Skora Phase Review
I’ve been interested in Skora running shoes for a while. This being my first real experience with Skora I had high expectations based on input from fellow runners. I was especially intrigued by Skora’s focus on natural running, clean styling, and utilizing technology to make a more natural shoe, instead of an over-built shoe. I put them to the test so read on to get my thoughts from a CrossFit and runner’s perspective.
I picked up my Red/black/white Skora Phase at 9 AM, by noon I was out on one of my favorite routes running happily. I took them on a planned middle distance, but very grueling, run through Druid Hill Park in Baltimore. There is a legendary summer race on some old roads closed to traffic called the Dreaded Druid Hill 10k. I went all in that day and ran the course three times. The Skora Phase did not disappoint. The shoes are very confortable right out of the box and as expected there was plenty of ground feel and flex, which is ideal to me as a runner. I went sockless (as I usually run) and had no rubbing issues. The asymmetric lacing system is genius and felt ideal on the top of my feet. The construction is incredibly flexible and while the sole has very little cushioning I never worried about hurting my feet or stepping on something gnarly. I was able to run smoothly and confidently without compromising good form and maintain a relaxed stride. Combined with a roomy toe box my feet were able to “do their thing” and splay, grip, and react to the ground below. The toe box, lacing system, and overall fit had a more barefoot feel than any other shoe I’ve reviewed thus far. The Phase are comparable to running in comfy socks but durable enough to take on the streets of Baltimore.
While the shoe has the comfort and toughness to go the distance, I do not like the Skora Phase for road runs longer than half marathon or 30k. There isn’t enough cushioning for my taste to comfortably handle a long haul. Running hard down hill on black top was a little difficult for me as well with the 11mm stack height. A bit more cushioning would make the difference.
The Phase perform well for me on graded trails. The little nobs on the sole gripped the packed dirt and I felt confident the whole time. I prefer a shoe with a little bit more traction for rugged trails or lugged soles for technical trails, so I didn’t venture out their with the Phase. But the upper seems tough enough to handle most conditions, featuring a smart designed rubber toe bumper. (I’ll speak more on the toe bumper in the CrossFit section.)
The styling is awesome for me and I’ve received a lot of positive comments on the look. The red and yellow are very striking and I like having cool looking shoes while getting a good workout in. The liberal use of reflective material ads functional beauty to the Skora Phase, and it is this type of detail that makes this brand truly impressive to me. I instantly fell in love with the Skora Phase on the road, let’s see how they performed in the gym.
Just as with my first run, I couldn’t wait to get into PUSH511 to see if the Skora Phase could handle the rigors of CrossFit. I already knew they had all the traits I look for in a versatile CrossFit shoe: zero drop, very flexible, barefoot fit, wide toe box, super low stack height, and awesome styling. They did not disappoint. I think the best part about the shoe from a CrossFit perspective is the rubber toe bumper. It protects the shoe from damage during burpees, double-unders, box jumps, etc. and from your toe nails, which I’ve had problems with in the past tearing through the fabric. I do a lot of burpees and most shoes get in the way or hinder my efforts. Not the Phase. In the past I would remove the shoes I worked out in to get in some extra burpees, but I’m able to make it through most WODs and go right into burpees and stretching without missing a beat. Like I said before, the Phase has a sock-like fit with the confidence of a shoe.
I have worn the Phase steady to workouts for three weeks and outside of rope climbs I find them almost perfect for every WOD. They transition great from high rep burners, to technical lifts, and out the door for sprints. During Olympic and power lifting my feet felt very comfortable and strong in the Phase. They have a great barefoot feel that definitely allows full range foot and toe flex and promotes strength building. I don’t typically wear socks when I workout, yet in this late summer, early Fall in Baltimore they haven’t started stinking like some other shoes I’ve tried out. No matter, a quick squirt with a hose cleans them right up. I would avoid rope climbs with the Phase, I fear the rope will tear them up and they are too precious to me to get them ruined.
PHASE is constructed using the latest lamination techniques, with a minimal single-layer mesh upper and laminated reflective details. With an asymmetric lacing system and unique IBR outsole, PHASE provides maximum performance with minimum weight and interference. Zero-drop, 11mm stack height outsole (8mm without insole).
PHASE is built on our revolutionary IBR (Injection Blown Rubber) platform. R02 pushes the boundaries of material technology. IBR offers better abrasion resistance, grip and compression-set than injected EVA with lower density and weight than rubber. This provides a runner with incredible ground feel and running comfort in an amazingly durable, flexible and lightweight complete package.
They feel great, they look great and they perform great. I’m constantly tempted to do my long runs in them because of all these factors. I will be running my legs of Ragnar DC in them and that is exciting, all the reflective material is a fun bonus. They give me great confidence both in the gym and on the run. The Phase is an excellent minimalist shoe for both middle distance road runs and the CrossFit box.
With a little more cushion these could be the perfect running shoe for me, but as-is they are great for CrossFit and short to middle distance. The laces do untie from time to time so I wish they came with a locking lacing system. The all white sole can look dirty, I ran through some gum and it looks sort of gross, but not a big deal.
The Skora Phase is a great shoe for the road and the gym, instantly one of my favorites. I’m really impressed overall with this shoe and look forward to trying out some more of their line.
Skora Phase shoes were provided to Bobby for this review. Follow Bobby on twitter.
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How loose do you wear yours sockless?
Hey Bryan. I certainly do not tie them very tight, I like a loose but secure fit. Once on, I can slip them off, but I do have to unlace them to put the shoes on in the first place. Hopefully that paints a proper picture.