Summary

We spent 7.3 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what training geeks think:

5 reasons to buy

  • A majority of the wearers marveled at how comfortable the Nike Free Trainer v7 was.
  • The material used in this shoe was lauded for being lightweight and breathable.
  • Many training enthusiasts were pleased with how versatile it was for many types of fitness activities.
  • A lot of testers liked how supportive this shoe felt on their feet.
  • Some of the buyers also noted that they were satisfied with the snug fit of the trainer.

3 reasons not to buy

  • The dynamic stretch bands were disfavored by a handful of purchasers; they felt that the trainer would fit better if they could tie the laces themselves.
  • The midsole was not firm enough for weightlifting exercises, as stated by a number of gym-goers.
  • The lack of upper overlays made it difficult for some users to perform side-to-side movements.

Bottom line

The Nike Free Trainer v7 has been praised for its overall comfort and snug fit. On the flip side, some buyers were disappointed with the half-sleeve upper design and the lack of support for weightlifting. But despite the drawbacks, the Free Trainer v7 was still touted as a reliable and versatile training option by many testers.

Facts

Expert Reviews

77 / 100 based on 4 expert reviews

  • 80 / 100 |

    Nike Free Trainer VIII

    Nike-Free-Trainer-v8-midsole.jpg
    Nike-Free-Trainer-v8-plastic-reinforcement.jpg
    More photos Nike-Free-Trainer-v8-toe-cap.jpg

    This is my review for the Nike Free Trainer VIII, which I have used for the past year during my HIIT training classes.

    Specifications

    Use: Gym training
    Arch support: neutral
    Price: Average £70 
    Closure: Laces with a glove fitting sensation

    I have used this shoe for cardio training, grit strength classes with various lifting in short but intense sessions, and plyometrics classes with steps with different levels of raises. (Check on Les Mills GRIT for a better understanding). The training runs three hours a week for a total of 144 hours circa.

    There has not been any interruption during this period of COVID-19 lockdown as I can access these classes (cardio only for the past three months ) on the APP, and see some of these classes on YouTube as well.

    The shoe looks very smart and attractive.

     

    Nike-Free-Trainer-v8-midsole.jpg

     

    The Nike Free Trainer VIII is very comfortable as soon as you put it on. The insertion of the foot isn't that straightforward as you have to use some force, but as soon as it is on it fits like a glove!

    With regard to support, as soon as you are moving on them, you have the right feeling. Running on the spot, jumping or left, and right skates are coming naturally.

    Lacing is almost unnecessary. However, when you do your micro tights and adjusts, you will feel your feet nicely wrapped up, and you know you can do anything you feel like.

    The shoes lacing systems provides seven eyelets in total with two of them attached to sturdier plastic parts that are securing, even more, the shoe with more stability sensation.

     

    Nike-Free-Trainer-v8-plastic-reinforcement.jpg

     

    The front is reinforced with a rubber (in this case orange) that comes up and cover most of the top. This makes us understand that this is a gym trainer, and it isn't for running. The reinforced front allow exercises on the toes such as planks or press-ups with ease. 

     

    Nike-Free-Trainer-v8-toe-cap.jpg

     

    The flexibility is extended as the shoe bend easily allowing a natural movement of the feet. Despite this, the foot does not take the stress entirely. 

     

    Nike-Free-Trainer-v8-flexibility.jpg

     

    The sole is rather soft and wide enough to provide good stability.

     

    Nike-Free-Trainer-v8-outsole.jpg

     

    The heel is responsive and supportive. 

     

    Nike-Free-Trainer-v8-heel.jpg

     

    The forefoot bends a lot as we have seen previously, which is good as it is flexible. However, there isn't enough cushioning especially on intense running on the same spot, squats, and jumping. Hence, you will feel some fatigue on your legs.

    With that said, the very fact that the forefoot drop is quite low and without much bounce provides an excellent ground feeling. You will feel you are down to the ground, thus, reduces the possibility for your foot to twist. 

    The breathability is good. Once the class has finished and you pull your shoes out for a shower, you can see some sweat on the socks, but it isn't a great deal. The mesh material on top is soft and allows the foot to breathe. 

     

    Nike-Free-Trainer-v8-midsole.jpg

     

    The shoe is very comfortable. It is supportive as the heel is well-locked and hardly slip or move. Also, the foot is all well-wrapped up, allowing pleasant sensations and feelings during burpees, star jumps, twists with jumps, and turnings. 

    The weight is 300 g, which is good. The look is very good, and the shoe stands out. People in my gym have noticed it. It has a modern design and is attractive, but this isn't a surprise for Nike

    The value for money is there, especially now as this is no longer in production. With the price of £70, it is a good investment as long as you utilize this for the gym use only. 

    The arch support is neutral, which can please most of the athletes. In fact, if desired, the original insole of the shoe comes out, and you can insert your own as I do.

    Reasons to buy

    • Good overall training shoe for indoor gym training
    • Very flexible but with enough support

    Reasons not to buy

    The front of the shoe bends a lot, and it does not have enough cushioning. Hence, there isn't much bounciness for jumping and intense running on the spot, so your foot has to compensate for this. 

    Conclusion

    The Nike Free Trainer VIII is an overall very good shoe for gym training. It is versatile as you can use it for HIIT classes as well as weight lifting and step classes. As the forefoot is quite low on the ground, the shoe is good for some lifting but without too much weight on it. 

  • 95 / 100 | Nightwing2303 | Level 1 expert

    If you're looking for a pair to train in, then you can never go wrong with something that is low profile like the Nike Free v7. It just promotes a lot of stability, while maintaining some level of comfort.

  • 60 / 100 | Sun and Sole | | Level 2 expert

    I know that the standard Free Trainer is oriented as a light, less expensive option in Nike’s Training line, but just a few tweaks could have really made a difference.

  • 90 / 100 | AskMen | | Level 1 expert

    If you're a fan of flexibility and a shoe that conforms to your natural movement patterns, Nike delivers the Free Trainer V7.

  • First look | Shop Zappos

Become an expert

  • The Nike Free Trainer v7 hails from the brand’s line of shoes that deliver a barefoot-like training experience. Because of its name, this man’s training shoe can be easily confused with the women’s Nike Free TR 7. While the two models share similar Free sole units, their designs differ significantly.
  • The new model ditched the hexagonal panels that were prevalent in prior versions. It now features a triangular pattern for multi-directional flexibility.
  • The upper unit employs a half-sleeve design for a snug and secure fit. It also utilizes a dynamic stretch band instead of laces to keep the foot locked-in.

The Free Trainer v7 features an updated Nike Free sole. The new sole has triangular segments that allow it to expand and contract in any direction. It helps in delivering more flexibility and freedom of movement for the foot.

The sole also has rubber pods that are strategically placed on the toes and heel portions. They serve to protect the platform against the wear and tear while ensuring traction on a variety of surfaces.

The midsole of the Free Trainer 7 is made of a one-piece foam material. The material is designed to be lightweight and responsive. Its form-accommodating construction promotes the natural toe splaying.

This Nike trainer features a half-sleeve construction with a fully attached tongue. The coverage is comprised of a 3D-printed, breathable mesh. This material keeps the shoe lightweight and capable of providing support in the right areas.

The upper is reinforced with the Flywire, a proprietary technology developed by Nike. It features sturdy filaments that add support and prevent the foot from slipping throughout the training session.

For the lacing system, it uses dynamic stretch bands. They allow wearers to easily slip on the shoe and acquire a snug fit while still having the freedom to move.

Author
Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo

Nick is a powerlifter who believes cardio comes in the form of more heavy ass squats. Based on over 1.5 million lifts done at competitions, his PRs place him as an elite level powerlifter. His PRs have him sitting in the top 2% of bench presses (395 lbs), top 3% of squats (485 lbs) and top 6% of deadlifts (515 lbs) for his weight and age. His work has been featured on Forbes, Bodybuilding.com, Elite Daily and the like. Collaborating along the way with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.

nick@runrepeat.com