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Trail Running Gear Reviews

Product Review – Skora Tempo

Skora Tempo

Photo Credit: Skora

Product Review – Skora Tempo

As any of my running friends know, I am a big fan of zero drop shoes for many reasons, and for the past few years have run exclusively in Altra shoes (Olympus, Lone Peak, and Paradigm in particular).  Unfortunately, not a lot of shoe companies offer zero drop shoes yet, so I was very excited to see that Skora was releasing a new zero drop running shoe with a decent amount of cushioning, the Tempo.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you make purchases after clicking on any links.  The shoes in this review were purchased by me, at full price, and were not provided by Skora.

Since this is a new shoe for Skora, they are offering a 30-day, no questions asked free trial which includes free shipping in both directions on this model only.  This was enough to convince me to place an order since there’s no risk on my part, and I may end up finding a new shoe to add to my stable.  I also found it funny that it’s a no-questions asked free trial, but if you don’t like them, the instructions are to contact them and let them know why you want to return them, which is a thinly-veiled question if you ask me!

Tempo Specs

From skorarunning.com:

  • REALFIT™ last
  • Breathable single layer mesh
  • No sew construction
  • 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

Ordering/Purchasing

Skora Tempo

Skora Tempo have arrived!

Skora’s website is modern looking, easy to navigate and provides all the pertinent information (except a dealer locator) needed about their shoes, technologies, and company.  Skora currently offers 6 shoe styles and they are organized mainly by Mens and Womens styles, and then further broken down by what appears to be sole thickness.  The ordering process was simple as expected, and one thing that really stood out was the use of shoefitr.  If you aren’t familiar, this is an online tool that lets you pick the shoe you currently use (Make, Model, Size) and then it overlays your current shoe with a Tempo to give you a very detailed preview of how the shoe will fit.  Since there aren’t any local Skora dealers, I was happy they had this feature, I found it to be really accurate.  Based on this experience, I feel like every shoe manufacturer should leverage this technology as it worked exceptionally well and the user experience was smooth. Shipping was quick, although I never received any kind of shipping confirmation or tracking number.  The shoes arrived within days, well packaged, and the order was accurate.

Initial Thoughts

I’ve never seen or touched a pair of Skora shoes before, but these ones seem to be well made and constructed.  I ordered the black pair as I’m not personally a big fan of colorful shoes and these are basically completely black with some white accents on the sole, and some neon yellow on the inside of the shoe (and on the aglets).  They are also available in a Cyan/Black/White or Neon Yellow/Silver/Neon Green color for men, and a Grey/Coral/Green or Neon Yellow/Ice/White color for women.  The upper is certainly one-piece, and is almost completely mesh which likely contributes to the very lightweight 7.2 oz shoe and helps the shoes pack well in a suit case since they can essentially be completely flattened down.  I was able to fit two shoes in the same space that a single Altra Paradigm fit in within my suitcase.  I also like how the tag (the label with the shoe size, etc.) is sublimated on to the shoe and is not a separate physical tag with edges that can cause hot spots.  This is also the first pair of shoes I’ve had with asymmetrical lacing.

Weight

The shoes are listed as weighing 7.2oz/204g.  My pair (size 10.5) weighed 8.2oz/232g.

Skora Tempo Weight

Skora Tempo Weight

First Run

My Skora Tempo shoes arrived the day before a business trip to Taipei which I thought would be the perfect opportunity to test them out, especially since the lightweight packability of the shoes was what drew me to the shoes in the first place!  Thanks to a bout of jet lag, I woke up at 5:30am, did a quick check of the weather, laced up the Tempo, and went for a 10 mile run.  The shoes fit great and feel very much like a glove on your foot, which is to say they are very comfortable, didn’t squeeze anywhere, and didn’t cause any hot spots or discomfort.  I suspect the asymmetrical lacing contributes to the overall comfort of the shoe since tightening down the laces along the outside of your foot causes the shoe to hug your foot without creating pressure points along the eyelets like a shoe with a traditional lacing pattern does.  In my experience, when I tighten the laces on other shoes I tend to get pressure points and hot spots that I usually have to adjust mid-run on the first few runs to find the most comfortable fit.

Skora Tempo on the run

With the Skora Tempo, I didn’t have to adjust the laces once during my run, although I did initially lace up my shoes with a heel-lock lacing method and found the shoe laces to be too short (to be fair, my feet are pretty wide and most shoes don’t have long enough laces), but un-did that mid-run as I found it wasn’t really necessary.

I went on a familiar route in Taipei to at least try and reduce some of the variables of testing out a new shoe, which was a one-way combination of 1.25 miles through some city streets consisting mainly of pavers, marble, tile, concrete, and asphalt, along with 3.75 miles of a paved asphalt path along the Keelung River in the center of Taipei (10 miles round-trip).  This is the rainy season in Taipei, and while it didn’t rain on my run, the ground was wet.  Despite that, the shoes had perfect traction on every surface and I never slipped or felt like I was going to.  If you’ve never run on wet marble, it can be a scary, traction-less proposition, so I was happy that I never once slipped on my run!

First Run Skora Tempo

First Run through Taipei with the Skora Tempo

A concern that some may have is the fact that these are zero drop shoes, and if you aren’t used to zero drop shoes, that is certainly something to be cautious of before going out on a long run.  In general the guidance when switching to zero drop shoes is to start slowly with shorter runs and transition over a period of time.  Since I’ve been running exclusively in zero drop shoes for the last 2 years, I didn’t experience any issues related to the Skora Tempo being zero drop.

Summary

I’ve only had the shoes for a short time, but managed to put a decent amount of miles on them in that time.  Overall I’m impressed with the shoe from the materials, construction, and style to the fit and function.  I haven’t had them long enough yet to determine long term durability, but given the construction and material of the sole and the wear to date after 30+ miles (10 miles, 4 miles, 10 miles, 6 miles), they should easily last the typical 300-500 miles recommended by shoe companies.  Given my initial requirement in these shoes, a light weight pair of zero drop shoes to take with me when I travel, these shoes hit the mark perfectly.  I am planning on keeping these and adding them to my rotation and look forward to seeing how they work out in the long run (pun intended).

Pros:

  • Zero Drop – I’m a huge fan of zero drop shoes and believe this has been the key to injury prevention over the last 2,000+ miles.  I will only buy zero drop shoes now, and Skora meets that criteria across their entire product line.
  • Wide, foot-shaped toe box – I happen to have wide feet (4E) which means I have very limited options when it comes to shoes that fit.  The trend of foot-shaped toe boxes has opened up my options and I appreciate that I now have choices.
  • One-piece mesh Upper provides a very comfortable, glove-like fit
  • Lightweight – at 7.2 oz these are on the light end of the spectrum.  The low weight translates to quicker turnover when running, and in my case, reduces the overall weight of my luggage during my travels!

Cons:

  • Cost – $129 isn’t an unreasonable price like Hokas, but is a bit on the higher end relative to similar Altra models which is what I would compare the Tempo to, specifically, this shoe is similar to the Altra Instinct 3.0 at $110.
  • Limited retail network – Skora is sold primarily online and is only sold in 6 retail locations in the US.  Fortunately the shoefitr technology works exceptionally well, but it would still be nice to try them on before buying.
  • No shipping confirmation or tracking number was provided, although the product shipped quickly and arrived without issue.

Suggestions for Skora:

  • Provide Shipping Confirmation/Tracking Number
  • Don’t have a no-questions asked policy and then ask a question
  • Put a link to the retail/dealer locator on your website.  I only found it via Google as there is no way to navigate to it from the main webpage.
  • I’d love to see a trail shoe!

Do you run in Skora shoes?  Have you tried the Tempo?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Skora Tempo
Author Rating
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4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the review!

    Glad to hear the shoes worked out so well for you.

    We were having a bit of a glitch with FedEx around the time of the TEMPO launch, but that has been remedied.

    As for the “no questions asked policy” we of course are still interested in why the shoes are being returned.

    And, a trail shoe is in the works 🙂

    Kyle @ SKORA

    • Kyle,

      Thanks for the comment! No worries on the shipping, I understand it happens. Looking forward to trying out the trail shoe, that’s exciting news!

      Ryan

  2. Steve

    Great review Ryan. I am interested in this shoe. Do you find the ride firm or soft? Do you think they’d suit someone coming from Nike Frees which I happen to like except for the tight toe box?

    • Steve,

      Thanks! I find the ride pretty firm in these shoes, but in a good way. They don’t have the typical EVA cushioning or “squish” of other shoes, but I don’t find it to be an issue. I like the solid feel of them. I’ve never run in Nike Frees so I can’t comment specifically on transitioning from those, but the great news is, with the 30 day free trial on the Skora Tempo, you might as well order a pair and try them out for yourself. If you don’t like them, you can always return them and it won’t cost you a dime. Free shipping both ways (if you are in the U.S.), just make sure you get them back in the 30 day window if you end up not liking them!

      Ryan

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