I won a gift card as part of a drawing during a #FitFluential chat with Blue Diamond Almonds a few weeks ago (the almonds are almost all gone and were delicious) and used it towards a new pair of running shoes.
Since I was so impressed with how great the Free 4.0’s were, I ordered another pair of Nike Free running shoes. Originally, I thought that I had ordered the Free 3.0’s, but I made a mistake and ended up with the Free Run +3.
After a thinking about it and wearing them for a couple of walks I decided to keep the Free Run+3’s instead of sending them back. Things happen for a reason sometimes.
My routine when I get new shoes is to do a quick post on my first impressions (click here) and then a post after my first run in the shoes to give a quick review of what I thought.
Last night during my first run in the Free Run+3, I was running into a Thunderstorm and was more concerned about bright flashes of light, than paying attention to how the shoes were really doing, even though I ran over 3.0 miles in them.
After that run I wasn’t convinced that I would be happy with them, there something was different about them and I couldn’t put my finger on what it was.
I decided to do my Saturday 10 mile run in them. I figured if there were going to problems with the shoe it would show-up on a long run and I might as well know about it sooner than later.
Thinking about it more – to be honest, not noticing the shoes and not having them bother me all during that first run, was a pretty good initial sign that they could be a good pair of shoes. The more I thought about it though, I did notice that they seemed to have a much firmer ride and feel less cushy than the Free 4.0 to me.
During my 10.0 mile run they didn’t bother me at all!
I discovered that the Free Run +3 were comfortable, no hot spots and were a “fast” shoe. It also felt as though the toe box was just a little wider than the 4.0 – at least shaped differently and felt as if I had more room for my toes to splay out.
The hyped Dynamic Fit Lacing system didn’t really feel all that different to me, but at the same time it didn’t bother me while running, so in my mind if I don’t notice something during a run, it can be a good thing.
The biggest thing that I really noticed about these shoes (much the same as the Free 4.0’s) is that I run quietly in them. I do not hear myself pounding my heels into the pavement and there is no slap when I transition to the lift-off phase. It is a smooth transition, even going uphill, which hasn’t been the case for other shoes I have run in this year.
Like the Nike Free 4.0, the Free Run+3 collects rocks in the grooves. While this is an annoyance more than anything most of the time, if a rock get stuck in there wrong or is big enough, I will have to stop and get it out. Just one of those things.
The reality is
that I have run over 13 miles in these shoes over the past couple of days, without any problems. No I haven’t fallen in love with them like I did the 4.0’s, but I have a feeling that the +3’s might be as good a shoe for me in the long run, maybe better (but the jury is really out on that statement).
The firmer ride of the Free +3 seems to return more energy, then the cushy ride of the 4.0.
I have a feeling that the Nike Free line-up of running shoes is going to meet my running needs for a while. I haven’t tried on any other running shoes that comes close to the way that they fit and perform for me this year and I have tried on a lot of shoes.
Lately it seems that most other shoes tell you to break your body in slowly to them, with the Nike Free’s, my second runs in them were both double-digit runs. I think that says a lot about the shoe, that I can’t say for others I have tried this year.
The best thing about my Nike Free running shoes is that – I just run in them.
I can’t give a running shoe a much higher rating than that.