Product Review: Freet Respond shoes
Product Name: Freet Respond
The first thing that strikes you is that, like all Freet footwear, the Respond is foot-shaped! It is so often forgotten, especially by many shoe manufacturers, that the widest part of the human foot is across the toes. Look at the foot of any baby to confirm this. A lifetime of squeezing our feet into unsuitably designed shoes does untold damage to many aspects of our health, let alone our running form.
The BreatheMesh upper seems to be a closer weave than the Connect. The charcoal coloured, TPU overlay protects and gives a little more structure (compared to Connect). The conventional laces are long enough to lace up in any way you want.
The Respond folds in half very easily which is always a good sign. The MultiGrip black rubber outsole is durable and reliable and I’ve used it with success on road, track and trail.
Fit & Feel
The Respond has a little more cushioning when compared to Connect, with ConnectComfort+ 4.5mm PORON® Midsole with Memory Foam providing great shock absorption whilst shaping to your foot and giving excellent ground connectivity.
As I’m using them in extreme duration, ultra-endurance races on track or road courses I often use a size larger and add additional flat foot beds or insoles, to achieve just the right level of comfort desired at any time. I’ve used the Respond for up to 12 hours in one stretch and only needed a single additional insole.
I have worn my current pair of Respond in training and races for the past 8 weeks or so and the only wear I can see is on the heel area which got slightly worn when covering 54 miles in a 12 hour event on an all-weather running track. These tracks have a surface like course sandpaper and the walking part of my run-walk strategy wore the heel a bit.
In training I’m using them on road/tarmac, rough gravel and trail with small loose stones with success.
My experience of the Freet Respond is that it is a superb new addition to Freet’s varied line-up of minimal footwear and is a little more robust and cushioned when compared to the Connect.
Compared to the Connect, the additional protection around the upper will suit trail runners and the extra cushioning provides a little more comfort when required.
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