Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stuff I'm Super Excited About (Part 2)

Altra is on a roll! In just a couple years, Altra went from a few drawings and ideas (I distinctly remember the drafts of the Adam being posted on Runner's World barefoot/minimalist running forum asking for feedback) to a name synonymous with zero-drop, anatomically-shaped footwear. They even sponsored the Naked Foot 5k series and Crossfit Games last year. In short, the brand has exploded, and the future is looking even brighter - both literally and figuratively (see below).

Perhaps Altra's most distinctive key feature is the toe box - a foot-shaped, super wide shape that allows for maximal toe splay. Even now, there is maybe one other shoe company on the market that offers a full-coverage, non-toe shoe that features this kind of free movement (VIVOBAREFOOT). I find that kind of confusing in light of Altra's remarkable growth and success recently, but flat, zero-drop footbeds definitely caught on. Maybe the spacious, anatomical toe box will be the next big shift in shoe design (New Balance and others are already creeping that way).

Here are a few shots that I scavenged off the web of the new wares: the Altra One (racing flat), and the Altra 3-Sum (Triathlon-targeted racer). I would definitely love to get my hands on a pair for testing, so hopefully I can make that happen and bring the review to you! Enjoy the pics.

Altra One.

Loving the day-glow coloration. Altra began with a very subdued lineup, but you can see that they have left that behind.

The 3-Sum. Looks like a minimalist triathlete's dream!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

More on the SKORA Phase and Core

I was directed toward some more great pics of the SKORA Phase and Core. These shoes really have me stoked. I hope they live up to the hype I have built up inside my brain. The big question for me is the toe box: Will it be wide enough? Let's hope so. Enjoy.

Men's Phase model.

Women's Phase model.

Women's Core colorways. 
Men's Core colorways.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Stuff I'm SUPER Excited About in 2013! (Part 1)

Things are great for lovers of minimalist shoes right now. Really great, and they are only getting better! Here is the first in a series of posts that will display just a few bits of news that I have scavenged from across the web that really get my blood pumping.

I dig Skora's slogan.

The rowdy upstart company that goes by the name of Skora burst onto the scene in 2012 with two models of minimalist shoes targeted at zero-drop-demanding athletes and triathletes. The Form and Base, their flagship laced and tri-friendly velcro-strapped offerrings respectively, garnered a strong following with runners ranging from track junkies to the ultra crowd. I was lucky enough to get to review Skora's Base and write about here. Although the shoe was less than perfect (still haven't found one that is), it was an impressive first offering for the new company. (Click to read that review.) I have grown fonder or my Skoras since modifying the strap to allow me to snug them up a bit more, too. They see regular service in my shoe rotation - mostly during barefoot-unfriendly conditions. If they produced such a solid shoe in their first try, I can only imagine how great their follow-ups are going to be.

There are two new Skora models set for release in February:
The Phase is a lighter shoe with an upper made from synthetic mesh.

The Core is features a combination of goatskin and mesh upper.

Both new models feature a new outsole design fashioned from Injection Blown Rubber (IBR) which purportedly provides greater flexibility and comfort without sacrificing weight. Both models also feature asymmetrical lacing, which I totally dig. Skora is not resting on the apparent success of their first line of shoes and is pushing the limits of innovation and design. I am eager to see if these two new models fit my foot a bit better. If so, I'm definitely on board. Perhaps most importantly, price gets the axe on the Phase and Core: $110 and $155 respectively.

*See more about the Core and Phase at, or head to Kyle Kranz's blog, Running on the White Line. Click either link to take you to the preview. While you'r at Kyle's blog, go ahead and check it out. He is an ultra runner who also works with/for Skora as a social media coordinator (I believe that is the official title). His blog is worth exploring, and I am certain he is more than willing to answer any and all questions you may have if you post up on there.

I forsee great things from Skora in the near future.