Design into Reality (Almost)

Heading into summer, things at SKORA are starting to heat up. We’ve had a really great and busy few weeks and are excited about a lot of things that are coming down the pike.

We’re moving ever closer to the much-anticipated tester pairs. It’s thrilling to think that before long we will finally be running in the inaugural SKORA shoes – the journey has been long to get here.

I’ve talked some about design versus reality when it comes to the shoes. Something that looks great on paper doesn’t necessarily translate well to a three-dimensional, usable shoe. A lot of these elements have already changed through the design process, but one feature I’m really eager to try out is one I haven’t mentioned much, and that is the fit when worn sockless. Barefoot running purists, along with many cyclists and triathletes already tend to go barefoot, but most runners haven’t adopted this. From the very onset, I wanted to design our shoes for sockless comfort. This has required creative pattern design and stitching techniques, so that the seams won’t irritate the foot.

The sockless design is a component that really is impossible to know if it worked until you slip the shoe on and put in a few miles. It’s almost one of those checkpoints where you get to see how well your idea really worked. There’s such a big difference between the way something feels when you’re just trying it on or walking around with it versus when you really start to put in miles. Ask any runner who went from the occasional two or three mile run to suddenly doing seven, eight or ten mile runs. Things that don’t chafe at shorter miles can become really uncomfortable later on.

When I first discovered barefoot running in 2002 and remedied my severe IT-band injury, I was very much a purist. I was convinced unshod running was the only way. I eventually realized though that barefoot running all the time, in every climate or all surfaces at any distance is not possible for most of us. Heck, as much as I enjoy barefoot running and try to incorporate a lot of unshod runs in my training, I won’t generally attempt to run trails barefoot. It’s not worth risking a possible injury or catching a virus that won’t show up in my bloodstream for a decade or two.

We’ll keep you posted on our progress towards our testers. Stay tuned and happy trails!