Today Nike launched
Blogger: Ryan Hudson of Stride Nation
Favorite Free: Nike Free Run+
The original Nike Free Run+ was to me what Himalayan walking shoes were to Elaine in Seinfeld. They were my first pair of Frees, and for me, still the best. I've tried a couple of the 5.0 models since then, but nothing has been able to match the comfort, support and snug fit of those first Frees. (Somewhat ironically, I never even used them for running, much less took advantage of the revolutionary-for-its-time Run+ sensor in the sole.) Almost four years, they've been relegated to essentially nothing more than shoes I slip on when I'm headed to the pool, but that original second-foot feel still remains.
Blogger: Nick DePaula of Sole Collector
Favorite Free: Nike Zoom Kobe II (2007)
Is this kind of cheating? Sure. But the Zoom Kobe II definitely features "segmented flex grooves with Free principles," as designer Ken Link described to me back when they originally released in the spring of 2007.
It was a first in hoops, and it translated perfectly to the hardwood, offering up a great combo of flexibility and court feel in a low-to-the-ground package. They might not've been as impactful as the low-top era of Kobes IV-8, but all these years later, the Kobe II, much like the rest of the Nike Free series, was breaking new ground in performance.
Blogger: Brandon Edler of Finish Line
Favorite Free: Nike Free Trainer 5.0
The Nike Free series has always been on point with aesthetics as much as performance but the Trainer 5.0 is the Free I find myself rocking in and out of the gym the most. The Chinese finger trap concept allows the shoe to respond to your movements keeping your feet secure and the design looks sick with the right color blocking. The pimento and black colorway is always my go-to choice when available due to high school ties and growing up a Chicago Bulls fan. Plus the pimento pops on Instagram so your sneaker photography skills look on point.
Favorite Free: Nike Free 5.0 V4
My favorite Nike Frees are not used for running, but are great for the gym and when I'm coaching. When I'm on my feet for hours coaching, walking around and running back and forth they offer great support and also look cute. I also like how snug they fit on my feet and how light they are. They are great for all day events when I know I'm going to be on my feet all day long.
Blogger: Nick Schonberger of Complex
Favorite Free: Nike Free Run 2
There was a magic moment during menswear's heritage years during which hard bottoms were shunned for sneakers and the #menswear aesthetic grew balls. New York Fashion Week, with its hours of standing and miles of pavement pounding, necessitated comfort. The fool hardy held strong to Red Wings and Aldens. The brazen reached for the Nike Free Run 2. Street photographers lapped it up. And, thanks in no small part to them, the Nike Free Run 2 transcended its intended use and found footing as a cultural icon.