Posted by Nicki | August 01, 2012
Nike’s innovative running shoe is the closest you’ll get to going barefoot, but be warned - it takes some getting used to…
Students in the U.S paved the way for Nike’s revolutionary Free Running Shoe.
After learning that athletes at Stanford University in California had been training barefoot on the golf course, Nike’s research and development team set out to emulate the same barely-there feel in a modern-day running shoe.
Eight years later, after studying the biomechanics of shoeless runners, the team came up with an unconventional shoe that has been designed from the inside out.
Barefoot running, it has been shown, develops stronger feet.
The remit for the Nike designers was to develop a shoe that felt natural and almost weightless, aping the sensation of running with nothing between you and the ground.
The Stanford students were filmed as they ran, with special insoles taped to their feet to measure pressure, and high-speed cameras capturing images of their every move.
The detailed information gained by researchers helped them understand more about the foot’s natural landing angle and positioning of the toes, leading to the launch of what has been hailed as the closest thing there is to barefoot running.
Based on the intricate workings of the bones and articulated joints, the Free Running Shoe has been designed to maximise the foot's natural range of motion, while providing protection and cushioning at the same time.
It gives you that carefree feeling of total freedom as you run, without the associated dangers of cuts, bruises and dislocated toes.
The low-profile midsole doubles up as an outsole, shaving precious weight and adding to the sensation of having nothing at all on your feet.
Nike’s Dynamic Fit technology revolves around a system of ‘soft fingers’ of material wrapping the midfoot and arch in a glove-like fit.
A minimalistic moulded sockliner mimics the curvature of the foot, while deep flex grooves in the outsole give a super-flexible finish, letting the foot move in a more natural fashion and helping maintain stability.
The result? Unparalleled comfort, mile after mile - but be warned, Nike themselves say the Free Running Shoe takes time to get used to.
It’s all a question of building up the muscles in the foot and toes before really appreciating the benefits of ‘barefoot’ running.
- The Free Running Shoe incorporates Nike+ technology, which will record your distance, time, pace and amount of calories burned on nikeplus.com, helping you to keep track of your progress every step of the way.
Check out Gear-Zone's comprehensive range of running shoes from Nike, Adidas, Saucony, Asics and Mizuno amongst others.