Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit Review
Adapts and mimics your foot
Untested sole design with an added cost
About the Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit
This very line of Nike Free shoes began once Nike heard that Stanford athletes chose to train barefoot on golf courses. This got Nike curious and they created a shoe that mimicked the barefoot heel.
This shoe had to be the best at the element of flexibility in order to create a feel that there isn’t a shoe at all. This line of shoes has kept close to these goals but Nike have yet to reach it’s peak as with new technology they just keep getting closer to their ultimate goal.
When I personally got a hold of the shoes it was evident to me that Nike was trying to create something unique here as the flexibility aspect was massively present when I experimented with the shoe to see how it reacts to different surfaces.
The unique combination of the tri-star sole along with the upper region of the Flyknit is the reason Nike has prevailed in the area of flexibility. While running I also felt as if I couldn’t feel anything below my feet as it made contact with the ground. (In my opinion the NIKE LUNAREPIC FLYKNIT are the most flexible one in the Free RN series)
Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit Cushion & Sole
It’s evident that the flexibility portion originates with the sole as Nike has combined all the latest fly based technology to place more emphasis on the tri-star pattern installed at the end of the shoe.
The Free RN shoes started out with a symmetrical pattern of foam, which evolved onto geometrically placed patterns created onto the foam, which ultimately led to the tri-star pattern. It looks like the Nike Engineers have created an aesthetic masterpiece, as everything looks well connected in terms of the patterns evident at the sole of the shoe.
Research conducted showed that the human foot is capable of expanding and contracting well as it impacts the ground all while lifting off and growing one size in length and 2 in width during impact.
Although Nike claimed this tri-star pattern followed this trend, it really feels as if the flexibility of the sole comes into play, however, it’s far from producing any kind of auxetic experience.
An auxetic experience describes an interaction someone has when something expands in the opposite direction, that you stretch it. It is very similar to a rubber sheet, where if you pull it apart, the middle aspect gets thinner.
If the material was auxetic and you pulled it apart, the middle portion would become thicker. The Nike tri-star doesn’t do that it expands more in width then in length, when it’s scaled to the foot.
If an object becomes compressed in one direction and expands in another direction, the shoe gets a positive Poisson ratio, which means it is NOT auxetic.
Moving on, the shoe moves in a manner that still does expand in length and width differently. The main reason to worry however is that the 1:2 expansion ratio is gone since it has insoles present between your feet and the sole, and the insoles won’t expand like the sole does.
I would consider the sole of the shoe to be divided between a 1:2 ratio of useful tech to marketing hype. Although my opinion has nothing to do with this relating to the technology aspect of the shoe, but the sole on the other hand is a different ball game altogether.
The sole presents itself is super flexible and provides a lot of feedback on the ground at which it is making contact. The 4mm drop at the foam bottom with the expectations of the rubber patches from the heel to the toe, it truly does stay true to the Nike experience. Despite it’s size the toe curls up a bit at the end so it’s beneficial to try the shoe in the right size.
Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit Upper Materials
The upper aspect of the shoe is all Flyknit technology, which is the name of the high strength fiber stitched together in a way that rests around your foot in a way that supports the areas it is needs the most. This allows for the beauty in the comfort.
However, the stitching or glued aspects of the shoe makes it easier to forget any evidence that a shoe is present at the bottom of your foot. Also since there is an absence of the conventional tongue it is easier to slip it on and off.
The inviting tube of cloth that stretches around your foot holds it steady, where the heel is Flyknit and without any assistance on the heel to counter (along with the patch of stiffer fabric to maintain it’s shape and strength).
The only other heel that comes close to this particular design and format is Under Armor’s speedform brand of shoes. Therefore, maintaining the aesthetic look that goes with every type of Nike shoe, the best option was to utilize Flywire technology.
The Flywire allows the strands to slip through the Flyknit upper portion leading to direct contact between the laces and the sole for a perfect fit. However, I did not feel that it was good enough.
The lateral movement pattern through these shoes allows your feet to slide casually no matter how tight the laces are. These tasks are beneficial for running the old fashioned way but isn’t for the kind of runners that have extreme responsiveness or lateral stability.
Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit Conclusions
From my own experiences, I find it perfect for jogging since it provides a wonderful breeze along with the dual-density midsole absorbing the shock of your foot as it has contact with the surface below.
All the technology that’s gone into the shoe allows for a smooth and comfortable experience, which are well suited for casual runs and jogs but not as a daily trainer. So my final verdict is that it should be used as a specialist shoe for general runs but don’t make it the final shoe.