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FOOTWEAR Published: April 4, 2019 Updated: April 16, 2019  |  WORDS: Staff

The new Nike Free 3.0 and 5.0 let your feet flex, splay and move better

The 2019 Nike Free release is now available on Nike.com.

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Built on a more anatomically shaped last than traditional running models, the 2019 Nike Free Running Collection introduces new elements that enable a more barefoot-like feel than predecessor versions.
Nike.com

This year, the Nike Free is back and it’s more flexible than ever before.

The 2019 Nike Free can be purchased on Nike.com. Both the Free 3.0 (S$209) and 5.0 (S$159) are available for men and women.

What’s new in the 2019 iteration?

The promise is that Nike Free lets feet flex, splay and move the way they want. Built on a more anatomically shaped last than traditional running models, the 2019 Nike Free Running Collection introduces new elements that enable a more barefoot-like feel than predecessor versions.

Because Nike Free is intended for lower-mileage runs (three miles, or approximately 4.8km, or less), the foam cushioning in the new Nike Free midsoles is firmer – closer to that of the original 2004 model to promote a more barefoot-like feel underfoot, flatter and lower to the ground, delivering greater connection and more natural range of motion than before.

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Pictured: The Nike Free RN 5.0. The foam cushioning in the new Nike Free midsoles is firmer – closer to that of the original 2004 model to promote a more barefoot-like feel underfoot, flatter and lower to the ground.
Nike.com

The midsole now features siping along the top and bottom. Typically, siping is introduced in rubber surfaces to improve traction. The siping in the Nike Free 2019 is said to increase dorsi and plantar flexion. Based on data mapping, varying depths in the sipes are placed where the foot naturally wants to bend and stretch to enhance the feeling of movement and to allow for more natural foot motion.

The Free RN 5.0 and Free RN Flyknit 3.0

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The Nike Free RN 5.0 (men’s; women’s) is 26% more flexible and 2mm lower to the ground while the Nike Free RN Flyknit 3.0 (men’swomen’s) is 1mm lower to the ground than the 2018 models.

The minimal uppers, a thin-stretch mesh with a minimal lacing system for the 5.0 and a lace-less Nike Flyknit with a secondary lock-down overlay for the 3.0, were designed to enhance the natural, second skin aspect of the shoes. There’s a nod to the in-depth science behind the original shoes in overall aesthetic too, with some of the design lines come from the natural shape of the foot, for example. The smaller Swoosh symbolizes the shoe’s lower-mileage intent.

History of Free

The idea behind Free originated in 2001 when Nike designers saw Stanford University runners cooling down barefoot on the grass infield of the school’s track (their coach thought this improved foot health). What the designers learned, after studying the bare foot in motion on grass for more than a year, was that the foot had a more natural foot strike and flexed more, and, over time, runners reaped benefits such as more foot flexibility, better balance and improved strength.

In an attempt to replicate the bare foot as closely as possible, they first created a minimal, ballet slipper-like prototype of a running shoe that featured silicon pods affixed to a thin, lightweight mesh.

With further development, the first Nike Free footwear for men and women was released commercially only in 2004. Today, Nike’s elite athletes use Free for jogging and low-mileage track workouts and runs (less than 4.8km).

The 2019 Nike Free Singapore release can be purchased on Nike.com. Both the Free 3.0 and 5.0 are available in cuts for men and women.

Some of the products featured above are from our affiliate partner Nike.com. We do our best to curate items that are relevant to you.

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