Nike Free 4.0 v3 – 50 Mile Review

Nike Free 4.0 v3
Nike Free 4.0 v3

Well actually it is more like 75 mile review, but oh well, I wanted to do a few more miles in them before I wrote about the Nike Free 4.0v3 to be sure of how I was feeling about them.

Why, Harold you have run in the Free series before (3 times), so you knew pretty much what to expect when running in them – right?

Yeah, but…

The more I run in them, the more ambivalent I am about them. I like many things about them and then again, I am starting to “remember” why I did not keep running in the Nike Free’s.

Let’s back up for a minute.

I got the Nike Free 4.0 v3 more because I needed wanted a pair running shoe’s now and they had worked for me in the past. Not because I was all hot and bothered to go out and get another pair of Nike Free’s.

Continue reading “Nike Free 4.0 v3 – 50 Mile Review”

Yet Another Treadmill Run – RunLog 12-16-13

I took off Saturday and Sunday for a couple of reasons and was really ready to just run today.

My last couple of runs were on the treadmill and I was ready to run outside, but when I took Bennie for his morning walk at 6:00 AM, it was ~4F (our thermometer is reading high according to the wife) and then again at 9:30, it had warmed up to 7F with the wind howling and lots of white ice where I live in Sidney.

The start of Downback
The start of Downback

Continue reading “Yet Another Treadmill Run – RunLog 12-16-13”

Treadmill 9.0 Miler – RunLog 12-12-13

Treadmill 12-12-13
Treadmill 12-12-13

It seems that I am getting into a bad habit, writing up my RunLog post the day after it happens.

Oh well, life just gets in the way sometimes of blogging or is that I get lazier as the evening goes along, which is not a bad thing.

With the wind chills, it was definitely down in the single digits with the wind chill. Hell the dog didn’t even want to stay out for more than 20 minutes and then when we got home, he was shaking so bad that I wrapped him up in a blanket and put him on my lap, he cuddled up and took about 10 minutes before he stopped shaking. He was snoring nicely after that, until I had to get up and he had to move.

Based on that experience, I decided to do a treadmill workout.

Initially I was going to do a steady 70 minute run, but as the run went along, I felt pretty good and turned it into a late stage Progression Run Continue reading “Treadmill 9.0 Miler – RunLog 12-12-13”

RunLog 11 Plus on a Sweatcicle Day – 12/8/13

I learned something on my run today – that when the temps get down into the “feels like” 15 or so area, that Nike Free 4.0v3 feel a lot more minimal and a lot less cushioned than when it is warmer.

Although the Garmin weather stats show the temps as around 25 with a 5 mph breeze, the real temps were around 20 with a stiff enough wind to have some large flags blowing straight out. So I figure the “breeze” was closer to 15-20 mph than the light breeze listed. Let’s put it another way, when I finished TheWife laughed at me, because my hat had sweatcicles coming down the sides. So it was definitely cold.

Garmin Stats 12-8-13
Garmin Stats 12-8-13

Continue reading “RunLog 11 Plus on a Sweatcicle Day – 12/8/13”

A Good 10 Mile Plus 1 – RunLog 12-6-13

Selfie after 12-6-13 run
Selfie after 12-6-13 run

I really only wanted to do 10.0 miles today, it is my cut-back week and I wanted to do 10 miles less than I did last week, but still wanted/needed to do between 90 and 105 minutes for this run, if I wanted to stay with the plan.

It was actually a pretty good day to run, low 40’s, no wind to speak of and cloudy, so I ran in shorts, with calf compression sleeves, along with a tech undershirt, l/s tech & my light running jacket.

I dressed just about perfect for me, but if it had been a race, I would have ditched the jacket and just used gloves, not the converta gloves (which were too warm).

Being able to run in this lighter gear, also meant that I didn’t feel weighed down and just ran comfortably, well after the first mile or so, comfortably hard.

When I got to the 6.0 mile point, I noted that I was a ways ahead of that 90 minute total that I was looking for and needed to add another mile on, so I went down around Bond Brook, instead of just going through the front of the Civic Center/MarketPlace, like I originally planned.

As you can see, I did really good through the 10 miles that I had planned. Continue reading “A Good 10 Mile Plus 1 – RunLog 12-6-13”

CMS Group Run and a Little More – RunLog 12-4-13

Today was the Central Maine Striders’ weekly “nooner” run that starts over at the Alfond Youth Center in Waterville.

Central Maine Striders Group Run at the Alfond Youth Center 12-4-13
Central Maine Striders Group Run at the Alfond Youth Center 12-4-13

Greg, Barry and Patrick showed up (yes I was there taking the picture) ready to run. Patrick had meeting at 1:00 so we had to hustle up and decided to do only 4 or so.

Unfortunately, I am the old, slow guy of this bunch – you know that anchor that drags everyone back. All I know is that this was the fastest run I have done outside since the Rise ‘n Shine 5K back in September. The “young” guns (they are all younger than I am, even though Greg isn’t that far away at less than a decade back), pushed this old fart pretty damn hard. Continue reading “CMS Group Run and a Little More – RunLog 12-4-13”

Running Outside in the Nike Free 4.0 v3

After yesterdays successful run on the treadmill in my new Nike Free 4.0 v3’s, I needed, well actually I wanted to get them outside for a run. However, when I walked Bennie this morning, the snow made the ditches pretty slippery, when I had to step off the road for a vehicle and would have been treacherous if I had been running. Plus most of my routes include down back and it still looked like

Looking up Stevens Hill 12-3-13
Looking up Stevens Hill 12-3-13

Basically not runnable in road shoes, I could have probably done it in my NB 1010’s or my screw shoes, but not in my Nike Free’s. Since I still really wanted to run in my new Nike’s, it meant that I had to wait until later and run in Waterville, before the Central Maine Strider’s monthly meeting.

Continue reading “Running Outside in the Nike Free 4.0 v3”

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 Continue reading “Initial Thoughts and First Run – Nike Free 4.0 v3”

Disappointed – Frustrated and a Surprise

Huh – What in the world are you talking about Harold?


I had such high hopes for the Skechers GoRun Ride3’s, after having GREAT experiences with both pair of my GR Ride 2’s. Unfortunately, while the Skechers Performance Division made several improvements that I really liked, they also made a couple of changes that made it so I returned them today, even though I only ran in them once.

  • there is now a support strap over where my tailor’s bunionette is on the outside of my right forefoot.
  • it seemed as though the Ride 3′s were slightly narrower than the 2′s
Comparing GR Ride 2 to the GR Ride 3
Comparing GR Ride 2 to the GR Ride 3

The placement of the overlay/support strap went right across my bunionette, which aggravated it even when I was simply walking around the house later Saturday and the next morning.

Another contributing factor was that it seems to me that the GR Ride3’s are not as wide in the forefoot as the Ride2, which exacerbated the problems with the bunionette. Yes, I tried different lacing patterns and put in my solution for many shoes – LockLaces and none of those solutions resolved the discomfort that eventually becomes pain during longer runs. Continue reading “Disappointed – Frustrated and a Surprise”

How Did My 5 Running Shoes Choices Do?

Last year about this time, it is hard to believe I had only one pair of running shoes, that I was actually running in – Saucony Peregrines. They were wearing out and I was in the final stages of researching what would be my next pair of running shoes.

  • Narrowed the Choices Down to 5 Running Shoes post.

To say that the last year has been an adventure in learning, trying and believe it or not actually running in so many styles, makes and models of running shoes would be an understatement.  However, trying out new running shoes to see whether they work for me is something that I enjoy doing, even if my feet and body don’t always agree. If a pair of running shoes ultimately doesn’t work for me, they are the ones that tell.

Sometimes, it seems that I have to just try a pair of shoes, for no real reason other than – they are new shoes. I would be the perfect wear tester – fairly articulate, willing to sacrifice my body a little and have an open mind. HInt, Hint 🙂

Okay, let’s get real, I have a running shoe addiction! Just ask TheWife she will agree with that in less than a heart-beat and has the receipts to back up that claim.

Now in that post, I listed 5 pair of shoes that I really wanted to look at and try out a lot more in 2012 – they were:

1. Altra Instinct
2. Newton Trail Guidance Trainer (I tried the Newton Gravity’s instead)
3. Brooks Pure Flow
4. Saucony Kinvara
5. Mizuno Ronin

Honorable Mention: Adidas – Original Blue Marathon Trainer with Dillinger Web

Surprisingly, I got to try all of those shoes and quite a few more.

How did these shoes make out after everything shook out?

Find out below in descending order of how I liked them:

MTII left facing side viewHonorable Mention: Adidas Marathon Trainer II – I bought a pair of reproduction Adidas Marathon Trainer II’s (which are the closest thing I could find to the Blue original).

They are not nearly as comfortable or well-fitting as well as I remembered the Trainers being back in the early 80’s.

All wearing these reproduction shoes accomplished was bring back memories of some of the bad things about the Marathon Trainer’s that I had forgotten about. You know how you get that romantic idea of how things should have been, not how they were. All I know is that my feet do not like them now, nearly as much as my brain remembers how great a shoe they were.

Wait a minute

there were only 5 pair of running shoes that were listed initially on your list, what gives with starting at number 7?

Answer: I ran in a lot more than just 5 pairs of running shoes since that post and I would have been doing a disservice to the The Elixir 7 and Nike Free 4.0 v2 if I had not added them to the list, since they did so well for me this year.

Brooks Pure Flow 12-31-12

7. Brooks Pure Flow – 50 Mile Review here. Nice shoe, well-built, but just didn’t work for me, they felt too narrow and my right foot just couldn’t get comfortable.

The right foot felt compressed and my little toe hurt after running several miles. I attempted to change the removable sock insert, but nothing really seemed to help at this time.

I got to almost 50 miles and stopped wearing them. I put them into storage and may try them again this summer.


Newton Gravity 3-12-126. Newton Gravity – 50 Mile Review here. I had to perform major surgery on the heel counter, to make it so that I could run in it without it biting into my ankle.

Otherwise it performed well enough out to 250-300 miles and while they still had some life left in them,  honestly, I got tired of fighting with the pebbles that would sneak through the mesh during most of my runs.

While I had some really great runs in these shoes, when I checked out the updated model, the heel cup felt the same and I am not going to subject my ankle to that kind of discomfort and I shouldn’t have to do major surgery on a pair of new shoes, so that I can run in them.

Saucony Kinvara - They are not Black and Orange :-)

5. Saucony Kinvara 2 – 50 Mile Review here. The right foot just never felt completely right on my right foot. Some days it felt fine and then on others, felt like it was constricting my foot.

It just felt too narrow and the soles wore down too quickly and I got my knee ache at around 200 miles and made it a little ways past that.

The good thing was that they didn’t wear on the typical wear spot I have with most Saucony shoes.

I have a feeling if they were a bit wider, with the improvements Saucony has made to the subsequent editions they might get another look from me..

Nike Free 4.0 - Rocks stuck in the soles

4. Nike Free 4.0 v2 – 50 Mile Review here. A surprise that slipped in here during last spring when I was frustrated with my Newton’s and allowed my ankle to heal up completely.

To say that I initially loved this shoe would be an understatement.

However, the Nike Free’s habit of picking up a lot of rocks (sometimes pretty good-sized ones), became more than a nuisance. It seemed that I was always stopping to dislodge a rock that was uncomfortable or clicking when it hit the pavement, plus cleaning them out after almost every run became a pain in the butt.

I think if it hadn’t been for those issues I would still be running in Nike Free’s, but where I live and run a lot on dirt roads and it seems that I spend a lot of time on the road’s shoulder which is also dirt, so they would always be picking up more rocks, which I didn’t want to put up with. I finally had to make a choice between the flexibility siping or no rocks.

Mizuno Elixir 7

3. Mizuno Elixir 7 – 50 Mile Review here. Another surprise shoe that I received as part of the Mesamashii Project.

I really liked this shoe a lot! It is a shoe that I have run very fast in and felt like I could run for a long time in them.

However, I worked hard to change my stride to more of a mid foot landing and I found myself reverting back to a heel first style of running in these shoes, which I did not want to continue.

Although there doesn’t appear to be a lot of wear on these shoes at 270+ miles. However, my knees started to give that telltale ache I get when it is time to move on and they had started a small wear spot on the inside of the left heel cup, that eventually ends up with blisters, if my past experience is true to form. Because of those reasons I chose not to get another pair at this time.

Mizuno Ronin 4

2. Mizuno Ronin 4 – 50 Mile Review here. Wow look-out ahead and below, these are a fast shoe. Initially I was skeptical of how they would do for me, since they felt very snug to my right foot.

However, once I started running in them, they definitely got my attention. They let me run fast!

The only thing I am not crazy about is that I run with a much more pronounced heel-first landing than do in some other shoes.

Perhaps after I re-dial in my running form, I will be able to run more in these more again, but until that happens, I have a feeling that they will stay in the closet. Unless I take them out to run a special race, where I really want to run fast.

So what was my favorite running shoe this past year?

Altra Instinct 1.01. Altra Instinct 1.0 – 50 Mile Review and Initial Review here. I just like the way that they fit and feel on my feet. Yes it took a little to get used to the different gait that I needed to run properly in these shoes, but once I did I could tell a difference.

Looking back to when I first got the Instincts and brought them back from Minnesota, that I had way too many pair of shoes going and was having a lot of difficulty with my hamstrings, which I mistakenly blamed on the Instincts. I couldn’t tell if the Instincts were helping or making things worse, so I decided to put them in storage tosee if my hamstrings got better or not and also see if I could reduce the number of shoes in my inventory.

As a result of this break, I found out was that the Instinct’s were actually helping me improve my running form, which was helping my hamstrings not hurting them. Which means I am back to running in them full-time again (well alternating with the 1.5’s, which I got as free media samples at #RWHalf).

Altra Instinct 1.5

The reality is that

your choice in running shoes do make a difference in how you well run and how comfortably you run – yes there is a difference.

Also, sometimes small flaws for you, in another wise great shoe like the Nike Free’s problems with rocks, make it so that you don’t want to get that model again. At least that is how I work.

I have learned a lot about which running shoes work for me and found out the hard way, that my initial and 50 mile reviews are not probably how I will feel at 200 miles. When the initial flush of having new shoes is dissipating.

Now it is time to tweak my form and focus on running and having fun while running…the saga to find the perfect shoe is an ongoing adventure – of that I am sure!

FTC Disclaimer: The Altra Intuition 1.5 and Mizuno Elixir 7 were media samples and provided to me at no charge. All the other shoes in this review were personal purchases. I was not provided with any form of compensation for this post and all opinions and thoughts are my own.