Nike Free Trainer V7

8.1
8.1 score
[Editors rating (7.5) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (8.1)/10

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Editor rating: 7.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 1 user ratings
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Nike Free Trainer V7 Review Facts
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The Nike Free Trainer V7 is marketed as a low-cost crosstraining shoe, but does it manage to deliver? While the seventh edition of the men’s only shoe features some important updates, the consensus seems to be that the Free Trainer just isn’t versatile enough to be useful for most wearers. The minimalist shoe, with its lightweight construction and minimalist design, works best for simple HIIT workouts but not much else. In the detailed review below, you’ll find information on the Free’s numerous updates, as well as observations and comments from reviewers who tried the shoe themselves.

Pros
  • Comfortable fit
  • Flexible design
  • Very lightweight
  • Super breathable 
  • Supportive fit
Cons
  • Runs small
  • Not as versatile as some wearers wanted it to be
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the Nike Free Trainer features a new triangular pattern. This new design provides better flexibility and, of course, traction. The three-point triangular design of each tread allows for movement in all directions. The rubber sole provides good traction, suitable for most situations. The new outsole design also features new rubber pods, which are thicker than the rest of the sole for enhanced protection against wear.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The seventh edition of the Free Trainer features full-length foam cushioning. The cushioning is lightweight, which reviewers appreciated. For crosstraining, however, it doesn't necessarily deliver. For weightlifting purposes, the midsole feels too soft and just doesn't provide the necessary amount of stability needed for this type of exercise. For running, there's not enough midsole material to properly cushion wearers. For short, intense bursts of activity like with HIIT or plyometric workouts, the midsole works just fine.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The V7's upper features an all-new slip-on design. The tongue is attached and the shoe is meant to fit like a glove. New 3D printed mesh covers the upper and Flywire technology has been added for support. The upper mesh is incredibly lightweight and reviewers loved the comfortable fit of the Nike Trainer. Users also appreciated the flexible design and super breathable 3D mesh. One issue reviewers had, however, was that the fit was very small. Sizing up will likely be necessary for most wearers.

While the V7 does provide a more supportive fit than previous versions of the shoe, wearers pointed out that the shoe's upper simply doesn't provide enough lateral support for sports or activities with lots of side to side movement.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The men's Nike Free Trainer is incredibly lightweight. Reviewers loved the featherlight construction of the V7. The shoe weighs about 9.75 ounces. The lightweight design works well for quick HIIT-type workouts.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Reviewers agreed that the V7's upper was extremely breathable. The new 3D printed mesh is lighter in weight and provides excellent air circulation. Reviewers did note, however, that the fit of the shoe was quite tight. When sizing up, though, the shoe fits perfectly.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

According to reviewers, the V7 features a comfortable fit and breathable design. Users also loved how flexible the Free shoe was and that it was very lightweight. The shoe, however, lacks appropriate cushioning for running and doesn't fit true to size. Most wearers found going up a size was necessary to get the right fit.
Style
Style

Style

The Free Trainer features a simple aesthetic and a minimalist design. The men's shoe is available in several colorways. Reviewers liked the classic, Free style of the Nike shoe.
Durability
Durability

Durability

While reviewers were disappointed in the Free Trainer's versatility, there were few complaints about durability. Overall, the V7 is a resistant trainer that won't break down prematurely. The new outsole design features thicker pods for increased durability and the 3D mesh upper is lightweight but resistant.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The minimalist V7 isn't a very protective shoe. The new triangular-patterned outsole design features enhanced traction but even with full-length foam cushioning, the Free doesn't deliver enough padding for activities like running. For weightlifting, the cushioning is too soft to protect wearers from instability and poor form.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The Nike Free shoe provides an average amount of responsiveness.
Support
Support

Support

While the new Flywire upper construction is intended to deliver improved support, comments from reviewers show that these new elements simply don't deliver. Reviewers complained that the V7 lacked lateral support, which is important for crosstraining activities that require a lot of side to side movement. Even with a snug upper fit, the shoe doesn't provide enough side support for wearers.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

While the new outsole features better traction and is more durable than before, it's really meant to be used indoors and only minimally in outdoor situations. Thankfully, the rubber sole grips most surfaces, but outdoor training might cause premature wear.
Price
Price

Price

The shoe features a fair price tag and reviewers didn't feel like they were overpaying for the Free. However, the lack of versatility does decrease value somewhat. Billed as a crosstraining shoe, the Nike Free Trainer V7 doesn't work for a lot of activities. Its cushioning is too soft for lifting and not ample enough for running. For activities that require lateral support, the shoe doesn't deliver either. If your crosstraining consists mostly of walking or HIIT workouts, though, the Free V7 is a good buy.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The new outsole design features a new tread pattern made up of tiny flexible triangles that provide a combination of flexibility and traction. Reviewers agreed that the Free offered a good amount of traction on a variety of surfaces.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The Nike Free Trainer is ultra flexible thanks to a brand new outsole design. The new sole is made up of a bunch of tiny triangles. The three-point tread design means that the shoe can move easily in all directions so no stiff or rigid sensations are to be had with the V7. Reviewers loved the flexible design of the Nike V7.
Stability
Stability

Stability

As mentioned, the V7 isn't as supportive as wearers wanted it to be. The new Flywire upper construction does provide additional support, but the system offers poor lateral support. For crosstraining, lateral support is quite important. Reviewers also noted that the midsole cushioning, although soft and comfortable, did not provide adequate stability for lifting purposes.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The Nike Trainer features a fairly low 5mm drop. While this low to the ground design is meant to help with stability and work for activities like weightlifting, the shoe's cushioning is too soft to be suitable for lifting. The drop is also intended to increase stability for running, but the midsole lacks a decent amount of cushioning for runners.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- Men's only design
- 5mm drop
- Neutral
- NEW triangular lugs add flexibility and traction
- NEW resistant outsole pod design
- NEW full-length midsole foam
- NEW slip-on design with sewn in tongue
- NEW 3D printed mesh
- NEW Flywire upper construction for support
- Rubber outsole
- Lightweight upper mesh
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Free Trainer is unfortunately not the most versatile cross trainer available for a few reasons. The upper doesn't provide nearly enough lateral support, making it a poor choice for cross-training activities that involve a lot of side to side movement. The V7 is also inadequate for weight-lifting. The midsole cushioning is comfortable but too soft to be supportive and stable. For running, there's simply not enough of the foam material.

The Nike Free Trainer V7 is best for those whose preferred cross-training activity is HIIT. The flexible, lightweight V7 is built for quick workouts of this kind. A comfortable fit and grippy outsole, work well for high-intensity interval training. As things heat up during a super sweat-sesh, the ultra-breathable upper comes to the rescue to air things out. Although it lacks versatility, it's still durable and features an attractive minimalist design.

For runners who want a dedicated cross training shoe, for quick HIIT sessions on off-days, the Nike V7 is a great update and decent option.