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Are Nike Free shoes suitable for long distance runs?

asked over 4 years ago | Report

I've been wearing them (and loving them) for running 3-4 miles but would like to start training for a half marathon. Anyone run longer distances with these shoes?

9 answers

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  • The answer to that has more to do with your experience with the shoe. Technically there is no reason that you couldn't run that distance in that shoe IF it fits properly. My experience is more generalized and not specific to the Nike Free (other Nike shoes though). In my experience the shoe will start to show if its a good shoe for you for longer distances at around the 7 to 10k range. I have one Nike pair that's fine for 5K or less but any time I push out to 10K this pair is painful and blister inducing. Then I have another pair of Nikes, the exact same shoe, in a half-size larger and I have run out to 18k without issues. I've found the same to be true for New Balance shoes as well.

    So, the question is fit... for me the first pair of Nikes was fine so long as my feet hadn't swollen a little from running so at 5k my feet really haven't swelled much. By kilometer 7 my feet will have swollen enough that I need a half size larger shoe. Most people's feet respond this way to running, they swell a little. So, going back to your shoes and fit, if your Nikes fit really good now then you're probably ok, but I'd recommend approaching the longer runs in stages (like a good training program would have you do). Get a sense of fit as you run... blisters & bruises are signs that the shoe is not fitting and you may wish to get a larger or wider size of shoe.

    answered over 4 years ago |Report

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  • The short answer is "yes". With the acknowledgement that the Free's have less support and more flexibility than the average shoe. So, you would need to have a base of training built on using them beforehand. These kinds of shoes work your feet and calves much more- which in many respects can be a good thing. But yes- the idea behind them is that their designed to let your body run more naturally, and supposedly better for long distances, using a form that's less pounding on the body.

    answered over 4 years ago |Report

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  • I think my achilles injury last fall has something to do with running track work and too many hills in the frees. In the future I will avoid speed work and hill work with those shoes. But I do like them.

    answered over 4 years ago |Report

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  • I agree with others, the answer is yes. I have taken the Free Runs up to 15 miles without any problems. However, for speed work and racing (including half marathon), I prefer the Lunaracer 2. I can run faster in the Lunaracer compared to the Free Run. That is just my personal experience though. I rotate the two shoes throughout my training.

    answered over 4 years ago |Report

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  • I would say that if you can run 3 miles and you find them comfortable, then continue to train in them as you up your distance.

    I started running in some Saucony's but was developing knee and back pain, especially as I ramped up my mileage to 20+ per week training for a half-marathon. I switched to frees and I found that they eliminated the pain and were quite comfortable for longer runs, so I went ahead and ran my 1/2 marathon in them.

    I have logged over 700 miles (two pairs) in them with no problems, and have even done a 5k in them without socks. (I had no choice)

    Two caveats - I do find that the Nike's (which are a bit snug fitting to start with) have some quality control issues with sizing. When you buy a -second- pair, you cannot take sizing for granted, and should make sure that they fit, even when your feet swell. If possible, try them on late in the day, and run the treadmill to test them.

    Also - I cannot speak for the new Free's with the sensor in the heel. I can't help but wonder if that has changes the feel. I'd love to hear from someone who has tried them.

    Hope this helps!
    Good luck with your half! When/where is it?

    answered over 4 years ago |Report

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  • I too love my free+ and from my own experience with them and that of what I've read and have seen in videos is that they support the barefoot idea. If we were meant to run barefoot I don't see why you couldn't run any distance in them. But like others have said, ease into the longer runs with these shoes, and run smart ;) - happy training!

    answered over 4 years ago |Report

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  • I have Nike Free and love them. I find them to be much more comfortable than my NB's. I ran in a marathon in May with them and plan on running my next in them as well.

    answered over 4 years ago |Report

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  • I agree with everyone here. I've been using Nike Free for a quite a while now. I do morning exercises like brisk walking and long distance jogging and I have to say I'm pretty impressed with it. I find Nike Free very comfortable to wear because of the design which really suits my needs, though there are lots of shoes out there that also provide such similar feature likes Vibram barefoot shoes or Newton but overall, I'd still stick with Nike Free.

    You should try the " version 7 " it's really worth the purchase. Check out the detailed information at http://barefootrunningshoes.org/nike-free-shoes/men/nike-free-7-0-v2-men.. Hope this helps.

    answered about 4 years ago |edited about 4 years ago |Report

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  • The new Nike Frees have a more rubber on the outsole so they are slightly more durable than the last versions - my previous pair only lasted about 300 miles before falling apart!

    Having said that if you are running more on the mid section of your foot (what the shoes are designed for) then you should be able to get much more wear from them.

    Nike Free 4.0 Review http://www.runtheline.com/3442/nike-free-4-0-review

    answered over 2 years ago |Report

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