Last Updated on September 27, 2019 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP
First world blogger problems: a few months back I was sent a pair of SKORA Tempo’s to review. At the time I was preoccupied with other races (and not wanting to try something new), followed by moving, and the next thing you know, weeks have gone by and all I’ve done was walk around the gym in the new shoes.
Upon moving back to South Carolina, we have discovered and faithfully run our one and only local trail, “The Hulk”. (You guys are going to get sick of me droning on and on about that place, but it is my wooded sanctuary in a sea of industry and tourism). The Hulk is a series of mountain bike switchback trails, and while there are a handful of rocks and roots that might occasionally trip you, the trail as a whole is hard packed sand, and not very technical. My standard trail shoes almost felt like too much, so on the second or third day I broke out the Skora Tempos….
…and I fell in love.
And I kicked myself for not having run in these shoes sooner.
But let’s get a little background info here, since we are talking about a shoe company many of you might not have heard of. While you can read the history of Skora on their website (found HERE), the short of it is this: Founder David Sypniewski discovered the benefits of barefoot running out of necessity after battling numerous injuries, and decided to design a shoe of his own. SKORA believes in providing as little interference as possible, while ensuring comfort, and control. Their outsoles offer highly responsive ground feel with enough protection and cushioning to keep you running in any condition or terrain.
SKORA Tempo SPECS:
- 6.0 oz
- REALFIT™ last
- Breathable single layer mesh
- No sew construction (one piece upper)
- Asymmetric lacing
- Internal archband
- Reflective details
- Tuned EVA midsole
- High abrasion HD Rubber outsole
- 0mm heel-to-toe differential
- 22mm forefoot/22mm heel stack height
- MSRP: $129.95
The SKORA Tempo, while a minimal shoe, falls in the highest cushion category SKORA offers, which is interesting, because these shoes almost feel like wearing nothing at all. Which proves that “light weight” and “cushioned” are certainly relative to brand. However, unlike other barefoot shoes I’ve run in, the cushioning is only noticeable in the sense that you DON’T notice anything…no sticks or rocks that painfully jab into the sole of your foot. I’ve been able to run moderate mileage in them (up to 10 miles or so) without any of the issues I sometimes experience in minimal shoes (namely foot pain or discomfort).
The low and loose cut upper/ankle area is fantastic for increasing ankle mobility. Unlike traditional running shoes with cushioned, thick heel collars and uppers, there is only the smallest amount of cushioning on the back of the heel collar, likely to prevent chaffing. Other than that, the heel collar is very minimal and provides no support , which forces your ligaments and tendons to do what they were designed to do. In fact, after the first few runs in these shoes, I noticed that my Achilles and ankles were a little sore in the “I haven’t worked them this way in a long time” sense, despite the fact that I’ve been on trails non stop for the past two months.
Being summer, the mesh upper has been fantastic for keeping my feet cool and dry. I have heard some complaints that those running in this shoe in winter months struggle with frozen toes. Having recently moved to the South, I’m going to say (and hope) that this will not be an issue for me, but is certainly something that should be noted.
The wide toebox of the entire SKORA line is FANTASTIC. I’ve long since gotten over the fact that shoes with wider toe boxes (SKORA and other brands) sort of look like clown shoes, and instead simply enjoy the freedom given to my feet and toes to naturally splay as they would if I ran completely barefoot.
Speaking of fit, I suggest ordering true to size. If you have any questions regarding fit however, I would absolutely recommend emailing SKORA customer service. They are very helpful with answering fit questions.
The lacing pattern on the shoe is asymmetric. I wondered how this would play out with the shoe staying put, but it honestly is not even noticeable, which is a very, very good thing when it comes to running shoes. The asymmetric pattern also allows the shoe to tighten in a more natural way, without the feeling of squishing your forefoot…or any of the annoying hotspots that typically accompany the lower lace area. The laces stay put, and I experienced zero loosening of the shoe mid run.
Aesthetically speaking, these shoes are BRIGHT, which I personally adore. If I had a dollar for every “do those come with batteries” or “your feet are glowing in the dark” comments I’ve received, I could probably buy a second pair of Tempos. And speaking of glowing in the dark, they kind of do. The SKORA logo on the sides, as well as the entire heel of the shoe are reflective. (Note: the men’s version comes in a more muted black or blue option, if you don’t prefer the screaming neon yellow that I love.)
As far as durability goes, I’ve run these shoes into the ground over the last 6 weeks, with absolutely no sign of wear or tear other than some dirt scuffs.
I sometimes feel the need to explain myself when I post a review that is 100% glowing, as there are so many of those “these shoes are pretty & comfortable, yay!” insincere shoe reviews floating around the internet. As you may recall, I reviewed a pair of SKORA’s a few years ago (the Base), and the review was anything but glowing. I wasn’t pleased. The Tempos however? I have ZERO complaints. I love this shoe and it has quickly worked it’s way into the top three rotation of shoes in my running arsenal. I would absolutely recommend this shoe to anyone. Specifically to those who prefer minimal, zero drop, barefoot shoes…BUT…need juuuuust a little bit more cushioning.
To learn more about the SKORA Tempo, check them out on the SKORA website. Friendly pro-tip: they run sales very frequently, so if you are interested, it is worth signing up for their email list as well as following their social media channels.
Have any questions regarding this shoe? Comment below, I’ll do my best to answer. But for right now, the Tempo’s and I are headed out to hit the trails….
*Disclaimer: SKORA provided me with these shoes free of charge. All opinions posted are my own.*