Friday, June 04, 2010

Shoe Problem: Solved! Nike Free Shoe Review

Remember my shoe dilemma? Solved! I was worrying that I run much better in my Vibram FiveFingers shoes but that they're too hard to deal with in transitions. So I decided to go check out the Nike Frees that I've been hearing about. As soon as I put them on, I loved them. Okay, that's a lie. As soon as I SAW them I loved them because they are PURPLE BABY! PURPLE! Purple is my fave-o color and these are way way purple. But aesthetics aside, when I put them on they felt light as a feather and very very flexible, you can literally bend them in half. These are the Nike Free Run version, which is about a 2.9 on their scale (2.0 being the most flexible, most barefoot-like, 9.0 being the least). I bought them on the spot (luckily, a gift certificate to the running store went a long way to offsetting the cost, although they are not expensive in the way that the Newtons are, they're in line with most running shoes price-wise).

One run in these babies and I was SOLD. They're not quite like the barefoot-feeling FiveFingers, but they are as close as you can come in something you don't have to squeeze over each individual toe. Some transition practice confirmed that they are not only simple to get in and out of (no tongue, for one thing), but the way the interior is designed with no decorative stitching means that they are the most comfortable shoe I've encountered for going sockless in. Perfect for the sprint triathlon! I've done everything from track work to an 11-mile hilly trail run in them and these shoes are solid gold. Light, comfortable, bendable, breatheable, and as close to barefoot as you can get in a running shoe.

The only caveat would be that if you're used to standard cushioned running shoes, take it easy getting used to these babies. You may need to build up foot and calf strength to handle a big mileage load.

Now I'm off to stuff my gear in the van, hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. It's racing time!


midlife_swimmer said...

are you sprinting tomorrow? I have lots of friends in that race :) I am volunteering on sunday for the olympic distance.

trifitmom said...

my hubby got the nike frees and loves rnning in them

janasmama said...

I have a version of Nike Frees also but you already know that. :) I do love these shoes.

midlife_swimmer: I was with Robin at the race and it was a blast. Thanks for volunteering on Sunday even though I didn't do the Olympic. All of the volunteers and staff really have it together. I look forward to volunteering at a race in the near future. I'm officially addicted to triathlon and even though the swim was what made me the most anxious in the end it was my favorite part.

Anonymous said...

HEART the Frees, too. Been a fan since they first came out....awesome shoe..glad you solved your shoe dilema...How many miles was your first run in them?

Robin said...

My first run in them was about 3 miles, but I've been using the FiveFingers for a long time so the Frees felt pretty comfortable. Two weeks ago I did an 11 mile hill run in them and felt fine!

Cherry said...

My hubby got the Nike Free TR for men.
and I have the Nike Free version 7. We both love them and we use it primarily for jogging ^_^