Finding one training shoe capable of tackling all your workout needs can be difficult. The perfect shoe needs to have plenty of support in the heel area for weight lifting, a strong grip for making cuts and climbing ropes, enough flexibility for side-to-side movement and running, and — of course — enough breathability to keep your feet cool and sweat free.
With these features in mind, Nike went to work. The result? The ultra-versatile Nike Free x Metcon. This shoe, a mix between the stable and supportive Nike Metcon and the flexible and lightweight Nike Free, is a training shoe unlike any we’ve ever seen.
Now, athletes have a shoe they can take to the gym and use for any kind of workout. This means no more changing from your lifting shoe to your running shoe halfway through your workout — pretty convenient right?
Here are five standout features of the new Nike Free x Metcon:
1. Laser-siped flex grooves in the outsole
Large grooves have been cut into the outsole from the midfoot to the front of the shoe to add flexibility and allow for more natural movement. Nike Free fans, you’ll also find these grooves in the outsoles of most of your favorite models.
2. Comfort-fit bootie
Flexibility and comfort are key throughout the design of this unique shoe. That’s why a comfort-fit bootie was created to allow for easy on and off, a very flexible fit and feel, and plenty of support.
3. Midfoot stability
An issue many people have with training shoes is the ability to make side-to-side movements and cuts. With this newly designed sidewall feature, your heel is cradled in the back of the shoe, allowing your foot to stay better aligned over the footbed when you’re making your cuts.
4. Open mesh upper
Breathability is one of the biggest features athletes look for in their workout shoes, and the Free x Metcon gives you plenty of it. This durable mesh material is opened up, allowing for plenty of airflow while continuing to give you the stability and flexibility you want.
5. Dual-density midsole with cold fusion technology
Safety and the comfort of your foot are obviously number one when it comes to training, and this is where the dual-density midsole comes into play. Cold fusion technology essentially is soft foam placed within a firmer carrier to provide you with underfoot cushioning with plenty of stability underneath.
The Nike Free x Metcon is a much different training shoe than we’ve ever seen before, and within the new design is a lot of versatility and comfort specifically built to help take you to the next level. Check out the Free x Metcon now at eastbay.com.
Love is in the air. But this year, trade sappy and sweet for sweat and speed with Nike’s assortment of Valentine’s-inspired running shoes.
Flowers, candy, and romance are great, but there are better ways to treat yourself. As varied as a box of chocolates, these two love-inspired collections from Nike are the perfect way to spice things up in both your running and casual style.
For Him: Love of Running Pack
Nike Air Max 2016
Love is meant to last forever, just like the enduring style of the Air Max 2016. Year after year, it simply grows stronger, relying on the foundation provided by Nike’s iconic full-length Max Air bag for comfortable cushioning you can see and feel with every step. A Waffle pattern on the outsole provides traction on any surface, and a mesh upper breathes new life into your run by allowing cooling airflow where you need it most. This Air Max 2016 is finished off with Flywire cables that wrap your foot in a warm embrace and a bold Fuze print that keeps things interesting.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32
Tried and true, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 is truly in it for the long haul. A dedicated running partner, this shoe never stops improving. Shedding bulk and dropping weight, this version features a new and improved single-layer mesh upper. And the makeover doesn’t stop there. A new full-length Cushlon foam midsole adds soft, responsive cushioning that really listens to your needs. Throw in a high-speed Zoom unit in the heel, environmentally preferred rubber in the outsole, and Nike’s total crimson Fuze print, and this running shoe is the total package: kind, sensitive, and edgy.
Nike Free 5.0 2015
The best relationships are the ones that truly allow you to be yourself. The Nike Free 5.0 2015 does just that, utilizing an outsole flex pattern that allows six directions of motion, freeing your feet to move as nature intended. So, if you’re looking to go au natural this Valentine’s Day, the Free 5.0 is the shoe for you. Add the breathable sandwich mesh upper and dynamic Flywire cables that hold your foot in place, and this running shoe is a total catch. Also featuring Nike’s fun and carefree Fuze print, the Free 5.0 is the perfect combination of comfort and carefree. What’s not to love?
For Her: Valentine’s Pack
Ladies, if you can’t get enough of the Nike Air Max line, we’ve got some red-hot hues to help you spice things up. Let us introduce you to Nike’s Valentine’s Pack.
Nike Air Max 2016
Strong and steady, the iconic Air Max 2016 leads the pack with dynamic Flywire cables for the secure fit you crave and a visible full-length Max Air bag for cushioned comfort that can go the distance. The shoe’s bright crimson upper ensures you’ll stand out from the pack and turn heads wherever you go.
Nike Air Max Excellerate
If things aren’t moving fast enough, look to the Air Max Excellerate. In exotic hyper orange, this tangy treat packs a combo of breathability and reinforcement for the perfect compromise every great relationship requires. Flywire cables still offer support when you need it, and a heel Max Air unit proves that while this shoe may take a walk on the wild side, it still brings that time-tested comfort you trust.
Nike Air Max Tailwind 8
Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to breathe new life into an old love. That’s exactly what Nike has done to the Air Max line with the Tailwind 8, a creative new take on an old technology. The Tailwind breaks up the solid Max Air bag into individual Air-Sole units, proving that a change of perspective is all it takes to rekindle a flame. If that’s not enough, the University Red upper is sure to have you going up in smoke, while Flywire cables lock you down and keep you grounded.
At Eastbay, we’re proud to eliminate your relationship red flags and provide quality options you can trust. And with so many fish in the sea, we know you’ll have no trouble finding your perfect Nike running shoe. Get your pair today and fall in love with running. This is a love story, baby. Just say yes.
The next evolution in running shoes is here. The Nike Free RN Distance is the first shoe to combine Lunarlon foam with Free technology. Supportive cushioning. Lightweight mobility. Sounds like the perfect match.
If you’ve laced up in any Nike athletic shoes over the past few years, there’s a good chance you’ve stepped in Lunarlon. Since 2008, this foam cushioning has been popular in everything from basketball to tennis to training. But it is especially beloved among runners, who love its soft, but resilient support. Invented by Nike after studying how astronauts move on the moon, Lunarlon is 30% lighter than Phylon foam and is built to evenly distribute the impact of every stride.
The Free’s history dates back even further. In 2002, legendary shoe designers Tinker Hatfield and Eric Avar were inspired to make a more minimalistic running shoe after observing Stanford athletes training barefoot. The result: the 2004 Nike Free 5.0 V1. Runners who wanted more natural motion and a lighter weight finally had their go-to.
Over time, Nike started to perfect the Free by introducing numerous different models along a 0-10 scale. Zero is barefoot while 10 provides the cushioning of an average training shoe. While many athletes enjoyed the flexibility or support that typically ranged from 3.0-7.0, Nike found that runners wanted more material to help them travel farther distances. So, the Free RN Distance added a thicker sole that still bends like a Nike Free, but has a core of Lunarlon foam to cushion your long-mile journeys.
But there’s even more innovation packed into this shoe. A partial inner sleeve and Flywire cables around the laces offer a more supportive and comfortable fit. So, in summary, the Nike Free RN Distance, has game-changing fit, incredible cushioning, and unrivaled flexibility. We may have just found your new favorite shoe.
words // Sara Accettura
images // Zac Dubasik
If you are interested in barefoot running or the lightest, most minimal shoe you can find, then the line might be right up your alley. With a one-piece collar, a heavy focus on mesh on the upper and a segmented outsole, the women’s Nike Free Run + is a great combination of light, flexible and breathable, which is a prescription for not just a good minimalist running shoe, but a good cross-training shoe as well. So, if you are looking to hit the gym for a fitness class or to work on some weight training on your cross training days, you might want to consider this shoe as well. When I first took the shoe out of the box and saw the one-piece opening, I was worried. I have wide feet, and all I could think of was that part in Cinderella where the step-sisters try and shove their feet into the tiny glass slipper. But, it turns out the opening is much more elastic than a glass slipper. Thank goodness. After subsequent wearings, I don’t even have to think about it; my foot slides right in. I loved the look and feel of the glove-like opening of the shoe mainly because I was able to slide my foot in and out of the shoe without having to lace it each time. And like I said, overall this is a great shoe for many different purposes, not just running. For instance, I was able to maintain form very easily while doing strength training moves in the Free during my cross training days, and stretching was oh so very easy in this flexible shoe. Wearing this shoe around the house is also a great way to strengthen your foot, plus wearing such a light shoe during speedwork or working on your stride is also helpful. I did switch it up between this shoe and other, more padded running shoes, but this was a great way to switch up my workout and get some speed training in while wearing a lightweight shoe. I also loved to wear this shoe when running my more hilly path. TECHNOLOGY: The most important elements on a barefoot-simulating shoe is being light and flexible, and the Nike Free Run + delivers on both accounts. The outsole is segmented to increases the flexibility of the shoe, so no matter how or where your foot bends during your activity, the shoe bends with you. It’s almost like a grid or waffle pattern of foam that does not hinder foot movement. The abundance of breathable mesh on the upper surely contributes to the light weight of 7.6 ounces.
While this is a minimalist shoe, mild cushioning and support can still be found in the sculpted midsole geometry as well as thePhylite™ outsole with Waffle® piston geometry. An update to the previous iteration in the line, the Free 5.0, is the slightly offset lacing pattern, with the goal of offering a more snug fit. The shoe is almost like a glove, where the collar is one piece with no separate tongue piece, which is all part of the stitchless construction, another weight-saving decision. The shoe is also Nike + ready, hence the name, and also boasts environmentally preferred rubber in high-wear areas.
FINAL THOUGHTS: While there are a lot of amazing things about this shoe, such as it’s extreme flexibility and breathability, there were a few areas that were not so amazing. For instance, the grip was not the best. I started wearing this shoe when it was still wet and sometimes muddy outside, and the comparison to barefoot running holds true here – you’ve got about as much traction in these shoes as you would if you were taking on those muddy patches barefoot. Also, the outsole seemed to wear a lot faster than a more traditional running shoe. The waffle pattern, while amazing for flexibility, holds onto small pebbles, and I found myself sometimes having to clear those out of my shoes after a run sometimes. The offset lacing did provide a snug, glove-like fit, but there isn’t a whole lot of support in this shoe, which makes sense for a minimalist shoe. If you’re looking for the barefoot running type of experience, then you want to be in control of your stride and footstrike. But, if you’re looking for a super supportive upper on your shoe, the offset lacing might not be enough. Another important point to keep in mind is the fact that barefoot running is typically a learned experience. I don’t recommend putting on a pair of these shoes and heading out for your normal run. Starting off slow is a good idea to minimize soreness and injury.
Even with everything I said above, this is still a wonderful running shoe . In fact, it’s one of my favorite shoes to run in right now. I wore this shoe with and without socks, and due to the minimal stitching, there were no areas of rubbing or chafing that I noticed. All in all, if you want the barefoot running experience without the fear of stepping in something gross or tearing up your feet, the Nike Free Run + is a great minimalist shoe that delivers everything you would expect from a minimalist shoe, and then some. For the cross training days, this shoe is more than suitable as well. And as I’m training for the Warrior Dash, I have a feeling this might be my shoe of choice on race day.