Verdict from 14 experts and 100+ user reviews

8 reasons to buy

  • The sock-like fit of the upper and the plush interior make the ride very comfortable in the Free RN Motion.
  • The durability is exceptionally good, based on several comments.
  • It is very light.
  • The flexibility is incredibly designed for more natural running, noted some testers.
  • It has plusher cushioning than other Free versions.
  • The breathable coverage ensures a cool and dry run.
  • A few testers liked the quick transitions.
  • The traction is versatile where terrain goes, even in wet conditions, based on a good number of observations.

2 reasons not to buy

  • A handful of runners felt the Free RN Motion is a little expensive.
  • Some said that the upper could have used a little more structure.

Bottom line

The Free RN Motion takes the natural running principle in the Free to another level in the form of a new midsole/outsole design. It is light, very flexible, and offers tons of comfort. The shoe is built to last for speed training or ultra-long runs.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Good to know

  • Nike comes up with an innovative and revolutionary design in the outsole that take free running to an even better level. It calls the new technology as having “auxetic properties” that allow the shoe to move laterally and medially with the foot. This is a technology that delivers custom-like support and structure to every part of the shoe.
  • Another new technology in the offing is a new midsole foam set up. The two layers of foam are molded together to give responsive cushioning with an element of on-demand stability.
  • The upper also features a new 3D Flyknit that hugs the skin with every stride and a Strobel that affords added cushioning and comfort without taking away ground feedback and the natural running principle of the Free RN Motion.

The fit of the Nike Free RN Motion from the heel to the forefoot is quite snug in a comfortable way. There is almost a sock-like feel that is in no way constricting. Runners can enjoy enough space in the forefoot for the toes to splay. Medium is the available width of the shoe. Sizes are accurate in options 6 to 17 for the men’s and 4 to 12 for the women’s.

The outsole looks ordinary in its siped configuration, which is known to add excellent flexibility. However, Nike uses an innovative geometric pattern to give the outsole almost a natural flexible movement that works in conjunction with every stretch of the foot through the gait cycle. It creates a new process that even the outsole really moves like a second skin.

The midsole is a mix of the responsive Lunar foam that is enveloped in an IU foam. Nike shapes the new midsole to form a wall, which is also elevated on the medial side. It creates a guide that only produces a corrective measure that is evident only when the runner excessively rolls inward after landing. This midsole configuration is also utilized in the Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit 2018 and other Nike running shoes.

There is stability for neutral runners as well, particularly those whose form suffers after long hours on the road. The new design works with the 8mm offset for a more effective and smoother heel to toe transition. 

A 3D Flyknit upper covers almost the entire shoe that it feels like a sock with a midsole and an outsole. Nike’s natural running principle behind the Free line is substantially displayed in this Flyknit. The heel is quite pliable and completes the second-skin feel of the Free RN Motion. Traditional laces keep the fit secure all through the run.


How Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 32% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Top 31% Nike running shoes
All Nike running shoes
Top 29% neutral running shoes
All neutral running shoes


The current trend of Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit.
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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.