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I've been eyeing up a pair of these for a while now, I just couldn't find anywhere which sold black or blue colourways but in Lady's sizes. I've seen them in Office priced at around £80/£90 and this is the same on the official Nike website. As I'm a size 4, I find it ridiculous to pay so much for a pair of shoes when I'm not really paying for a huge amount of shoe to begin with! I ended up buying a pair from the Junior section of the Nike.com store for £50 (plus delivery).
The colour I bought was black with pink laces and pink accents on the side. The pink on the side of the shoe, and on the 'Swoosh' logo was true to the photograph on the website. However, the pair of laces which came with the shoes were horrendously bright pink. I would liken them to the colour of a pink highlighter. Since then, I've changed them for a pair of white laces and they're much more to my liking! On the Nike.com store you can also have your shoes 'NikeIDd' where you can completely customise your shoe. For £90, you can choose the colour of every component and even choose whether you want the 'cage' section on the shoe to be matte or reflective. The option to customise these shoes is excellent as there's a nice variety of colours to choose from and you can create something completely unique to you.
The fit of the shoes is very good. Whilst I was shopping around for these shoes, some websites advised to order a size larger than your normal as these run slightly smaller. I would definitely recommend this. I ordered the size 5's, and I probably could have squeezed into the 4's or 4.5's, but for comfort I'd definitely say to move up a size. Once the shoes are on the fit is incredible. The mesh on the sides and tongue supports the foot excellently, without being too firm. These shoes are designed as barefoot style shoes, so they are extremely flexible whilst your walking/running. The middle of the sole inside the shoe is raised, which naturally encourages you to land on the ball of your foot whilst running, rather than the heel. Inside the box, Nike advise you to gradually get used to using these shoes for running, as barefoot style shoes may be different to what some people are used to. These are extremely comfortable for running, but some people may prefer to have a little extra support in their shoes, so it's definitely best to just try them on as everybody is different!
The quality of the product is what you'd expect from Nike. The shoes are well made, the stitching is perfect from what I can make out. I've worn them a few times now, and there's no evidence of the sole coming away from the side of the shoe (only a little mud!). The shoes are also incredibly light - possibly the lightest pair of shoes I've ever worn before, not including flip-flops!
Although these shoes are primarily for running, I've also worn them a couple of times with a pair of black skinny jeans and they work quite well! Sometimes wearing running shoes with jeans doesn't always look right, but I am happy to confirm these would look good with either jeans or perhaps leggings!
All in all these are a wonderful pair of shoes and I'd recommend them to anyone who's looking for a new pair of running/gym shoes, or just a pair of new trainers which are a little bit eye-catching.
I went to school for thirteen years and hated PE from beginning to end. I was always a tall girl, but why should someone with long arms be good at basketball or someone with long legs be good at running and jumping - be it high or long? Me at uneven bars or rings was a regular laughingstock appropriate for entertainment during circus interludes. 'Terrestrial' sports activities and me were just not compatible. The only activity I ever indulged in voluntarily, with pleasure and with modest success (two second prizes in comps*) was canoeing and rowing.
And yet, I'm reviewing sports shoes here. Have I undergone a brainwash? No, but I don't live near water any more, so no more water sports. Yet some kind of sportive activity is vital - or so we're told by physicians. I've opted for one hour of callisthenics with a group of women once a week. Whenever Day X arrives, I start watching my body for signs of sickness like, say, abdominal influenza which could hinder me from leaving the house. But usually I'm fine and have only to overpower my 'inner swinehound' as the Germans say. This is the being inside us which tells us to be lazy and avoid unnecessary exertion. The group meets in a building about eight minutes on foot away from my house, so I don't even have the excuse of bad weather or too much traffic. When I'm there at last doing my exercises, it's OK. Surprisingly, I can do well what I have to do and I feel that it does me good. And now that I have my Nike Free Run+ shoes I've lost another excuse.
If you look for shoes for callisthenics you are offered soft, elastic shoes you can roll so that they fit in your handbag and which can only be worn indoors. They're extremely narrow and squeeze my feet which are wider than normal. Last year I decided to end the torture and buy real trainers. We're not told what kind of shoes we must wear in the room where we have our sessions, but, of course, we don't wear normal street shoes with leather soles, they'd ruin the floor and wouldn't follow the movements of the feet when we move around. I didn't look for a specific type or brand, only for shoes that fitted. The width of my feet led me to the Nike Free Run+.
I know that nowadays there's no age limit for wearing sports clothes, especially Americans show us that you can be seemingly dead and still dress like a juvenile sports champion, from baseball cap to knee-length socks and trainers. But that's not for yours truly. I wanted to use the shoes merely for the walk to the callisthenics course and back and during the hour it lasts. Because of this I nearly got a heart attack when I saw the price: 67.97 GBP (at Amazon on the day of writing). Made in China, of course. By labourers who can probably live for a month with their extended families on that amount of money. Don't tell me that these shoes are worth their price because Nike is a famous brand and labels cost. I don't enjoy being old but I'm glad being old enough not to have grown up in the label culture. What utter tosh labels are! The greed and envy they produce. Sometimes even criminal activities! If it weren't so sad, I'd laugh about the idea that a certain symbol, in this case the swoosh, increases the value of a product and 'ennobles' it. Had I found cheap no-name shoes which fitted me, I'd gladly have bought them, but, alas, I didn't.
The synthetic soles of my shoes are white which looks a bit silly against the black synthetic material of the upper shoe, but the shop-assistant could offer me only this type, the black-sole one had been sold out. The soles have deep grooves lengthwise and crosswise which make them flexible. The upper shoes have shoe-laces, but they're only for decoration, the material is elastic enough so that the foot can slip in without an opening. From the description on Amazon: 'The shoes have bonded synthetic overlays - These lightweight and flexible thin strips are attached to the mesh upper for a streamlined fit, provide a super-strong and flexible support.' I can vouch that the shoes are light, fit snugly and are comfortable, just what I was looking for.
The Nike swoosh is sown on the side, it's also black and thus doesn't stick out, but people in the know see it, of course. Inside the shoe there's a thin removable sole which serves as a light footbed. I wear arch supports in my leather street shoes but I can't wear them in the Nike Free Run+ shoes. If I take out the footbed, there's room enough to shove in my arch support, but the shoes are too soft to hold it in place. I had the feeling of walking on eggs when I checked if I could use the arch supports in the Nike shoes as well. I did it only once, I didn't want to be arrested for drunken walking.
What I find remarkable is the size of the shoes. I've always had size 5 shoes, now that I use arch supports, I buy size 6. The Nike Free Run+ shoes which fit me perfectly are size 7, though. This is proof for me that buying shoes online is a risky thing. I'd never have ordered size 7 from a catalogue. But when I tried on these shoes in the shop, I didn't look at the size but only at the fit, and, surprisingly, size 7 it was.
It has become clear that I don't use Nike Free Run+ as running shoes, therefore I can't recommend them in this respect. But I can recommend them as comfy trainers for general use and also as fitting shoes for callesthenics, especially for people with wide feet.
I'm deducting one star as a protest against labels and their high price policy in general. The material for these shoes doesn't cost much, labour in China doesn't cost much, why then do the shoes cost so much when sold in Europe? If you don't mind giving your money to people who only trade and become stinking rich at the expense of the people who actually work, then this is an OK acquisition.
P.S. Canoeing: two competitors in all.
Rowing: three competitors in all.
"Nike Free Run + 2 Shoes Spring 2012. Shoes Run - Neutral. Nike Free Run 2 Running Shoe The Nike Free Run 2: Barefoot-like feel, shoe-like benefits. Taking a cue from the intricate workings of the bare foot, the Nike Free Run 2 Men's Running Shoe is designed to maximize the foot's natural range of mo ...."