Nike Free 5.0+

8.2
8.2 score
[Editors rating (8.9) + Users rating (6.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (8.2)/10

Our RunnerClick score is based on our editors overall rating compared to the user ratings in order to generate the most accurate and unbiased score of each product we review.

If there are less than 10 user reviews for the product in total, the weight of user reviews is decreased from 50% to 25% to make sure that new products are not rated too high.
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Nike Free 5.0+ Review Facts
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The 5.0 has been the bestselling shoe from the Nike Free series. The Free 5.0+ is a great follow-up running option as it aims to deliver a natural movement to the feet. It is foot strengthening and it also has good cushioning and traction. It comes with the new 5.0+ name replacing the older Free Run+ model.

Nike Free 5.0 is in top 3 running shoes in the US by the number of sales. But with great power comes great responsibility and Nike 5.0+ has managed to pull an amazing result. They combine a great, marketable design with comfort and managed to secure a top position not only with runners, but with the general public also.

They easily integrate with Nike+ technology and are a great choice for the younger runner. And this is exactly the kind of users this shoe is after. The younger runners use the Free series as a fashion accessory as they are extremely comfortable as daily shoes. They don`t make much noise and the extensive siping (grooves) on the outsole make them very flexible. Thus they are very versatile combining all elements needed to be a great option on and off the track.

Pros
  • Nike+ ready
  • The flex-groove outsole delivers a smooth and efficient stride
  • Low profile midsole
  • The most supportive shoe from the Free family due to the ultra-light Flywire technology
  • Abrasion-resistant rubber
  • Abrasion-resistant upper for increased durability
  • Diagonal cuts through the arch encourage natural motion
  • No heel counter; great for runners with Achilles` tendon issues
Cons
  • Roomy forefoot
  • Medial forefoot instability for some runners
  • Doesn`t get credit as a running shoe but more as a casual shoe
  • Reduced stretch in the upper material
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The rubber outsole of the 5.0+ has mesmerizing qualities. It is soft and flexible but yet it is firm enough. BRS 1000 was added to the heel area for increased durability. The sipings (grooves) are in total balance with the pronation of runners and feels natural. It is regarded as one of the top qualities of the shoe by runners. There is minimal noise made by the shoe and generally speaking it has a very good flexibility.

However, for some runners, the medial forefoot is too flexible and is not providing a solid enough platform. The waffle sole is one of the most recognizable elements of sneakers. They help absorb impact and provide responsiveness.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole is characterized by the single density foam with an 8mm offset from heel to toe. Judging by previous models, Nike improved the multi-directional movement of the midsole. The edges of the midsole are now more rounded, eliminating the sharp edge corners. Transition gaps have also been improved by taking off pressure points for smoother heel landings. This translates into a slightly firmer midsole.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper offers a great transition and balance with the midsole. This results into increased comfort and maybe the best feel of the Free series. Nike used a soft mesh for the upper with synthetic overlays together with the already popular asymmetrical lacing. The Flywire is perfect for keeping the shoe lighter and stronger. This is combined with the synthetic overlay that really improves the hold and look of the shoe.
Weight
Weight

Weight

There is a minor weight reduction from previous versions due to redesigned outsole, midsole and upper. Weighing just above 8oz the new 5.0 is 0.7oz lighter than the 2014 version. The reduced weight increases the overall comfort feel. This was mostly possible due to the change in materials over the 2014 version.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Nike has redesigned the breathability with a softer more vented mesh. The forefoot and the tongue use the same mesh type. The added synthetic overlay reduces the lateral breathability however. This reinforcement is continued up to the toebox and it further decreases breathability. It is the price runners pay for extra durability.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The comfort of the 5.0+ is great for the casual wearer due to the Ortholite insole. For runners however this can only mean more room in the forefoot. The comfort is still massively improved over previous versions such as the 3.0 as the more traditional tongue helps relieve the pressure on the midfoot. Gone is the bootie-type tongue and this only increases comfort.
Style
Style

Style

One of the best features of the 5.0+ is the amazing style of the shoe. The Free series has been doing extremely well in sales due to the style of the shoes. This shoe has everything needed to be a great fashion accessory on track and as a daily, casual option. There are bold colors to choose from with the bright yellow being very striking. The asymmetric laces are a huge hit with the younger runners and the design of the outsole with the unique siping is quite catchy also.

The only downfall of the design is the two opposite values brought together in a hybrid manner. First we have the simple, pleasing design and secondly we have the added synthetic overlay that is clearly an appeal to the more experienced runners. Nike probably tried to please everyone with this design.
Durability
Durability

Durability

When it comes to durability we have to separate the shoe`s upper part from the midsole and outsole. The upper part is made with durability in mind with the synthetic overlay and traditional tongue. It will serve more than a running season. The outsole on the other hand proved signs of tiredness for some runners. The BRS 1000 is the first thing that will start deteriorating with some runners. Depending on the running style, it should last for a running season. They will last for 600 miles for runners and nearly double for the casual wearer.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The overall protection of the 5.0+ is above average but far from perfect. Although the upper has the extra synthetic overlay it is highly unlikely these shoes will be taken to trail running to protect against the elements. They have better dust protection however, due to the overlay. Things get complicated with rainy weather as the same overlay could retain humidity and make the whole process of drying much longer. On dry days however, the Ortholite insole is proving to have a fantastic, sock-like feel keeping the foot well protected.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

This is a 50-50 issue with runners. Some find the responsiveness to be great, with the new outsole that has pronation in mind. It is a serious step forward from previous versions. There are some downfalls also. The increase flexibility in the forefoot can create problems for some runners. There is also not that much elasticity in the upper toebox area. This has been reported as a problem for long distance runners. There are some reported cases of improper responsiveness with marathon runners.
Support
Support

Support

The support is also good but not world class. The lack of a heel counter does not affect the overall heel support as the ankle is firmly held in place. Keeping this in mind, the 5.0+ is the most supportive shoe in the Nike Free range. This has been achieved with the help of the Flywire technology. The technology is updated and involves of soft and durable cables which wrap around the midfoot and the arch. The support is almost glove-like and it adapts to the stride of the runner.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Free 5.0+ is really aimed at track and road running. Daily casual wear should also involve walking on flat, hard surfaces. The design and flexibility of the outsole constantly make the runner think of the proper surface to run on. The diagonal cuts together with the flex grooves of the outsole might be designed for flexibility but only with the recommended terrain usage.
Price
Price

Price

With a starting price of $76 the 5.0+ is really very competitive. It offers a lot in terms of comfort, traction and style. It is a versatile shoe that can replace daily, casual shoes. It is easy to see how the Free range is in the top 3 selling shoes in the US.
Traction
Traction

Traction

This is where the 5.0+ really shines. The waffle sole pistons provide great traction even with difficult angles. Even more, the added rubber on the heel and on the toe area will give that extra traction when needed. Sprinters will appreciate this added rubber the most as they need a great response time from their shoes.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The flex grooves run both directions across the outsole offering a great flexibility. There is a unique feel to the 5.0+ with the nice combination of a soft outsole with unparalleled flexibility that makes them almost feel like slippers.
Stability
Stability

Stability

As mentioned before, stability is fine for short and medium distance running. Anything past a half marathon can create problems for some runners. The increased flexibility in the medial forefoot can be too much and can create problems for some heavy runners.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The low profile midsole gives the natural, almost barefoot-like impression. The 5.0+ features the highest offset in the Free range. In figures it has an 8 mm difference between the heel and the forefoot. It provides great cushioning for a natural stride. When you add the Phylite material of the midsole you get a complete, firm enough feel for a natural drop.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

•Waffle outsole pistons that add responsiveness and impact absorption

•8mm drop

•Diagonal cuts through the arch with a focus on pronation

•Phylite midsole that can double as an outsole

•Synthetic overlay for increased durability

•Asymmetrical lacing for an added visual impact

•Nike+ ready

•Abrasion resistant rubber on the heel and on the forefoot areas

•Textured mesh

•Sock-like fit

•No heel counter

•Flex groove outsole

•Flywire technology for better support of the midfoot and arch. Added stride adaptability

•Molded sockliner that supports the foot`s curvature for more comfort, fit and support
Bottom line
Bottom line

Bottom line

The Nike 5.0+ is a great running shoe providing amazing outsole technology paired with a modern upper design. It is a great option for people looking for a running shoe that can easily transition into a casual shoe. It comes with the best comfort of the Free series with technologies supporting pronation and an extra added focus on the midfoot support. If you are on a limited budget and have only one shoe option the 5.0+ is the right choice for you as it will serve you well on track and in your daily life.