Skora Tempo Shoe Review

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.

  

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Roughing It

On Friday night, my husband, my daughters, the dog, and I, drove up to the mountains to spend quality time with the outdoors. In all frankness, I was dragged to the mountains, but it was because the forecast read rain from 11pm Friday until 8 am Saturday with the possibility of floods.

This is what the skies looked like when we headed on our camping trip.

While the spring temperatures are no longer below freezing, the weather for the Holiday weekend was supposed to be too cold for my liking. Cold anything is just not my cup of tea; cold weather, cold wind, cold rain, cold floors, and colds in general. If the temperature is not above 70 during camping, then I feel like the experience is more like survival. Since the whole family, including the dog, seemed excited for the excursion, I swallowed my selfishness and put on a happy face.

Traveling in style like the Beverly Hillbillies. Good thing our dog does not mind small spaces.

It was wet, cold, and breezy when we arrived to our campsite. A large group of my husband’s co-workers who had arrived to the campsite a couple of ours before us had already started a much needed fire for my cold bones. There were also quadrupedal species frolicking around like small children who came to greet us upon our arrival.

The dogs were like small children and they wanted to play all weekend long. Except for the beagle who was sunbathing. He wanted to sniff the ground and catch some sun all weekend long. The dog on the bottom right is a labrador pup, and he never seemed to tire no matter how many times I tossed him the ball.


As much as I wanted to relish and enjoy the outdoors, my mind was still stuck on the gray, wet, and cold weather. When I looked around the camp fire to observe whether anybody else seemed perturbed by the weather conditions, it dawned on me I was all alone in the “negative nancy” category. The cool wind and the scent of rain falling from the skies didn’t faze my two-year-old, who was running around with chocolate on her face and gooey marshmallow all over her hair. My ten-year-old had muddy legs and shoes after riding on an OHV (Off-Highway Vehicle) with my husband, who was smoking a cigar and exhaling like Sean Connery on a James Bond film. Even Jake, my dog seemed to be enjoying the night as he was sitting cuddled under his fleece blanket next to the warm fire.Their happiness made up for my funk and the tempestuous nature of the dark clouds. Perhaps it wasn’t only the weather that was impacting me, given I had not worked out that morning. At approximately 9 pm, I decided to call it a night and told myself I would attempt to run the next morning so that I could create some positive energy.

 

Our humble abode.

 
Saturday was a much better day! Even though I had to get up at 2 in the morning while it was raining cats and dogs to do my business, and subsequently could not go back to sleep after doing my business due howling winds scratching the perimeters of our tent, I was still looking forward to the day. The rain continued until at least 10:00 am in the morning, but a breakfast filled with delicious eggs, hash browns, and pancakes further fueled my desires to go for a run. 

Rabbit Hole Warning: I know I have not made any updates pertaining to my running injury, but it’s mostly due to the fact that there has not  been much to update. There was an attempt on my behalf to shake out my legs around the track two weeks ago, which was around the fifth week of recovery, and while I managed to make it around the track four times, my foot hurt, so I decided not to push it. That one mile felt great in terms of being able to physically perform what I had easily been able to do eight weeks ago, but mentally, it was frustrating to accept the physical limitations.

Nonetheless, on Saturday, May 23rd, I accepted the strength of my body, and embraced the outdoors. Not only did I manage to pull out a 5k on a gravel/dirt hilly trail, the sun came out and warmed my body!! There was mild discomfort on my foot while, but not a painful kind of discomfort, just a cautious discomfort of not pushing it too far.  The pace was slow, but my legs and lungs were getting a good workout and there was a surge of endorphins that made the trip, the rain, and the mud worthwhile. Most importantly though, my run was full of gratitude towards all the service men and women who never made it back. Men and women who did not say good-bye to their spouse and children. Men and women who were children themselves and did not say good-bye to their parents. It was a reminder Freedom comes at a price that few are willing to pay but many advantageously enjoy; the price of one’s life.

 

Gravel, hills, wooden fences, and evergreens help shake off the funk.

 
For the first time, I also got to play in the mud (don’t like mud) and ride the trails in one of the OHV’s with my husband. In all honesty, I am not an adventurous person when it comes to new experiences. In fact, I tend to be apprehensive about experiences that I feel may lead to bodily harm and or drowning (bungee jumping, motorcycles rides, diving, snorkeling), so when my husband asked me to ride with him, I went with reservations. Once again, I was grateful I did not allow the voices of fear inside my head to seize the day and enjoyed a nice ride with my main man!

 

Riding, Rolling, and Spinning!

 
On our ride back home on Sunday afternoon, I noticed the mud on the side of our vehicle, the girls with knotted hair and dirty clothes, the dirt between my nails, the scent of burning wood wafting off my clothes, a tired beagle, and a handsome husband who seemed content to have spent time with his family in the outdoors. An enlightened smile was immediately planted on my face for not allowing my selfishness that overcame me on Friday afternoon to get in the way of the beautiful memories that we created as a family during the weekend. It was a good lesson for me to experience and learn on Memorial Day weekend.

 

The sun will come out tomorrow. And it did!

 
How was your Memorial Day Weekend? What are you most grateful for?

Warning: Curves Ahead

If the path to success is non-linear, then I’m trekking on some serious curves! What happens when you are driving on a curvy and winding road? You slow down, remain focused, and continue driving without doubting your destination.

  
In October of 2014, I decided to register and train for the journey of running 26.2. The path to my 21 week marathon training started in December, and I was completely dedicated and faithful to my training for 16 straight weeks. Because my training had been so solid, all I could see was a straight road leading to Hayward Field, the finish line of the marathon. However, exactly four weeks ago yesterday, right smack in the middle of a sprint session, I ripped my plantar fascia, and my plans for Eugene took a massive detour – or as I now see it, I got a massive flat tire, didn’t have a spare, and had to be towed to home to get a new one. The injury forced me out of the Eugene Marathon, a decision that was hard to accept. In the last four weeks, I’ve had plenty of time to pose and sometimes answer questions that attacked my consciousness.

Definition of Success

Five weeks ago, I would have defined success as “crossing the finish line mentally and physically strong.” Mentally strong was measured by my ability to push through the physical pain without ever putting myself down if struggling. Physically strong was supposed to have been measured by the time in which it took me to cross the finish line. In my case, it was supposed to have been in under 4 hours and 20 minutes. When neither were going to happen, I felt like a complete failure. Rationally, I knew I wasn’t, but at the moment, when my heart was filled with so much disappointment it felt like I was going to asphyxiate, it was hard to believe I wasn’t. It’s very clear to me now I was placing greater value of strength and success on the symbolism of the marathon rather than the person running the marathon – me. These last four weeks were about discovering my inner strength. **I’ll tell you what, the most difficult and critical time to believe in oneself is when believing in oneself is the only way to dig yourself out of a hole! And what a catch 22 that is!

 

I’m remaining physically active and I even managed to row my fastest 10 without really putting arduous effort.


What dawned on me and only failed to recognize until Tuesday afternoon was that I have been living the definition of success with each workout I have completed despite my heartache and disappointment. No, I wasn’t running, but the perspiration on my back and forehead were a testament of mental and physical strength, which was my definition of success for the marathon to begin with!  Whether it was a simple or challenging workout, the small feats of achievement have been a measurement of success! 
Viewpoints and Pit Stops

There have been countless times when the family and I have embarked upon a road trip with a specific destination in mind and our travel times have been extender beyond our initial calculation. We’ve made pit stops at rest stops to empty our bladders, or fuel stops at gas stations to fill up our tanks and grab a sugary snack. Sometimes, we’ve had to stop due to illnesses and other times we’ve stopped because we have stumbled upon viewpoints we’ve never experienced. The viewpoint stops are always our favorites, because the views leave indelible images engraved in our hearts and minds. Which brings me to my point. I saw Eugene Marathon as the ultimate destination rather than a viewpoint that was part of the journey to success. When I couldn’t run the marathon, it felt as if my road came to an end I had lost my way. 

  
Since hindsight is 20/20, it is now as clear as day that I approached my training with an erroneous perspective. Subsequently, I’ve made it a point to view my upcoming races as viewpoints rather than destinations.

  1. Ragnar Relay – I’ll be running Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay in June! It will be a one-of-a-kind experience for me given I don’t know a single one of the 11 females I will be joining. The best part about this race is that all 12 of us are in it for the sheer love of running! At the time I joined the group, I inherited the shortest legs of the relay and found it a smidge disappointing, but since I won’t have much running when June rolls in due to my injury, it actually works to my advantage!
  2. Catherine Creek Half-Marathon – This super fast half-marathon will take place on the first Saturday of August in Union, Oregon. This was the half where I was able to earn a sub-2 time, and I’d like to return set an even faster time. Because the first 5k distance of the half is a gradual descent, you are practically guaranteed a PR! Plus, the entrance fee is only $15 and the half is capped to 60 runners! All of the funds go to support the track and field program for the local high school.
  3. Marine Corps Marathon – I will get to run in Washington D.C. and see historic places that me proud and honored to live in such an amazing country. But what will be most meaningful to me will be to run a marathon that is all about the organization that introduced me to running: United States Marine Corps! This is a viewpoint that I’m quite certain will take my breath away! My husband is also running it, so I’ll be able to share the views with him.

The Eugene Marathon will take place this Sunday, Mother’s Day. I’m planning on spending the day with my daughters by eating a hearty breakfast, indulge with some frozen yogurt, and have a picnic at the park. It’s not how I had planned it 7 months ago, but there will always be a 26.2 viewpoint ahead of the road. The times with my girls are opportunities I cannot miss.

How are you spending your Mother’s Day? What is your definition of success? How have you faced the steep curves in your journey?