Monday, April 2, 2012

Nike Free Run+ 3 Review

Boom!  That should be the real title of this blog post.  This shoe is amazing.  As many of you who know me outside of my blogging know that I am a fan of Nike Frees.  I was going to say advocate but I don't really want to promote Frees to everybody because every runner is different.  Some, like Paul Przybelski, prefer the Asics Gel to any other support technology and I myself prefer a simple layer of foam.  Many people with fairly neutral strides can wear shoes like the Nike Free while others prefer something more minimal and others still need something more cushioned like the Nike Lunareclipse or something with a technology to keep them from pronating like the Nike Structure or Lunarglide.

Now, I'm going to get into the review portion.

Picture courtesy of

Retail: $100
Release Date: April 1st, 2012
Heel Drop: 6mm
Weight: 8.6 oz

Feel:  These things probably feel the best out of any of the Nike Frees.  They are in a battle with the 5.0 V4 of which I still have a pair that serve as my go-to long run shoe.  I felt like the last two models of Nike Free had gone away from the somewhat minimalist trainer and went to a fashion shoe.  I am going to highlight a few things that I like about these so far.  First, they have a tongue!  It make the shoe easier to get on without sacrificing any comfort.  Second, the upper is much lighter that the last two pairs.  It is also very breathable.  I think it will still last a long time unlike a few models of the Free 5.0.  Third, it is an overall smoother ride than past models.  I think it has to do with the grooves in the arch and the fact that the grooves aren't as spaced out.  The shoes are still as flexible as any in the Free line but they feel much better.  Fourth, the nearly seamless insides are very comfortable with or without socks.  Fifth, Nike incorporated the Dynamic lockdown seen in other shoes and it works well if you like your shoes tied tight.  I personally like mine fairly loose.

Durability:  I have reservations about the quality of material Nike is currently using in their sole but other than that I don't think durability should be an issue.  The upper appears and feels to be very strong and I wouldn't be surprised to see these shoes last 2,000 or more miles.

Looks: Like I said before, this shoe is less of a fashion shoe than the Run+ 2 but I think this shoe is still awesome!  For now, all the colors are mainly a one-color scheme but later releases will change that.  I also like the reflective swoosh on most colors, it looks cool and is functional too!  I also like the slimmed down appearance of the midsole on these shoes.

Overall:  Thanks to Nike for making their shoe functional instead of fashionable.  I was worried after the Run+ 2.  I look forward to running in these shoes for a long time to come.


George said...

Could you compare and contrast the Free Run+ 3 and the Free 4.0?

I've been wearing the Free Run+ 2 with a midfoot/forefoot strike.

Trying to figure out whether to move to the 4.0; slightly more minimalist, I suppose. But..?

Kyle Schmidt said...


I have not actually trained in the 4.0 but I have tried it on and examined it thoroughly. I think it is a 50-50 hybrid of the Run+ 3 and 4.0. It has characteristics of both shoes. I always say to stick with what works. If you think a more minimalist regime is better for you then give it a try. If the Run+ line works you don't need to change it.


Anonymous said...

Which shoe is the most minimal? The Nike 3.0 V3 or 3.0 V4? I have the V3s and love them but they are getting old and I can't find any place to buy them again. Im not sure about purchasing the new kind because their structure looks so different. Are they close to the same as the V3s? Are the new kind worth buying? Or a step back? Also can I wash my shoes in the washing machine without ruining them? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that it would constantly catch gravel and little stones between the gaps in the soil, have you got any of those problems?

Kyle Schmidt said...

It does definitely catch bits of gravel and small rocks but it really isn't noticeable except the rare large rock.

Chie said...

Hi, I'm a beginner in running and I'm still trying to find a new shoe that I could use. Do you think this shoe can be a good starter for a newbie? Thanks! :)

Kyle Schmidt said...


This shoe could be good for you. Ideally, people that use these shoes have a fairly neutral footstrike or a fore to mid foot strike. What this means is that when you heel strike, your foot goes straight forward and doesn't rotate to the left or right. People with forefoot or midfoot strikes do not pronate or supinate as much because their feet are on the ground a shorter amount of time. Generally they can use almost any kind of shoe. If you do choose to get this shoe, start slow. This is a basic, somewhat minimal shoe and you will most likely feel it in your calves and possibly feet. Best of luck!

Kyle Schmidt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anett said...

i had acl-surgery 6 months ago and thinking of starting to go running again. What im now wondering is if the nike free run 3+ could be a good choice for my knee? Or do you have any other shoe that you would recommend for someone whos been through acl-surgery?

Kyle Schmidt said...


As much as I would love to help you, there are a lot more factors to finding a good shoe than can be determined over the internet. Whether or not you had an acl surgery can't tell me what foot strike or level of pronation/supination you have. I would highly recommend going into a local running store and asking them what kind of shoe would be good for you.


John Scoones said...

Alot of the older shoes that we all run have caused our injuries I had my cartilage trimmed due to shoes that pronated supernated etc etc after reading Born to run I have changed to the Nike free range now running in the Nike free 3 the most minimalistic I am a forefoot runner which does suit these shoes. If you decide to run as a forefoot runner ie reduce lenght of stride these shoes will prevent further injuries but slower change your style you wnt regret it