For some reason Nike insists on making their shoe names the most complicated and convoluted system on the planet. OK, so it’s not THAT bad, but in my humble opinion it’s pretty darn silly and confusing for consumers looking to buy a pair of their shoes. This is especially the case with the Nike Free line of shoes
A little background on the Nike Free shoes. When they first started the Nike Free line of shoes Nike decided to take an innovative approach to the naming of their shoes. They created a scale from 1.0 to 10.0 (not sure why they have the “.0” since I’ve yet to see a Nike Free 2.5 shoe) where 1.0 is supposed to represent the feeling of running barefoot while 10.0 is supposed to represent your traditional well-supported and typically not so flexible running shoe. Alongside this scale they started to name their shoes. They had the Nike Free 3.0, Nike Free 5.0, and then the Nike Free 7.0. Once you understood this you had a good idea that if you wanted a more “in-the-middle-of-the-road” barefoot-like running experience you’d probably go for a Nike Free 5.0 versus a Nike Free 3.0.
However, as the Nike Free line of shoes started to get more popular Nike naturally got more greedy and want to capitalize on this new barefoot “flexible” phenomenon. So they started getting extra fancy with their naming and features (which we explained in our post on deciphering Nike Free naming conventions). They started to be inconsistent with their naming conventions (putting roman numerals in the names, version numbers, etc…).
What I didn’t realize until this year is rather than keep the same name of a popular shoe like Vibram does with their Five Finger shoes, Nike likes to come up with brand new shoe names which replace older models (example is Nike Free Run+ replacing the Nike Free 5.0 v4 shoe).
Anyway, I’ve ranted on long enough, below I’ve tried to make sense of the 2010 Nike Free line of shoes so you don’t have to suffer like I did trying to figure it out.
2010 Nike Free Shoe Line
Nike Free 3.0 V2
As mentioned before the 3.0 is Nike’s most barefoot-like running shoe. There’s minimal support and padding on the shoe and it’s even more flexible than the Nike Free 5.0 or other Nike Free shoes. The V2 means this is the second version of the shoe. They make this shoe for both men and women.
Learn more about Nike Free 3.0 V2 Men.
Nike Free Run+
This we believe is the successor to the now discontinued Nike Free 5.0 v4. It features many of the same color combinations and look and feel as a Nike Free 5.0 v4, with some improvements. The biggest improvement is that the Run+ features a sensor in the sole of the shoe to be used with their running monitoring system (which allows you to run and track your runs via your ipod or other supported devices). If you are interested in learning more check out our unboxing the Nike Free Run+ Video. Comes in both men and women sizes.
Nike Free 5.0 ID
So they got rid of the Nike Free 5.0 v4, but they do offer the original Nike Free 5.0 ID shoe. What’s ID mean? It just means you can customize this shoe by deciding what type of design pattern to use. Of course you pay extra for this feature.
Learn more about Nike Free 5.0 ID.
Nike Free N7 5.0
Like I said nike gets increasingly creative with different ways they can add random letters and numbers to their shoe names. Here we have the N7 5.0. After reading Nike’s product description it appears anything with “N7” in the name just means eco-friendly. Only comes in women’s sizes.
Learn more about Nike Free N7 5.0.
Nike Free 5.0 v4 ID
If the original Nike Free 5.0 ID wasn’t good enough you can opt to get a Nike Free 5.0 v4 ID. A customized version of the 5.0 v4. So if you really still like the Nike Free 5.0 v4, but can’t find it anywhere, then you can order it directly from Nike. Comes in both mens and womens sizes.
Nike Free N7 5.0 v4
Here we have the N7 5.0 v4. In case you forgot N7 means this is an environmentally-friendly Nike shoe. Again this is another option for you if you are really looking for a pair of 5.0 v4 shoes but can’t find them. Only comes in men’s sizes.
Learn more about Nike Free N7 5.0 v4.
Nike Free 7.0 v2
The v2 suggests that this is Nike’s second version of the Free 7.0, but the funny thing is that back when I first learned about Nike Free, I didn’t even know there was a Nike Free 7.0 v1! Apparently, these look like they are replacing the Nike Free Everyday+ 2 (minus the sensors) in terms of where they fit on the barefoot scale. As such these come in both men’s and women’s sizes.
Nike Free TR Training Shoe
The name suggests that this is a cross training shoe and from the fact that they have also discontinued the Nike Free SPARQ’09 I’m guessing that the Free TR replaces the SPARQ’09. This is a men’s shoe only.
Learn more about Nike Free TR.
Nike Free Hyper TR Training Shoe
You might think by name alone that TR shoe is just a crazier more extreme version of the TR training shoe (afterall what else are you supposed to infer from the word “Hyper”). But that would only make sense in a logical world, and Nike doesn’t play in that world. Instead the Hyper here seems to mean women as this shoe only comes in womens sizes and designs (where as the TR only comes in mens). Don’t ask me why…
Learn more about Nike Free Hyper TR.