Got the opportunity to test trial the much talk-about, the new Nike Free 5.0 " Barefoot Training" shoes at the Nike Run Club SG @ Wisma Run last evening.
Nike Free 5.0
I was handed a pair of Pretty Looking Size 8 Free 5.0 to test drive. Initially,i was worried that the shoe fit would be too tight for me. For Nike, i would normally need to up-sized to 8.5 as i have wide feet. Surprisingly, the Free 5.0 - size 8 fits my feet snugly and her toe-box area is rather roomy which is great for me! She wrapped around my feet very comfortably and felt very light even compare with Lunar Racer!
According to Nike, “Free feet” are “just like bare feet” and the Free is:
“….a revolutionary shoe that lets your feet move naturally. A shoe that awakens the foot’s sensors. Feet become stronger, more flexible. And ultimately perform better."
Since recovered from my running injury sustained in Seoul Marathon last November, i have been wanting to do more training on trail routes to strengthen my feet/ankles and improve my Running Agility. Due to my commitments to assist in the Nighthawk's Sundown Marathon trainings, the various HPB's i-Runs and the Nike Club Run, most of my runs are on hard concrete pathway or tarmac road at ECP , CDB and town areas.
Trail Running offers softer, less impact and varying surface conditions which strengthened the feet and ankles, besides improving one's running agility. Barefoot is the other alternative for feet strength improvement, but i seriously doubt that i can adapt to running BareFoot on roads,pathways or grass field here. The hot , rough and "strange" surfaces will " kill " my feet first! Nike Free "Barefoot" Training Shoes can be the ideal "Solution" for me.
The Nike Club Run took us from the NikeTown shop in Wisma Atria through some of the happening city streets to the Scenic and Beautiful Botanic Gardens. I was part of team that assist in run leading and marshaling of the nike run . During the run, I was sharing my running experiences on proper running posture and running economy with fellow runners .That gave me opportunities to try out and demonstrate some of the different " Foot Landings"- Mid Foot , Fore Foot and Heel Strike on the Nike Free 5.0 while pounding on hard concrete footpaths. I also tested the Free on tempo pace by increasing my stride and cadences on the park's tarmac surface, some Hill running up and back down the slopes at Botanic Garden.
Throughout the 5km city run, my feet are well protected, my arch snugly wrapped and very comfortable in the Nike Free 5.0. She was smooth and responsive during " takeoff " phase and provides ample cushion and stability on my landing. I feel that there is excellent cushion and support in her heel even for Heavy Heel Strikers. Her Mid Foot/ForeFoot Cushion is sufficient for most runners.
Nike Free 5.0 exceed my expectation for a "minimalistic" Training and Feet Conditioning Shoes in term of her ample cushion, stability and great flexibility. Neutral runners will be able to train in this shoe for tracks works and street runs distance up to 10km. But, remember to gradually increase your mileage on these training shoes, the feet and ankle need time to condition and strengthen !