For those runners looking to make the transition to barefoot running (and, besides me, who isn't?) the Nike Free Run series offers a good compromise between the lightweight, flexible, barely-there fit of barefoot shoes and the support and protection of a classic trainer.
Nike supposedly spent eight years studying the biomechanics of shoeless running in order to develop this "natural-feeling" shoe, which is built with a soft but durable Phylite sole and seamless upper. It's an unconventional shoe, to be sure, with cuts, or sipes, in the sole that give it great flexibility and enough stability that it feels barefoot-like. Rather than a soft midsole, and heavier, more durable outsole, the Free Run reduces weight by using all-Phylite, with abrasion-resistant carbon rubber under the highest-wear areas.
Overall, this is a super comfortable, incredibly lightweight (9.3 oz. for men's size 10) and flexible trainer. Ease into it, though, as it's still a compromise between barefoot and regular trainer and probably won't absorb quite the pounding that your tried-and-true shoes will. Get 'em on sale now and take your first steps toward the barefoot craze.
Sale Price: $59.97 (40% off)