Nike Free RN Motion Flyknit
For neutral, efficient, light-on-their-feet runners, the Free RN Motion Flyknit represents Nike’s modified mashup of technologies. The shoe applies a novel fusing of foams through a dual-injection process that uses heat in lieu of glue for more cushioning than past Free models. The one-piece, socklike upper melds with a new natural-moving midsole/outsole package. Not only does the Free RN Motion Flyknit use a siped sole, but the deep grooves are cut in geometric shapes to allow the bottom unit to splay with the foot's natural contraction and expansion as it moves through the gait cycle.
You really feel like you are wearing your shoes like a piece of apparel with the Free RN Motion Flyknit because of the foot-wrapping upper. Note, however, this is not a solid choice for those needing support or stability in their footwear, and the snug fit of the Flyknit upper can be quite constraining for those with high-volume feet. Nike added high-abrasion rubber to the lateral heel and medial toe to increase durability, but fore- and midfoot runners will likely see significant wear in other impact areas.
Even though there is an 8mm drop and plenty of cushioning from the fused foam midsole, the elasticity is enough to leave you with a barefoot-like impression. The bottom line: This shoe is all about flexibility and the mobility you experience from the accordion-like, morphing sensation. It moves as you move, and that's something even minimalist shoes don't do.
7.9oz; 8mm drop; $130; nike.com