A few weeks ago I was contacted the PR at SportsShoes.com and asked whether I wanted to try some barefoot style Nike trainers. My first reactions were:
1. Wow, yes of course, thanks. I love trainers!
2. Er, I’m not sure I will ever be a barefoot runner. I need all the support I can get.
I expressed my concern to the PR who suggested I try out the Nike Free 5.0s, as they are a bit of a hybrid shoe, and therefore offer the best of both worlds.
‘The Lady Free 5.0+ offers a more natural barefoot-like feel, providing the foot strengthening benefits of natural motion, along with the cushioning, traction and underfoot protection of a traditional shoe.’
When trying out new shoes I always recommend starting out with some short runs, or even running on the treadmill. Even more so when it’s going from a cushioned shoe to a barefoot style! I gave these bright beauties a test run during my 40 minute hill treadmill workout two weeks ago as well as taking them on a spin at lunchtime with Laura.
The shoes I chose are the bright yellow and blue ones, sadly the teal ones that I was lusting after weren’t in my size (probs just means I should have both pairs?!)
These Free 5.0+s have a textured mesh full inner sleeve that hugs your foot like a sock. They’re really comfy, but I did have to loosen the laces a lot with my wide feet!
They’ve got a flywire cables system. Oh right, maybe you don’t know what they are…They are ‘soft yet durable cables that wrap the midfoot and arch from underneath the foot for a glove-like supportive fit that adapts to your stride.’
I was surprised with how comfortable and supportive these shoes were, and how light they felt! I especially liked wearing them on the treadmill where I felt I had an extra bounce, and need less cushioning/protection anyway! I don’t think I’m ready to run long (anything longer than about 4 miles) in these yet, but I’ll be adding them into my trainer rotation, using them for speedwork and treadmill sessions. They’re also lovely and small so easy to stash in my handbag for quick gym workouts!
‘Flywire helps provide ultra-lightweight support and comfort for your foot. It gets its strength from thin nylon fibers strategically placed on the upper of the shoe to hold the foot in place, helping to reduce slippage during activity. This allows for a massive reduction in weight because material is used only where it’s needed for structure.’
These are the perfect entry-level trainers to a barefoot running style, whilst maintaining a good amount of support. They will be perfect for short runs, and for 5K and 10K races. Just need to sign up for some next year….
You might find this article on Barefoot Running interesting!
Thank you to SportsShoes.com for sending me the Nike Frees to try out. All opinions and wide feet are my own!