There was a great Nike Free piece on the site back in the day, so consider this a sequel. It's crazy to think that its been seven years since we were introduced to the Nike Free technology with those boxes urging caution when wearing. That original brace of 5.0s was a pivotal moment in sneaker design history. Not only has that barefoot feel system been hotly debated, it's been imitated by pretty much every other brand. We never saw that emphasis on flex — with grooves cut in as deep as possible — to this extent until these arrived.
They changed everything - while the Nike Free models were never picked up as widely as say, a Presto, four years prior, at trend level on their introduction, this training design didn't just get a Trail version, a Trainer edition, 3.0s, 7.0s and several other official editions — it ended up influencing pretty much every other division in the Nike line — those Lunarlon efforts on your feet? The new LeBrons…the remixed Footscape…the latest incarnation of the Dunk SB? Those shoes implement Nike Free learnings my friend. Last year's Free Run+ was outstanding, putting the technology in a silhouette that was snug but resilient - that still sat heavily in the Nike Running side, loftily avoiding any Nike Sportswear crossover.
This year it's a little different — everyone seems to be taking up running as a cost effective mode of self-improvement. The Run Free+ 2 is a serious training shoe, but it got a slight NSW makeover to follow-up the silhouette's official debut. Those changes are steeped in classic Tier Zero and offroad styling, but the scope for performance remains. London even got its own colourway that drops shortly to coincide with the return of a certain east London space that's swoosh affiliated. We caught up with the Nike Sports Research Lab's Senior Researcher Jeff Pisciotta — the man who, along with Eric Avar and Tobie Hatfield (plus a host of others, not necessarily confined to Beaverton, including boffins at the German Sport University in Cologne) made Nike Free happen, plus Nate VanHook from Nike Sportswear, who designed the Cities variations of the shoe.
If you think Nike Free's changed extensively since it debuted, you might be surprised to hear what Jeff's got to say about this game changing innovation.