Nike has some exciting news on running shoes around the corner. First there’s the new Flyknit technology that emphasizes its “featherweight, formfitting and virtually seamless upper”. With the Flyknit technology, this year Nike will debut its HTM Flyknit collection which includes the HTM Trainer+ and the HTM Racer.
In addition to the introduction of Flyknit, Nike is rolling out its updates to the Free collection soon. According to rumor, Nike is offering 3 different heel-drop heights (4mm, 6mm, and 8mm) in this year’s Free collection, so to offer a spectrum of transition shoes into minimalist or natural running.
The three updates in the Free collection of 2012 include: Nike Free Run+ 3, Nike Free 4.0 V2, and Nike Free 3.0 V4. Although I am unclear about their specific heel-drop heights, I have been informed that the Free 3.0 V4 will be the closest ride to barefoot. The Free 4.0 V2 will be next in line, and the Free Run+ 3 will be the least likely to barefoot, being a more conventional running shoe. Perhaps it is safe to say that these statements coincide with the above speculation in the new heel-drop heights. Note that the heel-drops in the previous versions (Free 3.0 V3, Free Run +2) are both 7mm – I’m not sure about the Free 4.0 V1, however.
Besides the heel-drop, the 2012 Free collection will offer seamless upper, asymmetrical lacing, and modified arch across the board – among many other nice features. From the aesthetic point of view, I personally think the Free 3.0 V4 is a mean-looking shoe. But you can be the judge of that from the pictures below. There are additional photos of the Free 3.0 V4 at SneakerFiles, and at Runblogger in Pete Larson’s preview. Stay tuned for my review of these shoes in the upcoming weeks.
What do you think of the 2012 Nike Free collection? What was your previous experience with this line? And what do you think I should cover in my future review of these shoes? Please share in the comment section below.
[UPDATE] My review of the 2012 Nike Free 4.0 V2 is now available here.
[UPDATE 2] My review of the 2012 Nike Free 3.0 V4 is now available here.