Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit side

Nike Flyknit Free Run


Shoe Stats

Weight: 7.4 oz in men’s size 9; 6.3 oz in women’s size 8 (per Running Warehouse)
Stack Height: 20mm heel, 14mm forefoot (per Running Warehouse)
Sizing: I went a half size up as I typically do in Nike shoes, might have been unnecessary

Upper Construction

The Flyknit upper of the Free 4.0 is minimally structured. No overlays, no heel counter, just a stretchy woven mesh with a few Flywire bands on either side of the lace rows to lock the foot down. It feels like a sock, and it hugs my foot in all of the right ways. Not too tight, not too loose. Just perfect. The heel and midfoot are snugged in tightly, and the forefoot opens up so that the tight weave does not constrict or squeeze the toes. The entire upper flexes and moves with the foot in a way I have rarely experienced in a running shoe.

Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit soleThe upper mesh is open in the midfoot and forefoot to provide for some air flow. Unlike the new Free 3.0 Flyknit, which I have heard fits fairly tightly, the 4.0 has a traditional tongue, and I think this allows for better customization of fit. I’ve run sockless in the shoes a few times and have had a bit of abrasion on one run near the midfoot/arch (maybe from one of the Flywire bands?), but this has been inconsistent. May have just been a hot day with more sweat leading to chafe. No issues at all while wearing socks (side note – these shoes seem to hold a stink when you use them sockless).

Sole Construction

Like the upper, the sole of the Free 4.0 Flyknit is super flexible and moves really well with the foot. The sole is typical of other Nike Free shoes in having individual pods separated by deep grooves to maximize flexibility. The drawback of the grooved sole is that the grooves do tend to collect rocks and pebbles, but this has never really bothered me in any of the Frees and they are easy enough to get out by taking the shoe off and flexing the sole around after a run.

The majority of the sole is exposed midsole cushion, so you can barely hear your footfalls while running in them – I love a silent shoe! The tradeoff to this design is that there is minimal outsole coverage – rubber pods are only present at the back outer heel and under the big toe. As such, sole durability is something to keep an eye on if you tend to be a scuffer. Interestingly, my wear pattern only seems to be from the anteriormost heel pod forward through the midfoot – much more of a midfoot landing wear pattern than I tend to observe in most other shoes that I run in.

You can see that after 40 miles I’ve ground down the protruding portions of the white pods directly above and to the right the 4.0 in the image below:



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FAQ


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For those that like Nike running shoes, what makes the design of Nike Air Max running shoes so desirable over other brands? - Quora

I'm sorry, I know you said people who like Nike, but I could help but stick my nose in.
The whole running shoe industry is a lie. I know this makes me sound like a conspiracy theorist, however it was all put very nicely in a book called Born to Run by Christopher McDougell. (It's a fantastic book, you should read it)




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