Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Evolution of Steph's Running Shoes

That's right! My new shoes came yesterday!!! My new Nike Free 5.0's. I'm hoping they help to find a nice balance between "normal" sneakers and my vibrams. My sneaker evolution didn't exactly go on the normal track-- sneakers, Free's, vibrams/barefoot, but that's ok. I'm hoping because of my experience in vibrams I won't need too much work to transition into the Frees.

Barefoot Running: I tried my hand at barefoot running with the vibrams and liked it, but with my ankle issues I was concerned about trying to use the vibrams this weekend and next for marathons. I want to give it a few more weeks and maybe try them in a March marathon. For now, I was trying to find a middle ground as the sneakers are too heavy and the vibrams need just a little more support. The Free's are supposed to help find that balance!

Nike Free 5.0: As you know, I did contact vibrams about their suggestions for transition and they sent back a response suggestion I use this site.  I sent Nike a similar note and they sent back  a prompt response to my request RE the free's: transitioning and their suggestions on distance (is a marathon ok?):

"Hello Stephanie,

That is amazing and very ambitious of you to complete that many marathons!

Here is some information regarding the Free technology, it was inspired by the idea of barefoot training, the Nike Free 5.0 Runner shoe allows natural motion which not only works to strengthen your feet, but your entire body. Stronger, more flexible feet mean better performance and less injury. The secret is a midsole that works with your foot, driven by your foot. The dynamically engineered upper, made of Escaine, a Japanese synthetic suede with fiber base, works in coordination with an extremely innovative midsole. An “unshoe” sensation creates a smooth ride, feel, flow and flex.
As in any training program there are risks. These can usually be avoided with proper use and by following a progressive training regimen. A Nike Free training program is included in the shoe box. Also, do not over extend your training and back off if you begin to notice pain or early signs of overuse.
And it always depends on the athlete, his/her anatomy and a potential predisposition to injury, past history of injuries, body type, running style, training methods, surface conditions and a variety of risk factors.
Don't hesitate to email me back or call 1-800-806-6453 5 a.m. - 10 p.m. Pacific Time, Seven days a week if you have further questions.
Best regards,
It sounds like these are just the type of shoe I'm looking for. I wasn't supposed to run yesterday, but I had to test them out a little!!! Very light -- the entire package they sent (including box, packaging, etc) was 2lbs. I have the same flexability as the vibrams and as I ran I felt myself pulling my legs underneath and standing up straight the way I did with the vibrams. It will take a little more testing-- but I would like to see if this is because of the shoes or because of the good form I've picked up from the vibrams.
FLEX! They're sneakers and they cover more than the vibrams, but they still allow the same flexability as mentioned in their letter above.
<-- can your sneakers do THAT? FUN!!!
Along with my new shoes, came much more snow! As I hurt myself enough in the snow this past weekend and since I have a marathon this weekend I will not be running outside today. I'll go to the gym and test them out a bit on the treatmill.
Yesterday, I tested them out indoors as I did a few series on my new Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred!!! Great workout, but if you're an active athlete I would suggest doing 2 or more of the series at a time if that's your full workout. If you're adding it onto your run or another cardio workout do 1 series.
That's about it-- gearing up for the marathon this weekend and what is looking to be MUCH nicer weather! :)


  1. I am VERY interested to see your results in them!

    I understand what you mean about the ankle pain with barefooting it though.. I'm dealing with some of that now. It's been about a week since I ran last, and if it weren't for lower back issues at the moment, I'm curious to see where I'd be. Definitely have to be careful about overdoing it when transition to barefoot.

    Again, can't wait to see your thoughts on them though..


  2. Those are so freakin' cool! Hope they work out great for ya!

  3. That was some great info on the Nike Frees. I'll be interested to hear how you like them...

  4. Those are crazy! Love that Nike gave you back such a detailed response! Very excited to see how they work out for you and I can't believe the marathon is already this weekend!!!!

  5. I am doing the opposite! I am going from the Nike Free to the Vibram 5s - I love the fact that I have no pain at all since going from an un-named, expensive running shoe to the Free's to the Vibrams/barefoot.

    When I wore the expensive shoes I also had to alternate wearing ankle braces and knee braces. Now I run brace-free and practically shoe free and completely pain free!

  6. ok I may have to try these since I can't find Vibrams for my big foot! I think it would be better for me to start there

  7. The new shoes seem like the perfect balance! I hope you love them.

    Awesome that Nike responded so well. Nice to see a 'big' company doing that.

    Great cross training with Jillian.

  8. Sweet shoes...I'm looking forward to hearing how they work out-hopefully they are great!

  9. do you have nick's email address? i'd love to ask him questions for my ongoing newton/vibram, etc posts

  10. I've been running in Nike Free for 5 years now (one pair has almost 800mi on them and still holding) and alternating with FiveFingers for the past two years. When I take a break from running, I notice I cannot go straight back to VFF's. My Achilles tendons hurt too much in the beginning. After a few weeks I can run exclusively in VFF's. Still, on really cold mornings I go back to my Nike Free since my toes are very cold sensitive.

  11. One more comment on Nike Free. I ran in them in snow and ice and they were great as long as I ran. As soon as I started walking I would slip. Go figure.