» Product Review: Nike Free Sneakers

Product Review: Nike Free Sneakers

July 14, 2012 | Steven McElwee

I just bought a pair of Nike Free 3.0 running sneakers. I have been training with minimalist shoes for my short runs using shoes that have about as much cushioning as surf shoes. My minimalist shoes have been building a lot of foot and calf strength, but I cannot run more than three miles in them yet.

Since I wanted to keep up with the benefits of barefoot running for my long runs, I bought a pair of Nike Free 3.0 running sneakers. The 3.0 represents the amount of cushioning, with 0 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. The Nike Free shoes have a partitioned sole that does not support your feet, but rather provides cushioning at each section of your foot. This simulates barefoot running, but on a soft surface.

I have been training with minimalist shoes for short runs for about 10 weeks, so I thought I would try out my new Nike Free 3.0 sneakers on my Saturday long run – eight miles. I was hesitant at first, since a long run in new sneakers can be painful.

To my surprise, the Nike Free sneakers felt so good that I completed my eight miles without any problems. I noticed a little bit of muscular strain in my calves and hips, but since I had already worked on my running form, foot strike, and foot strength with minimalist shoes, it was a very easy run.

I was concerned about picking up small stones on my run in the expanding and contracting segments of the sole. Although this did happen, I did not notice it while I was running. When I got home, flexing the sneakers in a few directions over a trash can removed the stones.

What was especially impressive about my new Nike Free 3.0 sneakers was that at the end of the day, after my long run, my legs and feet felt better than ever. I was not sore or stiff. In fact, I felt so good that I could have run the next day instead of resting.

Have you tried Nike Free sneakers for your running? Please let me know what you think in the comments below.

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