Review | Running Warehouse

Nike Free 3.0 v5 Product Review

Short Take

Featuring an improved upper for increased breathability and comfort, the Nike Free 3.0 v5 brings you a natural running experience without a bare-bones underfoot feel.

Big Updates

  • New Upper Material: The Nanoply of the previous version has been swapped with Engineered Mesh for more breathability and a less constrictive fit.
  • Carryover Platform: No changes here – the platform continues to offer a low profile and flexible ride.

Road Test

The most minimal of the Free collection, the Free 3.0 v5 offers a natural running experience without a firm underfoot feel.

If there was a single complaint we heard about the prior version, it was the NanoPly, the upper material that often resulted in sweaty feet and stinky shoes. Nike addressed this problem by switching over to their Engineered Mesh technology, which offers increased breathability and a stretchier, less claustrophobic fit.

The winning elements of the Free 3.0 v4 remain in the 5th version – the bootie-like construction offers a socklike feel over the foot, and the low profile and flexible platform provides an unrestricted ride while retaining some cushioning and underfoot protection.

Runners Say


“Although I wouldn’t put huge miles into the Free 3.0, but I think it’s a great training tool for foot strengthening and doing drills.”


“Though the shoe hasn’t changed much in this update, the new upper is much improved over the previous version in both feel and appearance.”


“The cushioning on the Free 3.0 is surprisingly soft – much more than I would expect from a shoe in this category.”