The original idea behind Nike Free 5.0 V2 Mens cheap sale the Nike Free was to create a shoe that simulates running barefoot on grass, and though I¡¯m not sure I¡¯d say that they replicate that experience perfectly, they do have a very different feel than most shoes on the market (super flexible, silent underfoot). One might even argue that the Free was a minimalist shoe before the phrase ¡°minimalist shoe¡± even existed, and the original Free is a shoe that will be remembered as a milestone in footwear innovation.
What I particularly liked about this study is that the authors were very open about admitting its limitations. For example, they point out the the Nike Free has quite a bit of cushion and an elevated heel. Habitual barefooters jump all over anyone who claims that the Nike Free replicates barefoot running, and this study seems to prove them right, at least in terms of how it affects biomechanics (and much to the chagrin of Nike marketing¡). Studies of less cushioned shoes (e.g., Vibram Fivefingers) have revealed more similarity to barefoot running, but even ultraminimal shoes don¡¯t seem to be a perfect mimic to running without footwear. They also admit that by not controlling the standard shoe they may have not as easily detected differences between the minimal and more traditional shoes.
I¡¯ve never run in any of the iterations of the Free 4.0 shoes (Update: I have now posted a full review of the Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit). I tried on the v3 at Nike Free 5.0 V3 Mens cheap sale a Nike store and the forefoot seemed to be a bit low in volume (top to bottom) for my foot. The 4.0 v4 moves from a traditional upper to a new Flyknit upper, but it retains a tongue and traditional lacing. I¡¯ve not tried a Flyknit upper shoe yet, and this one looks intriguing.
Jeff Dengate indicated that this has been his favorite among the new Frees, and he reports that it weighs in at 7.7oz and has a 6mm drop. MSRP is $120 (Flyknit shoes are expensive).While I¡¯m game to try the new 5.0 and 4.0, I¡¯m afraid Nike may have ruined the 3.0 for me. This is sad as it has traditionally been my favorite in the Free line (here¡¯s my review of the Free 3.0 v5). First off, they have replaced the traditional upper with a tongueless Flyknit upper.
Given the above features, I view the Nike Free 3.0 as a great choice as a transitional shoe if you¡¯re thinking about working your way down to running barefoot or in an extremely minimalist shoe like the Vibram Fivefingers. Some disagree with this approach, saying that going barefoot from the start is the best approach so that immediate sensory feedback from your feet can prevent you from doing too much, too soon, but the transitional approach worked well for me, and I have managed to avoid any serious injuries so far while running in Vibrams over the past 8-10 months (I should point out that although I¡¯ve tried barefoot running, I¡¯m not a barefoot runner). The important thing to remember with any new shoe, and with minimalist shoes in particular, is to not overdo it ¨C give your feet and legs time to adjust to these shoes, and resist the urge to do too much, too soon.
Nike Free 3.0 heel wearAlthough some might disagree, I view the Free 3.0 as a minimalist running shoe, but like the Free Run+, I don¡¯t view it as a barefoot-like shoe. I agree with Nike¡¯s contention that the outsole siping/grooves make it remarkably flexible, which allows your feet to work in a more barefoot-like manner, but the fact that it has a heel and a cushioned sole make it very easy to heel-strike in it, and my wear patterns on the sole of my original Free 3.0¡¯s indicate very clearly that heel striking is what I do whe Nike Free Trainer 5.0 Mens sale n I run in them (see picture at left ¨C the black rubber pad has completely worn away from the lateral heel in the shoe on the top; see also the slow motion video below). I don¡¯t necessarily view heel striking as the horrible thing that some make it out to be (I¡¯m quite content to be a mild heel striker in most of my shoes), but heel striking is not what I (or most other people) do when I run barefoot or in Vibram Fivefingers (I have run 100+ mile Nike Roshe Run HYP Mens sale s in Vibrams, and have also run barefoot a few times).