For 2014, the Nike Free collection takes on a new look, in what is one of the more significant updates since the debut of the Free in 2004. Despite numerous changes in the line, however, the goal of the collection remains constant: to deliver a natural running experience.
The biggest difference across the Free collection is the use of a hexagonal flex pattern in the outsole, allowing the shoe to twist and bend in more directions. This gives your foot a greater range of motion as you move from footstrike through toe-off, for an even more natural feel.
The upper of the newest Free 5.0 (now the Free 5.0 2014) features minimal changes from the previous version. A breathable mesh upper is supported by seamless overlays, while dynamic Flywire cabling around the midfoot allows for an adaptive fit. Keep in mind that the fit of the Free 5.0 2014 is snug, and you may want to consider sizing up if you have higher volume feet.
On the lower profile Free 4.0 and 3.0 models, the upper construction takes a more significant departure from those of their predecessors. The shoes now offer Nike’s innovative Flyknit construction, promising a stretchy and socklike fit, ideal for those who run without socks or for runners simply looking for lasting and form-fitting comfort.
Like always, the Nike Free collection remains an excellent option if you’re looking for a flexible ride without sacrificing cushioning. By engaging the muscles of the foot, the Free models make for a great foot strengthening tool, while runners who like a nimble ride will appreciate their lightweight and swift feel for racing and daily training.