Skora describes the Core as “Luxury Meets Minimalism.” After wearing these shoes, it is hard to disagree. I already know what you’re thinking: “But I’m a runner. These look like some sort of techno moon shoes.” Well you’re wrong, they look awesome. And more importantly, they are also the most comfortable shoe I have ever worn out of the box. With a leather upper, anti-smell lining, and asymmetric design, this shoe is not for the faint of heart.
Features and Technology
With a weight of 8.1 oz and zero-drop, the Skora Core falls into the minimal category. It also includes a wide toe-box so the true minimal runners can splay their toes as much as they desire.
The upper on the Skora Core is Pittards Armor-Tan Goat Skin Leather. While obviously extremely comfortable and form fitting, the leather is also abrasion resistant. Utilizing the WR100X unique tanning process, the leather is permanently water resistant while remaining breathable.
The interior of the shoe has an anti-microbial mesh lining by Agion. This lining incorporates silver ions to naturally kill bacteria and keep smells at bay. Similar technologies have successfully been incorporated into various apparel lines. After about two months of use, the shoes still smell fresh.
The sole is made of Injection Blown Rubber (IBR) instead of the typical EVA. This offers better grip and ground feel while also having a lower weight than standard rubber soles.
Fit of the Skora Core
I found that the Skora Core runs big. I normally wear a 9.5 or 10, and have a 10 in this shoe. It runs at least a half size big, and left me with too much space in the toe. I also got the impression it is designed for a wider foot, but the leather has already started to contour to the shape of my foot. I guess that’s why people have been using leather for centuries. Even though this shoe was a bit big, it managed to keep my foot in place with a heel-cup that prevents slippage.
The Core features a “no-tongue design,” where the tongue is actually an extension of the upper on the outer side. This adds comfort and eliminates the need to constantly readjust your tongue mid-run, or just worry about it slipping down into your shoe.
The sole grips well and absorbs some shock, but has the flexibility expected of a true minimal shoe. I happen to prefer the feel of a minimal shoe, so I loved this aspect of the Core. When running on uneven surfaces, the shoes flexed naturally with my feet. Bear in mind that if you are looking for a shoe with total shock-absorption and ankle support, you should look elsewhere.
Just look at how that shoe can roll up, it’s practically a ballet slipper!
I would characterize this as a road running shoe. While I have worn it on trails without any issues, it does not provide the same grip on rocks (and especially gravel and mud) that you can get from a true trail runner with fat lugs. With that being said, it performed very well on the road, and my feet had no problem jumping right in. I did not experience any hot spots, blisters, or discomfort.
I am also impressed with the durability of the soles. I was hesitant at first to spend this kind of money on a running shoe with a leather upper, as there is no way that the sole can last long enough to make a leather upper worthwhile, right? Well so far the soles are holding up well. It seems as if Skora has managed to create a sole that lasts longer than a couple hundred miles. So why aren’t all the other manufacturers doing this?
The Skora Core is covered in reflective lining, but you would never know until dark. In my mind, Skora did a fantastic job of incorporating generous amounts of reflectivity that blend in with the rest of the shoe during the day.
The Skora Core is a great all-around shoe: it performs well while running, grips well in the gym, and looks good in a pair of jeans. If you are a regular traveler like me, the convenience of a multi-purpose shoe like this one is well appreciated. And after a few uses, I still could not get over how comfortable and flexible the leather upper can be. Meanwhile, the sole had enough heft (for a minimalist) that you don’t feel every sharp stone on the trail.
At a price of $149, you expect a certain amount of quality. In this regard, Skora delivers!
Read more at SkoraRunning.com.