Running quote of the week

“I love track running. There’s something about that red 400-meter circle that lets my brain switch off—no roads to cross, no bikes to watch out for.” – Kate Carter

Monday, September 28, 2009

Free to be free of Nike Free



Yesterday I awoke to the sounds of torrential rain and percussive surf and thought I'd miss my opportunity to run in the morning. I considered the idea of running even under those conditions but I knew I wouldn't really like it. About an hour later the skies began to clear and I optimistically changed into running clothes hoping that the rain would pass. My wife and kids had already headed across the boardwalk to the beach and I came by to say hi before heading south. I had my Adidas trail shoes on so I stayed on the sand for about half a mile before deciding that I much preferred the boardwalk as a running surface. I decided to run from end to end a few times since, according to a sign on southern end, the boardwalk measures 1 mile. In the space of that mile the area changes from neighborhood to hotels to tourist traps and then back to hotels. The one thing that's consistent is the beautiful and inspiring water on one side or the other. The rain came back in the middle of my run but it was light and cooling. The only negative was that my glasses fogged and limited my ability to see much beyond the immediate distance. In all I covered 5.2 miles under 9:00 per mile. What pleased me about that was that the beginning part of my run was relatively slow because of the sand yet I still maintained a decent overall pace.

Later that day, after we all showered, we set off into the town for lunch and then hit some stores including Nike and Under Armor outlets. At the Nike store I saw they had the Frees so out of curiosity I tried on a pair. When I put them on I noticed they felt more like a slipper than a running shoe and when I walked on them I was surprised by how unnatural and unbalanced they felt. Maybe that's the point but no thank you. After that we headed to the Under Armor store and I tried a pair of Apparition running shoes, also out of curiosity. At least this shoe felt supportive and balanced. I'm not really interested in UA shoes and I didn't think at $90 that these shoes felt as good as some competing brands. I don't really like the UA brand anyway, I'm sure the clothing is top notch but I don't care for the hyper-competitive edge they convey in their marketing.

On the other hand my daughter happily picked up a running shirt on sale and later got a t-shirt elsewhere that said "I am a girl, I am an athlete, and running is my sport. Well said.

2 comments:

  1. so, you tried them on and did not run in them. Hardly a review worth considering. In actuality, once you run in a more minimalistic shoe you will find that your current shoes feel bad. My experience at least.

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  2. I'm first to admit that I didn't give the shoes a chance. I know that many people are embracing the minimalist shoe concept but I didn't like the fit. It wasn't really a review, just an impression. If you run in Frees you probably have more strength in your calfs than me. I need all the support I can get!

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