Saturday, November 5, 2011

nike free 3.0 - v1 vs. v2

with the advent of barefoot or minimalist running finally starting to catch on, it seemed like a good idea to do a quick comparison between two versions of the same minimalist shoe - the nike free 3.0. i was able to track down two pairs of version 2 on clearance (no longer in stores, as version 3 is currently on the market) before they went extinct, so i laid them out side by side with the original - easily the best training & running shoe i've ever owned, and i've owned many - and my savior these past few years.

o.g. on bottom
v2 on top

v2 adopts many of the same stylistic cues as the original and most importantly has the exact same bendy, flexible sole. it does introduce a new padded tongue which is nice in theory, but it protrudes a shade higher up on the ankle as the original did. i'm actually tempted to cut off the extension just to keep it more comfortable and rounded at the top of my foot. v2 also has a reinforced toe for added protection. otherwise, it's the same feathery and whisper quiet shoe that weighs in at 7.2 ounces (the original came in at i think 6.9) for my size 10s.

there's that tongue
exact same pattern

the goal of the 3.0 is to promote a better (or mid-foot) heel strike in order to prevent the leg from taking a pounding of the joints. nike originally doled out three separate entries for the free - the 7.0 (closest to a shoe), the 5.0 (middle of the road) and the 3.0 (closest to barefoot) for an easy to use progression towards the end goal. back in 2005, i bypassed the 7.0 and went straight for the 5.0, which gave me a good re-introduction on how to run. i picked up the 3.0s in 2007 and have never looked back.

i still prefer the aesthetic of the first - it's a cleaner look, smaller swoosh, muted colors - but since it's nowhere to be found, and i found v2 for such a deal, i had to pull the trigger before they became obsolete. i can't fathom the thought of running in anything else!

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