For all the popularity of Nike Free — and the innovation truly has changed footwear — the minimalist technology has not generally been seen as an everyday training option, due to the (by design) lesser support and cushioning, forgone in favor of a more “barefoot” feel. That all changes with the latest model — the Nike Free RN Distance.
Designed for daily use and long-distance runs — ohhhhhh; that’s why they call it that — the new model still features many of the hallmarks of a Nike Free model: lack of a heel-counter; largely unstructured upper; flexible sole with a natural range of motion; minimal (4mm here) heel-to-toe offset.
But the Free RN Distance updates those tenets for a longer-distance run as well. Cushier Lunarlon foam is used in the midsole, a tried and true technology that’s been used in distance-running shoes for years, and the hexagonal flex pattern in the Free outsole is reimagined; larger hexagons provide more lateral stability and protection. Finally, the dual-stacked foam set-up puts the foot a bit farther off the ground than on previous Free shoes. Think of it as barefoot, in terms of range of motion and flexibility, but not necessarily minimalist.
The Nike Free RN Distance begins hitting stores worldwide today, November 19. Nike.com availability hasn’t been announced yet, but it should be just around the corner.
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