Seventeen years ago, when my running journey began, a pair of shoes with laces and rubber soles sufficed for running. After rupturing my plantar fascia seven weeks ago, I would say that aside from a decent sports bra, running shoes are now one of the most essential running items on my list. While I do not fully blame the shoes I wore as the sole factor for my injury, I strongly believe it was a contributing factor. Naturally, when the opportunity presented itself a couple of weeks ago from a Skora representative to test and review their latest model of running shoes – Skora Tempo – I did not hesitate to venture in the world of drop-zero shoes.
Let’s start with some information about the company, Skora. Skora actually was founded by David Sypniewski, a CEO all-too familiar with running injuries that not only hurt the love of running, but the finances from all the money spent on doctors, shoes, rehab and countless of expenses to remain injury-free. Thus, SKORA, was “the result of a 12–year journey to craft a better running shoe.” The company believes “that the best shoe is one that complements the human body and allows it to perform naturally.” The company aims for the shoe to make running efficiently, effectively, and with ease. As an injured runner, his journey and the company’s mission completely spoke to me given I have every desire to continue running well into my 100’s!
Since I am slowly easing back into running, transitioning to a zero-drop shoe was the perfect time to do so. Unlike 99.99% of the running shoes in the market, Skora’s shoes are zero drop, meaning there is no difference in height between the heel and the ball of the foot. The leveled foot allows for the middle of the foot to make initial contact with the ground instead of the heel; reducing the impact transmitted to the body when the foot strikes the ground. The outcome is returning to the natural form of running that has been altered by raised heels. Furthermore, the Skora Tempo is a shoe with 22 mm of cushioning, providing a soft landing for feet.
My first official run testing out the Tempo took place two weeks ago on the track. While excited, I was still concerned. My goal was not only to test my foot, but also the shoes. I had no distance goal in mind, only to run for as long and as far as my foot would take me.
The shoes, were flexible, and the cushioning, while not overt like other shoes that exaggerate the thickness of the foam was definitely present. This made the transition of the foot very smooth because it was not sinking into the foam. The toe box is generous. In fact, the size 10 provided ample space for my toes to spread out, so much so I may have even gone down a size and still had plenty of space. The aesthetic of the shoe is very clean, with a distinct appeal that has taken into consideration even the smallest details.
I was able to log 1.2 miles wearing the Skora Tempo for my first run as it was the most my foot could handle. The shoe definitely impressed me. First of all, because it was the ligament in the middle of my foot that was injured, I was extremely worried about trying the shoes considering the design of where the foot is supposed to land. However, I actually found that there was less shock on my foot than I anticipated. While I did feel pain while running, I attributed it to the injury and not to the shoe.
Just as impressive were the placement of the laces – off to the side and with a significantly fewer amount of eyelets compared to the average shoe. Plus, there is no slipping or sliding of the tongue as the upper part of the shoe is all one piece. When I first looked at the shoe, the design looked a little foreign, but now that I understand that reasons why, I’m surprised other companies have not started following suit.
My longest run with the Skora Tempo shoes was a 5k on a gravel and hilly trail during the Memorial Day weekend. If there is anywhere to test the plushness of a shoe, it is definitely on a gravel road.
Once again, the shoe lived up to the hype. The shoe, while plush, still allowed my feet to make contact with the ground in order to have a good grip. The sole while sturdy is completely lightweight, which makes running feel right efficient on challenging terrains. The mesh material is also breathable, and easy to clean, although perhaps a little too ventilated for winter running.
I still have at least another five weeks left of healing before my injury is 100% clear, which makes it ideal for me to run in the Skora Tempo. While injuries are extremely frustrating, I can most definitely say that I will not only come back stronger, but I will also be learning the art of natural running, which will hopefully lead to less injuries.