I'm Free, Baby...

I should mention at the beginning of this post that I have a love/hate relationship with Nike. Nike reminds me of a guy I went to college with. While I wouldn't normally mention names, Tim Jones is hardly Google-able. Anyway, I hated Tim Jones. Why? A. He was handsome. Gorgeous handsome. Like, make me think-gay-might-not-be-the-worst-thing handsome. B. He was captain of the soccer team.... leading scorer on a team that won the national championship, mind you.

So, he had it all going for him. Needless to say, I HATED him muchly. And then one day I had to train him to be a DJ at the campus radio station. Guess what? He was one of the nicest SOB's I ever meant. Try as I might, I couldn't hate him anymore.

That's how I feel about Nike. I hate the cult. I hate the cache. I hate the fact that their shoes cost four dollars to make and cost $100. But here's the thing: Some of their stuff is really good. When I take business trips to Chicago, I almost always allow time to swing through Niketown. For clothing. See, shoe-wise I don't run in Nikes. I'm an Asics guy on the roads and an Inov-8 guy on the trails.

That being said, I've been curious about the "Nike Free" concept - minimalist shoes that train your feet to work like they should. Problem was, I couldn't justify spending $80 on a brand that I hate. Particularly for a shoe engineered specifically to "do nothing." I work in marketing, mind you, but I'm not a moron. But then my buddy Dave scoped some out at a close-out rack in York for $39.99.

I can justify $40 for pretty much anything.

I've been in them two weeks now. I don't have the guts to run in them much, though I have been wearing them for up to two miles during my runs w/ Allie. Also, I wear them pretty much all the time when I'm not running. It's a very interesting concept. I can tell my feet and legs are working harder - getting stronger from actually bending and stretching, as the Nike Free is designed to make them do.

Dammit, Nike. Must you torment me so?


  1. I've also heard suggestions to wear racing flats since a lot of those have pretty minimal structure/padding.

  2. I *heart* Nike and like you I want to barf all over myself every time I hit "confirm order" at Nike.com. That stuff racks up REALLY fast. But I know it works and I like it so I keep coming back. I mean couldn't they AT LEAST give a homegirl a coupon code for free shipping or something? Gawwwdd.

    Which Free ones are you using? Don't they number them? Like 10 being the most supportive down to 0 which is like wearing nothing . . or something like that? I'd probably be scared to run in those babies hehe

  3. I agree with the love/hate Nike dilemma!

    I'm with you on the shoes. I've tried about 5 pairs at the Nike Runner's Lounge and they just don't work for me besides brief runs. I haven't tried the Nike Free at all.

  4. Thanks for the comments. I'm in the 5.0's currently and am annoyed that I like them so much. :)


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