April is upon us and it’s finally time to break the chains of the winter weather, pick up some new spring kicks, and get outside to enjoy the sunshine. A great choice to hit the ground running is the newest edition to the Nike Free System running family, the Free Run 5.0+. The Nike Free Run 5.0+ features a number of upgrades from its predecessors. One of the major new additions is the new Flywire technology on the upper of the shoe which provides superior support, and is a change from the more dynamic fit from previous versions. Another major enhancement is the flex groove design which allows for a more natural range of motion and actually strengthens your foot while you are running. Eight millimeters of offset and 21 millimeters of cushioning in the heel make the shoe most ideal for the “neutral” runner.
The Free Run 5.0+ is now available in stores and online in multiple colorways and retails for $100. Check out some of the new colors below and also an interview with Nike Running Designer Rob Williams.
It’s a simple idea
Let your body perform the way it wants to. This is the philosophy of Nike Free. Footwear that offers the feel of barefoot training. From inspiration to innovation, here is the story of Nike Free.
The natural motion of barefoot running and training helps strengthen the foot and ankle muscles, providing increased flexibility and balance for athletes.
increased foot strength
“Nike Free mimics barefoot running and training which can help strengthen your foot by allowing it to use those intrinsic muscles it wouldn’t normally use.”
-Tobie Hatfield, Nike Sports Research Lab
Elite athletes train in Nike Free
“My running shoes are for going forward in one straight line, anything I do outside of that is in a training shoe”
“Nike Free allows your feet to move and flex in a more natural way. The enhanced freedom of movement increases the grip of your toes for increased flexibility and balance.”
- Tobie Hatfield, Nike Sports Research Lab
What is natural motion?
Natural motion refers to how your feet, legs and body were meant to move. Nike Free promotes natural motion by distributing pressure more evenly across the foot, allowing it to flex and grip as you land and take off, creating more muscle engagement.
Why Nike Free?
The design of Nike Free allows the foot to move and flex in a more natural motion, helping strengthen the foot and ankle muscles for increased flexibility and balance.
What are the benefits of running in Nike Free?
Nike Free allows your feet to move and flex in a more natural way. This enhanced freedom of movement increases the grip of your toes, helping strengthen your foot and ankle muscles and increase overall flexibility and balance.
What do the Nike Free numbers mean?
The Nike Free number is a representation of how close your foot is to the ground. The lower the number, the closer the experience is to barefoot–like feel. The higher the number the more support and cushion you have.
What number is for me?
How much support and cushion do you want under your foot? What are your goals? Have you ever worn minimalist footwear before? Your answers to these questions will help determine which free is right for you. If you’re new to free, we recommend starting with 5.0.
What does offset mean?
Offset measures height differential from heel to toe to define how minimal a shoe is and how close your foot is to the ground.
Can I use any Nike Free product for running or training?
New technologies have been developed for specific activities. Diamond pattern technology supports multi-directional movement for lateral training activities while the deep full-length flexibility of running shoes maximizes your run. There can be some cross over, but we recommend choosing a running shoe for your run and a training shoe for your workout.
How do I start running or training in Nike Free footwear?
Nike Free is designed to let your feet move more freely and naturally, which means your muscles are doing a bit more work than demanded of them in traditional athletic shoes. Start at a Nike Free 5.0 and work your way down the Nike Free spectrum as your feet become stronger.
Why aren't you offering the Nike Free run this year?
Actually, we are. We simply updated the name to the Nike Free 5.0+.
I purchased Nike Free last year. What's different about the new styles?
The outsole remains the same on each style and the new innovation comes to life in the uppers. Each have their own updates.
Why would I buy Nike Free vs. another brand who offers minimalist footwear?
Nike has been providing natural motion footwear since 2004. With each version of Free, we've innovated new technology, which has led us to an authentic, industry leading product that covers the full spectrum of the scale. Take your pick, we have the right shoe for you.
In 2005, Nike representatives noticed that a highly respected track coach to whom they supplied shoes had his runners training barefoot. The Nike Sports Research Lab began studying the idea of barefoot running. They discovered that barefoot running allows a greater range of motion in the foot for increased muscle activity and allows the body to align more correctly. As a result, Nike began to scratch the surface of barefoot training by creating a shoe called the Nike Free that simulates barefoot running.
Nike Free technology provides the benefits of barefoot training while offering the cushioning and protection you need underfoot. The key is in the midsole/outsole, where deep flex grooves align along the length and width of the shoe to give the foot more natural movement, which also increases muscle activity through all phases of the footstrike. The shoe's upper also works with the midsole to provide support without impacting the barefoot–like fit and feel. As the market for these lightweight, barefoot shoes continued to increase, Nike Free shoes were developed for not only running and training, but casual styles too. The world of footwear will never be the same.