Running shoes and leather may seem like a combo left in the eighties, but Portland-based running brand Skora begs to differ. Combining a full leather upper with a second skin build, the shoes are surprisingly comfortable and breathable-- forcing runners to rethink their favorite running shoes.

Launching two unique styles, the Form ($195) and the Base ($125), into the market in late February of last year, the synthetic or leather shoe featured an asymmetrical lace, a curved outsole and forefoot, unique concave forefoot profile and upper, no heel counter and an elastic heel strap. Not your usual running shoe.

Founder and CEO of Skora, Inc., David Sypniewski, explains the origin of the brand, "SKORA is the result of a 12–year journey to craft a better running shoe. One that incorporates the best of what nature intended with the best of what technology can enhance. SKORA's philosophy revolves around design, materials and functionality, and does not compromise when it comes to any of these elements. SKORA restores movement to its most natural form: Yours."

There are many strong opinions in the performance footwear industry, especially running. Sypniewski is one of them, "Don't call us Minimal. Call us Real Running Shoes. All the techno babble used by each company to make their shoes seem better… is total BS. Runners today are more aware than ever that it's not something called Superbounce 5000 (you get the idea) that enables you to run 'better'. It's your own form. Shoes provide protection and style, but essentially, the best running shoes are the ones that truly let your feet function naturally… the body will respond accordingly."

Now offering four styles, the brand is expanding rapidly with plans to release a training shoe in Spring 2014. For now, the Base, Form, Core, and Phase are offered online from $99 to $185, all featuring a last that mimics the foot's natural shape with a wider toe-box and a curved outsole with goat, sheep leather and microbial synthetic mesh options.

Stay tuned to Sneaker Report for the release of the Skora FIT training shoe and more to come from Skora.

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