Nike To Bring Barefoot-Experience To Training

Nike, known for its shoes that soar through the air, is coming down to the ground. The Beaverton, Ore.-based company will release a sneaker tomorrow that offers wearers a barefoot-like experience.

While barefoot running shoes hit the market in 2005, the athletic firm’s newest version, called the Nike Free Trainer 1.0, features “zero-millimeter offset that makes foot muscles work harder to grip and balance,” according to a company statement. “The shoe enables natural motion and offers a barefoot-like feel to athletes who lift, run, jump and cut as they pursue their performance potential.”

Nike Free Trainer 1.0
Seeking a close-to-the-ground feel, boxer Ryota Murata trains in Nike’s Free Trainer 1.0 line.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Nike.

In particular, the zero-drop foam midsole allows for stability during workouts consisting of heavy weightlifting, while simultaneously relying on cushioning in the sockliner for additional comfort.

Whether Nike’s newest style clicks with consumers remains to be seen.

Training shoes for men and women have gone in and out of favor over the years, with companies offering numerous close-to-the-ground versions — for running or for lifting.

First there was Vibram FiveFingers and later Adidas’ AdiPure trainer. And in more recent times, Reebok launched its CrossFit Lifter Plus 2.0, while Adidas unveiled its Powerlift 2.0 shoe.

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