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Nike Free (Read 4247 times)

    I've been using Nike Free Running shoes for some time now and I love them. I haven't done any long runs in them though following advice of my firend who says they don't provide enough cushioning. There are a number of barefoot runners and they seem to be doing just fine without any cushioning. Any thoughts? Has any of you tried Nike Frees on long runs, say over 15 miles? SKB
    I would rather wear out than rust out. - Helen Klein You create your own universe as you go along. - Winston Churchill
    vicentefrijole


      I haven't tried them, but I'm really interested in this topic! Big grin I was told that it's not good to wear them for every run. Any opinion on that? I heard this when I went to a shoe clinic at a running specialty store.. the speaker was the owner and a long time regional race promoter, etc (basically, he seemed to really know about running shoes). The Free Running shoes had just come out and so I asked him about them. He said they are a really great idea, but that they're not designed for running every day of the week (unless your feet are already used to running barefoot). He mentioned that a number of distance teams (Stanford CC/Track for instance) have used this concept for a long time... they work one "barefoot day" (truly barefoot, no shoes but running on grass and trails I think) into their schedule once every week or so. He said that doing the same thing with the Free Running shoes might allow you to attain similar benefits (increased foot strength I guess?) without having to make certain you're running on safe surfaces. So that's sort of my take on them, but, like I said, I havent' tried them so it may all be hooey! Wink Maybe you can convince me to get a pair and then I can try them out! By the way, do you race in them, train in them, or both? Are there certain workouts that you'd avoid when you're wearing them (distance vs speed)?
      kendahl


        I too have had good luck with Nike Frees. I've restricted them to treadmill running, but really like them there. I've been slowly getting over a bad case of plantar fasciitis. When I was vacationing this August, I did a lot of barefoot beach walking. To my surprise, this really seemed to help a lot. I figured that this was a form of stretching the fascia. I later figured that running with the Free's would have the same effect and I do think this helped. Lately I do all my treadmill runs with the Frees and outdoor runs with arch supports in my Asics. It seems to be working. Probably this makes no sense but my pain is almost entirely gone (it's taken about 6 months).
          I've been using them for almost any type of running but no runs over 10 miles. Honestly, I don't know why, because they feel great and their light weight makes my feet happy. Yesterday I wore them on an 8 milr trail run even though mine are not trail runners. They preformed very well but I have to add that the trail was not too technical. I understand that one needs to get adapted to those shoes. I walk barefoot whenever I can so it did not take me long to get used to Nike Frees. They don't give one that barefoot feeling bot close to it. One of these days I will take them for a long, long run, as soon as I get back into my spring form. Big grin SKB
          I would rather wear out than rust out. - Helen Klein You create your own universe as you go along. - Winston Churchill
          vicentefrijole


            I've been slowly getting over a bad case of plantar fasciitis. When I was vacationing this August, I did a lot of barefoot beach walking. To my surprise, this really seemed to help a lot. I figured that this was a form of stretching the fascia. I later figured that running with the Free's would have the same effect and I do think this helped.
            I've struggled with a little plantar fasciitis in the past also. Your story is really interesting. I can imagine some situations where barefoot running (or freerunning) might make plantar fasciitis worse. But what you suggest (that, if you're careful and gradually introduce it, barefoot running might strengthen foot tissues and thus be preventative?) makes equal sense to me. And the comparison with barefoot beach walking seems apt... walking on sand can be an amazing workout on the feet! Okay, I'm almost set to got buy a pair... I'm still not convinced they'd be good for everyday use (at least not for me... I don't get many chances to walk around barefoot in Chicago, so I don't think my feet would be ready for it) but they could be a good foot-strength excecise on the occasional run.
            kendahl


              kendahl


                Okay, I'm almost set to got buy a pair... I'm still not convinced they'd be good for everyday use (at least not for me... I don't get many chances to walk around barefoot in Chicago, so I don't think my feet would be ready for it) but they could be a good foot-strength excecise on the occasional run. I definitely would not run everyday in Frees. Nobody recommends this anymore. I'd go ahead and try them out. Even if they don't work out for running, they'd make great slippers (they're really comfortable).
                vicentefrijole


                  Even if they don't work out for running, they'd make great slippers (they're really comfortable).
                  HAHAHA... I don't think that's what Nike has in mind.. Big grin
                    For the past year and a half i have used only the frees for long runs and feel fine. I used them on asphalt, trails, tracks....Everything. Not to mention that my legs are much stronger than they ever were.
                    Run World, Run.

                      I liked the way these shoes felt.  I completed a marathon in them without problem.  They were even comfortable while completing their last run after the sidewall blew out on the right foot.  The shoes are now retired after logging 453 miles.  The left shoe showed signs of imminent sidewall failure too.  Perhaps it is the way I land.  I had a pair of Asics that passed 1100+ though and have never had any other shoe blow out on the side -- so I may try something by Merrell.  I don't know.  Four hundred miles for a pair of shoes is not a good value proposition. 

                       

                      fail

                        I've had Free's in the rotation for a while now and have also had PF problems.

                         

                        I now wear Free's around the office most days and for walks.  For runs I use an insert to provide support.  It just seems to work out better for me to go minimal on walking around and then get something to remove the stress on the fascia during running.  Some day when PF is a year behind me and I am 10 pounds lighter I'll probably eliminate the insert for flat runs. 

                         

                        I've always liked my Free's and they've held up well for me.  The pair I am wearing right now was purchased over 2 years ago. 

                         

                        I do think I developed some problems (achilles tendonitis and possibly the PF) from doing hill work and so I'll probably steer clear of anything minimal when doing hills.  I don't think my body is cut out for minimal on hills as I run too much on the front of the foot and something like Free's without support seem to be a problem. 

                        In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

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                          Wow - that photo looks like a manufacturing defect to me, maybe not stitched/glued right??

                           

                          I used Nike Frees for 18 months or so:  a pair of solid black 5.0s for work that helped strengthen my feet a lot, and later a pair of 3.0s that helped me transition to barefoot running.  I got well over 600 miles from the 3.0s - both pairs felt a little like wearing slippers.  All this to try and get rid of chronic PF, which worked for me. I think the Frees would feel really good just for a casual shoe as well.

                          "I can do 440 in 220"    Half Fanatic #846    "90% of running is half mental"    If I collapse, please pause my Garmin

                           

                          xor


                            What happened to your a, brefootbill?

                             

                              I think they have pretty great cushion, but it depends on what you mean exactly. The cushion holds up well and isn't too hard or too soft. I think the bigger potential problem has to do with how you make impact in the shoes. They have a lower heel-to-toe offset compared to normal trainers. This means the Achilles/calves need more elasticity in order to run in them without straining or tugging on a tendon or muscle. Forefoot/midfoot strikes with a good history of not relying on their heels probably won't have any problem. Others with tight calves or a shortened Achilles will find some strain while running in them. Running is a sport of repetitive stress, so any problem will be made worse the longer you run on it. Most people can get away with doing a few miles in them once in a while. Far fewer people can get away with running in them on a daily basis and for long distances.

                               

                              I find that minimal shoes perform pretty well on trails and grass. It's hard to find one that does well on road, though, since they usually have less cushion. The Frees are in my mind one of the few minimalist pairs of shoes that still feel good on road. If you need supreme flexibility, then they might be the way to go. If you're just looking for a faster shoe or something lower to the ground, plenty of racing shoes can do that for you. The Frees aren't your only option.

                                This thread reminds me of this classic thread, over at letsrun. NIKE FREE ME's posts begin on page 3.

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