The first Free shoes were sold more as training aids rather than running shoes, yet typically with Nike being Nike, they soon became more of a fashion statement than performance shoe. The line remains but from a technical standpoint it may be better placed by removing the RUN from the name and reverting back to that training aid ethos.
An ideal performer for low-mileage sprints, the Nike Free RN 5.0 returns to its roots as a running shoe. Lightweight, single layer mesh in the upper provides more stretch to feel like a second skin. Less foam in the midsole means you're ready to hit the ground running.
The FREE range of shoes were initially marketed as training equipment rather than shoes. Aiming to promote a more barefoot gait, they came supplied with a booklet that took you through a range of dynamic mobility workout aiming to promote flexibility and strength in the feet and legs.
The deeep grooves cut into the shoe help promote this flexibility and feel.
Adding the RUN name to the shoe can be a little misleading to some consumers as for everyday running the shoe is too soft and too flexible.
That said, we'd maintain that if used as it was initially intended it remains a good shoe to have at your disposal.
More flexible than previous versions, the one-piece sole and midsole design allows a massive range of movement. As such, there's no control or stability.
A sock-like design offers a snug fit that's exceptionally comfortable and minimalistic.
The one-piece sole/midsole design is highly flexible and helps to maintain a barefoot running feel.
If used as a training aid for dynamic mobility workouts this shoe is great, but as an everyday running shoe we have reservations. Most runners, new or old will require more cushioning and more stability.
Deep grooves cut in to the midsole/sole provide unequalled flexibility.