Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nike Free 5.0 Retire... Nike Free 7.0's are in! Minimalist Running.

I started running in my vibrams and Nike Free 5.0's back in Jan when I had an ankle injury. The theory was that the minimalist shoes would do a good job of building up my foot/ankle muscles, rather than stuffing a shoe full of cushion so it was easier to run on... that is, until the cushion wears away in about 2 months. Since starting with my Nike Free's I've noticed a few changes...

1) Foot Strike- I'm now running with a front foot strike (toward the front of the foot, rather than slamming on my heels). This new strike (I feel) has helped me stay on my toes during my races, which keeps me going faster. 
2) Arch- I've never had an arch, but with the minimal support my arch has built itself back up. 
3) Light & Free- The light feel of the Free's have definitely helped run lighter. One of the things I read about minimalist running is that the foot can feel the ground easier through the thin shoe, which makes us pound less... much better on the joints!!!

Alas, my Nike Free 5.0's have been going strong since January and have made 18 (yes, 18) full marathons along with all the training (~1400 miles). I could wear them forever (because cushion wear is not an issue) but the seems have actually started coming apart... that and they've gotten pretty raunchy. So, let's all welcome Nike Free 7.0's!

Out with the Old, in with the New 7.0 and 5.0
New in 7.0
- Added Cushioning-- you can see from the profile of the shoes, the 7.0 has just a little more cushioning, but still maintains the flexibility the 5.0's had. 
- Arch insert-- the insert has a little bit of an arch so it shapes to your foot better. I'm not a huge fan of this (and didn't realize it til they came in the mail). I'll probably pull the inserts out and use my old ones or let my feet beat the arch out of the shoe. 
- Wider front-- One issue I had with the 5.0's was foot swelling, especially in races. My feet would swell and they were fitted so tight, I would lose my toenails all the time. The 7.0's have a slight wider area just in the front that I think will work out much better... and maybe I can stop painting the skin where my toenails were! 

First Run... 7.0's!
When you start out with a new shoe, the experts recommend that you 1) Test the shoe out before you buy it and 2) Start out with a short run to get yourself used to the shoes. Well, we don't do anything normal here on Steph's 50 Marathon challenge-- so I went ahead and threw the shoes on for a 12 mile training run this morning! How did it go? Thoughts?...
-The funky arch thing is annoying and gave me a small blister just on my left arch. Granted, I ran the whole course on the left side of the road, meaning my foot was pushing inward to make up for the slant in the road. I will pound it into submission or replace them with my 5.0 inserts
-Better fit! I actually went up 1/2 of a size from my 5.0's and after a long run my toes felt great
-Generally, they held up well and I liked them. With the extra cushioning I'm running a LITTLE back on my foot, but not like I would in a normal shoe. It's a little less minimalistic than the 5.0's, but that's probably good for the distances I take these babies in! 

This is my last weekend off before 4 marathon weekends in a row, so I'm heading to Boston to visit friends and family! Don't worry... I'm bringing the 7.0's with me! 

Happy Training,
"Run to Win" -Meb


  1. Yay for new shoes! Have a great weekend in Boston!

  2. I used to run exclusively in Nike Free 5.0, then switched to 3.0 (even less cushy) and then migrated to Five Fingers and barefoot. One thing's for sure, I will never run in cushy, supportive shoes. I don't think my feet would like me for that.

  3. i've started running a couple of years using only this nike free 7.o minimalist running shoes and whom i really trusted..

  4. i've started running a couple of years using only this nike free 7.o minimalist running shoes and whom i really trusted.. Nike free shoes