The Nike Free Trainer 1.0 had just hit the market last week. It belongs to a new category of bare foot cross training shoes that attempts to let your feet gain natural strength and workouts, without keeping your feet too high above the ground. The purpose is to enhance the grip and stability so that cross training exercises such as weight lifting can be more securely done.
The strongest feature for the Nike Free Trainer 1.0 is the improved grip on the ground, especially for weight lifting and other strength training exercises. This is done without sacrificing the comfort of the shoe via its mid section cushioning as well as foams that are laced around the sockliner. By dropping the heel cushioning, your feet planted firmly in the ground and helps to improve your stability by quite a bit.
The shoe is also incredibly. This is probably due to the material used as well as less foams on the heel support. When you wear it, it feels like your feet is being wrapped in a thin layer of rubber with cushioning in some parts of the shoe. It is an interesting feel but I must say it does wonders to the weight that you can feel on your feet.
The next thing that catch your eye will be the new design. This is something still up in the air as it is not a design that everyone might like. Personally, I think it is a bit too loud but there are people I know who love colorful cross training shoes so who knows which way the market will swing to.
Every shoe has its weakness or rather, have something that you might dislike. This shoe is no exception. Here are somethings I feel can be better improve.
The lateral supports feels to be weaker than the other cross training shoes I have been using. I don’t know this is due to the lack of structure or the material used. However, when I do my side to side movements, the grip isn’t as good as other shoes like the Ryka cross training shoes.
This is a personal thing but I can’t wear these out on normal routinues. I tend to wear my cross training shoes on my way to the gym as carrying 2 pairs of shoes is a bit troublesome for me. However, using this as a walking shoe feels weird. I understand it is not meant for walking but it doesn’t fit into how I usually wear my cross training shoes. With other models, walking in them is not an issue.
Finally, the price point is a bit high for my taste. It retails for around USD150 without any store discount which is steep if you compare to brands like Ryka, New Balance etc. Nike has always command a price premium but this is a bit high even by their usual standards.
Overall, this is a nice try by Nike to introduce something new to the market. It is probably not for me but I can see it being popular among weight lifters or people who are looking for the best flat shoes for squatting.