The Nike Free Trail was an underrated entry into the Nike Free collection on its debut.
In our eyes, this might be the best Nike Free shoe ever made too — it's a silhouette that continues the strong work the Nike Air Terra collection did but retains its own identity too. There was a point in the early days of Free when there was 3.0s, 4.0s, 7.0s and women's fitness and standard running designs with that barefoot running breakthrough in the sole. There was even Free DNA in the LeBron IV. But this shoe just shines through as a a beautifully designed future design classic from a time when beautiful new shoes were few and far between.
The beefed up sole is an amazing take on the 5.0 middleground between barefoot and a "standard" Nike running shoe (as of 2005) and the sock-like fit, dearth of excess panels and sophisticated cluster of unorthodox perforations revealing that mesh underlay. It's a slipper for trail running, even if that method of natural motion would gather clumps of dirt, twigs, leaves and other crap. The Nike Free Trail always seemed to be better suited as a city shoe.
The only real problem with this model? That stretch heel panel always felt super sensitive, like it might tear during a wear, making putting them on a little nerve-wracking (Huarache-strap syndrome) and they fit triple medium so sizing up is recommended. We think the winter 2006 Stussy variations were hugely underrated and the SOPH takes were bananas too. With the current preoccupation with Nike Free, this reintroduction feels effortless.
Black on black works well, sitting nicely with the bestselling black on black Free Run 2 and the Dark Obsidian and red version look good. This is a shoe that really works with a foot inside it, otherwise it looks a little flaccid and sad, but we still maintain that it's one of the greatest expressions of Free to date. Both these colourways arrive in the Crooked Tongues store soon.