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  • Nike Free



    I read in Mark’s book that aside from Virbram 5-Fingers, Nike Free is a good alternative to barefoot. Due to various injuries a weaknesses in my feet and ankles I’m just not confident in going barefoot, especially when CF training but would like to break into it. When I looked on the Nike site the average price was about $85.00!! Before I consider spending that kind of money I was wondering if anyone has any experience with Nike Frees and if so what are your thoughts pro and con?


    Thanks in advance for your comments.


  • #2
    1



    I once had a pair, and the heel was a lot bigger than I expected. I think that this is because they wanted to provide support for the traditional heel strike. Overall I wouldn't recommend buying frees if you plan on wearing them a lot, mine ripped very quickly right where the fabric attached to the heel. I would buy vibrams, they are actually cheaper too.

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    • #3
      1



      Yes, I know in my group of friends, The Nike fits actually wore out in a matter of months. The 5-fingers are highly recommended, though. Best of luck to you in your primal adventures!

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      • #4
        1



        I have Nike Free 5.0s and love them. I walk about 3 miles per day and traditional sport shoes hurt my feet and ankles. I can walk in these all day and my feet feel great. Haven't noticed any unusual wear yet - they look like new and I've used them about 2 months now. They are not barefoot, but they are a good move from the typical sports shoe to a more barefoot feel. Buy a half or whole size larger - they definitely run small! I can walk in flipflops or barefoot all day and these are the only shoes that don't make my feet hurt.


        I tried to get the 3.0s which are supposed to be even more barefoot feeling, but they must be phasing them out. I had to buy the 5.0s online from the Nike site.

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        • #5
          1

          [quote]

          I read in Mark’s book that aside from Virbram 5-Fingers, Nike Free is a good alternative to barefoot.
          </blockquote>


          I haven&#39;t seen him say he wears them himself, however.


          Personally, I&#39;d avoid them.


          For Nike - who after all started the whole nonsense of crazily built-up "sports" shoes - they are minimalist. From any more normal point of view they are anything but. They&#39;re a lot of shoe and interfere with the natural movement of the foot too much. In the long run that means trouble.


          The people with the healthiest feet are those who wear nothing on their feet at all, as this important study (among several) shows:


          http://web.wits.ac.za/NewsRoom/NewsItems/feet.htm


          So, for those who don&#39;t want actually to go barefoot, looking for shoes that are next to nothing might be a better bet.


          A pair from one of the small moccasin makers that still make traditional flat moccasins might be OK. Or some Tai Chi shoes, such as these:


          http://www.amazon.com/Asics-Onitsuka-Tiger-Tai-Chi-white/dp/B001CBY5PC/


          Or make your own Huarache sandals with one of Barefoot Ted&#39;s kits:


          http://barefootted.com/shop/

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          • #6
            1



            When I started running sprints barefoot my anterior shin pain went away. But then I started having troubles with my left heel and stopped sprinting altogether while it gets better. So I guess the problem with barefoot is hard heel strike. Any suggestions for how to deal with this problem? I don&#39;t know if VFFs will help.

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            • #7
              1



              are you running or sprinting barefoot, if you are sprinting you should be up on the balls of your feet naturally and your heels shouldn&#39;t touch the ground....if you are running you should be landing near to the middle part of the forefoot (metatarsal area) which would minimize the heel strike


              http://www.youtube.com/v/9itkEkcQ8WM good example of barefoot running (not sprinting of course)

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              • #8
                1



                I LOVE mine. I would definitely say that they are somewhere between traditional running shoes and bare feet. The 5.0s are really great. I work at a running shoe store, and although i still have to sell regular running shoes, I believe that my achilles tendon problems were caused by traditional pronation control running shoes. I now am pain free during and after running as long as I wear my Frees.

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                • #9
                  1



                  Sully commented above on heel striking and I completely agree. If you are wearing a shoe where you are wanting to heel-strike then I don&#39;t think that is the right shoe. Would you ever think of running barefoot and heel-striking? Talk about painful.


                  I forefoot strike in my Frees but not my brands-which-shall-not-be-named-shoes.

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                  • #10
                    1



                    Thanks for the vid, Sully. I can see the problem. But can you get the same or greater power and acceleration by running on the forefoot? I find that hard to do at my peak speed.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      1



                      yeah, that was how I was taught to sprint in track, well actually there is more of a side to side motion when you get out of the blocks, but as your velocity increases you are on the forefoot, your heel comes close to the ground but does not strike (think of a loaded spring)... good vid here (sorry about the language, but best I can find)

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmErE5ogKJE

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                      • #12
                        1



                        I&#39;m English and bought my Frees from Nike Town in Oxford Street (London). I love them. They are nice and light and whilst a bit fuggly, I find them very comfortable. When I&#39;m working I walk 5-6 miles a day, and I usually run a couple of times a week (one jog, one sprint session, usually). I&#39;ve had them since Feb and during that time, have taken part in two 5Ks and two 10Ks (both on Clapham Common, so mostly grass/trail). Given the amount I walk, they&#39;ve had a lot of mileage and they are holding up well.

                        I switched from heel to mid/forefoot striking a couple of years ago and these are pretty good for that. I&#39;d get Vibrams but I have funny shaped feet so I&#39;d need to find somewhere to try them on and I&#39;m not sure if there&#39;s anywhere in London where I can do that. Until I find somewhere, the Frees are great.

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                        • #13
                          1



                          The newer frees apparently do not rip so easily. I have an older pair of 5.0s and they did rip pretty fast but I still wear them anyway.


                          I would prefer vibrams but they are difficult to source here. And also more expensive. By a fair amount. I can buy nike frees for $180, vibrams I can only buy from Australia and they would cost me more like $250.


                          The nike frees are better than wearing a regular shoe but not by a large margin. In mine I can do a fore-foot strike but only if I think about it, otherwise I default back to heel-strike. They are exceptionally comfortable and light, however, and look &#39;normal&#39;.


                          I find my pair do not have enough lateral stability, and I fear rolling my ankle when doing fast direction changes etc.

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                          • #14
                            1



                            Buy Vibrams direct from the USA. They are only US$90 ea there.


                            I&#39;m in Australia and I refuse to pay AU$250 for them. I purchased a few direct from the USA and they cost me about AU$125 ea landed.

                            The "Seven Deadly Sins"

                            • Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . • Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . .• Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
                            • Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . • Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . • Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
                            • Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)

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                            • #15
                              1



                              I do NOT recommend Nike Frees. Ever.


                              My personal experience has been with 7.0 Nikes. I researched them as much as I could, read reviews and tried them on several times. But, I went for a run in them and now am dealing with a popliteal strain. The big complaint: not enough arch support. Ideally, they are to have minimal support, but I find they are made to create more pronation in the feet. As a result, the knees fall in, creating strain.


                              Compared to the Vibrams which have zero support, I would take the Vibrams and avoid the nikes. The vibrams also seem to support the foot with the firmer heel, creating a more structurally sound talus in the foot.


                              Kudos to Vibram. Shame on Nike for trying to cash in on the barefoot theory with a mediocre 7.0.

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