Nike’s new nike free shoes range has been around for some time now offering runners a more flexible, less padded experience to the company’s Lunar Glide series.
For 2014 the shoe range has broken out into three models, as well as been given a major makeover to suit a range of runners from professional athletes to casual 5km exercise hounds.Our test pair were bright, almost radioactive orange, and while that has nothing to do with the overall performance, we mention it because a) it is such a bright and cool colour, and b) we’ve seen people actively turn their heads to gawp in awe as we’ve run past and that has urged us to go faster.The previous Nike Free shoes featured a linear flex groove system that give you plenty of flexibility but only in one direction – i.e. front to back. The new shoes now feature a hexagonal design – it reminds us of the Reebok hexagonal air pockets from the early 90s – and the idea is that the show can now flex in all directions to give you more support, or as Nike says “enable the runner’s foot to move more freely in all directions”Although more pronounced on the Mens Nike Free 5.0 V4 and 4.0 shoes the Free 5.0 features a more rounded curved heel rather than the flatter square back we’ve seen before. That should give those still heel striking a more rounded experience and one that actually looks like your heal rather than a big clunky shoe. We’re mid-foot runners here at Pocket-lint so didn’t really notice much of a difference to be honest.The Nike Free 5.0 don’t come with the Flyknit upper than you’ll find on the Nike Free 3.0 and Nike Free 4.0 models, however you do get a Flywire-reinforced knit mesh upper than provides good venation and a great fit.
There’s no-sewn overlays at all on the upper which makes for a minimalist design and one that is itch free. Additionally the inclusion of a traditional tongue construction, which is soft, helps cushion lace pressure. The tongue is very thin so as not to restrict space within the shoe.