Nike Free Run+ Review
If you’re a runner, you’ve no doubt been hearing a lot lately about ‘Natural Running’ or Barefoot Running or Posture Running. It’s definitely the hot topic in running shoes now. The basic idea is that back when we were chasing down mastodons we ran with our bare feet and shoes have become so built up that they’re just holding us back, or worse, might be causing injuries. So, we should go back to running in shoes that mimic the barefoot experience with a bit of protection from the surface below.
Nike was there from the beginning of this trend several years ago with their Nike Free series. The Free Run+ is a new model for Nike and aims to have the flexibility of the Free 3.0 with the protection of the 5.0. The shoe upper features very breathable mesh and a seamless, one-piece overlay with a laser-cut saddle and asymmetrical lacing for a secure fit. The outsole has super deep sipes for great flexibility and natural movement of the foot through the gait cycle. The big new story of the Free Run+ is the addition of Nike+ compatibility via a cutout for the foot pod in the midsole.
Our testers loved the Free experience of this new model and the protection its midsole offers which aren’t available from all Natural Running models, and loved the supreme comfort of the Free Run+. Several testers remarked that the Frees were so comfortable they became a go-to shoe for work and shopping as well as recovery runs. The Free is intended for light running use in order to strengthen foot and leg muscles made lazy from years of running in beefy trainers. One area of concern for the Nike Free+ was when we tested the shoe without socks. We read claims the shoes can go without socks, but we found after an hour of running without socks, blisters started to form. For 30-45 minute runs, not wearing socks was just fine. Overall, these shoes are a good option for those looking to want to test out barefoot running, but don’t want to take the big plunge. For more information, visit www.nike.com.