Nike Free 5.0 Running Shoes – Review


What is Nike Free?

Nike has introduced the Free concept in 2005 as a way of combining the principles and advantages of barefoot running to strengthen the feet and legs with the protection and traction of a training shoe – in a lightweight package.

With increasing frequency coaches and podiatrists are suggesting runners to include barefoot runs to their running schedule. The logic behind it is that the use of cushioned and supported modern running shoes, our feet are becoming lazy. We don’t use our foot’s muscles very efficiently because the shoes do it for us. They correct our errors and even when we do put our foot the wrong way or with too much intensity – they take the shot on our behalf.

Experts say that while running barefoot you are forced to naturally improve your running gait and and the same time strengthen foot and legs muscles.

Not everyone has the luxury of a bare foot training environment like a pristine beach or a soft, grass field to experience the benefits of training barefoot. Running on concrete is not what our legs and foot were designed for, thus we do need the protection offered by a shoe (we can’t see how landing with your body weight on a rock can improve your running at all).

How does it work?

There are deep, gender specific carves (sipes) molded along the length and width of the mid-sole, and these are what creates the barefoot feeling: you don’t have a piece of foam to flex anymore, but almost independent “blocks” that adapt to your foot while it moves during the running gait.

The flexibility index of a Nike Free (3.0, 5.0 etc.) does not only refer to the sole unit, but also to the upper which has to have the same ration between support and freedom as the mid-sole.

You can read the rest of our Nike Free 5.0 Review on our website, where you will also find a video from Nike explaining the engineering behind the shoe.