Nike Free RN 5.0 sneaker is the fiercest Free shoe yet with more flex and even lower profile

…And Free RN Flyknit 3.0 is waiting in the wings

Nike Free RN 5.0

Nike Free is Nike's 'barefoot' line of running shoes, but unlike certain shoes of that nature, it doesn't look like a great big, cartoon foot. We don't know about you, but this is a big plus for us, sneaker style-wise.

The latest iterations – Free RN 5.0, which you can already buy, and Free RN 3.0 which is meant to be ready to buy but doesn't seem to be on the Nike Store yet – are lower to the ground and more flexible than ever. 

• Shop the Nike Free RN 5.0 collection (mens)

• Shop the Nike Free RN 5.0 collection (womens)

These trainers are currently a Nike members' exclusive so you will have to sign up for a Nike Plus account if you don't already have one.

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Nike Free shoes are for what Nike calls 'lower-mileage runs', which in our book means going to the local supermarket. The foam cushioning in the midsoles is firmer, flatter and lower to the ground, so that rather than feeling like you're in orthopaedic shoes with pillows strapped to the bottom, you have a greater connection with the ground and a more natural, flexible feel.

Since the current trend is for absolutely massive, bulbous and fugly trainers, Nike has styled these so the sole and midsole look quite large and alien but actually the shoes are lower to the ground than any Free sneakers to date.

Advanced data mapping is used to map the sole, with grooves where the foot naturally wants to bend, with 'stretch to enhance the feeling of movement and to allow for more natural foot motion.' Nike Free RN 5.0 is '26% more flexible' and 2mm lower to the ground than last year's model.

Nike Free RN 3.0 – not yet on sale

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Nike Free RN 3.0 – not yet on sale

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The more elusive (so far) Nike Free RN Flyknit 3.0 is 1mm lower to the ground than the 2018 models. As the name suggests, a Flyknit upper is used and there are NO LACES. How future. The 3.0 is more expensive and, if you want our opinion, a better looking shoe. But you'll have to wait for it.

• Buy Nike Free RN 5.0 (men's) for £94.95 from Nike

• Buy Nike Free RN 5.0 (women's) for £94.95 from Nike

• Nike Free RN Flyknit 3.0 will be £129.95 when Nike gets around to stocking it.

Duncan Bell
Duncan Bell

Duncan has been writing about tech for almost 15 years and fitness ever since he became middle aged and realised he could no longer rely solely on his boyish good looks. He used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."
Pre-lockdown Duncan was widely regarded as the best-dressed man ever to work for T3 – admittedly not saying much. Post-lockdown he is looking forward to wearing clothes other than shorts and hoodies again very soon, assuming he can still fit into them. He currently writes about cycling, fitness tech that isn’t too heavy, and all things kitchen and home related.