Nike Free RN Flyknit

Nike Free RN Flyknit
Nike Free RN Flyknit

As its name suggests, the Free RN Flyknit comes with Nike's proprietary Flyknit upper, which is a one-piece polyester yarn woven to provide a seamless fit.

Nike's Flywire cables are integrated into the upper and the shoe's laces for a flexible and supportive fit.

The midsole features an auxetic foam that, aided by rows of "tri-star" patterned grooves, expands and contracts equally in all directions for equal pressure dispersion.

It has an 8mm heel drop, which is the difference between the heel height and mid-foot height. Traditional running shoes have a heel drop of 12mm.

The review unit comes in blue, but I think the black or grey version both look better. In any case, the RN looks more like casual sneakers than classic running shoes.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $215

    WEIGHT: 211g (US9, Men's)

  • RATING

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 2/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 3/5

The pair I received had been worn before, so I have had to test them with socks for hygiene reasons. Usually, I prefer to run without socks.

With a pair of thin socks, the shoes feel comfortable and lightweight. I think you can use it as walking shoes too.

However, there is no substantial heel counter, which means ankle support is really lacking. Furthermore, there is no bounce or energy-return technology and cushioning is minimal.

My injury-prone ankles were hurting after just a 2.5km run, on an uneven pavement route around my neighbourhood.

My foot arches were feeling the strain, too. I tried switching to mid-foot strikes from my usual heel-strike running style to see if it feels better. But there was no difference.

The shoes did do better on a stadium running track. I did not feel that much of a strain when running on the track. I think this shoe is probably meant for a smooth surface like the treadmill.

Trevor Tan

•Verdict: The Nike Free RN Flyknit is more of a lifestyle shoe first, running shoe second.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2016, with the headline 'Nike Free RN Flyknit'. Print Edition | Subscribe