391 users: 4.6 / 5
2 experts: 84 / 100
Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 8.2oz / Women 6.6oz
Heel to toe drop: Men 8mm / Women 8mm
Arch support: Neutral

Verdict from 6.1 hours of research from the internet

7 reasons to buy

  • The 5th version of the Free Shield features a water-resistant upper better comfort and protection.
  • It is very responsive, according to several testers.
  • Although it is of average weight, this running shoe runs a lot lighter than its weight based on the remarks of several users.
  • Comfort is something that many testers appreciated.
  • The shoe is a bit flexible as noted by a handful of runners.
  • 9 color combinations for an insane number of choices.
  • The Flywire technology gives the shoe a better personalized fit.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Some testers were confused about the shoe’s lack of plush cushioning.
  • A very small number of runners were frustrated that the soles came apart without piling enough miles on this shoe.

Bottom line

The Nike Free Shield 5.0 provides great arch support for neutral and mild over-pronators. It uses an 8mm offset with a relatively high stack height that both heel and midfoot strikers will agree on. This can rightfully be called a lightweight trainer that can do very well in marathons and ultra-long runs.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Expert reviews:

  • Changes in small measures make up the story of the Free Shield 5.0. It features a new lining that effectively repels water and adds more comfort in the shoe. With a single update, Nike enhances weather protection and interior feel in this new upper material.
  • For the first time in this line, the Phylite midsole is included. Made with company-exclusive material, this foam has enhanced durability and cushioning in a lightweight package. Runners can expect a little more out of the midsole as the 5th version of the Free Shield can be used in a variety of ways.

The fit and sizing of the Free Shield 5.0 follows those of the past model. It has average measurements in the heel to the forefoot. Runners should be very comfortable with the generous volume in the forefoot for more comfort and breathability. Nike offers medium as the available width of this shoe while sizes are from 7 to 14 for the men’s and 5 to 11 for the women’s.

Waffle lugs comprise a large portion of the midfoot to the forefoot in the outsole. These lugs enhance the grip of the shoe on different surfaces like road and track. Providing a long-lasting element to the outsole is the durable BRS 1000 carbon rubber in areas affected most by heavy impact.

The midsole is carved with Transtarsal Glex Grooves or horizontal cuts just below the toes for enhanced flexibility and transition. Keeping shock right around the heel and absorbing the impact is a gender-specific crash pad. Nike features the Phylite midsole foam in this line for the first time. It is a midsole foam that is noted for its lightweight durability and cushioning.

A seamless upper that hugs the foot in comfort is the main feature in this section. Right beneath the breathable mesh is the H20 Repel Mesh or material that keeps water off. For light snow or drizzle, the material keeps the foot warm and dry. The iconic Flywire technology connects the sole and the entire upper for a secure and comfortable fit. 360-degree reflectivity is something that will be indispensable when the running in low-light areas or conditions is a must.

Size and fit

True to size based on 234 user votes
Small (35%)
True to size (65%)
Large (0%)
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How Free Shield 5.0 compares

This shoe: 93
All shoes average: 86
58 99
This shoe: $115
All shoes average: $119
$40 $350
This shoe: 8.2oz
All shoes average: 9.5oz
3.5oz 16.2oz
Jens Jakob Andersen
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.