Nike Free

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Nike Free
InventorNike, Inc.
Inception2005; 16 years ago (2005)

Nike Free is a minimalist running shoe. It was introduced in 2005 after Nike representatives observed Nike sponsored track athletes training barefoot.[1]


The numbering system indicates the cushioning of the shoe and follows a scale ranging from 0 (barefoot) to 10 (normal running shoe), i.e. Free 3.0 being the least and Free 7.0(discontinued) being the most cushioned model so far[citation needed]. Runners are advised to gradually break in the shoe rather than immediately running long distances as to prevent muscle cramps and other discomforts, such as the notorious shin splints.[2]

Footwear impression and the outsole from a piece of footwear

Nike started the Free series with the Free 5.0 in 2005 and in 2006 released a new version of the shoe, the Nike Free 5.0 V2, that addressed some durability issues in the earlier model. Among other changes, the heel and sidewalls of the shoe were redesigned to prevent tearing.[citation needed]

Since then, the Nike Free 5.0 V3 (2007), Free 5.0 V4 (2009), and Free 5.0 V5 (2013) have been released along with various other models, from the Free 3.0 V1, V2, V3, V4, and V5 to the Free 7.0 V1 and V2.

In 2016, Nike retired the numbering system in favor of the RN designation. But in 2019 Nike brought back the numbering system in the new Nike Free RN 5.0 and the Free RN 3.0.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cortese, Amy (2009-08-30). "Wiggling Their Toes at the Shoe Giants". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Review of Nike Free 5.0 at The Final Sprint". The Final Sprint, LLC. Retrieved 2008-09-24.

External links[edit]