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Are Nike SPARQs the New Frees?


Whenever it’s time to grab a new pair of Nike Frees, my choices seem to get smaller and smaller. I can’t even find the regular 7.0 Trainers in my size and had to settle for the 7.0 Dynamic Trainers. A few questions in case anyone is in the know:

  1. Are the SPARQ shoes the replacement for Frees, and if so, are they any good (i.e. comfortable and still a decent shoe to squat in)?

  2. What sites out there still have a broad selection of the Nike Free, preferably the larger sizes? Eastbay only had the dynamic trainers and Everydays which suck for squatting (for me at least).

I don’t know man. About year or so ago I decided to buy some Frees and couldn’t find the ones I wanted anywhere, even online. I gave up after a couple months of looking. Every now and then I check to see what kind of availability is out there and seems like its just gotten worse. I think its obvious that for whatever reason, Nike isn’t happy with the shoe and seems to be content to just let it die. My guess is that selling a quality shoe in the $50 to $60 range isn’t as profitable for Nike as pimping $160 air maxes

I have a few pairs of the SPARQ trainers. They have a stiffer sole and offer more support than the Frees. They work best when you need to go from sprints, agility work, or sleds right into the weightroom. If you are just going to lift in them, they are not better than Chuck Taylors.

[quote]kellyshaver wrote:
I have a few pairs of the SPARQ trainers. They have a stiffer sole and offer more support than the Frees. They work best when you need to go from sprints, agility work, or sleds right into the weightroom. If you are just going to lift in them, they are not better than Chuck Taylors.[/quote]

I want an all-around shoe, not just a lifting shoe. Thanks for the info.

[quote]Doug Adams wrote:
Whenever it’s time to grab a new pair of Nike Frees, my choices seem to get smaller and smaller. I can’t even find the regular 7.0 Trainers in my size and had to settle for the 7.0 Dynamic Trainers. A few questions in case anyone is in the know:

  1. Are the SPARQ shoes the replacement for Frees, and if so, are they any good (i.e. comfortable and still a decent shoe to squat in)?

  2. What sites out there still have a broad selection of the Nike Free, preferably the larger sizes? Eastbay only had the dynamic trainers and Everydays which suck for squatting (for me at least).
    [/quote]

Might be a little pricey, but you can go to nike.com and get some custom made ones. My 7.0 frees have seen better days and I am definately going that route. But it’s just a thought.

are their air bladders in these?

I might get a pair of these to replace my Nike Trail’s that I’ve beat the hell out of. Buying the trails, made of fabric was a bad move, since I quickly tore them all up and they’re now basically just a limp sole hanging from a couple rags at the bottom of my feet.

[quote]conorh wrote:
I might get a pair of these to replace my Nike Trail’s that I’ve beat the hell out of. Buying the trails, made of fabric was a bad move, since I quickly tore them all up and they’re now basically just a limp sole hanging from a couple rage at the bottom of my leg.[/quote]

If you do, let me know how they work out for you. I also have pair of Trail’s that are about to fall apart, and I’ve been debating on what to replace them with. I’ve been looking at some of the newer Free’s, but I want something with a little more traction for running on dirt or grass.

To the OP, you might want to check eBay for Free’s. I see them on there all the time. It depends on your size though.

These are the only shoes you want.

Nike Air Edge Trainers

I’ve tested the sparqs, frees, and other brands, for not only myself but all of my former clientele/athletes. These are far and away the best multi-purpose shoes, no air gusset or bladder, foam insert in the heel is softer than the toe.

Great for squatting, sprinting (up to 400m), all agility, speed, and foot work. Not necessarily ideal for long distance running. Great ankle support too.

Bought it for 80 bucks.

hoosierdaddy: there is a full-length Air-Sole Unit in the shoes you are holding - read the side panel near the heel by your left index finger where it says “full length air”

I’ve always had my eye on getting a pair - going through my 2nd pair of Free 5.0s & find them ideal for squatting & deads… might grab a pair of the Edge Trainers for a change of pace

Free 5.0s . Free 7.0s (I find 7.0s are for narrower feet)

I have been getting my Free’s at the Nikeid site.

www.nikeid.com

I just looked and they still have 7.0’s in stock. Last “non-holiday” order I made it took about 2 weeks from start to finish. I have ordered a number of things direct and gotten very good service from Nike.

Try a Nike Outlet store if you have one in your area or are traveling. They always have different stuff, but I got a pair of black 7.0 Frees (no ugly leftover colors) for $50 back last fall. If they’re going non-current, wish I would have bought a few more pairs.

I ordered a pair of 7.0 trainers from the Nikeid site, like RWElder. They have a thing on the removable footbed that says sparq, but they are nike frees. Nice shoes, and I got the colors I wanted which is cool. I just got them a little over a week ago and ordered them about a month ago. I had no idea they were getting discontinued.

[quote]john2009 wrote:
Try a Nike Outlet store if you have one in your area or are traveling. They always have different stuff, but I got a pair of black 7.0 Frees (no ugly leftover colors) for $50 back last fall. If they’re going non-current, wish I would have bought a few more pairs.[/quote]

The outlet stores are real hit or miss. My friend found a good pair of white 7.0 trainers the last time we checked it out. They had some other Free’s there, but they were ugly as shit.

I’ve actually had good luck with my local Ross stores. I’ve found a few pairs of Trails and a few 7.0 Trainers there.

The local Sport Chalet had a few on clearance for Memorial Day, but only size 8 and 12 (needed size 10).

I’m not sure they are completely discontinued though. You can still order 7.0 Trainers on the Nike site, but you have to customize them. It seems like they are incorporating the Free technology into their other shoe lines. I hope they don’t completely phase out the Free Trainers.

I wound up ordering a pair from the NIKEiD site. They were $100 but at least they had my size and I got to pick all my own colors. I should be getting them in a couple weeks.

You get what you want too which is a plus.

Happy Training.

has anyone seen these 5 fingers shoes? apparently they are close as you can get to barefoot, but still very durable.

from the 5 fingers site:

"By stimulating the muscles of your lower legs and feet, you add strength, improve balance, and increase agility. "

[quote]hoosierdaddy wrote:
These are the only shoes you want.

Nike Air Edge Trainers

I’ve tested the sparqs, frees, and other brands, for not only myself but all of my former clientele/athletes. These are far and away the best multi-purpose shoes, no air gusset or bladder, foam insert in the heel is softer than the toe.
[/quote]

Foam in the heel? Why do you want to squat with something that deforms and is unstable as a result?
Heavy squats require stability. Why do you think powerlifters like Chucks? O-lifter shoes have heels that are wooden.

I tried them on just the other day. Maybe I have a weird foot, but it took me like 5 minutes to get all my toes in the right spot. When I did get them on, I didn’t like the feel (I am a little flatfooted). Regardless, not a fan, especially for $80. I can appreciate the concept though.

[quote]toughcasey wrote:
has anyone seen these 5 fingers shoes? apparently they are close as you can get to barefoot, but still very durable.

from the 5 fingers site:

"By stimulating the muscles of your lower legs and feet, you add strength, improve balance, and increase agility. "[/quote]

[quote]toughcasey wrote:
has anyone seen these 5 fingers shoes? apparently they are close as you can get to barefoot, but still very durable.

from the 5 fingers site:

"By stimulating the muscles of your lower legs and feet, you add strength, improve balance, and increase agility. "[/quote]

Just seems like a great way to look ridiculous. I wouldn’t get caught dead wearing those.
The new SPARQs look pretty cool, so I may look into a pair when my 7.0s wear out. They’re still in great usable shape but they look like shit. Bought 'em for $5 off my roommate though so not a huge loss (they were in real good condition when I bought 'em but they been through hell/restaurants).