Nike Free Review

Back in 2005 Nike introduced the world to the Nike Free. The Nike Free has become the shoe that helped bridge the gap between barefoot running and traditional running shoes.

Nike introduced the Nike Free well before the Barefoot movement took off after the release of the Book Born To Run, that hit the best seller list in 2009.

In the book Born To Run, it talks about how alot of professional athletes and coaches are having their athletes train barefoot.

The Nike Free is a perfect shoe for a shoe company because it has some minimalist running shoe features but is still very mainstream.

Tradition running shoes allow you to run anyway you want without immediately feeling the effects,  but running barefoot your body naturally improve your running gait and strengthens foot and legs muscles.

Nike says "The Nike Free is designed as your second best choice after running barefoot."

 From Nike Site:


Taking a cue from the intricate workings of the bare foot, the Nike Free Run Running Shoe is designed to maximize the foot's natural range of motion while providing protection and cushioning for a smooth ride.


Inner-sleeve for a snug fit and enhanced breathability Bonded synthetic overlays for super-strong, flexible support Fused Phylite midsole and outsole for an ultra-lightweight, resilient ride Deep flex grooves along the outsole for a natural range of motion and flexibility

Designed to keep the foot in place without restricting movement, the Nike Free Run+ 2 features bonded overlays for excellent support. Lightweight and flexible, these thin strips are attached to the mesh upper for a streamlined fit. The inner-sleeve provides a snug feel, yet it's dynamic enough to move with the natural motion of the foot.


Without sacrificing the feel of barefoot running, the Nike Free Run+ 2 delivers a plush, cushioned ride. Phylite material seamlessly fuses the midsole with the outsole, creating a one-piece design that's as resilient as it is durable. The molded sockiner mimics the curves of the foot for a comfortable, supportive fit.


Deep flex grooves along the outsole allow the foot to move naturally in multiple directions. The heel features a "Center of Pressure" design that provides additional cushioning on contact, maximizing overall flexibility.


  • Asymmetrical lacing system to help reduce pressure over the top ridge of the foot
  • Waffle lugs at the outsole for impact absorption and traction
  • Nike+ ready

Runnerword Says: The Free is not designed for everyday running; rather, it was built as a training tool to help strengthen your foot. That said, Nike made this version more stable by both removing some of the segmentation from the midsole and flaring it for a wider base of support. Thanks to the deep forefoot grooves, our lab tests found the shoe to be the most flexible in this guide. We recommend the Free for runners with normal to flat arches who want to strengthen their feet by doing strides on grass or by walking around the house in a superflexible shoe.

My Final Words:
To start off I would like to say that the Nike Free is a great shoe.  If you are reading this to make up your mind between the Nike Free and the new Reebok Realflex I would say hands down buy the Nike Free. My reasoning behind that is that the Nike Free is closer to a barefoot style then the Reebok Realflex. Now if your reading this to compare the Nike Free to Vibram Five Fingers then I would say buy the Vibrams, but the Vibram Five Fingers are totally different from the Nike Free. The Vibram Five Fingers are a true Barefoot type shoe and the Nike Free does a good job at getting close. I own a pair of Nike Free's and I think you'd enjoy them aswell.


  1. This article is very good, I like it very much,and I also like Nike Zoom sports series, hope we can share the fun of Nike Outlet Stores. thank you.

  2. The Nike Free has been a problem for me since inception: too slippery inside (I sweat a lot through my feet & was slipping around all over the place when running barefoot in the Free). The other issue was the suede outer which tore after two months of use. Walking: no problem. Now, maybe the 2010-2011 models have more ventilation and stronger leather outer...I don't know. I'm a forefoot striker anyway, so don't give a hoot about the heel padding..just need major flexibility.

  3. Thanks for the review. I'm looking for something more transitionary than a true barefoot experience. I'm not quite ready for the FiveFingers world, and what a minimalist shoe. However, I've managed to avoid Nike products for a long time due to their reputation for sweat shop labor. Do you know anything about the manufacturing of these shoes? I want to be both conscious of my feet and my world. If Nike has improved their labor dealings, I would cetainly look into these.

  4. Great review, but most barefoot runners agree, why start with a transition shoe? It's best to learn how to run properly by allowing your foot contact with the ground, without excess build up or cushion. I believe that Nike Free is just Nike's attempt at gaining a portion of the market. If they wanted a true barefoot design, they would've ditched the heel padding...can't imagine how this shoe would help anyone wanting to reduce injuries by going barefoot...

  5. "why start with a transition shoe? "

    I'll give a reason. I bought a pair of vibrams, introduced them very slowly but still came to a very painful standstill with a sudden attack of achilles tendonitis in both legs. That was in May 2011, its now october 2011 and I'm just about able to start running a pair of nike frees. I think I tried to transfer too quickly, its quite a change from regular running shoes to barefoot. Nike free is a good middle ground.