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Nike Free Runs: How Long do they Last?

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Post  Vivian on Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:59 pm

I have two pairs of Nike Free Runs of indeterminate mileage and they still feel good. I typically retire shoes after 500 miles but want to know if Frees can go longer.
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Post  Sara Jane on Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:57 pm

Wendy (who has worn them much longer than me) claims they last "forever" and get better with age. Her brother and some of his ultra friends have some with 900+ miles that are still going strong.

I don't know what an "expert" would say...and I don't track the mileage of mine...but I don't intend to put them aside until they disintegrate. My oldest ones feel better than my newer ones...

So unless you blow a hole through them (I know Mark has done this) I can't see a reason to stop wearing them.
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Post  Mark B on Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:05 pm

I think I've blown a hole in the top of nearly every running shoe I've owned, SJ... but that just adds ventilation. geek

The most miles I've put on a pair of Free Runs was 553 miles - more than 200 miles farther than I'd ever been able to run in traditional running shoes. I might have been able to go longer, but the midsole was compressing in a way that was starting to throw my foot strike off a little. If you've got great biomechanics, I bet you could wear them well beyond 500 miles.

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Post  Sara Jane on Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:05 pm

Viv-

I asked my friend whose husband works at Nike what his thoughts might be on the Free and mileage. Doesn't add a lot to the above, but this is what he said:

"We don't like to assign a specific mileage number to how long shoes will last because people wear them so differently and their stride affects the amount of life left in the shoe. That said, if you're able to run all of your mileage in the FREE [I told him that I do, they are the only shoe I wear] then you probably shouldn't have much trouble taking the shoes to 400 miles or so. When you start noticing breakdown in the upper then the midsole has probably been worn down enough to warrant a new pair."
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Post  Vivian on Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:58 pm

Thanks. I haven't noticed any break down in my uppers. In fact, in none of my shoes have I ever noticed any breakdown in the uppers. But I always retired them at 500 anyway, some looking almost new. I'll try to go for longer in the Frees.
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Post  Ken Mello on Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:40 pm

I just retired 2 pairs at around 500 miles each, which is about 200 miles more than I normally get out of a pair of shoes (taking into account I'm a heavier runner).

For me, I retired them because I was feeling that they werent as cushiony any more, and was getting some foot pains. Since the new ones, no pains, so I think I was right to put them away at that point.
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Post  Sara Jane on Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:07 pm

I guess I buy into Ken's method more than Viv's. That is, I don't really believe in "forced retirement"...if they start to not feel as good, retire them. But I am not sure using some magical number will "save" me before it's too late and I will have gone too far.

But then, I don't log shoe miles (I've tried, but it's just one more thing and I decided I'd just go by feel)...

That's my take. I think it's actually nice to hear Nike not try to dictate a number of miles (so as to get you to buy more shoes, they have enough tactics to do that!)
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Post  scottk on Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:39 pm

I see a change around 300 miles in the Free Run 2+. And whatever the new upper material is on the Free Run 2 + is, it stinks to high hell beginning around 300 miles. I've gone up to 600 miles on Frees, and to 700 on one pair, but feel the older versions of the Free were way better at lasting than the new ones.

I'm around 300 miles on my current pair, and will use them through the winter, for running in the snow, sleet, slush, etc.

I'm a Nike Free wearer since the 1st generation.
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Post  Dave-O on Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:03 pm

I retired my first two pairs at 519 and 618 miles. I currently have 2 of the Free Run +2 in rotation at 574 and 190.

They don't last as long for me as a heavier shoe such as the Vomero, Lunar Elite, Lunar Swift, etc., but longer than the Lunar Racers.

And even once I retire them, I keep them around to walk around in.
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Post  Natalie on Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:13 pm

Interestingly, the Frees are the only shoes in my rotation that I don't record mileage. Is this weird? It seems like I'm not the only one. I just write "Frees" in the run description.
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