The collection features redesigned uppers engineered to work holistically with the shoe’s natural flexibility. The ecosystem offers runners a progression of three natural ride options:
- Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit: Nike’s most natural ride with a snug Flyknit upper and 4-millimeter heel-to-toe offset
- Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit: A cushioned, natural ride with a contoured Flyknit upper and 6-millimeter offset
- Nike Free 5.0: Nike’s most cushioned, natural ride with an engineered upper and 8-millimeter offset
Here, a look at why less is more with the new Nike Free running collection.
1. NATURALLY FLEXING SOLES
Nike Free takes a research-based, body-led approach to the sole that allows the foot to sit close to the ground and move as nature intended. Data shows that the foot doesn’t move in a perfectly straight line while running. Even though the body is moving forward linearly, the feet tend to roll slightly while striking the ground. The hexagonal flex grooves on the outsole of all three Nike Free running shoes provide a fuller range of motion, letting the foot adapt to the ground, while the Phylite foam offers lightweight cushioning.
2. SOCK-LIKE UPPERS
The Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit and the Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit have virtually seamless one-piece Nike Flyknit uppers that conform to the shape of a runner’s foot and offer support at the same time. Nike Flyknit technology allows designers to micro-engineer in areas of stretch, support and breathability exactly where runners need it. All three shoes feature Nike Flywire technology for lightweight, strong support around the midfoot and arch.
3. FEATHERWEIGHT DESIGN
Nike Flyknit technology is a prime example that less can be more and the quintessential upper to complement Nike Free shoes’ natural motion outsoles. The stretchy, featherweight, durable yarn hugs the shape of the foot and simultaneously lends flexibility and support. With a slightly looser weave than in previous models, the Flyknit uppers on the Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit and Free 4.0 Flyknit promote improved breathability.
4. FORMFITTING HEEL SUPPORT
While some running shoes benefit from a structured, plastic heel counter on the back of the shoe, the Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit uses Flyknit technology to support the heel. The Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit uses a non-stretch yarn in the heel area to add even more stability and support to those who need it. Removing the structured heel counter frees up the runner’s natural gait and pares down weight.
5. LESS WASTE
Since Nike Flyknit technology debuted in the Flyknit Racer in 2012, the innovative manufacturing process has reduced waste by nearly two million pounds – equivalent to about three times the weight of the world’s largest passenger jet. While shoe uppers are traditionally constructed from multiple materials cut and sewn together, Nike Flyknit technology knits strands of yarn into a nearly seamless upper to create a lightweight, form-fitting shoe that provides maximum athletic performance with minimal environmental impact.
Enabling Natural Movement
Nike designers don’t see Nike Free as a shoe made up of individual features. Instead, they’ve createdan ecosystem in which each of the shoe’s attributes work in concert to enable the natural movementof the foot. The form, materials and technology of Nike Free summer footwear harmonize to achieve360-degree natural motion.