10 years ago a group Nike employees learned that Stanford athletes were training barefoot on the golf course. At this time they set out to develop a sneaker that felt natural and weightless, just like bare feet. The studied a group of men and women with pressure measuring insoles taped to their feet and used high speed cameras to analyze each foot in motion. After 8 years of study the Nike Engineers gained an understanding of the bare foot’s natural landing angle, pressure and toe position. Nike took this knowledge and built a line of unconventional running shoes from the inside out.
Now this sneaker is very different than a conventional sneaker. It has less padding, less of a differential between your heel and toe box, and it’s very flexible. They’re incredibly comfortable, but most suggest that you gradually break your foot into the sneaker. Yes, you need to break your foot in, not the sneaker in. See our article on natural running. The Nike Free (according to Wikipedia) “allows the muscles in the foot to gain strength by providing less constriction, runners are advised to gradually break into the shoe rather than immediately running long distances…”
Ok, some details on the shoe. It’s incredible light at 8 ounces. The outsole (bottom) of the sneaker features flexible groves for natural motion and flexibility. You can actually twist the outsole. Additionally, the shoe features an inner-sleve for a glove like fit. Lastly, there is a 7mm heel to toe differential. Bottom line is you have to try it on!