Nike’s version of the minimalist shoe is the Nike Free Run. The Free Run has to be my favorite minimalist running shoe that I have tried to date. Why? It offers both function and style.
Although it looks like a regular running shoe, it’s actually a minimalist running shoe. The very soft, slim, and flexible sole allows you to strengthen your foot muscles and gives you a bare-foot running experience. How do I know? Because every time I run in these bad boys it forces my form to be spot on. In addition, my joints, tendons, and calf muscles are just a bit soar the next day – a feeling like never get when wearing regular running shoes.
In terms of style, I love these shoes because they look really cool. As lame as that may sound to some, we want to look cool when we run. In fact, these shoes are so stylish you’ll see many non-runners wearing these shoes at the gym, around town, etc. The Vibram Five-Fingers scream for attention and in all honesty – they look ridiculous. The Nike Free Run is a stylish shoe that accomplishes the same goal.
Another bonus is that these shoes feel like a great pair of slippers. In fact, many times I will just wear them around the house.
The Bottom Line ~
If you’re looking for a minimalist running shoe that offers both form and function – go with the Nike Free Run. They may not be the cheapest running shoe, but they certainly aren’t as expensive as some of the other minimalist options out there. You can wear them with or without socks, and will probably end up wearing them for more than just running.
The real test will be, if you can just buy one pair.