Putting the Nike Free to the test, Nike Philippines Inc. invited a select few to lace up a pair and experience it themselves recently at its flagship store at the Bonifacio High Street in Taguig.
“Nike Free has actually been around for a while. Barefoot running is a running trend, a running discipline that involves running barefoot or close to barefoot. So what that does for you is that is allows you to train your muscles so that you can become stronger,” explained Andro Torres, Nike Philippines Inc. product specialist. “It actually helps you prevent injuries as well because the stronger your muscles are the more it could withstand constant pressure from activity.”
“So Kenyan runners actually don’t complain to this thing we call pronation. They’re able to run regardless of whatever the shoe they’re wearing basically because they’re not used to wearing shoes, that’s where we got the idea,” Torres said.
But going totally barefoot while running definitely has a higher risk of injury and that’s when Nike Free – whether it’s the 5.0, 4.0 or the 3.0 – comes into play with its close-to barefoot feel.
“The 5.0 gives you the flexibility that you need to train for barefoot running and then it gives you enough cushioning that prevents you from getting injured at the course of your training.”
The 5.0, which has an 8mm heel-to-toe offset, is also the best pair for beginners.
Then there’s the 4.0 which is “lower to the ground and more flexible” – allowing the feet to do more work but with a lighter, more flexible and more breathable feel.
Not fit enough?
“Next is the closest we get to barefoot which is the 3.0, so you’re about 4mm heel-to-toe offset. The most flexible and the lightest shoe we have for free. We don’t really go all the way to about barefoot because we believe you need to have just enough cushioning while training.”
Capping off the night, Chappy Callanta, a renowned strength and conditioning and lifestyle coach, headed a mobility routine to start off a three-lap run before leading a circuit training session.
“The mobility routine prevents injuries from happening and basically it gets the body ready for the run or workout. If you skip it, it’s like skipping your breakfast, it’s not good,” Callanta said.”