Shoe Week: Nike Free Bionic

Training shoes. Are they necessary? This is my only pair of training specific shoes – previously I’ve only had running shoes and have done my other training (weights etc.) in those. I found this fine and have never really felt any need to have trainers specifically for strength and conditioning.

About a year ago I was invited by Nike to a rooftop workout to test out their new training shoe, the Nike Free Bionic. Ever since then I have worn these shoes pretty regularly to do non-running training; I recently wore them to an intense TRX session at the new Heartcore studio in Fulham and a Barry’s Bootcamp beasting with Nike. I find them comfortable and flexible and so they make a pretty regular appearance on my own personal workout scene. I do, however, think they’re a luxury addition though, and would probably be perfectly happy training in runners.

Shoe: Nike Free Bionic

Type: Cross training shoe, barefoot minimal style.

Features: Thin flexible sole, with multi-directional grooves so that the shoes flex in whichever direction your workout takes. Running shoes usually have soles suited only to front/back movements, and these are designed to be suitable for more dynamic workouts.

Fit: I have these in my normal shoe size and they’re a perfect fit.

Looks: I think these look great, and top off a stylish gym outfit perfectly.

Price: The upgraded version of the Free Bionics are £80.

Best bits: Very comfortable, very stylish. Minimal sole is great for weight training.

Worst bits: No complaints from me!

Overall verdict: All round great, if not strictly necessary in my personal opinion. What do you think – are cross training shoes a necessity or a luxury? Can you recommend any other styles?