While the Nike Free 3.0 was the spark for the minimalist movement when it was introduced in 2007, it was a bit ahead of the curve and so not fully understood or appreciated at the time. The 3.0 v2 added some new touches while in a holding pattern in the marketplace.
The midsole and outersole remain the same—an ultra-flexible matrix of deep grooves in Phylite (a blend of EVA and rubber), with a few pieces of carbon rubber at the heel and the toe. The upper features the changes, including switching to a closed mesh with welded overlays to eliminate seams, adding suede on the medial metatarsal, eyestay, and heel, and the inclusion of a very thin thermoplastic toe cap. The result is a close-fitting, lightweight shoe with a small heel-to-forefoot drop, with the real benefits coming from the ultra-flexible sole. Nike’s original suggested use of the Free, now nearly lost in the mists of time, was as a training aid: gradually increasing use until it was a part of a regular routine of several days each week. That’s still their advice with the 3.0 v2.
“Fast and nimble. Really allows my foot to get a workout because of the flexibility.”
$85 Sizes: men 6.5–13,14; women 5–12 Weight: (men’s 11) 7.4 oz.; (women’s 8) 6.0 oz. Heel/Forefoot Drop: 4 mm