The Nike Free 5.0+ Men’s Running Shoe provides the foot strengthening benefits of natural motion, along with the cushioning, traction and underfoot protection of a traditional shoe. – Nike USA
The Nike Free 5.0 is not quite a barefoot-type shoe – and hardly a traditional kicker. Still, with its impressive on-road performance and versatility, this is one minimalist trainer you’d want to keep on your running shoe shopping list.
Despite having a higher heel-drop of about 8mm, the maximum height for minimalist running shoes, according to purists, midfoot striking in the Nike Free 5.0 is an absolute breeze: Its very pliable midsole, courtesy of the deep cuts in the midsole, made toeing-off a joy, while its sock-like fit allowed the shoe to yield to every contortion of the foot during our trial. Though the shoe’s static weight of 232g doesn’t make it the lightest in the wild, its swiftness on the move left us feeling very impressed.
While the Free 5.0 provided superb impact absorption, we found the midsole too enthusiastic in muting all feedback from the ground. The kicker’s footbed was also surprisingly firm – making the shoe feel a tad more demanding than its advertised features make it out to be. In contrast, competing models like the Saucony Kinvara 3 and Skechers Gorun 2 were more forgiving in feel.
Still the shoe’s famed pliability also allowed us to throw in a spot of bodyweight exercises – like squats, lunges and push-ups – into our post-run routine. Unlike most other running shoes, the Free 5.0 did not behave like a stiff, heavy brick even when we were contorting our feet.
The Free 5.0 is not quite a barefoot, minimalist-type shoe – and hardly a traditional trainer. Still its plush comfort and moderate cushioning make it an interesting proposition for the accomplished athlete – as well as for the budding midfoot striker hoping to improve his technique.
The Free 5.0 fits smaller than indicated – so you would want to try it on for size.
$189, available at #01-01 Orchard Central, Tel: 6238-7660.
If you’ve tried the Nike Free 5.0, we’d love to find out what you think of the shoes! Share your views in the comment box below this article or at our Facebook fan page.