I am not the kind of woman who has fourteen different trainers each for a different activity. Yes I have trainers for fashion and trainers for sport but my trainers for sport and fitness numbered the grand total of one and I used them for running and training and everything in between. They are adidas Supernova Boost and I love them and they suited all my fitness needs perfectly. And then I started hearing people – fellow runners and complete strangers talk about Nike Free Transfrom Flyknits. Everyone seemed to love these training shoes. I kept hearing the words ‘comfortable’ and ‘light’ being bandied about so I did something that went completely against my normal behaviour and bought a pair.
They go on like socks, really fit to the shape of your foot, and don’t have a tongue. And I am not used to any of that from a functional trainer. I am used to sturdiness and an aversion to flexibility – my feet love that and I wondered how they would handle these?
Firstly they are beautiful. They come in multiple colourways and I really liked the combination of black and blue and white because I can be very adventurous with my socks and leggings and as much as I love clashing colours there are times when I am very happy with darker shades (since I started doing yoga in the mornings I appreciate the darker shades when I am still half asleep). I am very behind the times in terms of trainer and shoe technology: I still think flexibility does not equal sturdiness but with this shoe Nike have gone a long way to show me how wrong I am. The yarns are woven with different tensions throughout the shoe giving different parts more structure than others.
What I noticed just by using them is the amount of give they have in the toe area, giving my feet freedom to move and react to training changes very, very quickly. In comparison the midfoot area of the shoe is a lot less responsive thanks to the laces. These shoes were properly tested during Barry’s Hell Week and I was so happy with how they performed in terms of responsiveness – my toes were also very happy!
For the midsole Nike have used a foam-like material called phylite which allows for the shoe to be very soft and very comfortable. For the outsole, Nike have used auxetic geometry so that when stretched they become thicker perpendicular to the applied force – another reason for their comfort. But more than that it also makes them durable and have brilliant traction. To date I haven’t slipped or slid in them even in the downpours London has had recently.
Another test I gave these shoes was walking seven miles one afternoon all round London. No matter how much running I do walking for seven miles hurts even if the hurt is only a dull, nagging ache. Usually my heels are the first to start complaining but with the phylite cushioning them there was a lot less aching than I expected.
Overall I am a big fan of these shoes and buying them was a great decision. I have never had training specific shoes before but now that I have these I don’t think I can go back to using my running shoes for the HIIT workouts I do. And vice versa – I wouldn’t use these for running because I need all the ankle support I can get. I like the width they provide my toes and since I have runner’s toes (dead toenails, blisters, corns) I love that they don’t hurt to wear.