Before I get into these shoes, let me begin by saying that running is my least favorite cardiovascular workout to engage in, but I’ve had a considerable amount of experience with the exercise and understand the value of it. I speak as an occasional runner who wants to stay in relatively good shape as we explore the Nike Free run 5.0 V4.
Back in November of 2009, I was in the market for a new pair of shoes to spark a running regimen. Despite sustaining a stress fracture in 2005 from running roughly 25 total miles over four days out of the week, I had only ever trusted my feet to New Balance’s world famous kicks. However, I wanted to change it up a bit and chose to entertain the idea of giving other brands a chance.
I walked into the House of Hoops here out in L.A. and tried on about four different pairs, two Nike, one New Balance, and one adidas. While I did enjoy the abundant ventilation of adidas’ Climacool technology and the old familiarity of New Balance, something about the Nike Free 5.0 V4 and the Nike LunarGlide+ intoxicated my judgment. The main draw with those shoes was definitely the weight.I sat inside HOH for about an hour slipping my feet in and out of all the aforementioned pairs and bombarding the associate who was helping me with questions. The only thing that kept me from going with the LunarGlide+ was the midsole that just came off as a bit too thick for my tastes. With the Free 5.0 V4, my feet felt intimately close to the ground and after having balled in the Nike Zoom Kobe IV, I was definitely chasing a light-weight, low-to-surface feel. Once I went for my first run, I was in absolute awe.
At a mere 8.6 ounces, the svelte V4 will definitely trigger insecurities about whether or not you’re even wearing a shoe as you tackle your arch nemesis – running. Do not panic though because your feet are without a doubt, outfitted with a top-notch product that was specifically designed to achieve that very feel of being barefoot. Composed of a microfiber synthetic material upper with multiple bonded layers, the Free 5.0 V4 literally wraps around every contour of your foot without any sacrifice in cushioning. Soft foam pads under the heel and forefoot combined with a light Phylite midsole offer a level of comfort and stability that I’ve honestly never felt before while running. The outsole has deep flex grooves cut both horizontally and vertically, giving you maximum response as your feet pace on and off the ground. To put it simply, the ride is purely serene and smooth.