Product Review: Nike Free Run+ Running Sneakers.

My pair of Nike Free Run+ running sneakers.

In a post from last year, I shared that there aren’t any huge benefits to running barefoot:

Barefoot running reduces heel strike and the impact associated with it, but there is not one piece of evidence that links high impacts to injury. The most common running injuries—patellofemoral pain syndrome and fasciitis—have nothing to do with impact.

Nonetheless, barefoot running has developed a cult following - and I’ve been curious to see what all the fuss is about.

This past weekend, I decided to take a step in the direction of barefoot running by purchasing a pair of the newly re-designed Nike Free Run+ sneakers. Truth be told, I intended to purchase a

The Nike Free Run+ sneaker is incredibly lightweight and flexible.

pair of Vibram FiveFingers, but my freakish toes didn’t fit properly in the glove-like shoe. So, I settled on the Nike Free Run+ as a close second.

Depending on your degree of comfort with barefoot running, there are two variations of the Free Run+ sneaker. I opted for the $100 beginner model, but was immediately surprised by the shoe’s flexibility and weight (or lack thereof). Though the sneaker provides some support and cushion, it feels like there’s nothing on your feet. It was love at first stride.

I’ve spent the last few days testing the Nike Free Run+ sneaker at the gym. I’ve completed a few distance runs and intervals. Through it all, the sneaker held up beautifully - and, though my stride did feel different and more natural, there was no resulting soreness.

My only complaint is that small rocks and pebbles easily get caught in the large grooves in the shoe’s sole. And that, because the sneakers are so comfortable, I never want to take them off.

Disclaimer: Davey Wavey was not compensated in any way, shape or form by Nike or its affiliates to write this product review.

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. I’ve noticed quite a few guys running in these at the gym. Have always had a thing for watching runner’s feet. I’ve noticed that it seems they are running more on the side of their feet or the balls of their feet; almost no impact on their heels. Any thoughts on that Davey?

    • Landing on your heel indicates the leg is stiff on impact, thus no spring affect. We don’t lock out our arms and legs in the gym, so why would we do it while running? Land on your mid-foot or the ball of your foot and take advantage of the energy return from the spring form. The 100-up exercise will help develop proper running form.

  2. I’ve been wearing the New Balance Minimus Trail 10 for a few years and they’ve been a game changer for my trail running. I’ve never gotten blisters wearing them, even for my 100 miler. I haven’t had any knee problems either. The trick to minimalist shoes is to focus on your form and give yourself a good six months to reach the point where the proper form comes without thinking about it. Maybe a year for those who don’t run very often. Unfortunately most people, including myself, push it to fast and end up with an injury - which is when they start heeding the advice I gave above regarding proper form, or they give up and go back to their old shoes. I’m a soft surface trail runner so I don’t have any advice on the minimalist road shoes. I don’t like the Minimus Trail Zero or 20.

  3. I too intended to get a pair of Vibram Five-Fingers, but was also disappointed that they do not have a pair for mutant toes like mine. I settled on a pair of the New Balance Minimus and have been very happy with the performance. No problems with my feet and they are uber-comfy!

  4. This is a great review. I have been trying to think of the next pair of running shoes to get. I like Nikes and was thinking about getting these. After reading this I think my mind is made up. thanks

  5. Davey,

    I am new to the Nike Free Runs. I have always have been using Asics and other shoes alike. I personally don’t like the look of the 5.0. So I am going for the option of designing my own and choosing the 3.0 upper. I just don’t know whether to go with the 3.0 sole, or the beginner ones. I want to have that barefoot feel, but I don’t want to hurt my feet with such a big jump. I also don’t want to get the least flexible of the pair and not feel the barefoot aspect like I would with the 3.0. Help?

  6. I have been running for about 5 months and I too have chosen to go with the Nike Free. My question is I’m a heel strike runner and would like to transition to where I strike with the ball of my foot it there a safe way to transition?

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  1. […] runners, I’d recommend giving it a try. If you’re interested, the Nike Free Run (read my review) is a great transitional sneaker. It’s the sneaker that I use, and I’m in love with its […]