Truly one of the great footwear innovations of the 21st century, Nike Free technology brought an unheard of minimalism to running shoes, stripping away all any unnecessary components in favor of sleek, lightweight flexibility.
While the technology is a game-breaker, the scale describing it is simple. Each Free sole features a number from 0 to 10. In theory, 10.0 — although 7.0 is the highest that’s currently available — would be the most like a traditional shoe, while 0.0 would just be a guy standing around barefoot. With the exception of the in-its-own-category Free 1.0 Cross Bionic, Free 3.0 is the closest to “barefoot” that running and training shoes have gotten. Until now.
Behold, the Swoosh’s latest revolution of running, the Nike Free 1.0. Sporting as minamlist a construction as possible, the shoe features a textured upper with Flywire reinforcement, locking down stability without impeding the natural motion of the foot. With nearly no clear delineation, that upper transitions into a sole unit that wraps extra high up the side of the foot, with an outsole that’s more like studs than Free’s usual flex grooves.
Take a closer look below, while we track down proper tech and design insights. Release information as it develops. . . .
Photos via US11.