That's right kids, I jumped on the minimalist running shoes bandwagon. Mostly because I found these spectacular pink and yellow Nike Free's. Yes, I'm shallow like that. What? I'm still devoted to my tried and true good old fashioned (albeit a bit boring in appearance) Mizuno's. But these suckers were calling my name, as was a change-up in my runnings.
*my beloved pink and yellow free's. and yes this is how you can find me pretty much any given evening while at home. i just hang out, holding and sniffing my free's... creepy*
So. I hopped on the bandwagon because I decided I wanted a lighter shoe for running in shorter races. But it's evolved from there. I was mostly inspired by this guy, and his post here about his trial of some Free's. Because he's fast. Really fast. And I figured if he runs in Free's, then somehow by default if I run in Free's, I will become fast. Right. Still waiting for that one... But, I'm finding that the shoes are perfect for training. And I hope to graduate to running my full marathon in them this fall.
Let me 'esplain. Seeing how I'm injury prone, I bought the Free's with the realization I would have to ease into them very gradually. Which I did. I have had them for nearly three months now and just last weekend did a long run of 12 miles in them. I took three months to build up to that. So I am still easing into them, and I switch between my Free's and my Mizuno's quite a lot.
The bottom line? I love my Free's. I bought them thinking of them as a trial and hoping I wouldn't get injured in them. They have done just the opposite, they actually make me feel better while running. Although at first my calves and legs would burn big time, but that has gone away. I can tell a noticeable difference in my form (that has carried over to when i run in my cushy miz's) as I used to heel strike and now I'm a mid-foot striker. I've also noticed an improvement in the strength of my calves and ankles. Then there is the bonus of them being obnoxiously flashy and bright. That's my favorite part about them. I'm not a flashy dresser, I just let my running shoes do the talking for me apparently!
I've even graduated to ditching my orthotics in the Free's. And my hips remain pain free... without the orthotics... something I never thought possible. So I'd say they are doing the trick for me, improved form, going orthotic free, lessens the pain I've had in my hips and calves both. All = huge bonus.
Love. My. Free's.
Please note, I realize every runner is different, I would never push these shoes (or any shoe) on any runner. I'm just pointing out that I went out on a limb to try something different and it absolutely worked. To each runner their own... I'm just sharing what worked for me, and how excited I am that they've changed my running for the better. They are literally the best thing to happen to my running in the six years I've been running. This all deserves a big. fat. SQUUUUUEEEE!