There’s an exciting time in every fitness addict’s life that is buying a new pair of gym trainers! Two weeks ago I picked up a pair of Nike Free Flyknit 4.0’s to become my new shoes of choice for training as well as for everyday wear. I have always been a huge Nike fan as I think the design of their products is fantastic and they really do look as good as they perform.
Nike has always been pushing innovations in shoe technology such as their Air technology (1979), the minimalist Nike Free line (2004) and more recently the Flyknit upper (2012). The Flyknit 4.0 combines two of these innovative features, the Nike Free soul and the Flyknit upper to create a hugely comfortable and versatile shoe that can do almost anything!
Comfort – 5/5
The comfort of these shoes really is excellent! These shoes are super comfortable for running, lifting weights, stretching or casual wear – I would compare them more to slippers than trainers! Another convenient feature is that since the whole upper of this shoe is elasticated, they can be slipped on and off the feet without untying yet still provide a secure fit.
Fit – 5/5
The elasticated upper means that the fit of this shoe is extremely adaptive to different shaped feet, whether your feet are wide of narrow, they should be accommodated well by these shoes. For my feet, these trainers fit true to size. They were a little tight at first but they soon stretched out! Nike Free 3.0’s which I have had in the past fit slightly small – Nike seem to have addressed this issue with the new Free Flyknit 4.0’s.
Weight Training – 4/5
For the majority of your weight training exercises, these shoes will be perfect. They’re comfortable and light, provide enough support and won’t get in your way. For heavy compound movements like squats and deadlifts I feel that the soft, flexible sole on these shoes is a disadvantage. I have stuck to my Adidas Powerlift 2 Olympic lifting shoes for any movement where a solid foundation is really important!
Running – 5/5
These shoes sit in a sweet spot between being super soft and comfortable whilst still offering you enough support. Compared to something like Vibram FiveFingers which have literally no padding, the Nike’s make running feel a lot more effortless and are comparable to running on a soft surface in the Vibrams. The disadvantage of this is you sacrifice some of the responsiveness and control which you get with a more minimal shoe – this really isn’t a huge issue though!
Durability – 3/5
The flyknit material is not resilient at all to scuffs and dirt, everything I touch seems to leave black marks on both the fluorescent orange outer and the white soul. The red midsole is painted and this paint has already started to chip off after some light scuffing against objects in the gym to reveal a white surface underneath. Whilst these issues really only affect aesthetics, it would be nice for them to stay looking fresh for a little longer!
Price – 4/5
I paid £110 for the Free Flyknit 4.0 which is fairly expensive. Considering this shoe is so versatile and can be worn for both training and day to day activities, I feel the price is justified since it eliminates the need to have additional pairs of shoes for each activity.
Nike Free Flyknit 4.0 Overall – 4.5/5
The Nike Free Flyknit 4.0 is a great shoe for running, general fitness training and everyday wear. The comfort of these shoes really is second to none in terms of trainers due to the adaptive fit of the Flyknit upper. If you want a shoe to perform really heavy compound lifts in, I would look for something a little more solid and supportive but that’s not what the Free Flyknits were designed for anyway!
The biggest problem I have with this shoe is the durability, however this is just because I like to keep my trainers looking fresh for as long as possible. If you’re looking for a new pair of casual shoes which are also great for training in, the Free Flyknit 4.0 is a great choice!