I ordered a pair of Nike Free 5.0 shoes the other day and from the moment I put them on I realized
Nike Free 5.0
how much better technology not only makes our minds, but our feet as well!

The whole idea behind the “Free 5.0” Nike’s is that, even though you are wearing shoes, it feels like you are going barefoot. Nike pulls off that idea in a grand and incredible way.

Here’s how:
The 5.0 shoes come with two inserts: 5.0 and 4.5. You are supposed to use the 5.0 insert first because it has more padding for the balls and heels of your feet.

Then, when your feet are stronger, you put in the 4.5 soles that have no extra padding and then it really feels like you are walking barefoot.

I went right for the 4.5 innersoles because the 5.0 inserts felt like I was wearing regular shoes. I’m already big on barefoot so I felt my feet were strong enough for the 4.5s.

The 4.5s do make you feel as if you are walking barefoot.

Amazing!


The Nike Free shoes are super lightweight.

There is no rigid heel cup to stabilize your ankle. In fact, the entire heel cup is feathery mesh that offers 100% no support and you wouldn’t want it any other way.

The key to the “barefoot” feel of the shoes is the special tread.

The tread has deep cuts in it and the sole is divided into lots of squares
like a raw slab of tiny bathroom tiles without the grout, so any direction your foot wants to flex, the sole will bend to the will of your foot instead of your foot bending inside the rigid hull of the shoe.

The feeling you have wearing these shoes is magical!

I was walking around Manhattan all day yesterday and I could feel the sidewalk beneath me as if I were walking barefoot. I could feel pebbles
and stones and tar.

When I went up the stairs my toes could grab the edge of each step if I wished. I was stable. I was secure. I was, indeed, giddy!

The real magic seeps out when you’re just walking around the house.

Bye-bye flip-flops. Bye-bye filthy barefoot feel in a dirty apartment house garbage room. Hello Nike Free 5.0! Your feet don’t sweat because the entire shoe is covered in ventilation. It doesn’t feel like you are even wearing shoes.
Nike Free 5.0 are made to be worn sockless.

I find that idea entirely gross because it is easier to wash your socks than to wash your shoes on a regular basis, so I always use socks. I think the fit and feel of the Nike Frees is better with socks.

Beware there are a lot of different “Free” styles out there from Nike.  There are cross-training “Frees” that have an extra strap across the top of your foot. The women’s version is frillier than the men’s version I present here.

Remember, when you buy Nike shoes you go up a size from your regular shoe size. So if you normally take a size 10 shoe, the size 11 will fit you in the Nike realm.

I like my Nike Free 5.0s so much I bought a second pair with mainly grey and a little bit of blue and I’ll never go barefoot without shoes again!

159 Comments

  1. Hey Carrie!
    The shoes are cool in more than one way. 🙂
    They look good but they are also really breezy in a good way with the total mesh ventilation system.
    I’m not sure how they will do when the weather turns cold and I wonder if the heel mesh will eventually tear from over-wear. We’ll see!

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  2. I love the shoes i run about 8mi. a day and then do alot of training in them and there incrediable. I haven’t found the hell mesh to wear t much at all and the idea of not wearing them with socks ins’t so bad becasue your feet dont really sweat to much in them so they dont ge tto gross….anyway time will tell on duribility but i dont thnk Nike woudl make a production shoe that wasn’t tested for duribility especially with the marketing they have put behind these truely innovative “shoes”

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  3. Hi Jay —
    Ooo! I am grateful for your specific and detailed experience with the Nike Free 5.0s.
    8 miles a day, eh? I am jealous of you! You will live a long and healthy life with that kind of regimine.
    I am glad to know the mesh is strong and won’t tear. I agree that these shoes are made with magic and Nike is an innovative company.

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  4. I was won over the second I put them on! I was shopping for sneaks today and there was a display up but there were no shoes on it. I asked a clerk about them and he said they weren’t in stock yet! I was trying on some other shoes when a senior staff member came around with shoes for the display. I immediately pounced on him and asked where he got them. He told me they had just come into stock. He got a pair in my size and I haven’t taken them off since! The feeling of your feet is amazing!

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  5. Hey Ande —
    Wowser, what a great story! The shoes are absolutely addictive.
    You were lucky to find them in a store. I tried three stores around here and they were all sold out.
    You can allegedly order custom Nike Free 5.0s on the Nike website but they never appeared to be taking new orders when I checked.
    I finally settled with FootAction.com and ordered from there. The service was fast and efficient.

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  6. I’ve been interested in these shoes since I saw them, but I’m curious as to whether they’d be right for me.
    I’m not a runner, but I like walking barefoot. I even play golf barefoot when I can. I’m curious as to whether these would make an ok shoe for me. Most of the things I’ve seen talk about them being used as a training tool, only some of the time.
    Are they suitable for everyday walking around?

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  7. Not —
    I am not a runner, either. I use the Nike Free 5.0s as my every day shoe for walking, powerwalking, lounging around, etc.
    The Frees are a shoe that make you feel barefoot. You won’t understand until you try ’em on. 🙂

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  8. The Free is totally awesome underfoot but i would prefer a more supportive heel counter. After running in them and i was ready to pitch out every other shoe yet will continue to alternate various shoes daily for my weekly mileage of 40-50. i would like to see a whole line devoted to this concept including racing flats. Thumbs way up!!!

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  9. ive had my shoes for several weeks now, they are the most comfortable pair of shoes ive worn.. I recently started wearing them sockless and I was pleasently supprised how well they breathe, kind of wierd feeling a breese on your feet when wearing shoes.

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  10. Hi. I’m a high school cross country/track runner. And I’m about ready to start up the new XC season. I was wondering if I would be better off using these shoes for track/speed workouts, or if I should also use them for my long runs on hard surface. It just seems to me like running 10 miles with these would be too much for me, i’m not sure. Do any runners here know?

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  11. I was thinking of getting these shoes to strengthen my feet for soccer,also just for wearing around everyday.However I’m not sure what type to get, the trainers with the extra strap or the regular kind. Any help would be great.

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  12. soccer —
    I would ask your Nike salesman for a definitive answer, but in my unofficial opinion if your foot is going to flex side-to-side alot as you change directions you want the cross-trainers for their added support. The strapless version, as I understand it, is for straight-ahead running or walking.

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  13. Alright, one more question for any long distance runner, I promise! Will these shoes have a high probability of causing injuries such as shin splints? I had splints for the longest time, and I’m finally recovered for the most part, and I just want to make sure they wont come back because of these shoes. Thanks a lot!

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  14. Just received mine today from nikeid.com. Custom designed! Most interesting shoe I have worn to date and I got to customize it and even get a 12.5 US size. Wow!

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  15. Congrats, Jeff!
    Love your website! Qigong is wonderful. 🙂
    I wore my Nike Frees for three hours today all over Manhattan and it was a great adventure to walk “barefoot” around NYC.
    I still can’t get over the sensation of going down stairs and actually feeling the edge of the stair with my toes in these Nike Frees.

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  16. Hey David – I tried on a pair tonight and loved them. Decided to come home and shop on the Internet. Confession – haven’t bought a pair of athletic shoes in 15 years – I’m a flip flop type of girl on the weekends.
    I’m heading for Italy soon – lots of cobblestone streets. You mentioned “feeling the pebbles” under your feet. What do you mean by that? Would they be good for extensive walking on cobblestone streets?
    Thanks,
    Rene

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  17. Hi Rene —
    It’s all a matter of taste, I suppose, when it comes to feeling the street on your feet. I use the 4.5 inserts because I like the feeling. If you want more cushion leave the 5.0 inserts in the shoes and you should be fine.
    One major reason the elderly fall so much is they lose feeling in the bottom of their feet so they have no sensation of where their foot is in space and that leads to tripping. The Nike Free 5.0 shoes give a great feel for what is beneath you without you having to actually have touch your bare feet.

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  18. I picked up the free’s about the time they hit the stores. What a great shoe. I just started running in April after a very long time off. Since my first run the shoes have never given me a problem, not a blister, not a feeling of soreness, no shin splints, nothing. Because of the mesh support the shoe really conforms to your foot quickly. I started running 5 miles a week and am now up to 25. I’ve switched to the 4.5 insoles and my feet have never felt so good.

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  19. Hey, thanks a lot, Josh. That helps. I was worried about injuries. I went to a sporting goods store today and all they had were the 5.0 trainers with the strap on top, so I decided to order the regular 5.0s from a running specialty store in town. I’ll let you know what i think of them!

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  20. I run 55 miles a week and just ordered a pair to strengthen my feet when I move up to 70+ a week in September right before xc season.

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  21. I have these and the mesh at the back has ripped or torn. I am going to try and return them, and get a replacment because I really love them.

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  22. Hi Plasma!
    My wife’s 5.0s ripped in the mesh area the first day she wore them. She didn’t return them because she didn’t want to deal with the hassle and they haven’t ripped any further.
    I have two pair and I’m rough on them and there are no tears anywhere.
    Good luck on your return!

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  23. I just wanted to tell everyone how helpful all the postings have been for me. I have been reading about these shoes over the last couple days and cant wait to get my feet into some of the trainers. I am a health and physical education major at the Univeristy of Alaska, Anchorage and a devout weight trainer and runner. My major has me learning/participating in almost every activity possible, and I am very excited to try them all ‘barefoot’. Thank you again for the useful information and I’ll post again once I get my own pair!
    Andrew

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  24. I just bought a pair based on recommendations here and at the Cool Tools blog, http://www.kk.org/cooltools. At first, my right foot felt a little uncomfortable, like my little toe was falling off the edge of the insole. Then, I switched to the 4.5 insoles and found happiness. They really feel great; I notice the barefoot feel especially when I do a knee bend and there is no leather putting a crease in the top of my foot.
    The one question I have is about the fit. I’m going sockless (ooh!) and while I have a bit of room at my toes, the shoe is snug laterally. Is this the way these should fit? I normally wear 8.5 and bought a size 9. I think they’re good, but wanted to get other opinions on how these should fit since they are quite different.
    Thanks for the recommendation. I’m looking forward to my run tomorrow morning.

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  25. Hi David —
    I was always told Nike shoes run one full size larger than what you normall wear in real life. I have found that to be true. I always “add one” to my shoe size when buying Nike and it works out as expected. 🙂

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  26. I finally got my pair today! I like them already, I feel a lot more cushioning with the 5.0 inserts, and you can feel more barefoot with the 4.0 inserts. I havent decided which inserts to use when running with them, but I’m kind of leading towards the 4.0 inserts. Anyway, they are great.

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  27. I got a pair of these about 3 months ago. I hadn’t run for several years due to hip pain, but these shoes made me want to try again. I have had no pain with these, causing me to suspect that my pain was caused by too much stability control in previous shoes (I put on the old shoes to test and couldn’t run a 1/4 mile without pain.) These shoes feel great–they’re light, cool and flex with my foot. It’s better than running barefoot. (I hate wearing shoes in general). I’m not sure about the durability–both of mine have torn around the heel; though mine were probably an early unit so maybe they’ve fixed this. I have still been able to use them, but I’m looking for a new pair.
    I did get an attitude about them from a running store (hansens, royal oak)–they’re concerned that people will use these for more than just training (like me) and they don’t seem to like the way Nike markets these (not indicating they are simply trainers.) Good feedback in general, but they couldn’t grasp a low distance runner (15 miles/week) who just enjoys running and finally could run without pain, nor could they offer any alternatives–guess I’m not a true runner in their eyes. (guess they don’t get my money, either.)

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  28. I run about 10 miles a week, at the most. But in high school and college I was a full time athlete. I am about to try out the Nike Free when I get my pair in the mail. I tried some on at the Nike store in Vegas and I couldn’t believe how great they feel. I always go barefoot or in sandals, so the idea of shoes with those benefits is definately a nice one. I had one question for anyone who knows. I tend to walk on the outside part of my foot, so the soles always wear at an angle -wearing down on the outside and staying full on the inside. It over corrects and after I’ve had shoes for about 9 months to a year, they start straining my calves (which unfortunatley are about the strongest part of my body), and it hurts something fierce. Any word on if these shoes correct for this at all? I’d assume not, but they seem to be able to do everything but make protein shakes… and that will just take someone creative enough.

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  29. I’ve been running exclusively with my Nike Free’s for about a month now. At first i was hesitant to run too far because of the advertising. But my first 6 mile run in them left me feeling very positive about them. I then tried an 8 mile run and liked them even better. I find that I no longer have the sore legs and knees that i had with my former shoes.
    I’m 54 and should probably have sore knees and legs after a 15 mile run, but I don’t anymore since I’ve been running with the Frees. I love being able to feel the ground under my feet instead of a cushion. I really like how the shoes “encourage” me to be a mid-foot striker.
    I’m hooked and see no reason not to treat these shoes as everyday, 45-50 mile a week, shoes.

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  30. If the risk of “puncture” is your only concern, it would make sense to develop (and consequently take care of) areas which would be well suited for real barefoot running. On the long run, this could ultimately have greater benefits for feet and gait than running with the Frees. And if you are not in it for the long run, why are you running?

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  31. Hey, quick question here. I was wondering if nike sells just the inserts the the Frees? I wear my Frees everyday and the inserts are getting worn out.

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  32. i got these shoes about 4 months ago and the mesh on the back of the heel has ripped. i just got a pair of the trainer hoping that they will be more durable. i play soccer so will need them for more a lateral movement.
    recommendation to everyone thinking about buying these shoes: if you are planning to do anything else besides run or walk in these shoes (like play soccer) get the trainers for the added support. i have friends in which the actual material by the toes of their nike frees has ripped because they did to much lateral movement.

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  33. As my last question received no reply, another question for David: do you or any other people that write on this site and/or page, receive any money or any other form of retribution/compensation (even if only modest sums) directly or indirectly, for this Nike product content? No prejudgements, just would like to know honestly and without ambiguity if what we read here can be considered advertising and/or publicity. Thank-you.

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  34. Hi corrado —
    I am the only person who creates posts for this site. I do not receive any money or advertising or free samples for anything discussed on this blog.
    I can’t speak for the people who comment because I only know of them what they present here.

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  35. David, many thanks for your reply. I have enjoyed reading your site and I hope you agree these are fair questions. I am trying to find reviews that tackle the issue “money’s worth”, as difficult and as admittedly subjective (e.g. heavily dependant on personal income) as this maybe. Do you know of anysuch blog? cheers and thanks again.

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  36. I have suffered from shin splints for years and now I am running like I’ve never had a problem my whole life!!! These shoes are a godsend! If anyone suffers from shin splints please give these shoes a try. You will be so glad you did.

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  37. I am searching for a good shoe that can be worn on the street but can be used for running. I have been looking online at the Free. My concern is that I will be running along a beach quite often as well and I am not sure of the Free being designed to be near water. I have also considered the Nike Hydrous because it is made for water areas but I don’t know if it will work for running. Catch 22. I would like to note I have also looked at the Adidas xCountry, I think it would be excellent in the sand but the water may destroy them. My question I guess is how would the Free stand up to water? Were they made with that as an intention? Any input would be appreciated, thanks.

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  38. Yeah, but then it becomes a great teaching moment as I tell them it isn’t snot and it is evidence of my greater health than theirs!
    I then get into the common cold, the two most popular months for students to get stick, dry dorm air and how to conquer all these ills with a Neti Pot.

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  39. Regarding running on the beach…
    The regular nike free’s are *ok* with water.. though I’ve only splashed a few puddles and ran in the rain, not on the beach. I really do love the shoes, however, I would think they arent the best choice for beach running. The outer material has vents for comfort and coolness and sand would probably enter there and get stuck between the outer layer and the inner “sock”
    The trail version of this shoe may be built differently, but I’m not sure.
    A good cheaper choice might be Solomon’s Amphibian pro shoes. they are made for river or ocean ect and drain awesome.

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  40. By they way, Nike changed the 5.0 slightly so supposedly the heel is more renforced.
    I just got my new pair (after sending my 5 month old ones back to nike) the 10//2 black and gold ones are pretty snazzy looking and the heel is indeed a little different looking. The mesh itself appears the same, but instead of being glued to a plasticy looking cup like my first pair appeared. the mesh is sewn onto the same material as the outter upper material..
    No rips so far, but I have only logged 2 runs.
    Happy holidays.

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  41. anyone used these for tennis, or any one know they would perform well with tennis? I’m looking for a nice tennis shoe and these things look and feel sweet, i tried them on the other day and loved them.

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  42. Hello,
    After reading about free 5.0s, I’ve kind of wanted a pair, just for the sake of really light running shoes. But now after reading these posts a few months after first wanting the shoes, there is no doubt in my mind I will order a pair before this week is over. This board of posts are amazing, now I know exactly how the shoe feels/works. My only problem is that I do not know whether I would rather the running shoe or the trainer shoe. I would be mostly running on ashpalt or a gravel path.
    Thanks a lot for all of your input!

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  43. Hey,
    This forum is great! I’ve been running in my Free 5.0’s for about 7 weeks and have logged about 160 miles. When i first begin doing my long runs in them (max 9 miles) they felt great, but now the last 15-20 miles or so no longer have that nice feel of gliding while running. Do any of the runners who respond to this forum think i’ve worn the shoes to the end of their life, and is time for new ones… or have my feet gone retarded and are protesting my healthy habits…help
    ~oh and another factoid… 2 of the last 3 times i’ve been running i’ve gotten cramps in my feet while running and in general the muscles in my feet feel very tight…and now i shall restate my plea.. help!
    thanks so much everyone
    Elliot

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  44. I think that you may be overusing your frees! I say this because I am pretty sure these kicks have been designed for running medium distances (8-10) miles….I would call this long distance but since you’ve been doing up to 20 I’ll have to say medium….and the reason I say this is because the Nike website states that these shoes are not for professional use. It also says they shouldn’t be used for high intensity training regimes or run overly long distances in them, and I can see why because your feet probably can’t withstand this amount of stress put on them for such a long time, your foot muscles just aren’t large enough and strong enough for that.
    I would suggest that when running over 10 miles, to switch to a more supportive shoe so less stress is placed on your extensor/flexor muscles (and tendons) in your feet….and more stress onto your achilles up to your gastronemius (calves).
    Hope I this helps.

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  45. Well, I have read through all the excellent information listed on the site, and have about decided to buy the Nike Free Trainers, but I have one concern. The Free(s) I’ve currently got my eye on have a strap on them. Does anyone know anything about the strapped Nike Free Trainers? Why is there a strap anyway?
    Thanks,
    Josh

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  46. Yes, these shoes really look like magic. I’ve been wanting to purchase them and I’m sure I will pretty soon. The Free Trainers caught my eye because of the extra support strap. I know they limit the whole concept of “free” but I’m sure I’ll need the strap for some stability. I am an international karate competitor so I’ve been on my barefeet for half of my life. I think these would be ideal for emulating free motion while giving me some support and traction; exactly what I need. The comments are great and seem to further encourage me to purchase the frees.
    Thanks,
    Derek

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  47. Josh,
    About your question about the strap on the free trainers… I have a younger brother who recently wore his brand new frees outside to play football with some friends… It was not too much later that he camne in the house crushed because his foot puctured the fabric of the top of his frees ,where the slits are located, when he tripped forward… From that experience and from what I’ve heard… the strap is there to prevent this from happening, the regular frees are for running straight only and the front strap of the trainers are so you can have some side to side movement without hurting the shoe.
    Blair

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  48. Hey
    -These shoes sound amazing. I’m training with my small group to run the Pikes Peak half-marathon this summer and I don’t know which free would be better-the strapless or the straps. I heard the straps are better for turning and stuff, but I’m still wondering. Oh, and I’m really tight on cash right now-does anyone think they’ll drop price by June?

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  49. Hey Ethan,
    I got my frees off of eBay for a total of 92$ Canadian, and that includes shipping to Canada from the US. I thought this price was amazing and the store I got mine from (runningman0) always sells a lot of different sized frees each week.
    Ryan

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  50. Hey-
    -Yeah, I just got my shoes in the mail from Designer Athletics for $50.00 on E-bay. They feel great, but I heard that they also come with different inserts. These did not…are those just an option or was I supposed to get them. What is the default (original) insert? Am I at the barefoot or the more-cushioned right now?

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  51. Great site for all the reviews! I am a 35-40 mile a week runner and with past situations with shin splints, I am not eager to forfeit “cushioned” running. I am, however, eager to use these at work as a personal trainer. The gym has rubberized floors so I imagined there won’t be a lot of foot or lower back stress. Time will tell. I like how these shoes offer so much flexibility and am happy to rid of the rigidity of regular athletic shoes. If anyone can tell me how they feel on your feet all day, it would be appreciated. Thanks for the site, David!

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  52. Hey May… I have been wearing my frees everywhere I go… At first your feet may feel like they are more tired than usual (like you’ve been standing longer) but I no longer wear any other shoe. Also I talked my mother into getting a pair… she has an old injury to her foot where the swelling never went away… anyway she has wore them all day long at work since she bought them. Her job also requires her to be on her feet all day long.
    Hope it Helped….

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  53. I’ve been thinking about getting a pair of these for a while. I have always run in the Nike Prestos and love them, and think they are probably fairly similiar to the Nike Free. Has anyone tried both, and if so, how do the Free compare to the Prestos? Thx.

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  54. Hey Matt,
    I have both prestos and frees. I used to just wear my prestos for running and they were quiet excellent. I found them very light and a great running shoe. I have recently purchased the Nike Free sneaker and there is not enough to say that would quite describe all of the benefits you get with this shoe. These sneakers feel lighter than any pair of slippers Ive ever owned. When I run, I seem to never want to stop, and I usually push myself well beyond my running limits with other sneakers. It seems that instead of my legs or feet getting tired first and causing me to stop, its my lungs and upper body that gets tired first. I highly recommend these sneakers to EVERYBODY who runs, or anybody with muscle problems that inhibit them from running. They are so comfortable and light, I wear them everywhere I go. I am going to switch to the thinner soles this week.
    Ryan

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  55. I was thinking of getting the Free 5.0s but I wasn’t sure how good they really are. But after reading all these reviews I’m sure that I’ll be satisfied with them. I only have one question though, and the answer will be the deciding factor to whether I’ll get these shoes or not. I’m planning to wear these shoes for everyday commute, not just for exersizing. And I’m wondering if I go out with these shoes in the rain, will my feet get soaked or will they do a good job in keeping water out.

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  56. Scott,
    In my own personal opinion and experience, the free 5.0’s are as good as keeping water out, as a pair of socks. However, my use for them is mostly for excercise (or walking when it’s dry out). I do not recommend these sneakers if you don’t want your feet to get wet.

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  57. Hi all,
    I’m from Singapore and am currently considering getting a pair of 4.0s. I am an avid volleyballer. I am a casual runner but am interested to go further in running as I love running. What are the differences between 4.0 and 5.0? I would think the 4.0 would make you even stronger than the 5.0 would, as it offers less cushion. Does the 4.0 has the heel rip problem too? Could anyone who has the 4.0 offer some precious insights? Thanks a lot.

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  58. Hi all,
    I just got a pair of free 4.0’s. Got a US size 11.5. It’s a little big, but they didn’t have size 11. My usual size is 10.5 or 11, depends on brand. According to this review, one should take a full size larger than what they normally wear. But I found it to be too big… Also will the free 4.0’s expand? I have room in my toes, and my heel does not stick to the lower mesh cloth.

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  59. As for sizing issues and anybody wishing to purchase a pair without trying them on (ordering online), I suggest that you first try on any pair of Nikes to find your size. I normally take 11.5 in Nikes, so I tried a 11.5 in Nike Free’s and they fit perfect just like my other Nike sneakers. However, I think that if you don’t wear Nike’s, and you don’t know what your NIKE shoe size is, add atleast 1/2 a size to whatever else brand shoe size you have (i.e. I wear a size 11 for my boots, but for Nike sneakers 11.5 fits me perfect). I also know my Nike shoe size in relation to Asics/Pumas/Reeboks, so if anybody wants to order a pair of Free’s and they have Asics/Pumas/Reeboks, just ask me and I’ll be glad to write up what sizes fit me in what brands.
    Ryan

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  60. Hi all, i have a couple of questions. I am looking towards buying a pair of free trainers, but i am wondering if i would be able to not only run and train in these, but also play soccer effectively and alot in them. I also heard that the trainers sizes run small, so i am a 9.5 but i have read that i should get a 10.5, is this true. Please send feed back!
    Thanks!

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  61. Hi everyone,
    I was wondering how long the nike frees lasts. I read on other forums that it tears very easly. I was planning to buy it purely for walking purpose, not training or running.
    People who have their frees for a couple of months, is your nike free still intact?
    many thanks and great website btw
    Randy

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  62. i bought a pair of grey/silver 4.0s and i really like them!
    i bought some asics tiger shoes at the same time and they are size 9.5
    the Free 4.0s had to be in 10.5 to be comfortable
    the 4.0 insole has little bumps that are really comfortable
    acupuncture style
    they slip and have no laces and have a velcro strap
    i am strangely really enthusiastic about my shoes!
    i recommend and enjoy them highly
    thank you nike (ha! never thought i would say that)

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  63. Hey everyone, I am a bigger guy looking to slim down. I love the idea of a barefoot shoe since I really dont like shoes but will they hold up to a heavier man running in them?

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  64. Me here again, I am very devestated to say, that only after 3 weeks of regular use of my NIKE frees 5.0’s, they have ripped to such an extent that I can’t wear them. The heel is ripped completely off the sole all the way up to the middle of the sneaker. I am currently trying to get a replacement from NIKE. A friend bought a pair of 5.0 trails, around the same time, a bit heavier, but they have lasted him perfectly with no signs of wear.

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  65. Hello,
    Would be grateful if someone could answer my question.
    I am slightly overweight (by 15 odd lbs) I run 4 miles , three times a week.
    I cant run more because i have weak knees, i had surgery on a dislocated knee and it buckles quite often.
    I have been reading abt this shoe and am interesting in purchasing one, but most of you say ‘you feel the street’ ‘the cobblestones’ etc, wouldnt this be detrimental to running with this, i.e. the added pain of constantly feeling hard non consistent surfaces?
    Secondly at this time I use a Nike shoe with air, its somewhat comfortable but i still have a sore knee for a day or so, does this shoe come with air?

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  66. I’ve been wearing my Nike Frees for about 3 months now and almost love them. The first problem/issue/whine I noticed was the edge of the insole. They felt like they were cut a little short around the sides of the heals. The second issue is the smell. I’ve only worn socks with these shoes twice, the first was when I bought them and the second was for about 4 hours a few weeks ago while trying to kill the smell. I have to spray them with Dr. Scholl’s every time I take them off. I don’t use the sneakers just to work out (since I don’t), so I wind up wearing them all day long. I contacted the nike live chat today about buying new insoles, and was told they don’t exist 😦 This would be great when I go out with a certain group of friends since they ‘tell’ you to take off your shoes at the door.
    I tried them on with the 4.5 insoles, tried the 5.0 when I got home, and promptly put the 4.5s back in. The bottoms of the 5.0 have inserts that were almost painful to wear. I should see if I can remove them somehow, without destroying them alltogether.
    I haven’t seen them advertised with air, it could defeat the purpose of the shoe. As for how you feel the ground, it isn’t painful at all. It feels like a really flexible shoe. So you feel larger bumps, but not the sharp edges.

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  67. I bought my Nike 5.0’s and haven’t found a way to get rid of the smell. I’ve washed the insoles(5.0) and today I soaked the whole shoes. I think I’m going to be forced to buy thin socks and wear them that style cause they really didn’t consider foot odour when they designed them.
    I don’t wear them if I go some place that I hate to take them off cause of the smell problem.

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  68. The cross trainers’ strap does absolutely nothing because of the way it is built into the shoe. It provides no extra support because of the way it is built into the shoe. The runners however do make a magical difference because of their construction. The runners are innovative and provide more flexiblility and better ventilation because of their construction. The more intelligent purchase are for the runners and are a good investment no matter what sport you’re playing, and they are a model nike should be proud of, and if you buy them instead of the useless trainers, you will be proud of too.

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  69. hey
    Im a grade niner just trying to get some shoes to use in different sports. On the website, I noticed that Ladainian Tomlinson a football player and jimmy rollins a baseball player use them to train. i actually want to use these shoes to PLAY court sports like volleyball and maybe use them inside in gym class. I already have a pair of lebron s for basketball and outdoor sports. I can understand that these shoes are quite flimsy and are pretty easy to rip. So are these worth it for 60 bucks? for multiple uses? Will they last for me? please remember im only 14-15

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  70. Also, since im gonna use them for alot of sports which model should i go for? cross trainers? since i need alot of lateral movement for volleyball. Any help would be greatly appreciated thanks.

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  71. I am in the Army and am currently deployed to Iraq. I bought a pair of Nike free just before I deployed, and have been running faithfully in them since. I went from a 16 minute 2 mile, to a 14 minute 2 mile in the past 10 months. They formed a tear in the fabric accross the heel. I bought a pair of Asics Gel Landreth, and wore them for a week. I am back wearing the Nike Free’s tear and all! I never want to run in another shoe again. I run anywhere from 2-6 miles a day, and these are it! I just purchased a pair of Nike Free Trainer. After the purchase, I realized that the tread is different and am concerned that I will not like them as much. Does anyone have any insight as to the difference? I would like to be running in the 13’s before out re-deployment in September. Stay safe in the US, and keep the Corona cold for me!
    Thanks-Rich

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  72. First – Rich thank for being there. Keep up the good work
    Second – Now that the 7.0’s are out, what are the differences between the 5.0’s and the 7.0’s?
    Thanks

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  73. I have been waiting for my new 5.0 Trainers to arrive here in Iraq. I recieved an email from roadrunnersports.com stating that the order is still being processed after a week….And so I wait.
    Okay, so I fell in love with the 5.o’s. Then I bought the 5.0 Trainer, (I guess the strap looked cool!)and have not recieved them yet. From the looks of the photo’s I have seen online, it seems that the tread on the 5.0 trainers is different from the tread on the 5.0’s. My question is this:
    Will I be dissapointed in the 5.0 trainer after liking the feel of the original 5.0 so much?
    So Jeff, I think we are asking the same thing. Hopefully someone with some insight can enlighten us both. Then again, if I don’t like running in the trainers, I will not hesitate to buy a pair of 5.0’s right away.
    Cheers-
    (If there might happen to be any mid-30’s ladies that are in the Hawaii area, I would like a running buddy. Don’t hesitate to drop me a line.)
    Worth a try right?
    Rich

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  74. Hi,
    Is it possible that Nike 5.0s tear more easily when wearing them with socks or vice versa?
    Well, just a thought,
    Thanks and have a nice day

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  75. Holy Cr*p the Trainers rock! It is said to be more of a weightlifting shoe than a running shoe. I ran four miles yesterday in a personal record 27:30. The quick turnover that I am able to achieve with these light shoes is just plain stupid! Weightlifting huh?….Who needs a special shoe for that anyway?
    I think some of the problem with these shoes tearing is the habit of sliding them off your feet as you would with a slipper, by stepping on the heel with your other foot. They are so comfortable, you d*mn near forget that you have them on.
    (Stepping down from the soap box, and smiling at the nice man)
    Rich
    [This comment was edited for content by David W. Boles]

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  76. Rich, most tears may be from removing them with one’s feet, but Nike should have expected people to do that (as most shoes have become reinforced to the point where it’s a common practice), and I know quite a few people who’s Frees have ripped in the back with constant hand removal.
    I tripped while running and tore the side open (big hole underneath the Nike logo, running the length of said logo), though, so I feel that I can attest to them being rather delicate. I love ’em, but I’ve never been easy on shoes, so I’ll probably return them for something else. I absolutely love the concept, but the execution seems to have been a bit flawed.

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  77. Has anyone noticed a clicking sound when you walk on the Nike Frees? I have the strapped ones and they are very comfortable (although a little pinchy in my achilles tendon which was admittedly sore before). But the clicking sound (which seems to come from the middle of the shoe) is quite distractng and even embarassing in quiet environments.

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      1. Thanks for your comment! It’s amazing how technology keeps advancing and creating new things that keep getting better. There’s no end to the technological advances in footwear!

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  78. I bought the frees a week ago and ran for 15 mins on the threadmill the first day and then stopped as I felt my feet getting about of cramp around the small toe. They feel great. I have been running with the Sucony Hurricanes 9 which I love. they are the only sneakers that I have been able to run in as they have great cushion and overpronation support. As good as Hurricanes are, I still fee pain in the tight area. I did not feel such pain running the first time in Free and had no knee pain or uncomfort afterwards which was great.
    My question to others having run in free: If you are only using it for training, what other sneakers do you run in? If you are overpronator and running in Free to strengthen the bottom of the feet, it does not seem right to be running in a stability shoes at other times. Would it be better to be running in cushion shoes at the rest of the time? My goal is to run in Free only and would report more. Meanwhile for last few months, I have been walking in thin sandals most majority of the time and the bottom of my feet feels strong. So, it should be easier to go Free.

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  79. So, I’d like to know if anyone can answer Jeff’s question about the difference b/w the 5.0 and 7.0 — I know it’s the mesh vs leather, but which is better? Thanks.

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  80. First post here,
    I ran in the Nike Presto’s for several years, but having to replace shoes every 150 miles or so got expensive because I found they broke down quickly, but oh so comfortable.
    I just bought a pair of Free’s for a trail marathon because I have been getting “dead leg” in my longer training runs with heavier/bulkier shoes. I’ve also been getting hotspots and blisters for the first time in my life. I have been alternating Nike full Shox and Nike Structure Triax’s.
    Has anyone out there run in these for 20+ miles (at once), and if so, what shoe related problems did you find?
    Nick

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  81. So, I’d like to know if anyone can answer Jeff’s question about the difference b/w the 5.0 and 7.0 — I know it’s the mesh vs leather, but which is better? Thanks.————————————————————————–
    The 5.0v2’s are mainly for runners only. Straight running, less side to side movement. The 7.0’s offer more cushioning and more stability for lateral movements for sports such as basketball, raquetball, etc. I just bought a pair of 7.0’s and I absolutely love it. Not only is it extremely comfortable but i’ve never gotten so many compliments on the look of the shoe in one day. I am actually going to buy the 5.0 v2 as well as a running and walking shoe.
    Joey

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  82. All the posts regarding the Nike Free’s has been very useful, considering a salesman at a nearby Sport Chek told me the Free’s were not really made for running ($7/hr doesn’t get you what it used to I guess). My question is, I have had recent issues with arch pain and Achilles Tendonitis…I was fitted for custom insoles and they have worked like a charm….would I still be able to benefit from using in-soles in the Free’s? The insoles are not a hard sole, but more a sponge type…My current running mileage is lower (10-12 miles/week) and I will be using an eliptical trainer more come winter…any suggestion for type of Free’s I should look at?

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  83. Hi there,
    I’m looking to buy a pair of Nike Free UK 11 (which is my normal trainee size over here). I’ve tried on a pair of Free’s in that size and length wise they’re good, about 3/4 inch to spare by the toe, but across the area of my foot between the toes and arch it feels really snug, not overly tight, but tighter (obviously) than a normal trainee. Is this normal or should I go online to order an 11.5????
    Hope someone can help as I really fancy a pair of these.
    Cheers,
    Matthew

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  84. Hello
    i just bought a pair of nike free 5.0 v2.0 from the nike store. when you buy a new pair it comes with two soles? i have to cehck the box, but i dont remember seeing another pair of soles as you mentioned.
    should i go back to the nike store?
    mahalo
    ed

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  85. My boyfriend is a runner and loves the Nike Free. I’m not sure exactly which he has but I think he’s got the 5.0’s. The thing is now that he’s looking for new ones they all have a higher arch. Are these the 7.0’s or just newer versions of the 5.0? And is it even possible to get the ones with the lower arch?
    Sammy

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  86. The latest 5.0 frees have a piece of plastic on the toe box and a piece of ultrasuede that goes over the whole toe area, as if Nike had confused the heel tearing problem with a tearing problem over the toes. The result is a tightness and pinching in of the toes,blisters on my toes, no more “yoga toe spread” that I was loving in my old frees. I have sent back two pairs of the new frees and I’m really disappointed in Nike about this.

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  87. Hey Running With My Dogs,
    I know your question was posted over a year ago. I tend to walk on the outside part of my foot too but in the Free 5.0 shoes I don’t have that problem. I LOVE these shoes!! I wear them every day. I’ve had them for about 3 months and have had no tearing at all. I threw out the 5.0 insoles the day I bought them and have been wearing the 4.5 ones. I’m not a runner but I do Hip Hop in these shoes 🙂 I am not a shoe person and like to go barefoot from the time the snow melts in the Spring until Winter comes but I have found myself wearing these shoes all the time! Has Nike gotten smarter and started to make replacement insoles yet? Mine are starting to stink!

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  88. hi all just thought i would say i wear my nikes witout any sole in them at all ite weird at firts but it fells great i have had these shoes for ages (blue with white soles) i picked mine up for £20 (35-40 $$) which is nothing
    my question is has anyone tested teh firfence betwen these and the nike + shoes (the ipod compatable shoes) cos i would quiet like to know the difrence

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  89. I bought the nike free 7.0 trainers. Im starting track season. But it looks like I bought the wrong shoe. I should have bought the 5.0’s for running. Has any one noticed a difference when running in a trainer or the 5.0’s. Basically whats the difference? Besides a strap?

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  90. Jim –
    I have both the Free 5.0 and the Free Trainer 5.0 . I run in both of them now – Initially I used the Free 5.0 for running and the Trainer 5.0 for other workouts (weights) and general wear. Since I got the Nike + iPod kit, I’ve been wearing the 5.0 Trainers for running because I can fit the Nike iPod sensor under the strap. I can’t say I notice much difference in the way the shoes feel while running. Both still require the foot to work harder to stabilise the body, but perhaps the Trainer 5.0 assists a bit in that regard due to the strap. If so, its pretty mininal though. The main differences is that the insole on the Trainers isn’t removable or interchangeable the way it is on the Free 5.0s and the collar of the Trainer sits a little higher on the anke than the Free 5.0. The insole on the Trainer is more like the 4.5 insole on the Free as opposed to the 5.0 insole.

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  91. I run cross country and I’m thinking of trying out the new Nike Free 7.0s. Does anyone know what they are like when you use them for heavy running past 5 miles? How is the heel support?

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  92. Dave,
    Many years ago I could barely run 3 miles in one stretch – not because I was out of shape, but because I had high arches and subsequent problems with plantar fasciitis (a tearing pain in the arch). Shoes and orthotics that took care of this “bio-mechanical” problem caused me, in turn, to be unstable and roll my ankles. Running was horrible.
    But then, I finally dropped the orthotics and tried running again. I struggled through the pain in my feet, until FINALLY Nike came out with the Nike Free. Since then I’ve run a number of marathons pain-free. I always thought it was strange that I could walk barefoot without pain, but whenever I wore shoes, I had “bio-mechanical” problems. Thanks to Nike for figuring out that the problem wasn’t me – it was my shoes.

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  93. I have high arches and supinate as a result. I get shin splints because of it as well. The 5.0 v2s felt great on my feet and sure do feel like I’m running barefoot…which absolutely kill my shins if I am not on a tread mill. After 3 days in a row running indoors even, I have to take a day or two off or else I’ll get shin splints again. Absolutely no arch support and hardly any cushion…trade off for being so lite. BTW I’m only running 1.5 miles a day in these…any more and I think my shins would shatter. Becareful running in these if you have either pronation or supination, unless it’s extremely short distances…perhaps a sprint…definately wouldn’t train in these.

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  94. Hi All
    I am 6ft and wiegh about 200pounds.
    I have the Nike Free 5.0. I am running about 5 miles a day. I used to have pain in my left upper leg when running with “normal” shoes. This is no longer happening. I tried running without socks alternating between the insoles provided. Because I pronate I get blisters on the inside of my foot where it comes into contact with the support on the shoes. I therefore have to wear socks.
    However, when I wear socks, my left foot burns on the ball of the foot after about 20 minutes of running.
    Having said all that, I love these shoes and will probably buy the new Nike 7.
    By the way, the mesh at the back of mine has also torn, I cut it off and am wearing them like that to my daughter’s great embarrassment.
    I think that Nike is onto something.

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  95. Has anyone heard anything about wearing the Free to help develop balance for someone with brain-based vestibular problems. Just an idea that may work.

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  96. Hey everyone,
    I bought a pair of Nike Free Trail 5.0 about six months ago and have been using them on the treadmill, the elliptical, and for the ocassional short jog. I am now starting to train for my first marathon and just bought “normal” running shoes because I was told by many people that the Free’s wouldn’t hold up for 26.2 miles. With these “normal” running shoes (Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7’s) I have not been able to go more than a mile before my calves cinch up and I am forced to slow or stop. I am considering taking these back and getting a pair of Free 5.0’s or Free 4.0’s to train in, as I feel little to no discomfort running in those. Any thoughts on which to get and whether or not they will hold up in the long run? Thanks!
    Jeremy

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  97. Hi everyone…i was stubbling across the net looking for new indoor soccer shoes/casual shoes (but able tp play soccer in) and found these. On the website they have Freddy Adu wearing a pair and I would like to know which pair he wears and where to get them. Since Freddy Adu wears them I assume they are made a bit more for soccer…
    Sorry for all the questions, I just realy would love a pair of these!

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  98. Anyone use the free trainers for weight lifting – squats, deadlifts, etc.? I’ve found running shoes to feel unstable and thought these might help.

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  99. Can someone comment on these shoes’ grip strength? I have Nike Free 7.0 and they lose whatever decent traction they have once they get even slightly moist. The material used seems to be similar in 5.0 and I wonder if they suffer from the same problem. The best test would be grip when wet against metal and against a concrete/brick wall.
    Thank you!!!

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  100. i have the frees, are they suppose to fel tight around the mid-area of your foot? and shold you realy get the frees one size bigger then your actual sie im between 11 and 11.5 and i have one p;air 10.5 and the other 11..

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  101. I’ve been using a pair of nike free 5.0 for about 6 months now. Although they feel great, and are realy good for indoors (gym, weight lifting), ive had mixed experiences for trail/street running.
    They dont realy provide good cushioning, which leads to sore feet tendons / sore knees and the sole has realy poor traction. Im in decent shape, and I know how to run; its only been with these shoes, and after running about 5 miles that my feet start to hurt arround the heel, and my knees (ACLs)

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  102. Dear David,
    While I must agree they felt very good to be worn, they are hardly running material shoes, and it actually says it in the instruction booklet that come with them. I agree 100% with ryski’s comment. I liked the idea about running without shoes and actually tried it. I lived in Huatulco, Mexico for six months triathlon training and used them only twice. They are your WORST option for running.

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  103. Just bought nike free5.0v2 for my marathon training. I am really excited using these to make my feet stronger before I reach peak training. I remeber how every long run used to be followed by pain in funny muscles. I am counting on free to help me reduce some of these this year. Has anybidy tried training in free for long distances, 16mi+? Please share your experience.

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  104. Did anyone change the way they run in these shoes? When I stared running with my Free’s I read up on barefoot running a bit. I changed it up from the heel striking first to the front of the foot first, smaller faster strides, my heel just grazes the ground…like you would run barefoot. I also made an effort to go running barefoot in the park to help improve my technique.

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  105. I have given up on the Free’s. They are great for short distances and training, or even walking around during the day. I have discovered though that they have way too much of a built up heel to be all that much like going barefoot. I have been trying some of the ChiRunning techniques and have actually moved on to an even more barefoot shoe, the Vibram Five Fingers (Sprint model). Although they take some getting used to, with changes in your posture and stride (similar to actual barefoot running), I have found these to work MUCH better. I no longer have shin splints and tight calfs, partly due to the Five Fingers and partly due to the Chi techniques. I am 5 weeks out from my first marathon and have done runs of up to 14 miles so far, with only minor ankle and foot pains as my body is still adapting to the lack of shoe support. Of course there isn’t ANY cushioning at all in the FF’s, so be cautioned these aren’t for heel strikers!

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  106. Hey I went to Nike website an designed my own Nike Free 5.
    I just love the look, I used my favorit colors, red, black, lime green an white, I get so many complements everywhere I go an I ordered,, 1/2 size larger than I normally wear, the fit is perfect,, but Nike let me down when they shipped, I got both in soles but no information… such as how to clean, can I put them in washing machine or will it fade my bright colors? Anybody out tried to clean an if so ,, how…. Love these shoes they are awesome,, I thought 100 dollars was alot until I tried them on,, Nike Free 5 rocks… Jackie

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  107. the frees are absolutely terrible. When you first wear them you think “great lightweight and it feels barefoot.” If you are a serious runner you will NOT train in these. You may not feel it today or tomorrow or even a year from now, but eventually wearing these shoes is going to come back to you in a painfully bad way

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  108. are there anyone else who tried this using Chi Running techniques? I tried a 5 mile run and my heavy shoe did not go well with my calf. Am considering to get the Free but just want to know if there are other people who tried Chi Running on this pair of shoes. Thanks.

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  109. Hi! I was wondering if anyone could tell me the difference in the 7.0 and the 5.0??? I’ve read lots of comments about the 5.0 and was just curious as to which ones I need to be in. I have severe shin splints and decided to give these a try. Not a distance runner….maybe 10-15 a week…I do work in a gym tho so would like to wear them at work as well and maybe group x classes. Also, the strap or no strap??

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  110. to answer the questions about the difference between 7.0, 5.0 and 3.0s…
    Basically it is a scale that nike uses to grade the frees on how close to being barefoot they make you feel. 0 = barefoot, 10 = normal shoe.
    7.0 is for ‘beginner’ barefoot trainers
    5.0 is for intermediate
    3.0 is for advanced
    hope that answers that question.

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  111. Does anyone remember what the first brand of Nike Free 5.0 (women’s) was called? It had a thicker sole in the toe area than the current brand has. I haven’t been able to find them since around 2007. I prefer that style much more over the current style. If anyone knows where I can find a pair, please let me know.

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  112. I was wondering where I could get these in Canada or if you know of a website I could order them from that would ship it here?

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  113. I’ve had Nike Free 5.0s for over a year now and I will NEVER go back to a traditional running shoe. Before the Free, my toes would go numb, my knees and ankles and hips would ache after even a simple work out, or cardio on the elliptical. I’d heard great things about the Frees and decided to get fitted (I was a novice runner last August, and have since run five 5ks, and am training for a 10k on Tgiving). As soon as I put on the Free, I was sold. I love them so much and they’re holding up pretty well. Shin splints result from your foot hitting the ground a certain way, and your sneaker trying to “stop” the motion of the foot which puts immense pressure on your shins. I’ve had zero issues wearing the Free. I’m in the market for new running shoes, because I’ve put a LOT of miles on the current ones. I will get another pair of Frees. Best shoe ever. When I retire my current ones from running, they will be my every day shoe; so what if they are neon pink.

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  114. my toes hurts so much…. i got a big problem with the shoes.. my feets sit tight in them but still its so uncomfortable…. plus the rubber over the toe is so annoying…

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