Nike Free 5.0+ review

The people at Nike recently sent me a pair of the new Nike Free 5.0+ to review. Having always had Nike Frees in my ‘collection’ of shoes, I was interested in trying them. But I must admit that I have bought Nike Frees in the past as a shoe for walking around town, rather than for running. However since hearing Mo Farah talk about how he incorporates natural running into his training to strengthen feet and ankles (and my ankle is my (ahem) Achilles heel when it comes to injuries) I was immediately interested in seeing how a minimalist shoe like the Nike Free 5.0+ could help me get back into running since the Virgin London Marathon. The short answer is that they are a pretty good first step as far as I am concerned. The 5.0 refers to the amount of cushioning and support that the shoe provides, with the Nike Free 4.0 and the Nike Free 3.0 offering decreasing levels of both. So if you are after a shoe that can help you take the first steps (sorry!) into minimalism, perhaps give these a go. And if you want to have a look at them, here is a short video review – bad hair and all!


  1. I bought a pair of these at the weekend. I have only run in Nike Vomeros before and I was advised to get Lunarglides after my gait analysis… so perhaps a bit of a risk.

    I’ve only run one four mile run in them so far, it’s obviously been quite a difference to what I’m used to and my soles were a bit sore afterwards. Think it’s going to be a case of getting used to them and I’m only going to use them for short runs, but like you said in the video, want to incorporate them into my training a bit (and see if they add any foot strengthening benefits).

    And agree they are good looking non running shoe!

  2. I love the look of the Nike 5.0+ and can see the logic behind them. However, (inevitable cautionary tale alert) I own a pair of 4.0+ which I have for gym work. Having ventured out on the odd recovery run in them, they are problematic if you have to use any form of orthotic, as with all minimal shoes I guess? I use a 5mm heel raise in one shoe, something easily absorbed by my usual neutral shoe.

    Minimal shoes are all the rage, but not really the answer if like me your less than perfectly balanced biomechanically speaking.

    At 5’8″ and 73 kilos I’m not the lightest out there by any means, but they found my physical weaknesses immediatley. Should you decide to take the plunge please do so with a little caution.

    Having said all that, they are lookers and perfect for loafing!

  3. I’ve used various Nike Free shoes for indoor and outdoor running since I “converted” to natural running 3 years ago. The 5.0+ are the best ones so far, but slightly smaller in size than the older Nike Free 7.0 and Nike Free Run. My normal size is US-10 but for the outdoor shoes I decided to go for 10.5. The first 13-k test run was very satisfactory. For the record I’m a slow and heavy (85 kg) runner.

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