Nike Free RN: Barefoot Running Without the Bare Feet

Do you hate running? It might be because it feels unnatural to you, and I mean that in the most literal sense.

I can personally attest: I hated running up until I left high school. During my school years, I would dread “the mile” – which is basically what it sounds like. A timed mile run, during which I would come in somewhere in the last 10% of runners. Looking back, I realize that a lot of it had to do with my personal resistance to the mile, but even post high school I had problems getting in the zone. Despite being in the best cardiovascular shape of my life and finding my own personal running preferences (I’m definitely more of a sprinter than one to go for distance), I still felt I wasn’t able to get over my own personal plateaus.

Enter Nike Free RN – the first running shoe I’ve ever felt to be perfect for my own, natural stride. Shortly after trying them out, I realized that the biggest personal struggle I had with running was that the shoes I was wearing were too constricting, and therefore I never was able to develop my own stride or focus on technique. This led to several injuries, and eventually I gave up running. After trying Free RN, however, I have a newfound love for running and working out, and I’m perfecting my own routine by the day.

It sounds stupid to say that a shoe is what made me start to love running again, but this is the case with Free RN. The sole of the shoe has a hexagonal grid system that is made to be flexible in all directions, which allows the runner to strike the ground with whatever part of the foot is preferential. I personally love this, as I’ve read about and personally experienced the benefits of natural “barefoot” running with these shoes, without having to go barefoot.

Here is some of what I’ve experienced:

  • Knee Pain is Non-Existent – I used to experience a lot of knee pain during my runs, being a former volleyball and waterpolo player. With Free RN, I haven’t experienced any knee pain, even on weeks where I have overextended myself physically during workouts.
  • Stronger Ankles – With other shoes, I used to depend a lot on proper ankle support, as I tend to be prone to sprains. With the more natural fit that Free RN provides, I have been forced to develop stronger ankles and to focus more on technique when I run. Granted, this has come after two sprained ankles when I first started wearing Free RNs, but for me that isn’t saying much.
  • More “Tuned-In” Runs – After wearing Free RN for the past year, I feel I am much more tuned in to my body during workouts. I feel much more aware of my technique, and I’m able to tell when I’m overextending myself as I now know which types of pain are part of getting stronger, and which could put me at risk of injury.

Excited to run with more comfort and in a more natural way? It might be time to try Free RN! Take a look at some of the styles available below:

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The Classic. I own this pair, and they’ve held up great for over a year. Easy to machine wash if you want to keep them fresh!

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Like the classic pair, but featuring Nike’s flyknit technology. If you prefer an even more natural running experience, try this pair – the high-breathability of the fabric allows you to wear them without socks and still feel comfortable.

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If you prefer your runs with precipitation, this is the pair for you. The fabric will shield your feet from rain, and you can still wear them with no problem on days when the sun is shining.

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Last but not least, the Free RN Commuter. With a more low-profile design, this shoe is perfect for days when you have many stops to make before your run. And if you’d prefer to change before heading into the office, no problem – just like every other shoe in the Free RN line, the flexibility of the sole allows for easy storage in your bag or other storage compartment.

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