Friday, August 1, 2008

Karhu M2 vs Nike Free 7.0

I have been going back and forth between my two favorite pair of running shoes for the past few months. Early this year I was running with motion control shoes recommended by my local running store and I started having knee problems. Unfortunately, the more structured shoes I got, the worse the problem got. After reading some interesting facts in "Brain Training for Runners" I decided to go the other way and bought a pair of Nike Free 7.0. My problems went away almost immediately. The only downside was a tendency to get blisters on my long runs (20km+).

While browsing around at my local triathlon shop, I saw the Karhu M2 shoes and gave them a try. They felt light and fast so I decided to give them a try. I bought a pair and used them as racing flats and on my longer runs. Keeping my form felt a bit more difficult with the M2 but since Nike Frees were becoming very difficult to obtain in Canada, I decided to switch to shoes I could procure and stopped using my Frees.

Last Sunday, during the race portion of the Bala Falls triathlon, I suddenly felt a pain to my right IT band. Nothing major but it bothered me a bit. After the 1500m swim and the 30km bike, I could barely feel my legs and I knew my form wasn't what it should be but there wasn't much I could do. On subsequent training sessions, The IT band problem has come back so I decided to switch back to my Frees. I've found a US online store that will ship them to Canada and I ordered a pair of Nike Free 3.0 which I'm hoping will fix my issue with blisters.

I have to say that when I ran with my Frees again on Wednesday, they felt fantastic. It feels much easier and natural to run on the front of my feet, which for me is an acquired skill. I had less problems with my IT band. My stride felt RIGHT.

So although I do like the Karhu M2 and the idea of running a marathon in Nike Frees freaks me out a bit, I'm switching back to the Frees and we'll see what happens as my runs get longer. Can't wait to get my Free 3.0 and try them.

I'll keep you posted.


Anonymous said...

Where did you find the Karhu shoes? The store I usually get mine has gone out of business.

JD said...

I live in Toronto, Canada. I bought th Karhu M2 at EnduroSport:

I believe they also have the M3.