Well Nike is jumping deeper into the barefoot market with the launch of the Nike Free Gym. The Nike Free Gym is a women's barefoot shoe that they are marketing towards yoga. The design of the shoe looks like they borrowed a lot of ideas from other barefoot shoes.
Below is what the Nike site has to say about the Nike Free Gym:
The super-lightweight Nike Free Gym Women's Training Shoe delivers a barefoot-like experience plus cushioning and traction to help you move naturally and comfortably in any direction.
Benefits· Split-toe design allows for a natural grip and better balance
· Deep outsole flex grooves for a barefoot feel with traction
· Strap engages the full arch, providing the right fit for you
· Shoe lining made of natural fibers derived from volcanic rock to absorb sweat and odor
Design - The Nike Free Gym Shoe has a minimal, no-sew upper that eliminates stitching, allowing for enhanced flexibility and comfort. Strategically placed mesh provides ventilation while synthetic material at the forefoot and midfoot provide support. For a perfect fit, an arch strap wraps up from underneath the foot and attaches to the outside with an adjustable hook-and-loop closure.Cushioning - Soft, cushy memory-foam heel pods accommodate a variety of heel widths for comfort when not wearing socks. And, a molded sockliner conforms to the foot for added comfort and support.
Traction - This unique shoe helps prevent slippage inside and out. A traction pattern inside--under the foot and big toe--reduces slip for excellent grip when worn without socks. The rubber outsole has a herringbone pattern for durability and multidirectional traction.
I Must say I like where Nike is going and I love to see the big brands producing barefoot shoes. I like how some people have called the new Nike Free Gym a performance slipper, I think that's a good name and there are alot of other barefoot running shoes that fit well within that description aswell, I'm thinking of Soft Star shoes off the top of my head.
The Shoes look like they are a true barefoot shoes, they are very light, weighing in at under 5oz. The toe box looks wide with the spilt toe giving your toes more freedom. It doesn't look like they are zero drop, but look close.
Here is the big question! Is Nike embracing the barefoot movement or saying Minimal is better, still buy Nike. I think it's the second.
I'll look for a female reader to review a pair, Happy Running.