This is my review for the Nike Free Trainer VIII, which I have used for the past year during my HIIT training classes.
- Use: Gym training
- Arch support: neutral
- Price: Average £70
- Closure: Laces with a glove fitting sensation
I have used this shoe for cardio training, grit strength classes with various lifting in short but intense sessions, and plyometrics classes with steps with different levels of raises. (Check on Les Mills GRIT for a better understanding). The training runs three hours a week for a total of 144 hours circa.
There has not been any interruption during this period of COVID-19 lockdown as I can access these classes (cardio only for the past three months ) on the APP, and see some of these classes on YouTube as well.
The shoe looks very smart and attractive.
The Nike Free Trainer VIII is very comfortable as soon as you put it on. The insertion of the foot isn't that straightforward as you have to use some force, but as soon as it is on it fits like a glove!
With regard to support, as soon as you are moving on them, you have the right feeling. Running on the spot, jumping or left, and right skates are coming naturally.
Lacing is almost unnecessary. However, when you do your micro tights and adjusts, you will feel your feet nicely wrapped up, and you know you can do anything you feel like.
The shoes lacing systems provides seven eyelets in total with two of them attached to sturdier plastic parts that are securing, even more, the shoe with more stability sensation.
The front is reinforced with a rubber (in this case orange) that comes up and cover most of the top. This makes us understand that this is a gym trainer, and it isn't for running. The reinforced front allow exercises on the toes such as planks or press-ups with ease.
The flexibility is extended as the shoe bend easily allowing a natural movement of the feet. Despite this, the foot does not take the stress entirely.
The sole is rather soft and wide enough to provide good stability.
The heel is responsive and supportive.
The forefoot bends a lot as we have seen previously, which is good as it is flexible. However, there isn't enough cushioning especially on intense running on the same spot, squats, and jumping. Hence, you will feel some fatigue on your legs.
With that said, the very fact that the forefoot drop is quite low and without much bounce provides an excellent ground feeling. You will feel you are down to the ground, thus, reduces the possibility for your foot to twist.
The breathability is good. Once the class has finished and you pull your shoes out for a shower, you can see some sweat on the socks, but it isn't a great deal. The mesh material on top is soft and allows the foot to breathe.
The shoe is very comfortable. It is supportive as the heel is well-locked and hardly slip or move. Also, the foot is all well-wrapped up, allowing pleasant sensations and feelings during burpees, star jumps, twists with jumps, and turnings.
The weight is 300 g, which is good. The look is very good, and the shoe stands out. People in my gym have noticed it. It has a modern design and is attractive, but this isn't a surprise for Nike.
The value for money is there, especially now as this is no longer in production. With the price of £70, it is a good investment as long as you utilize this for the gym use only.
The arch support is neutral, which can please most of the athletes. In fact, if desired, the original insole of the shoe comes out, and you can insert your own as I do.
Reasons to buy
- Good overall training shoe for indoor gym training
- Very flexible but with enough support
Reasons not to buy
The front of the shoe bends a lot, and it does not have enough cushioning. Hence, there isn't much bounciness for jumping and intense running on the spot, so your foot has to compensate for this.
The Nike Free Trainer VIII is an overall very good shoe for gym training. It is versatile as you can use it for HIIT classes as well as weight lifting and step classes. As the forefoot is quite low on the ground, the shoe is good for some lifting but without too much weight on it.
Good to know
The Nike Free TR V8 was crafted for male athletes who need reliable footwear for intensive, high-impact workouts. It is an update to the acclaimed Nike Free training shoe series which aims to create flexible and weightless trainers for a natural foot experience.
The overall construction of the shoe makes it very similar to the Nike Free x Metcon, one of the brand’s acclaimed CrossFit shoes. But the latter sports a sturdier and more reinforced construction to keep up with weightlifting and rope climbing exercises.
The bottom part of the Nike Free midsole is dissected by hexagonal cuts. They allow the platform to bend in multiple directions, helping the foot move seamlessly throughout the training session. The edges on both sides of the sole have an abundance of flex grooves that contribute to the flexibility.
Rubber pods are added in the key areas of the outsole. They provide grip on gym surfaces and protect the platform from abrasion. The rubber compound at the front part also serves as a toe bumper for burpees and other exercises.
The Nike Free TR V8 sports a full-length EVA foam for lightweight cushioning. The back and side portions of the unit extend up to form a cradle. This construction keeps the foot in place during lateral movements.
A combination of textile and synthetics makes up the upper unit of the trainer. The material on the forefoot has a more open construction than the rest of the unit. Its ventilation pores help in keeping the inside aerated.
A thick synthetic overlay wraps the back of the shoe to form a heel counter. It is made firm to afford stability in the rearfoot.
The TPU wings render additional support on both sides of the footwear. Integrated with the lacing system, they lock the foot in the ankle area to provide lateral stability.
The flat laces easily slide through the metal eyelets, allowing for a quick fit adjustment. The Flywire cables can be seen in some of the eyelets. They become taut when the laces are tightened to give extra support in the midfoot.