Nike Free

Compact running shoe

Nike Free shoes are marketed as a sort of anti-shoe for training how to run barefoot, or closer to barefoot, which supposedly helps strengthen your feet and legs in some manner. I wasn’t interested in this benefit since I already run barefoot on the beach and am not a serious runner anyway.

I bought the shoes because they squish nearly flat and hence are easy to carry in my rollaboard.

Normally I just go to a fitness center when I travel and the Free are just fine for that, but recently I found the lightweight and minimal Free just as comfortable running on concrete as my regular big, structured running shoes.

The two Free squish down to about 3-1/2 thick, which is half the thickness of my conventional running shoes. They are also lighter. Nike doesn’t mention these benefit on their website, which seems otherwise quite comprehensive. The price is about $85 for a standard color combination, which I bought, or you can customize your colors for $95. Pretty slick.

-- Steve Leveen 08/5/05

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