Nike Free Run+ and VFF Bikila…

Posted: March 25, 2011 in Posts

I bought a pair of each today. Having done nothing more than walk around in them I have very positive feelings about both. Obviously, my relationship with them may sour over the next few weeks and months, but so far, thumbs up for both.

VFF Bikila:

Bikila’s are intended to be a running specific variant of Fives. The sole is radically different from the original, sprint or KSO. Ground feedback is diminished some from the KSO but I think it’ll make road running in them more pleasant for people who, like me, wear them during shorter runs and aren’t trying to polish a perfect, super efficient running form. The material of both the sole and the upper is a little thicker, so I’m hoping for a warmer shoe this winter and better protection from hot pavement this summer. My only gripe so far is that they are harder to get on as the upper stretches less than the KSO.

On a style note, all the colors of the Bikila are rather vivid. So if you’re uncomfortable with people pointing at your feet and asking tons of questions, consider the Bikila LS or the TrekSports, which have more subdued coloring.

Nike Free Run+

I’ve spread Nike hate at random with a great degree of vitriol. In the past I’ve had Nike’s that fell apart in half the time of other shoes, shoes that were pretty uncomfortable and a pair of shoes that was recommended to me by a salesperson due to my having flat feet that turned sprinting into torture. While I can blame them for quality issues, I can’t really blame them for me wearing the wrong shoes. Regardless, I approached Nike Free’s like a kid approaches Tuna Casserole. People told me it was good, but I had serious doubts about it.

I’m very impressed with how well this shoe encourages and compliments a fore foot strike. The toe box is wide and roomy for duck footed people like me and the lack of seams makes it a very comfortable shoe for someone used to wearing fives. The sole provides reasonable cushion for the entire foot without feeling spongy and unstable. and this is what I got from running around the shoe department when trying them on.

I’m pleasantly surprised by this shoe. Nike has redeemed themselves a little with it. It looks like this will be a great shoe for sprints and loaded carries and would be an excellent transitional shoe for anyone looking to go from a heel strike to a forefoot strike.

Those are my initial thoughts. Should anything go wrong in the next few weeks, expect an alcohol fueled rant both here and on the offending shoes website.

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