We spent 9.7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

9 reasons to buy

  • Many people considered the Nike Free RN 2018 to be a comfortable running shoe for their daily activities.
  • Numerous purchasers lauded the lightweight nature of this running companion.
  • A lot of reviewers welcomed the light and breathable upper unit.
  • The heel section of the upper firmly secured the foot in place, according to some testers.
  • The sizing scheme followed expectations, most people reported.
  • A handful of people liked the various color schemes that were available for this model.
  • Several runners stated that the forefoot section was broad enough to accommodate the natural spreading of the toes.
  • The Nike Free RN 2018 didn’t look awkwardly bulky or fat, according to one user.
  • According to several users, the silhouette looked fashionable enough to be used for casual walks and regular non-strenuous activities.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Traction wasn’t very efficient on wet surfaces, some people noted.
  • Small stones tended to get stuck in the grooves of the outsole, most consumers complained.
  • Part of the collar came up too high, according to a tester. He commented that it rubbed against the skin of his ankle uncomfortably.
  • A purchaser felt some shin pains while running in a pair of the Free RN 2018.

Bottom line

Many people were appreciative of the Nike Free RN 2018. This neutral road shoe received praise for its appealing looks, various colorways, its secure upper, and its lightweight disposition. Conversely, some weren’t too keen on its wet-surface traction while others complained of stones getting stuck between the flex grooves. Suffice it to say that most of the shoe-enthusiasts who have tried the year 2018 iteration of the Free RN were happy with its performance and construction.


Update: Nike Free RN 5.0
Terrain: Road
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 8.4oz | Women: 7oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 8mm | Women: 8mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Material: Vegan
Strike Pattern: Midfoot strike
Distance: Competition
Heel height: Men: 21mm | Women: 21mm
Forefoot height: Men: 13mm | Women: 13mm
Release date: Feb 2018
Brand: Nike
Type: Low drop
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $100
Colorways: Beige, Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Multi, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow
Special editions: 4 special editions
Small True to size Large
See more facts


A top rated Road running shoe
A top rated Nike running shoe
Top 5% most popular running shoes
Better rated than the previous version Nike Free RN 2017

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, 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.

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91 / 100 based on 9 expert reviews

  • 91 / 100 | Believe in the Run | | Level 5 expert

    Overall, the react foam holds up. Its great in this shoe as it was in the Epic React.

  • 89 / 100 | Road Runner Sports | | Level 4 expert

    First and foremost there's a new stretch material in the upper. It is a circular knir and spandex which really gave me a better fit and a more antural movement.

  • 92 / 100 | Seth Fowler | Level 3 expert

    Overall, the Nike Odyssey React is definitely a solid brother to the Epic React. The main selling point of the Epic React was the react cushion and the good thing is that they didn't change it up for the Odyssey.

  • 87 / 100 | Mr. Stoltz | Level 3 expert

    But then also, one difference is the back collar is that it has a lot more padding and I really really like that.

  • 100 / 100 | Running Shoes Guru | | Level 2 expert

    Overall, I have to say that these are by far the most comfortable shoe in the Free Run family. I was impressed by the fit, the feel, and the performance of the shoe from mile one on.

  • 93 / 100 | Edwin the Truth | | Level 2 expert

    In my opinion, its just a well-put-together shoe. It's not flimsy. It's very well-structured.

Become an expert

  • The Nike Free RN 2018 is an update to an ongoing series of running shoes that are designed for the neutral pronator. The upper now has a circular-knit exterior with spandex to accommodate a smooth and flexible coverage. The back portion of the façade looks unique because it has a stretchy strap that supports the actual padded heel unit.
  • The underfoot platform of this road running shoe features a foam core that is responsive. A carrier unit surrounds this central piece, keeping it intact and undisturbed by the external forces. A foam insole adds a bit more cushioning to the underfoot.
  • Flexibility is given to the foot via the Tri-Star outsole configuration, as well as the laser-sipes that go up to the perimeter of the platform. These design elements enable fluid cushioning and smoother transitions through the gait cycle.

The Nike Free RN 2018 has a standard running shoe length. It can accommodate the usual choices of consumers when it comes to size. The available width for the women’s version is B – Medium. The men’s iteration features the D – Medium variant. This running shoe mimics the natural curve of the human foot by having a semi-curved shape.

The outsole unit of the Nike Free RN 2018 makes use of ground-contact ethylene vinyl acetate, which also makes up the majority of the midsole. It has slight protruding parts and dots to deliver surface traction.

Holes are patterned on the center part of the outer sole’s surface. These holes are shaped like three-pointed stars, hence the name Tri-Star. Their purpose is to make the epicenter of the platform more flexible.

Laser siping is also integral to this model. The EVA exterior has thin cuts that are traced horizontally and diagonally. These incisions further heighten the bendability of the entire sole unit.

The Nike Free RN 2018 has a midsole that’s composed of two foam units that are co-molded together. The first one is Phylon, which serves as the core. This compound is designed to offer lightweight and responsive cushioning.

Surrounding the foam-nucleus is a carrier unit that’s made of injected EVA. The purpose of this ground-contact material is to maintain the structural integrity of the Phylon center, as well as deliver durable cushioning to the runner.

A foam insole adds a bit more cushioning for the underfoot. The wearer can remove or replace it with a custom insert if they so desire.

Circular-knit fabric makes up most of the Nike Free RN 2018’s upper unit. It’s created to be form-fitting and breathable. Small ventilation slices are patterned on its surface to encourage the flow of air into the foot-chamber. Part of it is also made out of spandex, which is stretchy and free of skin irritants.

While this shoe has a traditional padded heel for foot security, additional lockdown is offered by a wraparound strap that is fundamentally the extension of the fabric-spandex combo. This stretchy band is secured by a loop that slightly protrudes from the padded back section.

The tongue and collar are lightly padded. This construction makes sure to keep the foot in place and prevent it from wobbling.

A smooth textile lines the interior sleeve. The goal of this material is to maintain a pleasant wrap that’s free of irritation. It even allows for sockless running sessions.

Strips of 3M are added to the tongue unit, the heel, and the lateral side. These reflective slivers help in making the runner more visible at night.

The traditional lacing system allows the wearer to tighten or loosen the fit in conjunction with their preferences.

Nike’s dynamic fit system is at work in the Free RN 2018. Flywire cables loop around the shoelaces, profoundly affecting midfoot security in the process. When the laces are adjusted, the wires react accordingly, thus enabling a customizable coverage.