Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Product Review: Skora Core

I spent the last week running in a new pair of Skora Core shoes and it's been a fun ride.  They are a classic minimalist style with a strip of thick rubber as the sole and a piece of goatskin leather as the upper.  No cushioning, no arch-support.  They fit a little loose side-to-side but that is probably to allow the foot to splay out as you land.

They have a handsome design- I wore them one day to a friends house and everyone was saying "hey Colin, cool shoes!"  I like simple so the grey-scale really appeals to me (sorry, Newton, your gear looks like a party-store vomited on them.)  They don't tighten very much when you cinch up the laces but the upper is well shaped so as long as you get the right size they should hang on to your foot.

One comment on size: I run in an 8.5 with New Balance but these were a size 7.5, so you probably want to aim small.  If you order them online they include a FedEx return shipping sticker so you can mail them back for no cost to get a new size or color.

I ran on trails, roads, and grass so I got a good cross-section of how the Core handles on various terrain.  They don't have deep tread so when I pulled them out of the box I was wary about how well they would grip the trails, but in practice they did a great job.  The sole feels more like one solid piece than that of the New Balance Minimus (those ones are broken up into separate hexagonal pods) so you don't get quite the flexibility and surface feel of that model.  But the Core feel a little sturdier so they protected my feet better against sharp rocks.


Overall the Skora Core is a great shoe: comfortable, light, stylish, effective.  My only complaint is that after a few runs I noticed my second toe pushing against the front of the upper more than I would like.  At first I thought it meant I needed a slightly larger pair, but the half-size larger was too loose in the heel and would have left me sliding around.  I have that weird quirk where my second toe is larger than my 'big' toe, so people with a more statistically average foot shape probably wouldn't have the same problem.  Here is the link where you can read more from Skora and place orders (it looks like they are on sale right now!)

Derrick Lytle shot these pictures for me up in American Fork Canyon (I think technically the park was closed because of the government shut down, but I like to live dangerously.)  To see more of Derrick's work click here:

This is my favorite pic from the day:


  1. Great review. This is my favorite shoe right now. I also have the issue where my 2nd toe (only on my right foot) is significantly longer than my big toe. It's actually started to hammer on me. Any way, I've found the larger toe box of this shoe to be quite accommodating for it. Plenty of room for my toes while maintaining a comfortable fit over the entire foot. I love this shoe!

  2. Nice review. The SKORA Core is absolutely my favorite shoe right now. I've got over 300 miles on my first pair and they are holding up great. There is some minor wear on the sole, but I've also taken them on rough trails in addition to many miles on the American River Bike Trail. In terms of sizing, I got a 9.5 for the SKORA Core where I used to get a 10.5 for shoes like the Mizuno Wave Inspire. I emailed SKORA about sizing and they suggested getting a pair that is 1 to 1.5 centimeters longer than your actual foot size. Use the sizing conversion chart on their site and see the Japanese sizing, which is in centimeters. My longest foot is 26.3 centimeters, so I got the US 9.5, which is 27.5 centimeters. They fit great and the leather feels nice, although I don't have the longer second toe issue.