website statistics

Skora Form Review

Posted by on Oct 11, 2012 | 7 Comments

I’m always excited to test a first shoe from new companies. Skora was founded by David Sypniewski a few years ago. He solicited a lot of feedback when designing his first lineup, which I appreciated. At the time, the minimalist market was quite bare. [see what I did there]

Anyway, David had a great vision. He understood an important fundamental- the shoe shouldn’t interfere with your running form. The idea is widely accepted in minimalist circles, but was quite revolutionary at the time. It took a few years for the Skora line to finally hit the shelves, and the Form is the flagship.

The Basics

The Form utilizes all the characteristics of a “barefoot” minimalist shoe, including:

  • Anatomical last (shoe is shaped like the human foot)
  • Zero dropped sole (heel is the same height as the forefoot)
  • Toe box that allows for toe splay (more on this later)
  • Sockless liner

First Impressions

My first impression- damn, these shoes are white! After I got past that, I inspected the shoes closely. The shoe is made from goat leather, which is an interesting materials choice. The only other shoe I’ve used over the last few years that was made of leather was the Vibram Trek… and it wasn’t pretty. The shoe was very flexible, another characteristic of good minimalist shoes. The shoes appeared to be quite narrow. Finally, the shoe utilizes the same “burrito” upper as the New Balance Minimus Road Zero.

Actual Testing

The first test in the shoes was a pleasant surprise. I expected the goat leather to be overly hot. While it was hotter than most well-ventilated fabric shoes, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the VFF Treks.

Aside from that minor issue, the shoe worked as expected. It didn’t interfere with gait, provided a good mix of ground feel and protection, and provided good traction on asphalt, concrete, and non-technical dirt trails.

I did begin running into issues on longer runs. The narrow profile started rubbing both my first and fifth toes, which resulted in blisters. It became increasingly obvious the last did not fit my foot shape very well. That issue alone disqualified the shoe as a realistic option for me. I have rather narrow feet, which was a concern. The width of the shoe would be best suited for people with VERY narrow feet.

Despite the width issue, I was still interested in testing the shoe on technical trails. The lack of a rock plate, no lugs, and a relatively thin sole made the Form a poor trail shoe. HOWEVER, the goat leather really performed well. The leather stuck to my foot, which kept the shoe securely anchored on my foot. That’s an important quality, especially when running downhill. If Skora ever gets into the trail running shoe business, the goat leather upper would be a surprisingly good choice.

I also tested the shoe on a wet trail. Much to my surprise, the leather upper drained well and dried quickly. It tuned out to be a much better material than I anticipated.

Having Fun

The shoe may be too narrow for me to use as a running shoe, but the aesthetics make it an interesting casual shoe. It has a bit of an “I’m a pimp” look, which I like. The shoe is currently in my rotation of casual shoes.

I also brought the shoes to the Woodstock Trail Running Festival where they were tested out on several runs.

Conclusion

The Form is a very good minimalist shoe, but the narrow last is going to limit its potential audience. Still, it’s a great first effort by Skora. The use of goat leather, while seemingly pointless, turned out to be a surprising advantage. Kudos for Skora for thinking outside the box with that feature. If they stick with this formula and add a different last to their product line, they’ll continue to have great success.

 

###

 

This shoe was provided by the manufacturer.

 

 

Be Sociable, Share!
Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Related Posts:

7 Comments

  1. Pierre-Marc
    October 19, 2012

    Strange I wear 2E in minimus, merrell trail are to narrow for me but my form fit me perfect! I don’t know maybe the leather is so flexible even if it touch the side of my toes I don’t really feel it and never had any blisters! I tried a TON of minimalist shoe on the market and my quest to find the perfect shoe ended with the form!

    Anyway great review and great shoes IMO! Used them to run my first marathon!

  2. AnneV
    October 12, 2012

    I’d be interested to know if Skora’s anatomical last was based on the feet of habitual barefoot/minimalist runners.

    Before I started BF running, my feet were shoe-shaped from years of being squashed that way. I now find most shoes from high-street stores are too narrow on the toe, as my feet have expanded to their natural width.

    So I’d recommend Skora to research people with natural-shaped feet as the basis for their last.

  3. Ben W
    October 11, 2012

    Wow. Those running shorts must be really ugly to be blocked out like that. ; )

  4. NickW
    October 11, 2012

    Man Jason, I hate to see that YOU find these narrow. You wear those Merrells frequently and to me those are really narrow which means I will never fit in these Skoras. That’s a bummer too as I am trying to find a minshoe for times when I need something more than my bare feet. Wish I could find some Merrell TG in the wide version locally, but unfortunately no one carries them in a wide and I am not going to order them online and end up with store credit (that I won’t use) if they don’t fit.

  5. Trisha Reeves
    October 11, 2012

    I pretty much had the exact same observations with my pair. I didn’t complain about the width as much as you because so many minimalist shoes have the same problem that I was starting to think it was ME who has just really, really wide feet (although I never need wide-version shoes in everyday wear). I agree with you that the goat leather is an absolute genius addition to the shoe. Nice review!

  6. Kyle Kranz
    October 11, 2012

    Nice review Jason! It’s too bad they did not work for your foot shape. Interesting that you say the shoe would be ideal for people with very narrow feet, as that is not something we have ran into very often.

    The Base fits much wider than the Form due to it’s upper being a different material and build. We’ve put people who claimed they had quite wide feet, into both models.

    I do disagree about the shoe being a poor trail option, having used it myself in multiple ultras, including the Canadian Death Race and Black Hills 100.

    SKORA is coming out with a trail shoe in the future as well :)

    • Jason
      October 11, 2012

      The shoe would be about as good of a trail shoe as the MT00, Vivo Evo, Merrell Road and Flux Glove, Inov-8 Flite 195, VFF Bikilas, etc. They would be adequate on dirt-covered trails where foot placement on a flat surface is assured. I’d think they would be adequate for trails around the Midwest, Marin Headlands, most Lake Tahoe area trails, East Coast coastal trails, Pacific NW trails, etc. They’d be adequate for races like Pineland Farms, Woodstock, Rocky Raccoon, Rodeo Valley, etc.

      The lack of a rock plate, no lugs, and low stack height would make them a poor choice for technical trails like Bear Mountain in NY, the Blue Ridge Mountains in VA, Smoky Mountains in TN, most trails around the Rocky Mountains, and all mountains in the SW. For those trails, there are a lot of options that offer more protection and better traction.

      I am interested to see the trail shoes… any hints? ;-)