Initial Thoughts and First Run – Nike Free 4.0 v3

Nike Free 4.0 v3
Nike Free 4.0 v3

Yesterday, yes yesterday, I got behind again. So any way.

Yesterday, instead of the 1-3 inches forecasted, we ended up with 4-6 inches of snow in the driveway and pretty nasty driving and running outside in the morning.

It was bad enough that I drove TheWife to work and was glad that I had true 4WD in the Jeep GC in a couple of places. It proved that it was a Jeep and showed good manners in snow.

After taking Bennie for his long walk (below are some of the photos), I decided that it would be a better day to test out my Nike Free 4.0 v3’s on the treadmill, instead of risking injury running in that snowy/slushy slop that going on outside. Especially with the road shoe tread on the Nike Free’s

IMG_20131202_085521_539
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There was lots of white ice on the main road and the road down back, so this was not a difficult decision to make.

Time to go to Champions and run on the treadmill.

Nike Free 4.0 v3

I had put in my LockLaces and worn the Free’s around the house most of Sunday night without any issues, so I was looking forward to running in them.

Let’s get to brass tacks, how did the Nike Free 4.0 v3 do?

Nike Free 4.0 v3
Nike Free 4.0 v3

Just fine, no they are not the pillowy soft that my Skechers were (even after 400+ miles) and do not have the eMotion bump, both features that I do like. The Free 4.0’s are a flat 6mm drop running shoe and there is a big difference in running in them versus the Skechers GoRun Ride2’s or even the GoRun2’s.

Was it a bad difference?

No, it was just a different design and feel.

The ride is a LOT firmer and they do not promote a midfoot landing, I have to do more of the work myself, especially how I land on my feet. I found myself landing more on the heel and slightly forward of under center. Not real bad, but more than I did before.

Nike Free 4.0 v3 - I wonder what the drop is? Inside joke hehehehe
Nike Free 4.0 v3 – I wonder what the drop is? Inside joke hehehehe

However, they were just wide-enough and didn’t have any overlays on top of my tailor’s bunionette which allowed me to run 8.52 miles on the treadmill without any discomfort to my tailor’s bunionette. Which is what I expected and need to have happen, if I want to keep training successfully to meet my goals.

I believe that running that far on the treadmill is tougher for me than running the same distance outside. The gait is the same for an extended period, without much variety, which gives me a good indicator of how the shoe will do for an extended time and longer run.

What was the workout?

  • 30:00 minutes @ 7.1 mph
  • 20:00 minutes @ 7.3 mph
  • 10:00 minutes @ 7.4 mph
  • 10:00 minutes @ 7.5 mph
Treadmill 70:00 minute run
Treadmill 70:00 minute run

I felt comfortable the entire run, yes I could tell that I was running in a different style of running shoes and was working the muscles slightly differently, but they were comfortable and worked just fine.

One consideration that I didn’t think about before getting on the treadmill was that I had worn my hiking boots (because of the nasty weather) for the first time since I injured my Achilles back in May and had been wearing them for over 5 hours. It was just something that I didn’t think about until I got on the treadmill and got going and noticed that my Achilles was a little tender..

So it was a little uncomfortable, but not painful and not attributable to the Nike’s.

After the run was over, my legs felt good (a little tired) and I could have kept going for a while longer and/or faster without any problems, which is how I want a run to feel after a first run in new shoes, which is a good sign especially after being outside shoveling and walking 2.5 miles in the snow earlier.

Nike Free 4.0 v3 after the treadmill run
Nike Free 4.0 v3 after the treadmill run

The reality is that

The Nike Free 4.0 v3, did better than I thought they would, when I ran in them on the treadmill yesterday.

How would I grade the Nike Free 4.0 v3’s after their first run a VERY solid A-.

They did everything I asked of them, didn’t bother my feet, my legs didn’t have that beat up feeling (I had lately in the Skechers) and I finished the run feeling good.

Now I just have to make sure that I don’t do dumb training mistakes like I did the last time I ran in Nike Free’s. I am pretty sure that I won’t, since I have good plan in place and have actually been following it.

Sometimes in my quest to try the latest newest and greatest shoe for me, I tend to overlook running shoes that have worked well for me in the past, because I focused on their flaws, instead of looking at how well they actually worked.

So that is one lesson I need to focus more on – looking at what does work in a running shoe, versus the flaws something has and find a more appropriate balance for the minor flaws versus the positives a shoe actually has. I have a feeling that I am not the only runner that needs to do this, from what I have read in blogs, groups and forums.

I know that is what happened with the Nike Free 4.0 series and me. They are in my opinion are not the most flashy, have the newest styling, or have the newest or most exciting technology, that I “know” annoyingly pick up rocks in the siping and will last last me about 300 miles.

Instead the Nike Free (series) have become rock solid running shoes that have had a consistent feel for a long time, the uppers have minimal overlays and work well for those who use/like them. To be honest when I have issues or problems with my current “greatest” running shoes, I end up back in the Nike Free’s.

Maybe I need to listen to what I am doing versus being a shoe whore who always wants the next greatest thing in running shoes.

2 thoughts on “Initial Thoughts and First Run – Nike Free 4.0 v3

  1. Totally agree … the Nikes get a lot of bad press for not being ‘hardcore enough’ or whatever … but they work for me, and I have spent too much time chasing shoes this year. I just need to go with something that works and stay there.

    But as much as I say that, I think that I – and likely you as well – will soon enough be trying out the NEXT big thing! 🙂

    1. Mike we just like to tinker too much, it isn’t so much about the next BIG thing, as it is what if this fill in the blank works that much better for me. Oh I know that I will be trying more new shoes, but I would like to find a pair that I will be comfortable running that spring marathon I have planned. I just don’t know if the Nike Free is enough shoe for me for that distance or not?

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