I’ve been a runner since my sophomore year of high school. I discovered the cross-country team and never looked back. At one point in my life I was getting up at 4am to run 4-6 miles M-F and would run 10 miles on Saturday. I would take Sunday off – or strap on some roller blades. I was addicted.
To this day I still run, though not to the same extents. Some weeks I run every day around 2-4 miles per day, other weeks I run just a few times per week and fill the other days with bike rides, lawn mowing or other cardio activity. I still love it but the older I get, the harder it is, especially on my knees. I began to notice knee pain in my left knee on any runs longer than 4 miles.
A trusted source told me that my shoes might be playing a factor in my knee pain, along with my running form. I corrected my form and noticed my knee was better, but still not without pain. So the next consideration was my shoes. My source told me to consider “barefoot” running shoes or “minimalist” running shoes and as a test I decided to walk barefoot on my treadmill.
During my barefoot treadmill test I noticed 2 things. First, the bottoms of my feet got sore fairly quickly and second, I was engaging muscles I don’t usually engage when I walk on my treadmill with my mainstream running shoes on. How interesting that my regular running shoes only use PART of the muscles naturally designed to help me walk. Made me wonder if it meant that other areas of my body had to make up for those missing muscles which is why I feel pain.
Skora is a running shoe brand that aims to allow you to run as nature intended.
WHY RUN REAL™?
At SKORA we view Real Running as running how nature intended – efficient, effective and with ease. As the foot strikes the ground, contact is made in the middle of the foot, not at the heel. Running with a whole-foot gait results in less impact energy and force shock transmitted through the body than compared to the heel strike gait favored by conventional running shoes (built with large amounts of cushioning, support and a thicker heel).
Think about it. We aren’t born with shoes. We don’t usually learn to walk with shoes on and most of the time we experience pain while walking is with shoes on. Blisters. Heel pain. Shin paint. Arch problems. Bunions. Callouses. And so many more foot problems caused by the shoes we wear. Yet we still wear them. Some people even experience pain all the way up their back because of their shoes!
Now, I realize it isn’t really practical to go to work or to the store without shoes on. Nor is it practical to street or even trail run without shoes on. But that doesn’t mean you have to needlessly suffer and have to limit your physical activity. I really truly believe that we need to return to our roots. Our shoes don’t need to support our feet – they need to protect them. Our feet were designed to support themselves.
Enter Skora and their real running philosophy.
Forget barefoot. Forget minimal. Forget natural. Just be REAL.
At SKORA we view Real Running as running how nature intended — efficient, effective and with ease. As the foot strikes the ground, contact is made in the middle of the foot, not at the heel. Running with a whole-foot gait results in less impact energy and force shock transmitted through the body than compared to the heel strike gait favored by conventional running shoes (built with large amounts of cushioning, support and a thicker heel).
Real Running is not something your body needs to learn, but rather be reminded of. As a child we all Run Real, it is only as we grow up and get used to conventional running shoes we forget how to run naturally.
When I first put on my Skora shoes, I was afraid to not wear socks,even though that’s how they were designed to be worn. So I wore them with socks for a long time before being brave enough to wear them without. Walking with my Skora shoes on felt much like when I was walking barefoot. It felt weird and I engaged muscles I didn’t usually use while on the treadmill.
The first time I started to run in my Skora shoes I just about bust out laughing. I felt ridiculous and very clumsy. I had to re-find my center of gravity and nearly fell a couple of times. But not long after I started that run, magic happened. My stride began to feel more natural, my knee didn’t hurt and my legs wanted to keep going longer than my lungs would allow.
I can’t imagine ever wearing another brand of running shoe again.
The shoes I tested are called Form.
FORM is definition of premium performance. Featuring a full-leather upper made of Pittards Goatskin leather with WR100X leather lining, FORM is designed with asymmetric lacing and no-tongue construction to provide a glove-like fit in combination with stitch-down construction and an Ortholite insole.
A perfect balance of comfort, cushioning and control, FORM will take you further on any road, trail or running surface you throw at it with a zero-drop, 13mm stack height platform (9mm without insole) engineered for excellent ground feel.
FORM is built on the R01 platform composed of the REALFIT™ last, developed to offer a unique anatomical fit that closely matches the foot’s shape. The R01 platform also features a zero-drop outsole/midsole with minimal cushioning and a curved section profile in both the forefoot and heel. This allows for optimal natural movement and performance.
Form looks great, feels great and has a quality construction. They are made of breathable goat leather tanned in a way to offer permanent water resistant qualities. The curved heal and forefoot matches the natural shape of my foot and the entire shoe design provides an awesome, anatomical fit.
These are my indoor Skora for my treadmill, now I need to get a second pair and venture outdoors! I just ordered the Skora Base in light coral.
Are you a runner or a walker? Have you ever tried a shoe like this to help alleviate pain or discomfort?