Running is one of those exercises that is completely unique to each individual. You can hate it, love it, be absolutely addicted to it –but you can’t do it without great shoes. Wearing the wrong pair of shoes on a run can incite a level of frustration that is typically only seen after an all nighter in Vegas with a wedding band on your ring finger to show for it. It can also make you think that you hate running and have one of those ‘Screw it I’ll just eat ice cream no bowl necessary and watch Grey’s Anatomy reruns’ pity parties. What if you love running and just hate your shoes?! There could be a solution to end the madness!

We’ve tested pretty much everything out there on the market, and while the foundation of a good running shoe is pretty basic there are some brands that are getting very revolutionary and making your feet enjoy the exercise as much as your body does.

SKORA is completely dedicated to elevating and enhancing the athletic experience, and they’ve created a pretty damn elegant solution to be a better running shoe. Based in Seattle, SKORA builds premium, lightweight performance running footwear that encourages a more bio-mechanically correct, natural stride. It is minimalist running with the advances of Steve Jobs esque technology and style—the result is fantastic.

Skora running shoes

We, as humans, are designed running. It’s hard to remember that while wheezing up a particularly difficult hill, but true. As a complex system of muscles, tendons and biofeedback loops, a runner’s gait is automatically adjusted efficiently and effectively countless times in every footstrike cycle. Unlike conventional running shoes, minimalist footwear like this has been designed to take advantage of this incredible, naturally engineered process – not correct it.

We tested out the Men’s and Women’s Core shoe on the mountainous and hilly roadside of upstate New York, giving them a thorough workout with daily 10K’s and an occasional moment of rest. The usual disclaimer about minimalist running shoes does still apply here and you do have to adjust your running style and build very slowly…or you will break your feet and ruin your entire life. Do your homework regarding what you need to do to slowly transition to shoes like these.

Once adjusted after the gradual transition you’ll wake up actually wanting to get your feet into these little works of shoe art and be in sockless shod heaven instantly.

The Core shoes are high-end, zero-drop minimalist running shoes for “barefoot style” running for barefoot style runners who are down to pay a little more for a nice balance of comfort and minimalism. It feels like true innovation from technology to design to functionality to packaging…..like an upgrade to Business Class for your toes.

SKORA PHASE-X Running Shoe. Next-Gen Reflectivity. from SKORA INC. on Vimeo.