Friday, April 6, 2012
Nike Free 3.0 V4 Review
Before I start reviewing the 3.0 V4, I want you to look at my review of the 3.0 V3 found Here. I will be referencing that shoe and making comparisons.
I really thought that I had liked the 3.0 V3 until I got my ID 3.0 V4s in the mail. These shoes are immensely better than their predecessor.
Retail: $100 up $10 from last year
Weight: 7.2 oz, about the same
Heel Drop: 4mm compared to 7mm
Feel: This shoe feels way better than the V3s. The V3s had foam taken out in certain areas of the sole that gave it an awkward feel. The V4 has the same low to the ground feel without that same awkward feeling. It has a groove that runs lengthwise on the sole and that gives the shoe added flexibility as does the grooves in the arch of the foot. The upper is also much more seamless and you can go barefoot in these shoes if you want to. They also eliminated that stupid mesh patch in the back that always provided durability issues while not adding any benefits. The toe box feels slightly wider than the last model which is usually a sought after characteristic in minimal shoes.
Durability: The durability of these shoes is yet to be seen. The uppers seem reinforced enough to last awhile, certainly more than the last models of 3.0. The foam is the same as other Nike foams lately and I might have issues with that foam wearing away too quickly.
Look: I always like the looks of the Frees so I probably won't say too much negatively. I guess they could add new colorways. The initial ones are rather plain and usually don't have two colors represented very much. One color dominates most of the time. I do like that the sole and midsole are not just white or black on a few models.
Uses: This version of the free has pretty decent lockdown so it could be used to faster sessions as well as everyday running. Something I will never recommend for any types of frees, except the Free Trails from about 8 years ago, is trail running.
Overall, I really like this version of the 3.0. It is the first to eliminate the gaps in the foam on the midsole that made those shoes slightly uncomfortable. I never realized how uncomfortable until I wore these shoes. These shoes would be a great step in transitioning from a traditional trainer into a minimalist one.