Star that they design their running mocs with a true moccasin toe so that the toe stitching is above ground level. Then, I think that their toe would not be a tripping hazard.

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