Nike Women’s Free RN Flyknits – Barefoot Inspired
The Nike Women’s Free RN Flyknit Running Shoes are part of a barefoot-inspired footwear line that is popular with those who prefer to hit the open road under their own power.
Nike released the Flyknit shoe line around 2012 when the world’s top athletes were vying for gold medals during the London Olympics.
When runners started clamoring for a shoe that provided the fit of a sock, Nike responded with the Flyknit.
In developing the Women’s Free RN Flyknit Running Shoes, Nike combined two of its innovations, which are its Free technology and Flyknit material. The company created the Free line after researching the biomechanics of moving feet. It took the company’s Free team eight years to create the first shoe in this line.
The company developed the Flyknit line in about four years. To develop the shoe model, the company hired engineers, designers and programmers as it needed to make a material that was flexible, durable and supportive.
Since Nike formed the shoes based on socks, the version features a snug fit. However, the shoe also comes with enough elasticity for your foot to move around freely within it.
The sides of the shoe will not hug your toes. In fact, they should enjoy a natural splay. These shoes are also soft enough to garner slipper comparisons. The shoes come in vibrant shades of purple, orange and blue.
Nike formed the shoe’s midsole to expand in several directions. The company was able to do this because of a new tri-star pattern. This feature added an entirely new dimension of flexibility to the shoes to let your feet move more energetically with every stride.
In addition, Nike rounded the heel to mimic the natural form of your foot, which allows it to roll against the ground naturally.
Nike’s Flyknit material makes the shoe lighter, and according to the company, the material switch has also decreased its waste by about 2 million pounds. To give you an almost full range of motion, the shoe’s outsole features hexagonal flex grooves.
Nike constructed the sole from Phylite rubber foam. This substance provides plenty of road cushioning, and it does so without increasing the shoe’s heft.
The company made the midsole somewhat rigid, but this is the area where your foot is less flexible, so the shoe basically mimics your foot’s form to enhance the impression of running barefoot.
Under the big toe area and along the heel’s exterior, Nike added solid rubber overlays. This feature gives you better traction. It also increase the shoe’s strength.
Value and Shoe Quality
The Flyknit shoes run true to size, and they are best for runners who have a neutral foot strike. The heel section of the shoe features a non-stretching design that keeps your foot in place.
In addition, Nike fooled with the production process of its Flyknit material to create a slightly looser weave than what was added to earlier versions of the shoe model. Because of this, the company was able to increase the breathability of the kicks.
This is a good shoe to have in your collection of workout gear. Its lightweight minimalistic aspects make it ideal for increasing the strength of your feet and lower legs. The Flyknit’s cushion support also makes it a shoe that you can wear during your daily runs.
Also, running without socks is rather liberating since you won’t have to worry about them bunching up underfoot or sliding uncomfortably down your heel.
Pros and Cons
A major benefit of the shoes is their support since you can run on gravel-coated roads without feeling a single pebble. In addition, the Flyknit material will keep your foot secure in the shoe, and you won’t experience slippage. Because of this, blisters are unlikely.
Nike created an almost perfect barefoot shoe when it developed the Flyknit. However, the company’s tag placement is a fail. Instead of printing it or gluing the tag in the shoe, Nike stitched the tag beneath the sock liner. You will likely feel it. Fortunately, this is a fixable error.
When you get the shoes, use a seam ripper to remove the tag carefully. After taking a few runs in the shoes, you may notice visible wear underneath its ball section.
With its liberal use of the Flyknit material to make its Women’s Free Flyknit Running Shoes, Nike managed to create a product that offers flexibility and support in one layer.
The shoe model provides a unique fit since the material is snug without being constrictive. While the durability of these shoes leave a lot to be desired, there’s little room for improvement when it comes to overall fit and comfort.
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- Updated on March 29, 2019 by Ada Lane