Facts

Discontinued
Update: Nike Free RN
Terrain

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Arch support

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who need arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

Price
$110
Weight
Men: 8.3oz
Women: 6.8oz
Show more facts

Road

Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.

Trail

Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.

Competition

Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.

Summary

We spent 6.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

8 reasons to buy

  • The upper unit was agreeable to the shape of the foot, stated a runner; it was able to stretch in order to accommodate the foot well.
  • The breathability of the upper fabrics satisfied runners who wanted to keep their feet cool and dry throughout the running session.
  • Many testers used the word ‘comfortable’ to describe this running shoe’s components and its general performance.
  • Some users have been able to use it frequently and they wrote that it was long-lasting.
  • Several consumers noted that the Nike Free 5.0 was suitably lightweight.
  • The cushioning system was responsive and springy, according to many reviewers.
  • A lot of runners welcomed the flexible nature of the underfoot platform, which permitted them to move more naturally through the gait cycle.
  • Wearing this running shoe staved off any instances of foot or muscle pain, reported a number of consumers.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some of the testers felt that the mid-sole of this shoe wore off quickly.
  • The shoelaces were too long for a tester; they ended up slipping them in the collar, which added a bit of discomfort.
  • A few noted that it was ½ size smaller than what they were used to.

Bottom line

The Nike Free 5.0 performed well for a lot of runners. Most of them welcomed the flexible mid-sole unit, while others adored the comfortably fabrics of the upper. Some of them were able to use it frequently, and they were happy that it looked visually endearing. Though a few had some qualms about some of its components, a lot of neutral runners still appreciated this road shoe.


Rankings


Ratings

4.4 / 5 based on 1644 ratings

5 star
67%
4 star
17%
3 star
7%
2 star
4%
1 star
5%

My Rating

Expert Reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

Are you an expert? Apply to contribute here.

84 / 100 based on 20 expert reviews

  • 87 / 100 by Solereview • Solereview • Level 5 expert

    The updated Free 5.0 does not feature a gusset, and the tongue is free to go where it pleases, within the confines of a lacing loop. Leaving aside a few functional advantages over last year (we’ll cover that, as usual), it is constructed traditionally.

  • 85 / 100 by Runblogger • Peter Larson • Level 5 expert

    The sole of the 5.0 has the characteristic siping grooves that are featured on all Nike Free shoes. The sipes make for an extremely flexible sole that bends and rolls with ease.

  • 80 / 100 by Gear Institute • Donald Buraglio • Level 5 expert

    Outsole rubber is extremely limited, located only at the lateral heel and medial big toe. There's minimal capacity for venturing off-road, so you'll lose some grip and responsiveness going from pavement to dirt.

  • 78 / 100 by Solereview • Solereview • Level 5 expert

    Flywire loops lead to undesirable degree of midfoot lockdown, underfoot heating, and potential irritation from inner seam.

  • 75 / 100 by Runblogger • Peter Larson • Level 5 expert

    So my rec would be that if you have a wide foot, or a thick foot from top to bottom, these shoes may not work out for you

  • 87 / 100 by Men's Health • Men's Health • Level 4 expert

    The Nike Free is not quite a barefoot-type shoe – and hardly a traditional kicker.

  • 95 / 100 by Running Village • Paul • Level 3 expert

    Overall the Nike 5.0 Free 5.0 shoes are insanely comfortable, flexible, and fashionable. They provide great midsole flexibility and a snug and comfortable fit through rear foot and midfoot. There is no need for lacing you can easily slip it on ad off your feet

  • 90 / 100 by Runner Choice • Mike Hout • Level 3 expert

    It is made to a really high quality and provides a comfortable and stable fit.

  • 81 / 100 by Shoe Tiles • Shoe Expert • Level 3 expert

    The Nike Free 5.0 2015 is lightweight, flexible, and incredibly comfortable. This is the year for an upper only change, but the extent of improvements turn out to be substantial. The most comfortable Nike Free 5.0 in recent times.

  • 70 / 100 by 220 Triathlon • James Witts • Level 3 expert

    At various speeds it performs proficiently enough but, as is the way with many of Nike’s shoes, the toebox is particularly roomy, diluting the feel between your foot and the ground.

  • 90 / 100 by The Fat Panther • Mark • Level 2 expert

    Light, fast, middle of the road shoe, best for smaller volume feet.

  • 88 / 100 by Pocket-lint • Stuart Miles • Level 2 expert

    They are comfortable, light, and so far over the last 20km a great performer, oh and did we mention we love the bright orange colour, shallow we know.

  • 100 / 100 by About • Wendy Bumgardner • Level 1 expert

    Fits like a glove. I can wear a thin sock with it or go barefoot in it.

  • 92 / 100 by Popsugar • Alison Rice • Level 1 expert

    These shoes aren't about bounce, tricky gel compartments or anything that counteracts the impact of exercise, they're about using the foot's natural range of motion and strength in muscle. The result? Better control, balance and flexibility.

  • 92 / 100 by Just Run • Just Run • Level 1 expert

    The “new” mesh seems incredibly durable and is of another look of what you might be used to from Nike.

  • 88 / 100 by Running Warehouse • Allie • Level 1 expert

    This shoe definitely fits on the snug side. With minimal seams inside, it can easily be worn with our without socks though.

  • 85 / 100 by Runner's World • Anthony Klingler • Level 1 expert

    These shoes were the perfect balance between barefoot running and large bulky shoes, or for those that want to transition to a more minimalist shoe.

  • 82 / 100 by Run and Become • Run and Become • Level 1 expert

    If you heavily over-pronate, the Nike Free will allow this motion.

  • 80 / 100 by Running Shoes Guru • Daniel Cho • Level 1 expert

    It can serve as a transition shoe for someone looking to move to less shoe or as an everyday trainer for the biomechanically efficient runner.

  • 79 / 100 by Primer • Robert Fure • Level 1 expert

    The Nike Free might not be for everyone because it offers a bit less support than you’re probably used to.

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These are visual presentations, not reviews


Updates to Nike Free 5.0

  • Protection, comfort, security and natural movement. That is what the Nike Free 5.0 has to offer. This running shoe delivers lightweight cushioning and underfoot support that’s great for those who are just starting to get acclimated to running shoes. It’s easy to pick up and use, and it makes sure that the stride is as freeing as possible.
  • The mid-sole unit of the Nike Free 5.0 has a low-profile design to permit more natural movement of the foot. A more natural foot strike is encouraged because of a rounded heel that evenly supports and cushions the landing. Deep flex grooves make sure that the platform truly bends in accordance with the foot.
  • The outsole uses a waffle pattern to absorb the impact shock when landing the foot on the ground. Durable rubber is placed in critical areas where wear and abrasion are most likely to occur. Protection from impact and abrasion is quite a great feature for the external unit of this running shoe.
  • The upper unit uses a highly breathable material that covers the foot in a secure yet comfortable way. It allows air to enter the shoe to keep the foot dry and cool at all times, even when standing idly. Dynamic Flywire cables have been integrated in this shoe, making the fit more exact and tailored to the needs of the runner.

Nike Free 5.0 size and fit

The Nike Free 5.0 is true to its size. The available sizes for this running shoe adhere to the standard measurements for men and women. The width is medium, so it accommodates the runner who has a medium sized foot. Its semi-curved shape follows the natural curvature of the human foot.


Outsole

The outsole unit uses a rubber material to protect the sole unit from abrasion and wear. A Waffle Pattern assists in absorbing impact shock and making sure that each step is as comfortable as the last.

Hexagonal flex grooves are deeply cut into the sole unit. They offer six points of flexibility, letting the foot feel free when moving in every direction that it wants.


Midsole

A low-profile mid-sole unit maintains the lightweight nature of the Nike Free 5.0. The Phylon Midsole Material is made from EVA Foam Pellets that were placed into a mold. It’s responsive and very comfortable, so the wearer’s foot stays safe and secure when standing on this platform unit.

A rounded heel encourages a more natural striking of the foot. It keeps the heel in place while also providing some cushioning to the sides. The combined mid-sole and outsole designs enable shock absorption to be highlighted to the wearer.


Upper

The upper unit uses the engineered mesh to provide a breathable and comfortable coverage that’s also durable and appealing to look at. It doesn’t have a heavy weight, so the runner won’t feel as if their foot is dragged down by the material.

No-sew overlays are placed into the upper to provide structural integrity to the unit. The Flywire cables are connected directly to the lacing system. It offers an adaptive fit that’s well-structured, causing the foot to feel snug yet secure when wearing the Nike Free 5.0.

The sandwich mesh tongue is soft and easy on the skin. It allows air to circulate, thus keeping the skin dry and free from odor-causing sweat.

A removable molded insole gives contoured underfoot support. The arches and metatarsals are cradled, thus letting the runner feel constantly buoyed.