So, a few weeks ago I got a pair of SKORA Core in the mail and was super excited. Running in the PHASE for a while, I was a little apprehensive to try a new shoe, after all, the PHASE worked, so why change it up? My feet are rather wide – and I think I like wider shoes anyway – so I’m always leery trying a new shoe, that said, the PHASE and the CORE are built on the same platform, and being made of leather the CORE is supposedly ends up being about a half size wider.
The mailman delivered them a day early which was a wonderful surprise – he neglected to come Friday and Saturday before Mother’s Day so my cards were late, again. As I opened the box I was slapped with that wonderful leather smell of a high end boutique. That, too, was quite pleasant. I put them on and walked around the house as any runner with a new pair of shoes who can’t get a run in right away will do. They were comfy. Comfy and roomy.
Typically the first thing I do with a pair of shoes is to unlace the bottom one or two eyelets to let my forefoot expand, with the CORE, I didn’t need to. It held my foot nicely and there wasn’t a lot of tension in the forefoot area.
Usually, I also like to wear a shoe for 200 miles or so before I decided to make any decisions, and while I haven’t hit 200 just yet, I have worn them in the rain, on the track, trails, and asphalt, as well as raced in them, so I feel fairly confident I’ve put in enough diverse miles to make a judgement call.
One of the big things with this shoe is that it is made of leather, which means that it is more durable than the mesh upper of the PHASE, but it also means it retains water a bit better, which is not a good thing. Before I got any chance to run in a real rain storm, I took them across some fields just after it rained. There weren’t big puddles, but there was definitely a fair bit of residual water still in the grass. My feet did get wet, and the remained moist a bit longer than they would in the PHASE, but not nearly as long as I expected. It also didn’t seem to add as much weight as I expected. The leather did stay damp through the evening and into the morning while the PHASE would have dried, the moisture didn’t seem to wet the feet at all. Though, the first time, the dye ran and turned my toes a mottled blue color.
The next big thing was getting these guys out on the trail. I’m not a big trail guy – I prefer dirt roads – but I do venture into the woods occasionally. Being that these two shoes are built essentially on the same platform – there is a slightly stiffer piece of rubber under the metatarsals on the CORE – I wasn’t expecting much of a difference on the trails. And, as it would turn out, there wasn’t much of a difference. The leather of the CORE feels (and probably is) a bit more durable than the PHASE and feels a little more protective on the trails, but I assume this is just perceived.
To this point I had fallen in love with my CORE. They are an awesome everyday running shoe, and I’m even contemplating getting a pair for non-running (I never wear shoes…). Then came the real test – a race (or some speed work on the track). On the track they felt good, but maybe a little loose. I worked on tightening them down and it seemed to help some. I then wore them for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon. Again, they felt awesome, but they felt a bit loose. It wasn’t an uncomfortable, unwearable loose, but for quicker events I think I like my shoes to fit a bit snugger – i.e. the PHASE.
At first, I thought the PHASE and the CORE wouldn’t have much difference. They’re built on the same platform. I was wrong, the leather upper of the CORE makes for a very comfy and somewhat roomy feel. The CORE also has a stiffer piece of rubber on the sole – I assume this adds some durability as well as protection. Some people mention that the ankle collar on the PHASE can be less than comfortable when new, this is not the case for the CORE. The CORE has a comfy piece of sheep skin around the heel that works well with socks, I can only imagine how comfy it feels sockless.
These shoes have quickly become a favorite for me, and I’m looking forward to getting more in the future. The only problem I’ve found is the tightening aspect. I think because they are made of leather, the last will stretch a little and in the beginning, the stretching is more, meaning you need to tighten the laces from time to time. I’m not sure I would wear them for races shorter than a marathon as the PHASE has those distances covered.
If you have further questions, or want to know more, connect with Skora on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or on their website. They have a plethora of running related information, and a crackpot customer service team that is beyond helpful.
My birthday is mid-June (Flag Day to be exact), so growing up my presents were always spread out – Christmas in December and then six months later, my birthday. As I have gotten older, the excitement around Christmas has changed from focusing on myself to my children; unfortunately, I cannot say the same for my birthday. Instead of transferring excitement, it’s just sort of dissipated.
This year – while it isn’t quite my birthday yet – it seems that I have gotten something of a birthday present that’s given me quite a bit of excitement. The kind folks over at SKORA Running decided to mail me a pair of shoes to review – for free! To make the excitement even
greater, I wasn’t entirely sure of the shoes they would be sending my direction. I had suggested and hinted that I would really like to have a go at the CORE, but I have a tendency to lack clarity – ask my wife… While I had a pretty good suspicion that I would be receiving the CORE, I hadn’t a foggy as to the colorway.
They shipped the package and sent me the tracking number. It was FedEx, and I’m not sure if you’ve ever tracked a package shipped by FedEx, but it isn’t nearly as exciting as UPS. UPS is pretty good about sending out updates, not FedEx. All I knew was the package was shipped and, for what seemed like weeks, was stuck somewhere on a truck in the Bermuda Triangle. FedEx put an estimated delivery date of May 15th, so imagine my surprise when I came home from my run this morning and there on my doorstep was a nice little package about the size of a shoebox.
It really was like Christmas. I took the package inside and grabbed the butcher knife as quick as I could to rip into the box. I did my best not to look at the end of the shoebox that tells you the details of the shoe inside, and went straight to flopping the top open and admiring my brand new blue and fluorescent yellow CORE.
I only wear shoes to run, but I couldn’t help putting these guys on for the remainder of the day. I’m not sure what they do over at SKORA, but I’m pretty sure they have Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother on payroll. And while I haven’t had a chance to run in them yet, I have a feeling they will be amazing.