Skora Phase ReviewJune 16, 2013
- Strong ground feel
- Secure, comfortable fit
- Versatile for road running, trail running, or general athletic use
- Rounded heel is problematic for pronators
The Skora Phase is best for experienced natural-form runners looking for a high-performance road trainer or race day shoe, or high-mileage runners who like a small measure of cushioning on long training days.
At 7.2 oz, the Phase is the lightest shoe in Skora’s lineup, thanks primarily to lightweight uppers and a new injection blown rubber (IBR) platform that is lighter than the platform on last year’s models.
Fit and Comfort
Skora’s “RealFit” anatomic last matches the contour of the foot quite closely, and seamless interior construction makes the Phase comfortable for sockless use. The mesh upper breathes well and drains water effectively after immersion. The toe box is adequately roomy to allow toe splay, but can feel excessively spacious with the insole removed.
In the heel area, one potentially problematic design feature from the Form is carried over to the Phase: the heel outsole is substantially cupped, which causes an odd feeling upon impact for runners who pronate in the rear foot. This design can also impact durability, as described further below.
The IBR material is highly flexible and allows full range of motion in all directions. Aside from some slight stiffness in the upper area of the heel, the overall flexibility of the Phase is excellent.
The stack height of the IBR platform (plus the removable insole) is 11mm in both heel and toe, and removing the insole places you 3mm closer to the ground. The IBR has lower density than traditional midsole material, and ground feel is quite impressive through the midfoot and forefoot.
This is where the Phase stands out: although the injection blown rubber is soft and lightweight, it still results in a rugged outsole surface. Traction is strong on asphalt in wet and dry conditions, and the shallow tread pattern provides decent grip on groomed trails and fire roads.
The uppers are well constructed and show no signs of abnormal wear after approximately 100 miles. The IBR outsole material is durable enough for high-mileage use, but if you tend to wear the inside of your heels down quickly, the curved heel cup of the Phase will exacerbate this problem and ultimately limit the lifespan of the shoe.
With strong comfort and a versatile outsole, the Phase is suitable for hybrid use on roads and trails, and the fit is snug and secure enough to use for general athletic activity aside from running.