Nike Free vs. Flats vs. nothing

Nike Free vs. Flats vs. nothing

Post by dkotsch.. » Wed, 08 Jun 2005 04:17:18


Hi group. I think I've posted here maybe once before.

So Nike has their spiffy little commecial and ridiculous web page (the
front page is flash, takes more than 15 minutes to load over dial up)
and a team of crack rocket-shoe scientists, who, after years of intense
research have finally come up with something that isn't even a shoe,
but sells for a minimum of $85 (in an array of styles and colors).

I'd been thinking about barefoot training for awhile, but just haven't
gotten around to it.  I heard about running flats once.  Are these that
much better?  Do I really want to pay Nike $85 for something put
together by a 13 Filipino girl somewhere or isn't there some cheaper
alternative?

I'm feeling really dumb about this. Becuase I can't figure out why so
much effort is going into something that is basically protecting your
feet from the elements and sharp objects, but otherwise doing nothing.
Aside from the obvious skin problems, couldn't I just wrap my feet in
duct tape and go for a run?

Tangent - Anybody from around Philly?

-DaveK

 
 
 

Nike Free vs. Flats vs. nothing

Post by CaptainStab.. » Wed, 08 Jun 2005 04:32:57

Quote:
> takes more than 15 minutes to load over dial up>

What's really sad, is that you waited 15 minutes to find out.

For true barefoot running just wrap your feet in leather. Yes you'll
look stupid, but that's the price you pay. Personally I grew up
barefoot, and after a few summers you build up thick pads that are
impervious to rocks, and jagged edges, even most broken glass does no
damage.
As far as nikes go, I just realized a pair of shorts I have are nikes,
and now I know why my nuts have been shriveled up lately.

 
 
 

Nike Free vs. Flats vs. nothing

Post by Charlie Pendej » Wed, 08 Jun 2005 04:52:17

Quote:
> I heard about running flats once.  Are these that much better?  Do I
> really want to pay Nike $85 [...] isn't there some cheaper alternative?

I ran into some Nike guys outside my local park some weeks ago, pushing
the Free.  I was wearing Nike Waffle Racers (last year's model) and
they were aghast that someone was stoopid enough to run in what they
considered a "lifestyle shoe".

I did a lap in the Free, and found it more cushiony but no more
obviously barefoot-y than the much cheaper Waffle Racers.  The Waffles
have thus far protected my sensitive tootsies from anything on the NYC
streets and park trails.  They're much more suited to off-road than
on-, but I've worn them for up to a 15k road race on pavement and not
regretted it.

There are other choices which fall between duct taping your soles and
lightweight trainers.  Spikeless cross country shoes, other "lifestyle"
shoes like Puma's H Street, aqua socks, etc.  Lots of talk about these
shoes on letsrun.com and google will find you some here as well -
especially in years past.

When trying minimal shoes you wanna be cautious about ramping up miles
(and maybe intensity?) in them, lest you anger your AT or calves.  IMO
spending a lot of time barefoot or in low-heeled street shoes, like
Birkenstocks or other sandals, goes a long way toward preparing you for
low-heeled running shoes.

 
 
 

Nike Free vs. Flats vs. nothing

Post by David Kotschess » Wed, 08 Jun 2005 04:59:14

Quote:

> > takes more than 15 minutes to load over dial up>

> What's really sad, is that you waited 15 minutes to find out.

Actually after 15 minutes I gave up.  Had to do it from work. (er, no I
didn't).

Quote:
> For true barefoot running just wrap your feet in leather. Yes you'll
> look stupid, but that's the price you pay. Personally I grew up
> barefoot, and after a few summers you build up thick pads that are
> impervious to rocks, and jagged edges, even most broken glass does no
> damage.

There is a track near where I live made of recycled tires or something.
 really cool.  I Could probably go totally barefoot on it.

I just thought I would work toward longer distances. Also just
something to walk around in.

For my actual runs I guess I don't care that much about how I look.  So
do you just buy leather somewhere and wrap up?

Quote:
> As far as nikes go, I just realized a pair of shorts I have are nikes,
> and now I know why my nuts have been shriveled up lately.

lol

-DaveK

 
 
 

Nike Free vs. Flats vs. nothing

Post by David Kotschess » Wed, 08 Jun 2005 05:04:21

Quote:

> > I heard about running flats once.  Are these that much better?  Do I
> > really want to pay Nike $85 [...] isn't there some cheaper alternative?

> I ran into some Nike guys outside my local park some weeks ago, pushing
> the Free.  I was wearing Nike Waffle Racers (last year's model) and
> they were aghast that someone was stoopid enough to run in what they
> considered a "lifestyle shoe".

And "last year's model" no less.  They probably where aghast at how
outdated they were too. lol

Quote:
> I did a lap in the Free, and found it more cushiony but no more
> obviously barefoot-y than the much cheaper Waffle Racers.  The Waffles
> have thus far protected my sensitive tootsies from anything on the NYC
> streets and park trails.  They're much more suited to off-road than
> on-, but I've worn them for up to a 15k road race on pavement and not
> regretted it.

If they're good enough for NYC streets I can't imagine anything
well..worse?

Quote:
> There are other choices which fall between duct taping your soles and
> lightweight trainers.  Spikeless cross country shoes, other "lifestyle"
> shoes like Puma's H Street, aqua socks, etc.  Lots of talk about these
> shoes on letsrun.com and google will find you some here as well -
> especially in years past.

I will look into all of that. Thanks.

Quote:
> When trying minimal shoes you wanna be cautious about ramping up miles
> (and maybe intensity?) in them, lest you anger your AT or calves.  IMO
> spending a lot of time barefoot or in low-heeled street shoes, like
> Birkenstocks or other sandals, goes a long way toward preparing you for
> low-heeled running shoes.

That's why I thought of just getting them to walk around in first.
Just to do errands on weekends, after work etc.  Seems like that would
be the best way really.  

-DaveK

 
 
 

Nike Free vs. Flats vs. nothing

Post by VeryFastRun.. » Wed, 08 Jun 2005 07:22:15

Quote:
>For my actual runs I guess I don't care that much about how I look.  So

do you just buy leather somewhere and wrap up?>

Me again. Any native american trading posts nearby? They make a great
pair of all leather (bottoms too) moccasins that work great. I guess
they could easily be bought online. Again, I prefer barefoot, and yes
your track should be ok to run barefoot on.

 
 
 

Nike Free vs. Flats vs. nothing

Post by VeryFastRun.. » Wed, 08 Jun 2005 07:23:51

Quote:
>That's why I thought of just getting them to walk around in first.

Just to do errands on weekends, after work etc.  Seems like that would
be the best way really.>

Dave,
These are a blatant ripoff, like most nikes. Forget them.

 
 
 

Nike Free vs. Flats vs. nothing

Post by David Geesama » Wed, 08 Jun 2005 21:03:11


Quote:
>> I heard about running flats once.  Are these that much better?  Do I
>> really want to pay Nike $85 [...] isn't there some cheaper alternative?

> I ran into some Nike guys outside my local park some weeks ago, pushing
> the Free.  I was wearing Nike Waffle Racers (last year's model) and
> they were aghast that someone was stoopid enough to run in what they
> considered a "lifestyle shoe".

    Hey, anything to promote the idea that last years top-of-the-line is now
sadly obsolete is good for retail sales.  #1 rule of retail: make clearance
sales look pitiful, and the full price s**t stands out.

    Dave

 
 
 

Nike Free vs. Flats vs. nothing

Post by David Geesama » Wed, 08 Jun 2005 21:07:16


Quote:
> I'd been thinking about barefoot training for awhile, but just haven't
> gotten around to it.  I heard about running flats once.  Are these that
> much better?  Do I really want to pay Nike $85 for something put
> together by a 13 Filipino girl somewhere or isn't there some cheaper
> alternative?

    That is an *** amount of money for a shoe that will be all but
forgotten next spring.  IMO, there would be little practical difference
between racing flats and these Frees.
    I would still have major concerns with stress injuries - most of us
can't handle more than 5-10miles/week on hard surfaces without the right
shoe support.  I feel the best barefoot running is doing windsprints
barefoot on a grass field.  If you have access to a good, clean grass
athletic field, finish your workouts with 5-10 50y windsprints - they will
build strength, refresh you, and there is nothing like cool grass between
your toes.

Quote:
> Tangent - Anybody from around Philly?

    Central PA - Harrisburg area.  Used to live in Newark DE, a true
runner's haven.

    Dave

 
 
 

Nike Free vs. Flats vs. nothing

Post by David Kotschess » Wed, 08 Jun 2005 22:06:21

Quote:

> >For my actual runs I guess I don't care that much about how I look.  So
> do you just buy leather somewhere and wrap up?>

> Me again. Any native american trading posts nearby?

The town I live in is called Conshohocken...  But ironically, no!

Quote:
> They make a great
> pair of all leather (bottoms too) moccasins that work great. I guess
> they could easily be bought online. Again, I prefer barefoot, and yes
> your track should be ok to run barefoot on.

I will have a look around. thanks again.
 
 
 

Nike Free vs. Flats vs. nothing

Post by David Kotschess » Thu, 09 Jun 2005 00:46:34

Quote:



> > I'd been thinking about barefoot training for awhile, but just haven't
> > gotten around to it.  I heard about running flats once.  Are these that
> > much better?  Do I really want to pay Nike $85 for something put
> > together by a 13 Filipino girl somewhere or isn't there some cheaper
> > alternative?

>     That is an *** amount of money for a shoe that will be all but
> forgotten next spring.  IMO, there would be little practical difference
> between racing flats and these Frees.
>     I would still have major concerns with stress injuries - most of us
> can't handle more than 5-10miles/week on hard surfaces without the right
> shoe support.  I feel the best barefoot running is doing windsprints
> barefoot on a grass field.  If you have access to a good, clean grass
> athletic field, finish your workouts with 5-10 50y windsprints - they will
> build strength, refresh you, and there is nothing like cool grass between
> your toes.

Irony of ironies, the more I read, talk to people here and a few other
places, I am starting to seriously consider going barefoot.  There seem
to be less stress injuries, less knee problems, less shin splints,
everything.  And it's a hell of a lot cheaper too.  Has to be taken up
gradually of course, which is tough for me becuase I am impulsive and
have problems with moderation....

- Show quoted text -

Quote:

> > Tangent - Anybody from around Philly?

>     Central PA - Harrisburg area.  Used to live in Newark DE, a true
> runner's haven.

>     Dave

 
 
 

Nike Free vs. Flats vs. nothing

Post by VeryFastRun.. » Thu, 09 Jun 2005 00:40:21

Quote:
>Dave, These are a blatant ripoff, like most nikes. Forget them.>

Although ALL nikes are blatant ripoffs.
 
 
 

Nike Free vs. Flats vs. nothing

Post by Tim Downi » Thu, 09 Jun 2005 01:00:17

Quote:

> Irony of ironies, the more I read, talk to people here and a few other
> places, I am starting to seriously consider going barefoot.  There
> seem
> to be less stress injuries, less knee problems, less shin splints,
> everything.  And it's a hell of a lot cheaper too.  Has to be taken up
> gradually of course, which is tough for me becuase I am impulsive and
> have problems with moderation....

Ah, you must be a runner then.... ;-)

Tim

 
 
 

Nike Free vs. Flats vs. nothing

Post by David Kotschess » Thu, 09 Jun 2005 01:46:04

Quote:


> > Irony of ironies, the more I read, talk to people here and a few other
> > places, I am starting to seriously consider going barefoot.  There
> > seem
> > to be less stress injuries, less knee problems, less shin splints,
> > everything.  And it's a hell of a lot cheaper too.  Has to be taken up
> > gradually of course, which is tough for me becuase I am impulsive and
> > have problems with moderation....

> Ah, you must be a runner then.... ;-)

> Tim

Yeah, my impulsive and extreme behavior has gotten me through one
marathon and a couple of halfs.  Albeit verrrry slow ones...
 
 
 

Nike Free vs. Flats vs. nothing

Post by Charlie Pendej » Thu, 09 Jun 2005 03:01:28

Quote:
> Has to be taken up gradually of course, which is tough for me
> becuase I am impulsive and have problems with moderation...

Ah, so you're the one.

Well you know what they say about the ultimate destination on the road
of excess, right?

But it likely passes through the town of injury and the rest stop of
regret on the way.

One obvious strategy for minimizing risk while accommodating the need
for immediate gratification is to work your way down a progression of
minimal footware, starting NOW :-)

e.g. if you're accustomed to a 11-14 oz trainer, go out right now and
find a ~9 oz "flat" with somewhat lower heel.  Many choices here.
Asics Gel Magic is popular, though I like Brooks Racer ST better.
Couple enthusiastic mentions of Saucony Fastwitch here lately, which I
imagine is in the same general class.  Go for a run in them
immediately, but keep it relatively short and slow and decide upfront
to do only x% of your mileage in them the first week.  You might begin
to use them as your "speed" shoe for faster workouts as well as inch up
the weekly miles in them.

Later buy something with even less heel (and probably lighter and more
flexible), and it's your new "light shoe" to work into the rotation.
There seem to be fewer road flats in this category, I'm thinking like
my Nike Air Streak Ekidens, Brooks T3, and New Balance always seems to
have had a model or two like this.

And keep moving down until you hit barefoot.

Of course one could combine this kind of progression with some
immediate, short, barefoot running (and walking), so that over months
you spend more and more time in less and less shoe.

And you might even find that minimal shoes don't work for you, and the
contemporary conventional wisdom of more cushioning and more technology
are what you need.

Or you might find that your sweet spot is a 7 oz road flat with such
and such heel height and anything more is a brick and anything less, an
injury.

Or you might find that you like having an Imelda Marcos caliber shoe
collection and enjoy mixing it up depending on the length and surface
of you run and your whim.