Arch support
M: 249g | W: 207g
Heel to toe drop
M: 4mm | W: 4mm
Heel height
M: 24mm | W: 24mm
Forefoot height
M: 20mm | W: 20mm
Widths available
M: Normal - D | W: Normal - B
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Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.


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.


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.


We spent 9.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

8 reasons to buy

  • A tester commented that the underfoot experience felt like walking on pillows; they’d loved their time wearing the Nike Free RN Distance.

  • People used this running shoe for their daily activities and they felt that it kept them from any muscle or joint pains.

  • The colors of this shoe were more vibrant in actuality, wrote a tester; they acclimated well to its eye-catching look.

  • ‘Enjoyable’ was a word that many reviewers used to describe their time wearing this running shoe.

  • The upper unit’s cloth-like quality gained praise from a lot of consumers.

  • According to runners, the shoelaces stayed in place and they didn’t unravel easily.

  • The mid-sole cushioning system was appreciated because of its capability to keep the feet of the wearer well-cushioned throughout the running session.

  • The flexibility of the Nike Free RN Distance received acclaim; the users felt that it truly allowed them to move more naturally through the gait cycle.

4 reasons not to buy

  • The outsole unit’s hexagonal grooves didn’t last for some testers; they noticed some of them wearing off or peeling away.

  • The cushioning system made a popping noise that irritated some runners.

  • A few consumers noted that it was half-a-size smaller than what they were used to.

  • The side of a tester’s big toe had a blister because the inner fabric kept rubbing against it.

Bottom line

The Nike Free RN Distance made quite a positive impact on a great number of runners. They felt that they were able to run more confidently and freely because of its flexible and accommodating design. The cover system felt like cloth and many wrote that they felt comfortable because of it. On the other hand, there were a few caveats for this model. Most complaints were about its components, which didn’t work well for a few consumers. Still, this road shoe pleased those with neutral gaits.

World wide, Free RN Distance is in the top 1% most popular running shoes. The brand, Nike, is the 1st most popular.

Map: Shows popularity per continent based on 1010 shoes


4.4 / 5 based on 238 ratings

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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.

83 / 100 based on 14 expert reviews

  • 92
    JonLevel 1 expert
    by Jons Journeys
    It is a perfect balance of natural feeling and cushioning.
  • 82
    Rockstar RunnerLevel 1 expert
    by Rockstar Runner
    I recommend this for marathon to half marathons.
  • 88
    Brian MetzlerLevel 5 expert
    by Running Competitor
    Despite the thicker amount of foam and rubber under foot, the Free RN Distance offers unparalleled agility for an everyday training shoe. Our wear-testers found it best for short to medium-length runs, long intervals, fartleks, shorter tempo runs and races up to 10K.
  • 84
    Brian MetzlerLevel 5 expert
    by Running Competitor
    Despite the thicker amount of foam and rubber under foot, the Free RN Distance offers unparalleled agility for an everyday training shoe.
  • 78
    SolereviewLevel 5 expert
    by Solereview
    A Free shoe to go longer - with thicker cushioning making the flexible midsoled concept more comfortable to run in.
  • 87
    Jonathan BeverlyLevel 4 expert
    by Runner's World
    Initial wear-testers report that the Free RN Distance delivers on the comfortable, moccasin-like feel of other models in the line, with a cushy, protected ride that was appreciated most on easy runs of any distance.
  • 85
    Jonathan BeverlyLevel 4 expert
    by Runner's World
    Initial wear-testers report that the Free RN Distance delivers on the comfortable, moccasin-like feel of other models in the line, with a cushy, protected ride that was appreciated most on easy runs of any distance.
  • 75
    JonathanLevel 4 expert
    by Running Warehouse
    Doing a few pick-ups mid run, the Free RN Distance lacked the responsiveness I desired.
  • 82
    Riley JonesLevel 2 expert
    by Complex
    The Free RN Distance was created for — you guessed it — distance runners who are in search of something a bit less restrictive than traditional high-mileage running sneakers.
  • 80
    BrytonLevel 2 expert
    by BrytonW
    It is designed for longer runs while keeping the same high flexibility of the Frees.
  • 89
    Steve HakimLevel 1 expert
    by RunRepeat
    In general, I have enjoyed running in these shoes! While the Free RN Distance doesn’t excel in any specific realm, it is comfortable, resilient, and cost friendly. I recommend them.
  • 85
    Jeff DengateLevel 1 expert
    by Yahoo.com
    If there's a knock on this shoe, it's that the upper fits a bit loose and unrefined compared to the rest of the Free lineup. 
  • 82
    Lauren PadulaLevel 1 expert
    by Run Synergistic
    Enough cushion to protect even a fractured foot with the lightweight flexibility I expect from a minimal shoe.
  • 80
    AimeeLevel 1 expert
    by Pretty-Sweaty
    So, probably cushioning that doesn’t break down as quickly as the typical Nike Frees. And probably a wee bit of support.
  • Show moreless reviews
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These are visual presentations, not reviews

  • Slee
    It is flexible and very comfortable.
  • Fadez Kicks
    These are fashion shoes as well.
  • B & E Kicks TV

Updates to Free RN Distance

The Nike Free RN Distance features the natural-motion outsole that had hexagonal flex grooves with six points of flexibility. It allows the foot to move freely and flex to where the foot meant to. It gives flexibility for a comfortable, long distance run.

The shoe comes with a lightweight cushioning that delivers enough support for high mileage runs. The soft foam delivers a great combination of plush comfort and durable support for distance runs.

It also features the single-layer knitted upper that delivers maximum breathability, keeping the foot cool and dry. The upper is engineered with the Flywire cables that comfortable wraps the arch for a more adaptive and supportive fit.

Free RN Distance size and fit

The Free RN Distance has a close-to-the-foot fit just like the other Nike Free shoes. The forefoot and the midfoot area are in shallow volume, providing a snug fit for runners with medium and narrow foot shape. This shoe is absolutely not ideal for wider foot. It is available in standard running shoe size.


The Free RN Distance uses the BRS 1000 carbon rubber extended in the entire outsole that delivers durable traction. With the aid of the hexagonal flex grooves that promotes maximum flexibility, the foot can move naturally. The waffle-pattern lugs deliver reliable grip on wet surfaces while giving added cushioning.


The shoe has a soft cushioning and it delivers a durable and responsive ride. The fused lunar core gives a lightweight yet responsive cushioning and the IU002 carrier system offers a smooth ride while giving the necessary flexibility needed for comfortable and enhanced performance.


The upper of the Nike Free RN Distance features a one-layer circular knitted upper that delivers an impressive fit while giving plenty of breathability. It also uses the Nike’s Dynamic Flywire cables that provide added support and adaptive fit without adding to much weight to the shoe’s overall weight.


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