• Review – Nike Free 5.0 Running Shoes

    Nike Free 5.0 Running Shoes Review

    Ever since I’ve read Christopher McDougall’s ‘Born To Run’ last year, I’ve been fascinated by the idea of barefoot and minimalist running. Hence, after months of adapting my stride, I have finally managed to get my hands on running shoes that are in-between traditional and the minimalist. Introducing the Nike Free 5.0 running shoes!

    Nike Free 5.0

    What’s Different?

    To start with, the most obvious feature which makes the Nike Free 5.0 running shoes stand out is the fact they have an 8mm offset. In other words, the toes are only 8mm lower than the heel. Standard running shoes have a drop of 12mm+. Nike Free 5.0 are also quite low to the ground, without extra cushioning and layers. Cutting all that out, Nike Free 5.0 running shoes are very light weight – the lightest of all the Nike shoes I’ve tried (Nike Dart 9, Nike Dart 10, Nike Dual Fusion and even Nike Dual Fusion Lite). Nike lists them at 252g, that is under 9oz.! The biggest advantage these running shoes have over many competitors is the toe space. I don’t have wide feet, however, I find that many running shoes have narrow space in the forefoot area. For heel strikers, that does not make much difference, however, when you land on the forefoot, extra space is needed and Nike Free 5.0 provide it.

    Running Gear Review: Nike Free 5.0 Running Shoes

    Key Features:

    Hexagonal flex grooves – allow the foot to move naturally in every directionNike Free 5.0
    Lightweight knit mesh for ventilation
    8mm offset
    No-sew overlays
    Minimal sockliner for support and comfort
    Lightweight: 252g (9oz.)
    Nike+ Running ready

    Who Should Get Nike Free 5.0?

    Qualified as a transition shoe, Nike Free 5.0 are for those runners who don’t want all the padding and support, yet, are not ready to go barefoot. They are easy to get used to and feel very natural. Mainly for forefoot strikers, however, heel strikers will find sufficient support to suit their running style.

    Where To Use?

    Smooth surfaces like track and pavement. Due to the deep hexagonal flex grooves, Nike Free 5.0 running shoes are not recommended for off-road and trail running. Why? Rocks and twigs will quickly fill these grooves, making it uncomfortable and annoying to run. Sopping to get them out is the last thing you want to do whilst on a run.

    Best Features of the Nike Free 5.0:

    The 8mm drop, as it allows for better mid strike without the worry of dragging the heel.

    The wide space in the forefoot allows for comfortable movement and landing.

    The light weight of the shoes is a real bonus.

    Where To Buy?:

    Amazon, Nike

    Click on the links below to go right to the store…

    <--- in the US

    in the UK --->

    The Not So Good Bits:

    Not suitable for trail surfaces due to the deep grooves, which attract Nike Free 5.0stones and twigs very easily.

    The tongue does not feel comfortable in the upper part.

    Soft cushioning may prove to provide insufficient support on longer runs (marathon + distances).

    Overall Ratings:

    Amazon: 4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

    Nike: 4 Stars (4 / 5)

    Running Gear Review: 4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

    Summary:

    Having a chance to run a half marathon in my Nike Free 5.0 in recent days, I can conclude, that they are a great road shoe. Light, comfortable and responsive. The only drawback was on quick downhills, where I felt a great deal of friction, but then again, I was really pounding it, so it is difficult to judge. The shoe definitely delivers! I don’t know yet how they would perform on distances longer than 20 miles, however, for half marathons and shorter distances, they are great. As pointed out earlier, the main drawback for the Nike Free 5.0 are the deep grooves, which disqualify them from being used off road. They are a very good buy in their price range and I would definitely recommend Nike Free 5.0 over the Nike Dual Fusion Lite.

    Click on the links below if you would like to visit the Amazon store and get more details on these shoes.

    I invite your comments and reviews of the Nike Free 5.0!