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Skora Base–Initial Impressions

IMG_0512I was talking with a Skora representative on Twitter last week and was offered the opportunity to review the Skora Base running shoes.

They arrived this morning and I couldn’t wait to try them on (disclaimer: they were provided at no cost to me and what I write about them are my opinions about the shoe).

As TheWife would say they look like “Harold” shoes. The Base are slip-ons, that have a Velcro strap to tighten them if you need to. I really like the looks of the Base and couldn’t wait to try them on.

Before I did, I looked them over very closely and found that the construction and the quality of the fit and materials was all great. When I tried them on they fit like a glove, but with plenty of room in the toe box, which can be a problem with a lot of shoes for me.

I took them on a 3.0 mile walk in the rain Smile.

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The walk went great, they had great grip on wet tar and on wet dirt road with a little slimy mud here and there. The Base were very comfortable while walking and I did change my stride a little, to what felt comfortable for this shoe. My experience is that most shoes will slightly change how you walk and you need to find the “right way” of walking for that shoe. I noticed a while after I got back that my calves were a little tighter than usual.

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Make no mistake about it, the Skora Base are a minimalist running shoe and will require a period of readjustment to being able to use them as your everyday running shoes or even long-walk shoe. I thought where I had been running in zero drop shoes for a while that I wouldn’t need a long transition and planned on doing 1-3 miles in them after my walk.

I got out and started running in them and quickly realized that there was no way, that I was going to even run 1.0 mile in them right off the bat. I ended up doing about a 1/2 mile in them and was glad that I turned around when I did! If I hadn’t my calves would have definitely complained to the management about what I was doing to them.

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So I plan to go very slow and transition correctly to get used to these minimalist shoes.

Unfortunately, this means that I won’t be running very far in them any time soon. So for now, I will use the Skora Base as my primary walking shoes, gradually building up to running more in them by running in them after my primary run and doing a lot of running form work. I have a feeling running in these shoes will strengthen my legs and feet, as well as force me to improve my form.

Also, because of their design, I think that they would make fantastic shoes to use at the gym or during crossfit workouts! When I get used to the shoe, I have a feeling that they will be really good for racing (they are light and have great ground feel).

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Will I ever completely switch over to minimalist shoes for running?

I really don’t know, according to a lot of things that I have read it has a lot of advantages if you can do it, but when I get tired on longer runs my form deteriorates badly and I still need the cushioning provided by more traditional running shoes to keep running comfortably. Time will tell on this one.

Personally, I found them so comfortable, that I am fairly certain that they are the shoes that I will be wearing most of the time for casual wear. They after all – according to TheWife, “Harold” shoes Winking smile.

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12 Comments »

  1. “Harold” shoes. Nice. I would definitely love to try them out if I had the views you do for running! I tried minimalist shoes before and noticed the same with the calves. I think its because you body actually has to do more of the work. Since the shoes are not bouncy comfy like supportive running shoes.
    I noticed my feet hurt after running. I have a high arch to start with. Tried different running shoes. Was fitted. Am now thinking that it may be arthritis in the feet. possible? Okay, totally unrelated to your Skora Base.

    • Christine – That is a joke around the house, my taste in shoes, is not always what could be called stylish, even though I think they are ;-). But seriously I like the looks of the Skora Base and found them very comfortable. The biggest thing about moving from your typical running shoes, is allowing your body the time to adjust. Just that little run in them and my calves are now telling me they were glad we only went a short distance. With your feet it could be a lot of things, but for many women in the U.S. it is wearing heels, don’t know if you do or not, but everything I have read, they don’t do much for your feet.

      I hope you find the answer to what’s going on, sore feet are not any fun!

  2. Harold–I have a pair on the way, too, and I can’t wait to take them out for a spin. You are right–getting to zero drop takes time and patience. I think Harold shoes are cool shoes!

  3. Thanks for reviewing these man! I get Running Times monthly and there are advertisements in there for their shoes. As you know, I plan on transitioning after the MCM and this looks like a pretty good fit for me. I am considering my transition critically since as you point out, you run very differently and the difference in stress will impact you. My initial thoughts are to ramp up in these and ramp down in my legacy running shoes. I’m thinking initially in quarter mile increments over a 6 month period, increasing/decreasing distance further as I converge on the 6 months. I may apply the 10% rule here, starting from 1/4 mi in a minimal and decrease 1/4 mi in legacy, then add to 3/8 mi and decrease 3/8 mi, per run, per week. I will research this more in the next month and post a plan for critical review, then adjust as needed. If calves are the muscle most impacted, as it woudl seem, I know how well they can hurt since I’ve been an avid gym rat in the past and have over done it to the point of being unable to do anything due to the soreness pain and I don’t wish to go there again. 🙂

    • Smiddy – sounds like you have a great plan for transitioning! I am still in the debate stage, I go back and forth on this especially since I want to do MCM 2013 at sub 3:30 and wonder if my can hold up in a minimalist shoe for the training that I need or if it just what the doctor ordered, either way, running in this footwear will help strengthen me and make me a better runner, because my form will be better no matter what shoes I am running in :-).

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