Nike Free Run 3+ (Team Orange) Review

I’ve never been a running shoe type of guy. You see, I attend a lot of conventions where I need to lug around a backpack filled with 25 pounds worth of gear (cameras, chargers, laptops, etc.). To say the added weight kills my back would be an understatement. So, when it came time to attend E3 in Los Angeles last month, investing in a pair of lightweight running shoes became a necessity.

At first, I was blown away by how light the Free Run sneakers were. Weighing only 8.6 ounces, the Nike Free Run 3+ (Team Orange) easily caught my eye on a rack at local Foot Locker. For your convenience, here are some sneaker “specs” from Foot Locker’s website:

  • Arch Type: High Arch
  • Foot Mechanics: Neutral
  • Running Surface: Road/Indoor
  • Miles Run per Week: 0-5 mi, 11-15 mi, 16-20 mi, 21-30 mi, 6-10 mi, Over 30 mi
  • Upper Material: Mesh
  • Cushioning: Phylite®
  • Technology: Flywire Technology, Nike +
  • Weight: 8.6 oz

From the breathable mesh to the BRS carbon rubber heel, the Nike Free Run 3+ has exceeded all of my expectations in terms of comfort. For many years, I’ve been a Converse guy, but since I bought these last month, I’ve been wearing them around my neighborhood and to many press events and I still haven’t seen any seen sign of wear and tear on the soles. One thing I have noticed is that my walking form is much better now. Before, I used to walk on my heels quite a lot. In the Free Run 3+, the balance has been redistributed to the toes and mid-foot — most likely thanks to the waffle outsole pistons that absorb impact. Additionally, the Nike swoosh is reflective, a godsend for bikers or night strollers.

Also, these being Nike+ ready sneakers, there’s a slot underneath one of the soles to fit a Nike+ running sensor to help track your running. There’s also a Nike+ running app for iOS (works with iPhone 3G, 4, 4S, and 5), but I quickly learned in LA that the app is a huge battery drainer.

Originally priced at $100, Nike is now selling these running kicks for $80. Shop around and you’ll probably get it for less. I was able to snag a pair from online for $65. Let’s also not forget Nike Free Runs come in practically a million colors and slightly tweaked designs. You don’t need to get a loud neon-colored pair.