Okay, this is Monday Runday, and I am so excited that I can’t wait to tell you. My freshman/sophomore girls team took 3rd place at our invitational this weekend. I am so proud of them! They ran so hard, and really deserve the recognition.
Skora Base Running Shoes Review
I was recently given an opportunity to try out a pair of Skora running shoes. While the minimalist running revolution has generally passed me by, indeed, I tend to be one of those set in my ways types, I have always been a bit curious to at least give it a try. I was delighted to finally have a chance.
After speaking to Kyle at Skora, I selected the Skora Base as my entry into this new world, my first step so to speak, toward a lighter, less is more style of running. Kyle told me that the Base is a good transition shoe for someone not used to the barefoot style of running. While it has a zero drop and weighs in at a mere 6.9 ounces (women’s size 7), it also has a cushioning 13 mm stack height (adjustable to 9mm by removing the insole).
If you are a non-minimalist runner like me, you might now be saying, “What? Zero drop? Stack height?” If so, here are a few terms relative to minimalist running.
Zero Drop: This simply means that there is no heel to toe offset, so that the shoe is the exact same height throughout. Think of your best clunker shoe. I’ll bet that heel is elevated quite a bit. Minimalists believe and some studies have backed them up that shoes with a significantly raised heel are the cause of many running injuries because they encourage heavier heel striking, higher impact forces, and over-pronation.
Stack Height: This refers to how much material is between the bottom of your foot and the ground. With a zero drop shoe, this would be the same throughout the shoe. More stack height means more cushioning, less means more road feel and more of a barefoot running experience.
Footstrike: The point at which your foot lands as you run. Heel strikers land on their heel, then roll through the foot to push off the ball. Mid-foot strikers land more in the middle of their foot, while forefoot strikers land just behind the ball of their foot. Which is better? Barefoot running proponents say mid- or forefront striking causes much less impact and therefore less chance of injury. It is a topic of much debate and there is no consensus of opinion as to what is the correct footstrike. Or even if there is a correct answer, just what works for each individual.I was very excited when my package arrived and felt ready to race out the door to try out my new shoes. I held myself back though, because I know the smart way to introduce a more minimal shoe is s-l-o-w-l-y. I am used to more supportive, higher drop shoes, and while I have been trying to work on my mid-foot strike, I knew better than to just rush out and stack up some miles. Instead, I waited for a short run day, when I’d be running with the cross country team on the road (while the Skora Base is fine for trails, I didn’t want to get my new shoes dirty. Yet.).
My first feeling when slipping on the shoes, was, “Wow! These fit like a glove!” And they do! They hug your foot, and if you’re not used to minimal shoes, the feeling of the road beneath your feet is a little unusual. You can actually feel the road!
I ran about three miles that first day, and I really want to say that I ran like the wind. Sadly, the Skora Base did not make me suddenly faster. But they did make me feel like I was faster. I felt light and totally connected with my body and my run. I am sure that is partly because I was paying close attention to every aspect of my stride, my heelstrike, and monitoring how it all felt, but since that first run I still notice this unique bond with my body as I run that I’ve never felt before.
I have been slowly increasing the mileage, and I’m up to six miles in the Skora Base. I am still alternating with my security blanket shoes so I’ve been wearing the Base about twice a week. While I haven’t experienced a sudden reduction of my aches and pains, I havn’t seen an increase either, which I was more concerned about.
I had two little issues, which are more about me than the shoe. My feet tend to get numb in all shoes if I don’t lace them correctly. Since the Base has the Nylon X-Strap system, I simply repositioned the strap to loosen it a bit over the top of my foot. No more numbness. I also have a tendency toward ingrown toenails, and as much as I love that glovelike fit, I will probably be better served to go up a half size for my next pair. I enjoy that lightweight, feel the road experience. I am looking forward to trying the Base for my speed training days as I get back into training this fall.
Here are more of the features of the Skora Base Running Shoe:
- Base is built on the RO1 Platform, developed to offer a unique anatomical fit that closely matches a foot’s shape.
- A Full stretch mesh sock fit with high tensile stretch upper.
- Asymmetrical Nylon X-Strap System for an anatomical secure fit.
- 9 mm heelstack height with a 4 mm removable antimicrobial insole (13 mm total).
- Elastic heel strap (love this, perfect if you need a little tighter fit at the heel).
As a newbie to minimalist running, and as someone who is enjoying the new experience, I would recommend the Skora Base running shoe. It is great for road or trail running, and can also be used in the gym (don’t forget my treadmill interval workout below!). The Base provides more cushioning than some minimalist shoes, which is good for me, but if you really like to feel the road you’re traveling, Skora has other shoes including the Phase, which has a shorter stack height. Here is a comparison chart of all Skora running shoes.
Right now you can save 30% on Skora Base Running Shoes! No code needed. The Base is regularly $99, it is now on sale for $69.30. Now that’s a great deal!
Treadmill Interval Workout
While the track is a great place for interval training workouts, sometimes we are forced into the gym and onto the treadmill. I rarely run on the treadmill, even in the heat of summer (I’d rather get up in the dark than move my workout indoors), but when I do I tend to do an interval workout, if only because it makes the time go faster. Those rest periods sure go by quickly!
This 45 minute pyramid workout is comprised of mostly short to medium intervals that you can run at a pretty high intensity. Each one should be at about 90-95% of your all out effort, which is about your 5k pace. If you monitor your heartrate, aim for about 95% of your HRM. You can also use a Borg scale to monitor your RPE, rate of perceived exertion. On a 10 point scale, aim for about 6-7, which should be hard to really hard. You can modify the workout by decreasing the number of intervals (just work your way up the pyramid), or to make it more challenging, add a second 6 minute interval before starting down the pyramid. Click on the infogram to increase the size.
So, I was obviously playing with my camera for these shots (thanks to the Timer Cam app). I also did a little video so that I could see my stride. What do you think? I added the music because even though I felt like I was running light, I still sounded like I was pounding along.
What are your thoughts about minimalist/barefoot running?
Disclaimer: I received a pair of Skora Base Running Shoes in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation.
Disclaimer: Although I am a certified Coach and Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Coach or Personal Trainer. Always adapt workouts to suit your body and fitness level. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.