The beginning (Part II)

wetgrass [Image credit: Mouldfish]

I spent days pouring over what little barefoot running content was available online.  Remember, this was 2002. Before Vibram FiveFingers, before Nike Free and before hundreds (probably thousands) of media articles and blog posts about barefooting.

I couldn't help but feel betrayed by the footwear companies.  Lied to by my favorite running magazine.  Saturated with a renewed knowing of how I should run, I planned my inaugural barefoot run the following day.

It was a mild mid-Spring day in Calgary.  I suited up and walked out my front door, barefoot. Well, okay, I took a pair of dusty old aqua socks with me - just in case.  I walked to a nearby greenbelt, marked my starting line by tossing the aqua socks on the dew soaked grass and began to run.

I've always enjoyed being barefoot, but the sensation of running unshod was surreal.  I not only ran for 30 minutes that day (longest run in nearly a year) but I run pain free.   This was it! I found the Holy Grail of healthy injury-free running. No need for therapy or orthotics or cushioned shoes.  Just a return to natural human movement.  I took it slow at first, listened to my body and feet. Rested when my feet felt tender, ran in aqua socks in the rain as to not shred my soles, and generally relearned how to run.

I ran on grassy fields, sidewalks and on the street.  I began to play with the environment.  Testing my body and my feet. Over the coming weeks I made new friends with neighbors and fellow runners thanks to my naked feet.  Sure, there were times I felt uneasy running barefoot.  Early mornings made it difficult to see the path ahead - and my patience for aqua socks was, well, drying up.  They were slipping around my foot constantly and stretched too easily to depend on to stay put.

It was then I knew that I needed a minimal 2nd skin to protect my feet once in a while.  But there was nothing available commercially.

The idea for Skora was born.

David Sypniewski

Founder/CEO, Skora Athletics | Chief Blogger & Instigator | t: 904.252.0704 | 14286-19 Beach Blvd #373, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250 e: |

21 thoughts on “The beginning (Part II)”


  • [...] spending more time running barefoot (unshod). You can read about David’s story here: Part 1, Part 2. Skora’s philosophy is to create footwear that encourages bio-mechanically correct [...]

  • What exactly needed text... very, amazing idea

  • It's been so long in coming that I had forgotten about Skora, but I received your newsletter today and was pleased to see you're still moving forward. I'll put in a shameless plug for getting Kate (in comments above!) a pair of women's shoes for testing. She's got 600+ miles of running in a pair of Bikilas and hasn't run in anything else for over a year. Plus, she's got strong opinions... And I'd certainly put in a plug for them on my website, assuming they're any good, of course!

  • `:~ I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives up to date information ,";

  • By Neal Deesit

    "I spent days pouring over what little barefoot running content was available online."

    This confusion of homonyms reflects poorly on you.

    <a HREF="" rel="nofollow"> pore
    –verb (used without object), pored, por·ing.
    1. to read or study with steady attention or application: <i>a scholar poring over a rare old manuscript</i>. </A>

    <a HREF="" rel="nofollow">pour
       –verb (used with object)
    1. to send (a liquid, fluid, or anything in loose particles) flowing or falling, as from one container to another, or into, over, or on something: <i>to pour a glass of milk; to pour water on a plant.</i> </A>

  • @Milovan : Thanks! We're excited to bring Skora to life!

  • By Milovan

    wow this shoe looks awsome i cant wait, as a highschool runner my coaches were telling everyone to buy some nice running shoes so i got some and all they did was make my feet hurt since over the summer all i did was go barefoot everywear becuase it just seemed more comfortble. so now i returned the "nice runing shoes" an am hoping to get a pair of these great shoes.
    ps. if you need a tester i would love to try the prototype of these shoes an get back to you guys about them

  • @declan : Thanks for your interest - we're still finalizing details, stay tuned!

  • By declan

    when will the shoes start be available?

  • By declan

    i have small feet what is the smallest size you will be making?

  • By Justin Stark

    I think it's important to note that Nike isn't the villain. Misinformation and tradition created these fallacies, Nike kept making cushioned shoes because that's what the consumers wanted. Nike wasn't purposefully perpetuating lies to exploit runners (thought it may be convenient for us to blame them), they were just maximizing profits as any other firm would do.
    I'm excited for the shoes though! Keep up the research! I run barefoot most days and use Asics Piranha SP 2s occasionally. I like them but, it's still not the same. I like the open toe boxes in them though.

  • @Barefoot Rad : Thanks!

    @MK : Our design will allow wider feet to be comfortable. Barefoot running also naturally widens feet (that's a good thing) so minimal shoes shoes take that into account.

  • By MK

    I'm looking forward to another minimalist option for running, but can I ask that you guys make it accessible for those of us with wide, high volume feet? You can't imagine the frustration those of us with duck feet feel when looking for minimalist or even just reduced shoes. The major shoe companies seem to assume that if you have a wide foot, you need pronation control foot coffins. Thanks!

  • Yall gotta take a look at this sexy spy concept of SKORA, if you haven't already

  • By david from chicago

    I'd love to wear test period for early skora models. Let me know if you if you are.


    david from chicago.

  • @ Jamie : Good to hear from you again! Appreciate the kind words.

  • Just saw the new design you posted in the news letter, that's a great looking shoe! Can't wait to see it in the flesh...

  • @Kate : We plan to introduce a ladies design for 2011 -- you're right however that some will find the mens shoe perfectly comfortable. Thank you for your interest and we hope you join us on this journey. Regards, David. (p.s. Will keep your name handy once we're ready to test!)

  • By Kate

    Will there be a women's version too? Not sure if there needs to be, but all the other running shoe companies do.

    I've been a barefooter for about 2 months, but I love it and will never wear normal running shoes again. It gets really cold here in the midwest in the winter and while I'm going to try the five fingers flow, I'm worried my feet will still be too cold in them. I might try cross country flats with socks, but even those are too much shoe for me these days. (I used to wear stability shoes with custom orthodics and everything!)

    Anyway, looking forward to seeing this shoe in real life! I'd love to test a prototype for you if you need testers...

  • By david from chicago

    how much will skora cost?

20 Item(s)

Leave A Comment