Nike Company History and Background
When it comes to Nike, most folks probably picture Michael Jordan. Not me. I think back to Bo Jackson. He’s the closest anyone ever came to being my childhood hero. I couldn’t afford his Nikes, but I would’ve owned ’em all if I’d had enough coin. I think it’s fitting to start this article with Bo as he truly embodied the CrossFit mentality…
Nike hardly needs an introduction – if there was ever a ubiquitous brand, they’re it. Its infamous Nike Swoosh logo and “Just Do It” slogan can be seen on apparel, uniforms, eye wear, sports equipment, kids clothing – virtually every type of item imaginable. The company was founded in 1964, and in less than 50 years, has been deemed the world’s largest athletic shoe and apparel supplier. The company was started with the philosophy of bringing inspiration and innovation to each and every athlete in the world, and it continues to improve on this today. Revenues exceeded 24 billion last year and show no sign of slowing.
In addition to the original Nike name, Nike also markets products under sub names dedicated to specific sports and fitness regimens like Nike Golf, Nike+, and Nike Skateboarding. Nike Corporation even owns and runs companies such as Hurley International and Converse.
Nike CrossFit Shoes
When it comes to Nike CrossFit shoes, there are several models worth your consideration. From minimalist running, to cross training to weightlifting, Nike has you covered. Three of Nike’s most popular shoes, ideal for CrossFit workouts and able to transition into various other activities, are the Nike Free, Nike Free Trainer and Nike Romaleos 2.
Retailing at around the $100 mark, the Free line isn’t cheap (at least not by my standards). But they are highly popular running shoes and they have even gained some acceptance among CrossFitters. Review for this shoe are overwhelmingly positive but they’re not really coming from the CrossFit community because most folks use this shoe for its intended purpose (i.e., running).
The Nike Free line is designed for running and the lightweight, flexible fit and breathability make a good fit for the CrossFit box. However, only light lifting would be safe in this shoe. Even on the most minimal option (the 3.0) you’re going to get too much compression and too little support for serious lifting. The tread features a solid rubber grip that lasts, and the shoe can easily be bent inside out without causing any damage to it. Because of its extreme comfort, many wear the Nike Free in the gym and continue to wear them for the rest of their busy afternoon running errands and going about daily tasks. At just above 7 ounces, these shoes have been said to be light enough to float on water, and there are few shoes out there that offer as much comfort for the price.
If you’re wondering about the Nike Free nomenclature…the 5.0 is basically their transitional shoe and is geared toward those who are just starting to develop a natural running style. The 4.0 would be the next logical progression, with less heel to forefoot drop and more flexibility. Finally, the 3.0 is the real minimalist option. With a drop of only 4mm, and maximum flexibility, you only want to go for this option if you’ve really developed your POSE/Natural running method. Repetitive heel strikes in this shoe won’t be healthy for you.
Click HERE to see ladies’ styles at Zappos.com.
Click HERE to see mens’ styles at Zappos.com.
Nike Free Trainer 3.0, 5.0, and 7.0
The Nike Free Trainer is one of the most popular cross training shoes available today. It is moderately priced, at around $100, and has superb features that allow an individual to go from running to lifting without needing to change shoes. The Nike Free Trainer is lightweight and extremely flexible. It’s the ideal shoe to take your from rope climbing, to box jumping, and tire flipping. The rubber pods on the heel and forefoot also provide increased traction for use whether you plan to workout indoors or out. I’d feel much more comfortable using this shoe for my daily CrossFit WOD. Like the Frees mentioned above, it’s designed to enhance your foot’s natural movement. So, you get the light and flexible shoe that’s become so popular. But, it’s also designed with increased stability and support so it excels at multi-directional movements that would likely results in an injury with the Free running shoes.
Owner’s of the Free Trainers provide very favorable reviews. If you’ve seen the shoe in person you’ll be reminded of those chinese finger cuffs we used to play with as kids. And, Nike plays up that angle to give you an idea that the shoe was designed to really lock your feet in place. The design and technology appears to be more than show. These shoes are worth your serious consideration if you’re looking for a good all-purpose cross training shoes for CrossFit.
Click HERE to see ladies’ styles at Nike.com.
Click HERE to see mens’ styles at Zappos.com.
The Nike Romaleos 2 is a high end shoe with a high price. It retails at about $190, but with that said, it provides plenty of perks with the price tag. Clearly, the Romaleos 2 is the direct competitor to the Adidas adiPower. Either shoe is really the Cadillac or Lexus of Olympic Weightlifting Shoes.
The Nike Romaleos 2 is a lightweight, supportive shoe designed to withstand the demands of the serious Olympic lifter. The shoe features integrated lacing and two large hook and loop Velcro straps to secure the foot. The top of the shoe also features added elastic to flex with the your foot’s tendons during strenuous lifting moves. Unique to the Romaleo 2s are the two insoles it comes with. One insole is stiff and is intended for competition while the the other is softer for training workouts. These shoes are sweet. Seems like a lot of the serious CrossFit folks, those really trying to hit big numbers, lust and covet these shoes…”Come ‘on, Mom! All the cool kids have them!”
The Romaleos is really a cool shoe. It’s well designed and the reviews are very favorable. I’m not going to go into the details here but this shoe is worthy of it’s own, stand-alone review. Suffice it to say, if you’re really serious about Olympic lifting, this shoe should be on your shortlist. You’re not going to want to run in it (or really do anything other than lifting for that matter) but it does what it was designed to do very well.
If you’re a Nike fan and you’re interested in Nike CrossFit shoes, you’re in luck. They’re running, cross-training, and olympic lifting options are all strong competitors. But, if you’re not quite certain and want to do a bit more research, check out: