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.

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.

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 is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan 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."