We spent 10.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • Many customers were pleasantly surprised with the colorways the Nike Free RN Flyknit 2017 came in.
  • Stylish and unique were a few of the adjectives that reviewers used when describing this shoe.
  • Several users commented on the high level of comfort this product brought them.
  • The design of the shoes is great for narrow feet, said one tester. This tester ordered the shoes without going a size up or down.
  • Some testers were blown away at how lightweight and flexible the shoes were.
  • Most reviewers used the Nike Free RN Flyknit 2017 as casual sneakers and as running shoes for short-distance running.

5 reasons not to buy

  • The shape of the shoe is narrower than other shoe models.
  • Reviewers noticed that the outsole sometimes collected small rocks.
  • The upper material felt too coarse and stiff, based on several reviews.
  • Several users sensed that the shoes did not have much ankle support.
  • After about 10 miles of running, a tester wrote that she experienced pain coming from the top of her feet.

Bottom line

The Free RN Flyknit 2017 is another Nike shoe model that attempts to deliver the feeling of being close to the ground. Similar to its predecessor, its aim is to make runners feel a sense of freedom when running. To an extent, the shoes have achieved this goal with its lightweight and flexible design. It is suitable for runners who want a shoe that feels as though it is part of their foot.


Update: Nike Free RN Flyknit 3.0
Terrain: Road
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 8.2oz | Women: 6.3oz
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: 24mm | Women: 24mm
Forefoot height: Men: 16mm | Women: 16mm
Release date: Apr 2017
Brand: Nike
Type: Low drop
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $120
Colorways: Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Multi, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red
Small True to size Large
See more facts


Among the better Road running shoes
A top rated Nike running shoe
A popular pick
It has never been more popular than this April

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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84 / 100 based on 3 expert reviews

  • 91 / 100 | Patrick Lister

    The Nike Free RN Flyknit 2017: From marathon to casual sneaker

    More photos

    Yes, I ran a marathon in these shoes. Yes, I was not very smart for doing so…

    From my not so good experience during the marathon to my everyday use of these shoes now, here’s what I experienced over the past year of wear. We all love shoes right?  Well here's some details and info on the makes this shoe great.


    First impression

    This shoe is just cool. The main reason I got this shoe initially because of its look. It just is eye-catching and fun. As you take it out of the box, you notice a couple of other qualities. It is light, and it is flexible. All you Free fans will be very familiar with these two high points.


    As you begin to check out the upper, you will see that it’s the highlight of the shoe. The knit material is awesome!

    It fits like a glove and is greatly flexible. They have also done a solid job with integrating the FlyWire lace system to bring some sense of support on the upper.



    The lacing system is great and allows for a snug fit, as well as bringing support to the highly flexible upper. These are great for hot temperatures. The breathability is solid and is highly recommended during summer days.


    The midsole is a solid part of the shoe as well. It brings a great cushion feel when walking and running. As you move around in these, you will feel a mild arch that gives support which is a much-appreciated feature.



    The Nike Free RN Flyknit 2017 brings an 8mm drop like the previous models which was right in my sweet spot. As you know, these are F. The flexibility, and the soft cushion brings a very comfortable mixture.


    In 2016, Nike Free RN models were given this outsole; in 2017 the same outsole was continued. This outsole is solid for mobility. The groves allow for mobility in any direction.

    On the negative side, the stones often get caught in the outsole. You have to make a habit to take them out before each run. Also, the elimination of hard rubber brought on faster wear which is my biggest issue. The 2017 wear is notably better than the 2016 but still, not great.



    So, "the feel" is usually the most important quality when I look for a great shoe. I have been an owner of Nike Free shoes for over 10 years. It is hands down "the best feel shoe line" for me.

    I love the way they allow you to connect with the ground. The feel of this model falls right in line as previous. This shoe brings on a sense of connection to the body. It has a very snug, sock-like fit which allows your foot to move unhindered in any direction.

    In addition, it brings a great feel to the road. It allows your foot musculature to work and therefore strengthen. In simplest terms, it feels like cushioned-barefoot.



    The shoe brought on a solid experience the first 1-3 miles. See, your foot must work in order to perform in these. Your muscles work a lot, and after about 3 miles, my feet begin to fatigue, and then these shoes feel sloppy with running.

    If you have any pronation tendency more than mild, DO NOT get these shoes. You will feel very uncomfortable. These are for a neutral runner. If you are using them just for casual wear, that’s another story.

    The feel was best for me with just walking. It feels like a cozy slipper - I love it! 


    I did run a marathon in these shoes. So, you can run long in these if you want, but I would not recommend it.

    These shoes perform. They just don't perform at long distances. I chose these to run a marathon because I have always ran in Nike Free shoes and wanted to use something I was comfortable in for the biggest race of my life at the time.

    Now that I have been learning, running and training more, I have come to realize that these shoes are better used as a training tool.



    As a tool, these are very high performers. In running, we need to have great foot strength. These shoes help develop that.

    These perform perfectly under short, fast-paced runs/speedwork. They bring high speed and high mobility. I love to use these for speed work and have come fond of them for strength training as well.

    These are great for off days as well. The cool thing about these is you can wear them casually and still be improving yourself. Everyday walking in these will develop strength in the foot. When I wear these, I feel better while running - It's awesome!


    • Free feel
    • Great look and style  
    • Comfortable
    • Great speed tool
    • Awesome fit
    • Amazing comfort for daily casual use


    • Just a tool - not for daily running use
    • Size is off - they run a size too big with me
    • ZERO support
    • Outsole doesn’t last long


    • Solid quality and for the current price, it’s well worth the price


    • I love it the best currently for casual wear - super comfy
    • Speed work tool
    • For neutral runner - great for 5k's


    This shoe will always be dear to my heart, as it’s the shoe I wore for my first marathon. I have come to view this as a great shoe as long as it is used appropriately. It is not for marathons but is loved by me for daily casual wear.

    If you’re looking for a shoe that will provide you with everyday comfort and use, that you can throw in every now and then for speed work, GET IT. You’ll love it.


    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 74 / 100 | RIZKNOWS | | Level 2 expert

    One big negative this year is that I wouldn’t recommend wearing them without socks. Historically, that has been something I really like about the Nike Free FlyKnit models but the 2017 model FlyKnit upper is a little more coarse and harsh on your skin so definitely make sure to wear socks. The other reason I wouldn’t wear them barefoot is that the heel has a new strip of material on the inside that can ultimately end up causing blisters.

  • 85 / 100 | Live Mint | | Level 2 expert

    The outsole is perhaps the most interesting part of the 2017 edition. It has a tri-star pattern that is cut into the foam—it looks exactly like a web of triangles. The 2016 shoe had a flexible interconnected geometric-design outsole pattern; the 2017 tri-star evolution improves on this, extending equally both vertically and horizontally to match the movement of the feet. It offers the same grip as its predecessor on most conventional surfaces, such as concrete, a sand track or the treadmill surface. There is extra protection on the front and back of the outsole, for your toe and heel.

  • First look | Running Warehouse | | Level 4 expert

  • First look | Rio A. Baskoro

Become an expert

  • The Free RN Flyknit 2017 has a few updates from its predecessor. The biggest improvement was made on the design of the upper. Replacing the ridged exterior of the shoe is a smoother, one-piece fabric that is overlay-free. This seamless design provides a sock-like fit, which follows the movement of the foot more naturally.
  • The logo on the tongue was also updated into something slicker and reflective. Replacing the former logo which looked like it was just stamped on, the updated logo now goes well with the modern exterior of the shoes.
  • The dynamic Flywire technology is still integrated into the lacing system of the shoes, delivering a more customized fit. But the system now has the addition of a single eyelet, found at the bottom, for added security. A set of cables has been removed from the top lace of the shoes to allow more flexibility and a look that’s less distracting.

The Free RN Flyknit 2017 is larger than the usual. Online retailers suggest getting one that’s half-a-size small in order to get a more comfortable fit. Widths for the shoes also come in standard measurements. Because of the cone-shape of the toe box, these shoes will best fit narrow and medium feet.

The outsole of the Nike Free RN Flyknit 2017 is unique. It has auxetic structures, which adjust to every step. These structures stretch and expand upon impact, keeping up with the foot’s pace and movement. The auxetic outsole also helps give the shoes moderate traction.

The midsole of the Nike Free RN Flyknit 2017 uses a fused Lunar Core to deliver a responsive ride and soft underfoot cushioning to runners. This lightweight material is durable, protecting the shoe from early breakdown.

An IU002 Carrier system is also present in the midsole. This system mainly contributes to the soft cushioning and resilient ride of the shoes. It also gives optimal flexibility when needed.

True to its name, the upper is made up of Flyknit material which conforms to the shape of the foot. Aside from providing zoned stretches, it also allows the shoe to be breathable throughout. The material, which is used in the 2018 version of the Free RN Flyknit, also provides a snug fit.

The heel is rounded in order for the shoe to roll with the ground on heel-strike. There is also a single seam on the inside of the heel so the entire design of the shoe looks like a single piece.

Feather-light Flywire cables work together with the laces to provide the wearer a more customized fit. These tiny cables are strategically placed on the upper of the shoe so when the laces tighten, the rest of the upper tightens as well.


Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.