Nike Free 5.0 Flash ReviewJanuary 7, 2015
- Great midsole flexibility
- Snug and comfortable fit through rearfoot and midfoot
- Rounded toebox allows foot splay
- Outstanding reflectivity for safety nights and early mornings
- Low foot clearance in toe box area
- Outsole rubber pods should be more extensive and strategically placed across midfoot
- Poor traction for off-road ventures
The Nike Free 5.0 Flash adds some key winterization features to an otherwise solid shoe without compromising weight or performance. The Free 5.0 Flash works well for traditional shoe users seeking improvement in foot strength or running economy, or for natural runners who want a shoe with enough cushioning and structure to serve as an everyday trainer.
The Nike Free 5.0 Flash resides exactly at the halfway point of Nike’s 10-point scale between barefoot mechanics and maximal structure, so the model is intended as an ideal middle ground between natural running and traditional running shoe construction. The 2014 versions underwent a number of revisions, most significantly with the addition of Nike’s highly flexible hexagonal midsole, which provides outstanding flexibility in all directions. Now the Flash version of the Free 5.0 adds some weather resistance for poor weather, and an extensive amount of reflective material throughout the upper for increased safety in the dark.
The weather resistant upper runs slightly warmer than the lightweight mesh on the regular Free 5.0 and keeps your toes comfortable in cool, wet conditions.
Comfortably snug through the rearfoot and midfoot, but the forefoot and toe box are on the low side, which could be a challenge for larger volume feet or thick sock users.
Great rebound and responsiveness during standard road running.
Outsole rubber is extremely limited, located only at the lateral heel and medial big toe. There’s minimal capacity for venturing off-road, so you’ll lose some grip and responsiveness going from pavement to dirt.
With moderate cushioning, a secure fit, and a fairly lightweight 8.3oz, it’s easy to run fast in the 5.0 Flash. It’s rare that a winterized version doesn’t compromise weight or speed – but that’s exactly what Nike has done with the Free 5.0 Flash.