The Nike Free 3.0 Men's Running Shoe is the closest to barefoot that Nike has offered to date. Designed for flexibility and foot strengthening, it also delivers the underfoot protection and traction of a shoe.
After learning that Stanford athletes had been training barefoot on the university's golf course, three of Nike's most innovative and creative employees set out to develop a shoe that felt natural and weightless, simulating bare feet. In 2002, they examined a group of men and women with pressure-measuring insoles taped to their feet, using high-speed cameras to capture images of each foot in motion.
The team spent eight years studying the biomechanics of shoeless running. The results yielded a profound understanding of the foot's natural landing angle, pressure and toe position, allowing Nike designers to build an unconventional and flexible running shoe from the inside out.
Nike Free: Nike Frees are different than traditional athletic shoes. They’re designed to let your feet move more freely and naturally, which means your muscles will be doing a bit more work than demanded of them in some other athletic shoes. Nike encourages you to get used to them gradually for a safer, more effective and more enjoyable experience.
Seamless Upper: The seamless, composite upper offers lightweight support where you need it. It features larger perforations for more flexibility and smaller ones in areas that demand more support.
Flexibility: Flex grooves along the length and width of the midsole enhance flexibility for a more natural stride, while diagonal grooves through the arch enhance flexibility and help increase foot strength. The low-profile midsole doubles as an outsole, dramatically reducing overall shoe weight.
Supportive Fit: A full inner sleeve made of mesh offers a sock-like fit that hugs the foot yet still allows for easy on and off. The minimal, moulded sockliner conforms to the foot's curves for enhanced fit, comfort and support.
Nike Free 3.0 V4 Running Shoe Features:
Reflective Swoosh design trademark for enhanced visibility in low light.
Strategically placed carbon rubber for durability.
Solid-rubber pods at the medial toe for durability and traction.
Waffle outsole for traction, durability and a more neutral, efficient toe-off.