I have a fairly long history with the Nike Free line of shoes.
My first step into more minimal footwear was with the Free 3. I loved that shoe, and would rank it up with my favorite running shoes of all time or at least since I started running seriously back in In the past several years the Free line has expanded and has become a bit of a juggernaut in the footwear world.
Nike Frees are consistently among the best selling shoes in the US, and the top-selling shoe in the line is the Free 5. The Nike Free 5. Though people certainly run in it, more likely buy it for causal usage. In fact, I was at Disney World in Florida last week and I swear Frees were on about half the feet I saw walking around the parks maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but they were easily among the most common shoes that I saw.
What is it that makes the Free so popular? Fashion trends are surely part of it.
nike free 5 0 breathe
When I was working at the college I swear almost every female student had a pair, and some told me they had pairs in different colors. To me, the latter is why they have endured — Nike Frees are incredibly comfortable as causal shoes. Furthermore, the extensive siping grooves on the sole makes them extremely flexible.
The combo of softish sole and extreme flexibility makes the shoes feel almost like slippers. When you can combine fashion, comfort, and effective marketing you wind up with a bestselling shoe. Like them or not, Nike does that better than any other brand. The three main shoes in the Free running line are thus now the 3. I reviewed the Free 3. I bought a pair of the Free 5.
I figured I might as well write something up after a refresher run. So, I took them out for 5 miles yesterday and wanted to share my thoughts since my guess is they will soon be on clearance with a new version Free 5.
Sole dimensions. Per Running Warehouse , the Free 5. The 3. So the 5. To be honest, the feel is not hugely different to me. Typically not quantified, but another way in which the soles of the two shoes differ is in width. The sole of the 5. Not a huge difference and barely noticeable to me. Forefoot Fit. The 5. I prefer the shape of the 5.
Maybe I need to make a hybrid shoe via Nike ID? Midfoot Fit. In contrast, to the forefoot, the midfoot of the 5. I get a bit of pressure on the top of my foot in the 3. Where all of the Nike Free models are similar is in the flexibility and feel of the sole.
The Nike Free design works really well with my stride as I hate shoes that try to control my foot movement. The siping grooves in the sole allows my foot to contact and move into pronation very smoothly and I never feel like the shoe is controlling my movement.
Nike Free RN 2017 - Women's Fit Expert Review
One result of this for me is that I sometimes get a hot spot along the inner ball of my foot behind the big toe when running in Frees, and the 5. The lack of extensive rubber outsole means that the shoes run really quiet, and a shoe that makes little noise on the run is usually one that works well for me. I have a hard time deciding if they feel firm or soft due to the flexibility.
nike free 5
But the flex makes them feel like a soft shoe. The Ortholite insole in the Free 5. Swapping for a thinner, firmer insole would open up a bit of volume in the forefoot, and should make for a firmer ride. The fit of the 5. The heel and midfoot are locked down, and I get no abrasion from the lining of the upper. Very comfortable. I also love that the shoe has no heel counter, and this is a shoe I often recommend to people with insertional Achilles tendon issues due to this fact no hard plastic insert to irritate the tendon from behind.
So what would I use the Free 5. I tend to run more minimal so the cushioning would be fine for me for up to a marathon, but I would likely not use it for much over half marathon distance since the medial forefoot instability can sometimes cause hot-spot problems.
The last thing I need is a giant blister developed over long distance! If you like a flexible shoe that runs super quiet and feels like a slipper then these are definitely worth a look.
Outside of the US they can be purchased at Wiggle. This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession.
In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly , and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. I bought a pair in , mostly for a comfortable summer shoe to wear without socks, and I still wear them.
While I love my New Balance Minimus shoes for running, the Free is my favorite shoe for walking around. When my current pair fails, I may even consider another pair. The shoes felt great for the first miles, but then they literally ripped the skin off my both feet, on the inner side, under the big toe.
I was wearing socks. I wonder if we share a common problem and if so, I should simply get the same shoes that work for you, because blisters are a silly annoyance.
Nike Free 5.0 review
For shorter runs, Kinvara 2 works for me, but I had to patch them using Engo. My guess is the Frees are no providing the medial forefoot support that you need. Something with a firmer forefoot might do the trick — maybe try the NB v2. The volume of the shoe is so small I can barely tie the laces down.
Nike free 5.0 breathe women reviews of book magazines
So I tried sockless and ended up with blisters on my little toes. I love the Frees for everyday wear. Our whole family wears them. I got a free pair of these haha!
They constantly build up rocks and sticks in between the foam pods on the bottom, and I generally run on pavement. These are however, the very best shoes for sneaking around the wood floor when the baby is asleep, like a ninja! Put them on and forget they are on. Done long 30km runs with then and no problems. What sort of maximum distance could one do with these? I have a 90 km road ultra coming up in a months time.
Too far for these shoes? My long distance shoes Pegasus are due for retirement and the replacement Lunar Glide causing sore mid foot problems outer edge. They still fit pretty snug in that region though. As for max distance, really whatever you are trained for. If you run long in them no problem, I see no reason why not to use them. Thanks,got 2 weekends to decide.
Going to do two long runs Sat and Sun each about 40 km, and if feet fine in Frees v5. Lunarglides relegated to return or retry much later. Bondi V3 was the only one in my size in store. I can vary my strike to either land heel or midfoot.
The rocker is not noticeable when running. Especially good is the sore feet possibly start of PF pretty much disappeared Cons, the ankle collar rubs as it sits too high internet searches blame the top lace eyelet but that is about 1 cm away.
I never experienced any trouble with the 5. However, in ordering a new pair of 5. The new Nike Free 5. I had a pair of 5.
What is the difference between th 5. The plus was the best shoe ever.
There was a little hollow in the sole beneath the insole to insert the device. I agree, the naming system is confusing. Hi, I have a pair of nike free 3.