||In the past year or so, it seemed like chunky sneakers were back for good. From fashion to fitness, the thick and almost orthopedic throwback kicks were everywhere, whether you like them or <a href="http://www.avamedicus.de/Nike-Air-Max-1-Damen-c-31_32.html" title="Nike Air Max 1 Damen">Nike Air Max 1 Damen</a> not. But now another throwback sneaker trend is making a comeback that's the complete opposite of chunky sneakers: the Nike Free.
When Nike Free launched in 2004, it was considered a "radical idea," because it encouraged an almost barefoot experience that was vastly different from the stiff running shoes of the 90s, <a href="http://www.sarahburnell.co.uk/Nike-Roshe-Run-Womens-c-88_90.html" title="Nike Roshe Run Womens">Nike Roshe Run Womens</a> says Ernest Kim, director of advanced footwear for Nike Running. Since then, the Nike Free sole, which has slits in it for flexibility, as well as the innovative material and design, changed the way Nike looked at running shoes. "That kind of gave us the <a href="http://www.avamedicus.de/Adidas-Superstar-Damen-c-7_8.html" title="Adidas Superstar Damen">Adidas Superstar Damen</a> confidence that we should bring Free back," Kim says. "It really gets back to that original insight of enabling you to move the way your body wants to move."The latest iteration of Nike Free, which launched last week, is 26% more flexible and 2 millimeters lower to ground than <a href="http://www.aumrrotor.es/Nike-Air-Max-90-Mujer-c-22_24.html" title="Nike Air Max 90 Mujer">Nike Air Max 90 Mujer</a> the 2018 Nike Free, and it's designed to look like the very first version. Since the sole is flatter and lower, it provides a barefoot, second-skin feeling that might be strange at first. At certain points in the sole where the foot naturally bends, Nike placed "sipes" or slits at varying depths to allow the <a href="http://www.rollapaluza.fr/Nike-Air-Max-90-Femme-c-40_41.html" title="Nike Air Max 90 Femme">Nike Air Max 90 Femme</a> foot to move as close to its natural range of motion as possible.On the foot, the Nike Free 5.0 feels unusual, but comfortable. You can feel the varied texture of the sole when they're on your feet, but the shoe is so light and sock-like that my feet felt <a href="http://www.rollapaluza.fr/Nike-Air-Max-97-Femme-c-46_47.html" title="Nike Air Max 97 Femme">Nike Air Max 97 Femme</a> unprotected. After walking around in the shoes for about five days (which Nike recommends to get used to them), I wore the shoes for my usual three-mile treadmill run and strength-train routine. I usually prefer super-cushioned supportive running sneakers, like the Brooks Glycerin <a href="http://www.rollapaluza.fr/" title="rollapaluza.fr">rollapaluza.fr</a> or the Asics Gel Kayano, especially if I'm running a longer distance. But on days when I add strength-training to my running routine, I'll wear a running shoe that's less-cushioned, like the Asics Roadhawk FF2, to allow me to feel the floor in lifts. Given my workouts and preferences, I thought the Nike <a href="http://www.marioverta.it/Adidas-ZX-700-Donne-c-82_83.html" title="Adidas ZX 700 Donne">Adidas ZX 700 Donne</a> Free would actually be a smart choice for me.
In the Nike Free 5.0, I could really feel all edges of my feet on the floor at all times. This made balancing in standing static exercises, like a split lunge or a single-leg deadlift, feel like less of a challenge. <a href="http://www.sarahburnell.co.uk/Nike-Air-Max-90-Womens-c-46_48.html" title="Nike Air Max 90 Womens">Nike Air Max 90 Womens</a> Sometimes, I find myself inadvertently gripping the bottom of my feet in the middle of a challenging exercise, but the Frees allowed my feet to relax and give into the floor. It's also easy to articulate through your foot in jumping exercises, like a skater lunge or plank jack, although the foam is not very springy. Running was kind of a trip in the Nike Free 5.0; I'm not used to having so little material on a shoe. Because of that, I was hyper-aware of my questionable running form, and worried that I was pounding my heels a little too hard into the surface of the treadmill. <a href="http://www.aumrrotor.es/Nike-Air-Max-Tn-Mujer-c-43_45.html" title="Nike Air Max Tn Mujer">Nike Air Max Tn Mujer</a> By the end, I craved my so-cushioned-they're-basically-a-mattress sneaks.