I have been running for a few months now, and developed shin splints not too long ago. I spent a lot of time trying to fight these shin splints, and found some quite effective cures, but when ever I ran for a long time, they came back.

I started doing some research on barefoot running, and to be honest, it sounded perfect for me. I am a strong believer that the body is designed to be able to run, so it made sense that we should encourage our body to run how it was designed, to to pamper it, which is what conventional running does the padded heals in trainers.

The problem was though, that because I had been running in these padded heal trainers, going barefoot is a big step, and everyone seems to say the dramatic change can damage your legs (not something I want with shin splints).

The +Nike Free trainers are considered to be a half-way-house between conventional running and barefoot running. I was a bit concerned about getting them because I thought I would be paying for the brand as much as the actual trainer, but at £66 I was very happy, and this was without shopping around. My previous pair of trainers cost £60.

The trainers really comfortable, fit tightly around my feet and I can’t feel my feet sliding around at all. They do make my feet feel ‘cosy’. Running in them you can really feel the surface you are running on more, which is to be expected. It makes running a little less comfortable, but still nothing to worry about. After all, I am hoping to move onto the bare-feet trainers, which I am sure will give even more surface feel. The added flexibility this trainer offers is great too, and my feet feel more ‘free’.

These trainers are a good move towards minimal trainers, but do have a bit more padding than I think a true minimal trainer should have, so it is useful as a half way house. The sole of the trainer is broken up into marshmallow type blocks, which allow greater flexibility for your feet than conventional trainers, which is a fantastic feature.

The material used to make the trainer is great for a running trainer. Very thin and allows my feet to breath just as much as my previous trainers. Not sure how durable the material is because it is very thin, but only time will tell. I’ll make sure I take good care of them!

Quite a stylist yet subtle design. No crazy colours or patterns and it is a simple black trainer with a white sole and Nike ‘tick’ on the site. Still, I really like the look, and as +Morgan Price said “those look very cool”.

Overall, I am happy with these trainers so far. I have just ‘worn them in’ at the moment, with a couple of short runs to test them, but over the next few weeks I will really put them to the test.

Image courtesy of limoe

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