Nike Free TR8 Review

9.6 score
[Editors rating (9.6)] = (WalkJogRun) score (9.6)/10

Editor rating: 9.6 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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It can be difficult to craft a lightweight trainer that holds up to excessive action. When the TR 8 Free emerged onto the market, Nike clearly nailed creating another huge hit for athletes everywhere. This ultra-lightweight and comfortable trainer is great for indoor or outdoor endeavors. If you love fitness or are just getting back into a gym routine, these could be a game-changer for you. The perfect, non-restricting lacing system and unique traction pods on the outsole are a cut above other sneakers in the trainer category. Equipping you to go anywhere and do anything, the TR 8 Free by Nike really illuminates the way for high-function, featherweight athletic options. Nike recognizes those looking for more out of their performance gear. In doing so, they are able to meet that demand with sneakers like this Nike Free TR8.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Flexible
  • Lightweight
  • Flywire Technology
  • Great Traction
  • Stabilizing Heel
  • Reinforced Toe
  • Not Very Stylish
  • May Cause Sweating


The Nike Free TR8 is constructed from so many premium materials however the stand out here is the mesh utilized in the upper. For the tongue and collar, this mesh is also used creating really light and airy wear for the Nike Free TR8. One downside here though is that due to the shoe being very formfitting to the foot, even with mesh, this may cause problems for those with feet that are naturally sweaty, or those who run at a higher temp. A more open, less streamlined option may work better for people with problems such as those. How your foot feels in a shoe is just as important as how you feel when you wear it, and feeling stifled by your footwear isn’t something you want. For most athletes, however, these will more than suffice when it comes to overall breathability. Just wear with a pair of light cotton socks and you will have an amazing combo of resistance to odor and sweat.


The Nike Free TR8 is wildly comfortable. The mesh upper is really forgiving of the foot shape and the way it fits is outstanding. This shoe is integrating Flywire technology into the makeup which gives you a really secure fit. It will wrap around your foot as if it were made for you. The padded collar and tongue are soft to the point where they give that barely-there effect. Extra cushioning in the insole is perfect for supporting you through the toughest of routines. This comfort fit bootie-style performance gear will remind you of wearing a super warm slipper, but work like a sleek athletic sneaker. Not only one layer of cushioning is fit into this slim sneaker, but two, amping up the comfort of the shoe.


There are a few features that lend themselves to the overall durability of this trainer. At the toe, there is a haptic print for extreme durability. For those who have never heard of haptic print, it is a special kind of “tactile coating” that provides texture and covers other materials to increase its resistance to wear. Most people recognize the term haptic from the technological world, but the haptic print has applications in athletic performance as seen here. Ultralight cables as a part of their Flywire technology integrated into the upper itself that diminishes the likelihood of fraying or wear on the lacing system. The Nike Free TR8’s phenomenal traction also plays a part in durability. As mentioned, there are rubber pods placed on specific points of the outsole of the shoe. These rubber pods give the outsole extra protection against wearing over time as well as degradation of grip.


The sole of the Nike Free TR8 is something of beauty. Just turning the shoe over, you will see some gorgeous detailing that looks so delicate but actually increases the durability and function of the whole shoe. The ultra-light construction, blend of materials and mesh come together to make a shoe that changes the way you work out by still giving that “nothing’s there” feel. On the sole, the rubber pods aren’t adding bulk, due to how they are literally built into the outsole itself. Small sections are separated to create a gorgeous hyper-flexible effect. The deep lines create the ability to flex your foot any which way during your workout without feeling strained or confined by the sneaker you’re wearing. A low scoop on their side of the ankle, while the heel and tongue rise up, allow for even greater movement, while still protecting the parts of your foot most at risk.


Many Nike fans will notice this is slightly different in profile than several other trainers by the brand. Looking at the needs of its customers, Nike decided to make a shoe that worked with your workout routine. The heel on the Nike Free TR8 touches the ground completely, there is no curving away from the surface you’re exercising on, like how many aerobic shoes are designed for more aesthetic value. This wider base with more surface area helps provide stability for the wearer. It improves form on multiple workouts, like squats or lunges. If you love athletic sneakers and hate that their built-up heel can often have you feeling wobbly when you’re wearing them, try something like this with a sole that is flush with the ground. You made find you are much more comfortable than you originally imagined you could be. New technology has a way of giving us results we didn’t even know was possible with our old workout gear.


This Nike Free TR8 offers a midsole which absorbs shock without a thick and too bulky structure. Made from well-cushioned EVA foam that perfectly compliments the insole comfort, the midsole puts a nice little bounce in every step you take. If you’re into aerobics or cardio workouts, the shock absorption on this midsole is just the right match for you. TPU wings on the midsole help improve the support of the shoe. Due to the snug fit, the foot is cared for at all angles and feels lovely doing a large number of activities. Thicker midsoles on this Nike come up to cradle the foot and keeps close during your movements. Flexing with you and accompanying your every hop, skip, and jump.


The stability of this Free TR8 was mentioned before when speaking of their outsole. Nike chose to make the heel a space with larger surface area making greater contact with the ground for stability. Stability is of great importance for a number of workouts and this sole really aids in getting the most out of every action you perform. The fabric that makes so many of this Nike’s other important features possible is a supporter of its overall stability as well. The Flywire weaves into the lacing system and entire upper, keeping your foot firmly in the shoe. Dual-cushioning may feel extremely padded but it is contoured in a way to allow your foot to sit deeply in the shoe. This acts as a heel cup, which cradles the foot and keeps your alignment and stability exactly right. The higher heel rise and tongue add a bit of stability to the ankle without constricting natural movements and motion.


As far as traction goes, this Nike serves heavy-duty grip without the heavy duty feel or weight. Rubber pods adorn the outsole exactly where you need them most. The way they incorporate the rubber on the sole doesn’t bulk it up or raise you off the ground. It is worked into the outsole itself. On the toe and heel, there are lined pods that enhance the shoes overall durability. Clusters of hexagonal rubber pods can also be found on the ball of foot and heel. These are points on your shoe that make a lot of contact with the ground, and hence really need that extra bit of grip for pivoting or quick footwork in the gym. Multiple surfaces are no match for this performance sneaker by Nike. A stable sole with an increased surface area on the Nike Free TR8 is complimented so well by the addition of the phenomenal traction pods. You will love how secure in your footing these will make you feel during every workout.


One issue with this Nike actually comes from one of its lovely features. The upper on this is a laceless option, it has a bungee-like woven style that crosses the foot without actual lace tying or interference. You just slip them on and go. This is a great thing for a lot of sneaker wearers, for those with wider feet, this feature is going to make it a bit more difficult to get on and off. Nike makes sharp looking shoes, however, this is a pretty basic sock-like option that won’t necessarily stun many of the Nike fans. It comes in basic colors, is accented only in white, and has a very high rise tongue and heel, but not necessarily a high-rise collar. This look isn’t going to be for everyone, however, if you are buying them for their outstanding function rather than lackluster fashion, then you’re probably going to really love them.


Lightweight trainers are always the perfect go-to for those who want to stay active and comfortable when doing so. A thin but flexible sole is able to provide all the support and traction you need without any significant weight added to bog you down during your workout or just your errands. The mesh and foam combination to pad the collar and tongue are like air. The Flywire has strong cables with their composition of Vectran minimizing the weight that usually comes with the kind of support it offers the wearer. The flexibility is achieved through cutouts in the outsole, cutting away to add movement rather than building up is really great for achieving a trainer that isn’t too heavy.

Bottom Line

This shoe may run a bit narrow, however, that doesn’t count it out from being a great Nike. The upper that utilizes Flywire is supportive and secure during workouts. Its midsole is slightly contoured and built up a bit on the sides to make almost a heel cup in the shoe. The stabilizing base and ultra-flexible sole make this a go-to for a variety of workouts. While the look isn’t exactly cutting edge in the eyes of some reviewers, the performance is. Nike’s Free TR8 will impress you in how such a slim profiled shoe can provide in terms of support and overall comfort. This trainer is really making a name for itself with gym-goers everywhere.