Barefoot running can be a terrific way to build strength in your feet and boost overall balance. You may not want to go shoeless on the gym track, however, and that's where barefoot-technology shoes come in handy. With the Nike Free, your foot gets all the contact and freedom of running barefoot along with the protection and traction of a shoe.
Some wearers also swear by them for on-your-feet work that keeps you on the move, like waiting tables. $85 for Nike colors; $110 for 'build your own' color palette. And those colors can get pretty wild!
So, one immediate question you might have: Does the old rule of changing out your shoes every 500-miles still apply to barefoot-style shoes like the Nike Free?
Joe Friel, the endurance sports coach and founder of TrainingPeaks.com says that since the cushioning of the traditional shoe is what breaks down the most, the less cushioning a shoe has, the longer it will last.
But he is always quick to say that if you're prone to foot and leg problems, you should change your shoes more frequently and also advises making the transition to barefoot-style shoes a gradual one to give your body time to adjust to less cushion and support. Bottom line - you can wear those Free's until the tops disintegrate!