Nike Free Running Shoes - to buy ot noy to buy?


 I am contemplating purchasing a pair of Nike Free running shoes? Are they any good, the reviews by people on the nike website seem to think so.

 I am a mild over pronator, so will they be suitable for me. My current running shoes are Nike LunarGlide + and Adidas Supernova Seqence.

 If anyone had used them properly, I would much appreciate some advice, i.e. good, bad, indifferent. should you wear socks or can you go barefoot in them depending on distance?

 I am 5' 6", 37, around 13 and a half stone, and am currently running around 5KM max during a training run.

Are they any good in the wet? Do you really get that barefoot running sensation?




  • Hi Spongebobley,

    Well, I certainly like them and so does my OH. Once you get going in them, they are also great value because you can do far more miles in them than "normal" running trainers - there is no support and not a lot of cushioning to wear out in the first place. My first pair of Free 5.0s is still going after over 2000 miles, although I favour my 3.0s now (maybe only 1200 miles on the clock for these).

    I would avoid any "derivatives" of the core Free range (Free Everyday, Free Run) - I have tried these on and they just don't feel the same. That leaves you the 3.0, 5.0, and 7.0 - the numbers represent the degree to which the shoe simulates "barefoot" running vs wearing a cushioned shoe (3.0 = 70% "barefoot", 7.0 = 30% "barefoot"). I would suggest looking at the 5.0 first, to get a good idea of what it's likewearing this type of shoe, but not be too much of a shock to the system. I wear them with socks, but maybe you would get away with sockless - the are comfortable like slippers.

    I am a mild overpronator like you and sometimes run in support shoes, but have never had any problems with the Frees. In fact, my lower leg problems (e.g., shin splints) disappeared some time after starting wearing them, although I am not sure that can be ascribed to just the shoes. I also eased into running in them very cautiously - just a few km per run at first.

    They are fine in the wet from a grip perspective, but the uppers are porous like most running trainers and as they are fairly low to the ground they are not great for charging through puddles. Note that the grooves in the sole pick up all sorts of debris, but it doesn't bother me when running.

    Well, should you get them? Only you can answer that. I am a fair bit lighter than you and run a lot more miles, so you might not find them suitable. You should definitely be very cautious at first - just walking in them to begin with, then just 1-2 km run. If you find you can't run in them, they are not bad as casual shoes to walk around in, if a bit expensive.


  • I had the first version of the Free 5.0 and I would say they were the best shoe I've ever had. But they tore just short of 500 miles, and everything I've seen with the Free label since then has appeared to be much more built up.

    Unless you don't land on your heels, I'd advise against them. Are you able to run far barefoot with no hesitation or doubts that you're doing the right thing?

  • Hi Chris,

    I used to run barefoot during my school days, kind of started one day when i didn't have any trainers to run in, so i just went barefoot.

    But I guess I will try the free's since so many people have recommended them.

  • I have a pair of 3.0's that I use for Road run's of 10-15 miles about twice a week and find them great. My off road runs of about the same distance and anything under 10 miles I do in a pair of Vibram five finger sprints. I find the 3.0 give that bit of extra support you need for the longer road runs. If you want to run as close to barefoot as possible and are completing short miles on grass/track or trail I would have a look at some Vibrams. If your doing your miles on the tarmac then the Nike's are pretty good. Plus as have seen 3.0's on Amazon for under £50.

    Hope this helps

  • If the shoes that you are using now work for you, then steer well clear. 
  • thanks for your guide Its really helpful


  • Some people do not buy Nike for reasons of conscience and global sustainability.
  • i love my nike frees, i have a pair i run in 2-3 times a week at the moment im doing 5 miles as my longer run and i also have a pair for work and a pair for just casual wear,they are the most comfortable shoes ive ever owned and ive owned a few ! you will need to build up slowly, you will feel it in your calfs but once you are used to them  there is no going back.

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭


    simple video that might help you decide. I like Nikes as they are more generous in the forefoot than other makes so really help if you forefoot or midfoot strike.

    The frees are a good shoe if you run on the road.

  • buy these with EXTREME CAUTION - depending on your running style and how quickly you're going to start upping the distance. I appreciate I was stupid, but I started using these when training for a marathon as I realised I was a fore foot runner and was in what I thought were clumpy big air max's. BIG MISTAKE! They probably are the right type of shoes for my running style, but NOT for big distances until you are well used to them (I reckon a good few months before you attempt longer distances (that's if they're good for long distances (15 miles +) at all. I ran a 14 mile run and old knee problem re-occurred after being dormant for 8 years. Next week I did 17 miles and knee got really bad and I got really bad tendonitus on my right foot and my foot swelled up massively and great pain!! It's all down to the lack of support and foot not ready for that mileage on minimal shoe. In hindsight I was trying to seek out flat road as I could even feel my foot jarring on slight slopes. Hope this helps!

  • Hi i know this thread was a while ago, but wondered if people still run with the existing trainers for the longer runs and use free runners for shorter until you are used to them?

  • NayanNayan ✭✭✭

    Ive had both Free 5.0 and Lunarglide+ (5). Given your numbers id stick with the lunarglide for most of your running and Consider picking up  a pair of frees just to walk about and do short runs in until you get used to them.

    If you think are a heavy heel striker and want to work on using your whole foot (for example) the frees will be good for that.

  • Thanks for the reply, I have a half in 9 weeks and was thinking of trying them on the short runs. buit using my normal trainers for runs over 6 miles.

  • I love my Nike Free 5.0s and have run a half marathon in them.  If I wear a more structured shoe I tend to get more injuries, such as problems with my Achilles.  


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