Exercise! - Nike Free Run/Reebok RealFlex?

View Full Version : Nike Free Run/Reebok RealFlex?

04-13-2012, 10:57 PM
I need to replace my sneakers in a desperate way. Mine are, without any exaggeration, totally shot (even the pair I bought just before Easter last year.) I put a LOT of miles on my sneakers! ;)

Anyway, I know that the usual advice for anyone looking for running shoe recommendations is "Go to a running store and get evaluated/measured/etc!" I can't do that, though. This is a very small town, and we simply don't have a "running store." We have a sports store, but they don't do measurements and all that jazz.

So I did lots of research on my own, online. I've discovered that I underpronate pretty severely (well, I could tell that my feet roll to the outside simply by looking at the soles of my old sneakers; I just never knew what it was called!) And then I researched the best types of running shoes for that condition and headed off to the sports store to see what they had in stock. The two top options on my list were, indeed, in stock (Nike Free Runs and Reebok RealFlexes.) They were both SO comfortable; not at all like the sneakers I've always worn, which have always been really stiff and unyielding.

What I'm looking for is some input from people who have these shoes and also have osteoarthritis of the spine and/or general back pain. I do have osteo, along with sciatica, and I've been doing so well with both conditions since I lost my weight that I don't want to do anything to trigger an outbreak. I certainly don't want to run the risk of buying $100+ shoes that might end up giving me back pain, you know?

So, if anyone has any experience with either of these shoes, I'd really appreciate your feedback!

04-14-2012, 12:10 PM
I have a pair of realflexes... they are really nice on trails and particularly in the snow, but I don't really like them for road running. Not enough support. MY feet tend to get really tired.

Both of these shoes that you mention have very little support, in fact. Just wondering where you researched that led you to these choices? Granted, I don't know much about underpronating. But if you are used to a running shoe with a good amount of structure, this will be a transition for you. Lots of people seem to like this kind of shoe, but it's a personal thing. I like a shoe with a bit more support for longer distances.

04-14-2012, 04:23 PM
Well, to be honest, I haven't actually started running yet. Right now I just powerwalk, although I'm going to be starting with Couch to 5K in May.

And yeah, I am used to sneakers with a bit more support, and I did notice that the two brands I mentioned seem to be pretty flat; but then again, I find that my feet get really sore and tired in the more "structured" sneakers too, and I started thinking that it might be because they're usually so inflexible. I thought that maybe a more flexible shoe might be better.

I really don't know. I *am* planning to buy two pairs of sneakers, though, so maybe I'll get one pair of the "minimalist" ones and a more structured pair as well.

Shannon in ATL
04-14-2012, 05:13 PM
Snoofie - I am a pretty hard core pronator. I did get fitted for shoes at a running store and they put me in a pair of Asics. Said I needed pretty solid guidance and support shoes, etc. Well - last October I bought a pair of Newtons - the Lady Isaac S. They are a pretty low support, guidance trainer with lugs under the ball of the foot to encourage forefoot/midfoot strike. I was worried that my pronation would be a problem, but let my impulsiveness rule the day and started using them much faster than recommended. I absolutely love them. I wore the Asics off and on for the last several months, and every time my feet and legs hurt a lot with them on and I had to go back to the Newtons. Well, I wore my Asics for a carnival with a one mile fun run a few weeks ago and the one mile was pretty smooth, I thought to myself that maybe I would give the Asics another try - I made it less than a mile before I was limping with a cramp in my left foot from the higher arch in the shoe and my right calf from the higher heel. Back to the Newtons, not looking back.

They are lighter, more flexible, easier. I do have to make a conscious effort to keep an eye on my stride. Bad form can very quickly turn to pain in the shoe with less padding, I've noticed. A heel strike can hurt in a minimalist shoe, in my experience, too. Try to do a midfoot to forefoot strike in the lighter shoe, keep a healthy stride and don't start too far too fast, see what happens. You'll know pretty quickly if the shoe isn't working for you.

I'm about to need new shoes, I'm thinking either get more Newton's, maybe the lighter ones with less 'training' built in, or maybe the Brooks Pure.

Runners World had a great "what shoe do I need" flow chart in one of the magazines, two months ago maybe? Accounted for stride type, shoe preference, etc. I saw your Nike and your Reebok on there, they look like good shoes.

04-14-2012, 05:32 PM
Runners World had a great "what shoe do I need" flow chart in one of the magazines, two months ago maybe? Accounted for stride type, shoe preference, etc. I saw your Nike and your Reebok on there, they look like good shoes.

RunnersWorld was one of the websites I looked at when researching. They seem pretty knowledgeable about this stuff (and why wouldn't they be?) I'm just confused by it all, because honestly, I've never actually consciously thought about the "right" kind of shoes.

Shannon in ATL
04-17-2012, 04:37 PM
Sorry - I lost this thread for a few days.

I never thought about the 'right' kind of shoes either. Then I went for my first run and was very obviously in the wrong shoes... Oh wow, I've never hurt like that before or since. Even the pain in the Asiics now is nothing compared to the first couple of runs in my 5+ year old Nike Walk... Wowzamolie. :)

There is a good video on the Newton Running site that talks about figuring our what type of stride you have, you may want to check it out. If I can find it I'll link it. It gives you things to do in front of a mirror to see your footfall. Their results lined up perfectly with what I was given at the running store I visited, most of the other online tools weren't exactly right.