Nike Frees are absolute classics. I got my first pair in 2011 after winning a running photo competition at the Stratford Nike Run Club and loved how light and flexible they were, and have loved wearing them ever since. I find that my calf muscles hurt if I run in them for much over 10k but I think that’s more my running style than anything else, as I have running friends who cover marathon distance in them and still rave about them. I also use them for training as they’re flat and light, which means they’re perfect for weight training, plyometrics and the like. My favourite all rounders.
I got my second pair of Frees last year, and then a pair of the latest lovelies about a month back as part of the Nike Free Experience.
Top: Nike Free 2+ 5.0 iD (2011)Middle: Nike Free 5.0 (2013)
Bottom: Nike Free 5+ 5.0 iD (2014)
Shoe: Nike Free 5.0 iD
Type: Minimal road running shoe. ‘Barefoot’ style.
Features: Barefoot style ultra flexible sole, with hexagonal grooves cut in to the sole for the most flexible fit in the Nike Free running series so far. I’ve always gone for the 5.0 sole, which is the thickest in the series, as I prefer to have some cushioning. The Free also has Flywire support to wrap around the middle of the foot and control pronation, although this isn’t the same level of pronation support as a traditional supportive cushioned shoe – these are definitely minimalist barefoot shoes.
Progression of Nike Free sole, from left to right. Furthest right is
Flywire support – and a jazzy iD chevron swoosh!
Fit: I have pretty wide feet and have always found the Free a bit narrow so this time around I opted for the wide fit option and I am so glad I did! These feel a lot roomier and are still comfortable even after 10k or so of foot expansion, and so if you have wide feet I can definitely recommend the wide fit option. Size wise, these are spot on. I have a half size up from my normal size and find this perfect.
Looks: Fit. Especially my candy coloured iD handiwork, even if I do say so myself! In all seriousness, Nike are known for their design and the Frees are some of the sleekest of the lot. Plus, you can get your name on them. I love putting my name on stuff.
Price: The Nike Free 5.0 iD cost £120. Non-iD Nike Free 5.0 cost £90. They’re also available (in iD and non-iD) as flyknit, but I haven’t tried these.
Best bits: The looks are definitely a big seller and I love the new range of iD options, such a patterned swooshes and laces, choice of flyknit and the wide range of colours you can mix and match. They’re also very light and comfortable for a wide range of activities.
Worst bits: I over-pronate slightly and find that these don’t offer enough support to run for long distances (I once ran 10 miles in a pair of Frees and my calf muscles hated me) but this is definitely personal to your own running style. My latest iDs also don’t have Nike+ technology integration (there’s no room for a shoe pod) but I think this is because of Nike’s rumoured divestment of their entire tech division rather than a default in the shoe.
Overall verdict: Perfect for running shorter distances and all round fitness training. And looking like a mega stylish babe.
A big thank you to Exposure PR for inviting me to design my own shiny new iDs. I was given these free of charge but all opinions are my own!