In early 2012 I was running in a pair of Vibram Five Fingers. I had no other running shoes, and had previously had no spare money to get anything else. The VFFs were great, but after a steep downhill which injured my achilles, and a trail run across some very stony ground which brusied my feet, I realised that I wanted to wear shoes again. For weeks I obsessively trawled the ‘net, lapping up reviews on sites such as runblogger.com, making and updating charts comparing the features of an evergrowing shortlist of shoes, and checking stores/distributors for local availability (many shoe models aren’t available where I live). My main criteria were that they had to be light, durable, and hopefully not too expensive.
So one day, with money in hand, I went to the speciality running store to buy a pair of the Nike Free 3.0. They were more expensive than what I had in mind, but they ticked the other boxes. Unfortunately, the fit was too narrow. Dejected I went across to the big sports store where it turned out they had a half price sale on Nike Free Run+ v.2. They had a larger drop than what I wanted, but they were still nice and light, and more importantly they fit. I wasn’t too happy with the colour, but it was all they had left.I was all-in-all pretty excited.
That feeling turned to utter disappointment when the first couple of runs resulted in incredible cramp-like pain along the soles of my feet. But due to being on a budget, I had to keep using them. Thankfully I persisted, and the pain vanished, and the shoes soon became unnoticeable on my feet.
Now, I am a bit of a geek when it comes to stats/record keeping etc and have been logging all my runs in Excel, including distance, time, run type and shoe type (I now have a pair of New Balance trail shoes in the mix). Last Sunday I logged a pretty nice 21km training run which it turns out clicked the odometer over the 1000 mile mark! I don’t have a new pair to compare them to, but to me, they still seem in pretty good condition.
The right shoe still has it’s carbon rubber patches on he heel, however I wore through the ones on the heel a while back, and since then have it has suffered a bit of heel wear on the outside edge.
Both shoes have little holes where my big toes have scratched their way through (a symptom of all my shoes), but there has been no stitching come loose or rips etc.
They have a had a little bit of trail work, but nothing gnarly enough to destroy them. And aside from the early foot cramps, I have had no shoe related injuries. In fact the only injury I have had is some ITB pain a while back that was apparently caused by my hip being weak and during a long run it would get fatigued and allow my knee to bend inwards slightly.
This has been a great shoe for me. I’m on the look out for a replacement pair . Although if I didn’t have that heel wear, I think I would keep on running in these.