Recently I’ve been testing several different pairs of new running shoes that fit squarely into the “minimalist” category that was defined a few years ago by the Vibram FiveFingers. But not everyone wants to run in “shoes” that are that lightweight and as a result, a number of manufacturers have begun offering options that are a step up in form and support, while still maintaining the minimalist mantra. Last week I posted my review of the Sketchers GObionics, which I found surprisingly comfortable, flexible and very affordable, although I felt they were best used on shorter runs. This week I have a different take on the minimalist shoe, this time from a company called Skora.
Back in May, I tested and very much liked Skora’s Base running shoe, and recommended them for those who wanted to join the minimalist movement without going too minimal. Skora’s other model, the Form, shares some of the features of the Base but wraps everything up in a more high quality package. For example, while the Base uses synthetic fabrics the Form incorporates durable and wear resistant goatskin leather. The result is a show that is attractive and tough with a unique feel.
Skora has designed these shoes to be very form fitting and I found that they simply felt strange on my feet if I was also wearing socks. As a result, while testing these shoes I ran barefoot, which is something I seldom do. I was a bit concerned that I would blister on my initial runs and when I first put these shoes on I even predicated exactly where that first blister would form. Much to my surprise however, those blisters never came and after just a couple of runs these shoes were well broken in and it was never a concern again.
Once broken in, the shoes also mold to your feet to a degree. This helps to make them more comfortable the more you run in them. The Forms also felt much more like a “barefoot” shoe than the Sketchers GObionic, which felt more like a traditional show despite being very minimalist as well. In fact, Skora’s offering actually weighs a bit more, tipping the scales at 8 ounces (226 grams) as compared to the Sketchers 6 ounce (170 grams) weight.
Running in the Skora Form was comfortable and enjoyable. Their foot-hugging fit made me feel like I was a bit more connected to the road while still keeping my feet nicely protected. Like all minimalist shoes however, I still felt plenty of debris, such as rocks and twigs, when I stepped on them. When that happens, these shoes feel “barefoot” in all the wrong ways. Still, the Skora From lived up to my expectations that were formed from test out their Base shoes. They are comfortable, have a unique look and feel, and hold up well under the rigors of daily runs.
Skora has priced the Form at the higher end of the minimalist running shoe market. At $185 they’re actually on par with many high-end traditional running shoes. While I very much enjoyed running in these shoes, I suggest you try them on before deciding if they’re the right option for you.