Pumped Up Kicks – My New Nike Free 5.0s


Have you ever stuffed marshmallows into your sneakers and then proceeded to go on a brisk 5 mile run before? Well me neither, but I would assume the feeling would be akin to running in a pair of lightweight Nike Frees.

I have been wearing Nike Frees for about 6 years now and absolutely love them. My feet have adjusted to their lightweight design so I don’t worry about the dreaded “foot fatigue” that occurs when first running in these uber-flexible types of shoes. It takes some time for the muscles in your feet to adjust to the extra flexibility and movement that barefoot-type running shoes afford, but apparently my feet are toned enough at this point to handle it.

The Nike Free line has greatly expanded since the first design debuted back in 2005. When I was recently browsing for new kicks it was pretty difficult for me to wrap my head around all of the different models. Thankfully the Nike Running Store employees are very knowledgable, so I finally learned that the major difference between the 3.0 – 7.0 models is the sole thickness. The 7.0 has the thickest sole for the most support, while the 3.0 has the smallest heel thickness and offers a more authentic barefoot running feel. I chose to go with the 5.0s for more support since in my prior life as a soccer player, I bruised my heel pretty badly from unsupportive cleats.

A question for all of you long distance runners out there – have any of you ran a marathon in Nike Frees before? Is the lightweight design supportive enough to prevent injuries when training for long distance races?

And now the moment of truth – Introducing my brand-spanking new Nike Free 5.0s! Aren’t they pretty?:

Nike Frees 5.0

Nike Frees 5.0 - 2

Nike Frees 5.0 Laces

Nike Frees 5.0 - heels

Nike Swoosh

Nike Frees in the air

I’m ready to kick some butt tomorrow – let’s go.

Forever wandering,

– Kristen

Pumped Up Kicks – My New Nike Free 5.0s

19 thoughts on “Pumped Up Kicks – My New Nike Free 5.0s

  1. I hear they’re okay- I’m a Nike brand snob for all my running gear. I recommend going to a TrackShack or running store and getting fitted. For my neutral stride I like the Brooks Ghost5!

  2. Great looking shoes!! I really want to try running in a minimalist shoe (I have my eye on the Saucony Kinvara 3s) but am wondering how my feet will react to so much less support.

    Hope the shoes give you lots of speed for tomorrow!


    1. Mary, I had the exact same concern before purchasing the Saucony Kinvara 3 as I was coming from a fully supported Brook. I’ve had no problems and can highly recommend them. Even with the 4mm drop (big change from the Brook) I find them very comfortable with just enough support to not even think about it.

  3. I ran a half marathon in Saucony Kinvaras (my second pair) in May. I will say I wasn’t thrilled with them. My feet felt incredibly achy and tired by the end of 13.1 miles, and as I trained longer distances up the that race, I started getting bad cramps in my calves. I now run in Brooks Ghosts, too, and I LOVE them. They provide a bit more support, but aren’t super bulky. They’re roomy but somehow conform to my feet nicely. I think my problem with the more minimalist shoe, or at least the Kinvara, was that it was too narrow for my foot to allow for swelling when running longer distances.

    Good luck tomorrow! Your race sounds like it’ll be a blast!

    1. theblacktoe says:

      Julia, maybe you’ve heard this advice: my running store recommended I buy a half-size bigger than I need to handle swelling. That has worked for me.

      1. I have, and I agree with you! Had a pair that were my regular size and they also made my toes very angry and black. (no joke intended re: your username! I swear!)

    1. Hi Misspiggielovestoeat – my sister Mary has the same problem. The employee at the running store in our hometown always analyzes her feet and never recommends that she buy Nike Frees. (But she did recently anyway, not for running, but because they look cool ha). It’s better to have supportive running shoes that fit your feet well than to get injured!

      Thanks for reading 🙂

      – Kristen

    2. I am in the same boat, I have been analyzed a couple times and both times they have put me in the Nike Zoom Vomero’s. I do have free’s that I cross train or do short runs in but I can feel the difference.

  4. Madelaine Joy F says:

    I envy you for you can use these flexible shoes! I always have to look for shoes for pronation? I do not know if that is the right word in english. I need extra support and stability for my running shoes. Love these nikes tho! good taste!

  5. I have the Nike Frees, I think the Run 3 version and I love them also! I ran a half marathon in them in March and just finished the Chicago marathon in them last weekend. In the marathon, my feet started REALLY hurting by around mile 6 but since I had done all my training runs in them (and many over 6 miles) without any foot pain at all, I think the pain during the marathon stems more from how crowded it was and the fact that it was hard to have a normal stride for a lot of the race because of all the people rather than from the shoes.

    Also, I have had my feet analyzed at running stores and they recommended certain shoes, but I was having frequent and incessant post-tib tendinitis so visited a friend of mine who is a physical therapist. She looked at my feet and ankles and the wear on my running shoes and suggested that I get a supportive yet very flexible (twisty from side to side) shoe because of how I was landing and transferring weight to push off again (something about it was compressing my ankle too much and causing the tendinitis and plantar fasciitis). So, point is, even though the folks at running stores are VERY knowledgeable and helpful, I think there can definitely be exceptions where you should consider what feels best to you!

    On that note, I’m in the market for new kicks as well! Ahhh so many decisions! I am definitely more of a minimalist type of shoe-wearer (I blame college soccer and the tight fit and light weight cleats) and also prefer Nikes in most cases. Love your choice for the frees!

  6. I’ve worn the Nike Frees for the past three years. I was having some plantar fasciitis issues and made the switch, which quickly cleared up all the issues. It sounds counter-intuitive to have plantars and switch to a more minimal shoe, but I think the extra support was actually worse for my feet and legs than the more minimalist shoe. I’ve worn them in three marathons, including Boston, and can’t imagine wearing anything heavier.

    I recently switched from the 5.0 version down to the 3.0 and barely noticed any difference. I have a narrow foot and heel, and the Frees fit me better than any other shoe out there. I did not like the newer, stiffer, higher sole 5.0 version at all, which is why I switched.

    Quite simply, I love them. I wear them for all my training runs and races. I tried to do some trail running in them, but I felt every rock. For trails, I wear the Brooks Pure Grit, which is also a minimalist trail shoe.

  7. sudebaker says:

    I’m an Asics gal myself. Brooks Ghost tore up my feet like hamburger and Nike (in the past) didn’t provide enough support. I have to say the shoes look rockin’ though. Sounds like you’re ready to GO!

  8. oohlalamichelle says:

    First, let me say that I love that you began this post with: “Have you ever stuffed marshmallows into your sneakers and then proceeded to go on a brisk 5 mile run before? Well me neither…” Lol!
    Second, I love the Nike Frees too! I am no marathon runner… idk if I even qualify as a “runner” but I like to run and I, too, am trying to find my niche in the gym as well the city & beyond. So clever! & These sneaker are perfect for that!
    Last but not least, thank you for the like!
    Happy Blogging and running!

  9. Hi Kristen! Thanks for visiting my page! Glad you’re liking the Frees, they look great. My husband loved his Nike Free 3.0, and I put my mom in a pair of them too. She’s running more than ever at 60 years old and is even thinking about doing another half marathon, which she hasn’t been able to do in years due to some pretty nasty L knee arthritis. The key is to land on the mid/forefoot to achieve the soft landing similar to a barefoot runner. My only complaint with the Free is that the heel is a bit built up for my taste and I have a hard time getting into that light, minimalist style in it; in other words, I feel like I have a tendency to heel strike in them because of the cushioned heel, increasing the forces up into my knees and hips. But then again, I’m on the far side of the spectrum as a barefooter/VFF runner 🙂 My marathons have never felt better though!

  10. oxfordtechguy says:

    I moved to the Nike Free 3.0 a few months back & left my Asics behind, best thing I did for my running they are great!

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