I run quite a bit. In fact, a lot. Thanks to my good and committed friend Irina, we have run Buntzen Lake 8km almost every second day this Spring/Summer. We have been doing this for 3 years now (I believe). While I am not hitting up the outdoor trails, I gravitate towards the treadmill in the Winter. As much as I prefer to exercise outdoors, when it is pouring rain or snowing, I feel it is a better option for me.
As life would have it, I have run my shoes into the ground. I have a hole that is desperate to be covered above my right toe. It is time to replace my beloved Nike 3.0’s.
I actually picked these up from Seattle in the Men’s section (I did not like the female colour selection here in Canada). They are amazing! I went back to the Nike store in Vancouver to pick up a second pair, and I found that they recently upgraded the design of the shoe.
These are the new Nike 3.0’s called the Nike Free Run+2 . They are a “barefoot” runner, meaning that this shoe is designed to maximize the foot’s natural range of motion while providing protection and cushioning for a smooth ride.
My favourite part about this shoe is the flexibility. The deep flex grooves run along the outsole allowing the foot to move naturally in multiple directions. The heel features a “center of pressure” design for extra cushioning on contact, maximizing overall flexibility.
As much as I love this Nike shoe, I feel as though I should try something new. I did a little bit of research and found these wicked Vivo Barefoot trail running shoes. There are also barefoot street runners available as well.
This is the Neo Trail, a barefoot and breathable off-road performance trail running shoe. Best for: Trail, fell and off road running.
Not only is this a perfectly designed shoe for barefoot trail running, but Vivo Barefoot is all about using eco-friendly materials and sustainability. For this reason I do not mind spending a bit more for a shoe that is made by a company with eco-conscious principles, as you will have to order this shoe online as they are not available in Canada (yet).
Here are my third pick. The Asics Piranha SP 3 running shoe. Maybe not the most aesthetically appealing, but a good barefoot shoe none-the-less.
At 4.6 oz, this featherweight dynamo enhances road feel while providing a surprising amount of platform support and protection. The Piranha SP 3 features slip lasting for flexibility, while the midsole absorbs shock and innovative outsole material maximizes traction.
Lastly, and just for fun, I thought I would include the ultra-weird but surprisingly comfortable Vibram FiveFingers Treksport runners available at Mountain Equipment Co-op.
These shoes keep that delightful barefoot feel and freedom of movement, but also adds a bit more protection and cushioning for sustained happiness on longer, land-based hauls. I am not sure if I am into these ones as much as the others, but I (literally) ran into someone who was wearing them on the trails and swears by them. To each their own!
All shoes featured are available in Men’s and Women’s. Happy shoe hunting!