Nike Free RN Flyknit 17

9.1 score
[Editors rating (8.8) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = (TheGearHunt) score (9.1)/10

Editor rating: 8.8 / 10
User's rating: based on 2 user ratings
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Nike Free RN Flyknit 17 Review Facts

Since Nike released the Free RN 2017 at the same time they did the Free RN Flyknit, many wondered what the differences between the shoes were. Mainly, the differences are aesthetic as the Flyknit is totally covered in Flyknit material whereas the Free RN uses a different combination of materials. The Flyknit costs a little bit more because it is simply more stylish and cozy looking, but there are other features which make it worth the cost. It has a very subtle color scheme of cool grays, vivid blues, and spooky dark colors.

Many have reviewed the shoe very positively, citing the fact that it is durable and long lasting, comfortable, and breathable as well. They are nice and lightweight, and are perfect for all types of runners, whether they are serious and training for competition or on the casual side. Although this model is technically outdated and has been replaced by a newer, 2018 model, Nike still sells it on their site for a minimally discounted price. Scoop this pair of kicks up while you can, because there is definitely a lot to love about them.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Flyknit material looks and feels cozy
  • Good balance of cushioning
  • Really aesthetically pleasing
  • Men’s and women’s versions both very lightweight
  • Great for those who run more frequently than the average consumer
  • Outsole has highly reliable amount of traction
  • The heel can be a little too narrow for users with wide feet
  • Toe portion wrinkles, causing an ugly appearance and toe discomfort
  • Sizing issues; generally a little too tight or too large


Not many runners consider the importance of the upper when working out, but it plays a big role in the performance of a shoe. With this model, it’s all about the Flyknit material which isn’t featured as heavily on other Nike shoes than it is with this one. The upper of course features this beloved Flyknit material, and it is single-seamed rather than totally seamless like the Free RN 2017. This is because it helps to give the shoe a more sock-like and snug fit and also improves the ventilation throughout the shoes. The upper on this product is soft to the touch and really adds a lot to the shoe in general. Finally, there is also Flywire cabling strategically woven into the upper in order to add just a tad more support where it really counts.


A midsole of a running shoe really seems to make or break the shoe more so than the upper or outsole do. It all depends on how it is constructed, and if the execution is poor, you will definitely feel the difference. The Free RN Flyknit 2017 midsole is characterized by its IU002 carrier system; this sounds a little complicated, but let’s break it down. This system creates a perfect balance between plush cushioning and solid responsiveness which is often a difficult blend to find. If there is too soft of cushioning, you will feel slowed down; if there is too little cushioning, then your feet may get sore and painful after a while. Nike more or less nailed it when it comes to the construction of the midsole on this model.


The sole of this model is supposedly very flexible, which is evident in the photo Nike uses to display the shoe. Aside from flexibility, one interesting and unique thing about the outsole is the patterning on it. Typically, running shoes use a honeycomb pattern as it is pretty good at catching debris in a way which doesn’t bug you. However, this model utilizes a so-called “tri-star” geometric design in order to allow your foot to move and expand naturally. This is a particularly innovative pattern because it improves on a classic design that didn’t seem like it could look any better. Again, Nike knocks it out of the park on this aspect of the shoes.


With the men’s edition of the Free RN Flyknit 2017 weighing in at roughly 7.6 ounces and the women’s at roughly 6.4 ounces, there is no question that this shoe is extremely lightweight. This weight differentiates it from other shoes in that it can now be considered a competition shoe, suitable for even Olympians to wear. As a result of the feather-like weight, runners won’t feel slowed down and may even have that covetable barefoot sensation that shoe companies strive to achieve. Size-wise, this edition is very thin and folds up with ease, making it perfect to take on the go. Some have complained that the material is a bit too flimsy for their liking, but sometimes weight and thickness must be sacrificed in order to help you gain speed and endurance.


For discontinued or outdated models, price can be hard to precisely pinpoint a lot of the time. Basically, the Free RN Flyknit 2017 is on sale in the $100-$120 range which is standard for Flyknit models. As we previously mentioned, it is on sale on for a slightly discounted price since the 2018 version has been released already. This discount is not included if you choose to customize the shoes since that is of course a much more costly process for the company. This range is definitely fair for a shoe of this caliber, but is by no means a complete bargain. But since it is such a stellar product that is suitable for runners all across the spectrum, it would really be worth your while to nab a pair before they sell out and are unable for purchase in the future.


The degree of attractiveness for a pair of running shoes can often be a deciding factor for potential customers, particularly for women. After all, no one likes to wear a clunky, nerdy looking shoe when there are so many better options available at the click of a mouse. There are so many different color schemes to choose from on both Amazon and other retailers, and Nike’s website takes it to another level with its customization feature. Here, you can make the colors as wild or as subtle as you want, and can even add initials and designs on the shoes. Generally, customers have said that the shoes are super cool and pair well with a variety of outfits ranging from streetwear to athletic wear. The customization feature probably won’t be up too much longer for this model, so use it while you can before time runs out!


The one area where this model probably struggles the most is its inability to transition effectively from indoor to outdoor terrain. Because the shoe is so thin, there is no doubt that it is highly susceptible to water and snow damage. Wearing it in those cold, harsh, and wet climates probably isn’t the best idea. This also applies to areas like mountains and hiking trails as well, as any rocks or thorns that catch on the Flyknit could potentially tear it up and damage it permanently. The shoe is durable in that it will last a lifetime when used on indoor surfaces or typical surfaces like asphalt and cement, but is really delicate in more rough areas. Stick to the indoors or flatter surfaces in general with this pair of shoes, as they probably will fail you in these kinds of areas.


Comfort in running shoes is determined by the quality of the materials used in the construction as well as how they are pieced together. The Free RN Flyknit 2017 has a redesigned midsole that offers both flexibility and soft, responsive cushioning as well. The sock-like grip of the inner lining helps keep the user’s feet in place and prevents them from creating that awful slippery feeling. The luxurious Flyknit is both smooth to the touch and grips nicely to the rest of your feet. Furthermore, customers have said that they never get sore or experience pain while wearing the shoes, so they are good for thorough daily wear. They should definitely be worn with socks, however, otherwise blistering or rashes could become a big issue. Overall, this product is super comfortable and has no real issues in this area.


Sometimes, certain shoes aren’t great at circumventing air in and out of the shoe, thus creating a hot and steamy inner portion which is of course very uncomfortable to experience. To combat this common problem, the Free RN Flyknit 2017 utilizes a mesh upper that is totally breathable and aids in enabling proper aeration. This is really useful because not only will it prevent blistering in the toe area, but throughout the shoe as well. Also, your feet will just be a lot less sweaty and slippery because of the implementation of the Flyknit and mesh. Strangely enough, a few customers have complained about blistering in the heel area, but perhaps this is because they opted not to wear socks.


A lot of customers, particularly those on the younger side, do not know exactly how much added arch support they may need in a shoe which makes shoe shopping a little more difficult. Well even if you are unaware of what is best for you in this category, the Free RN Flyknit 2017 offers neutral support which accommodates about half of runners perfectly. This means that the shoes don’t provide any additional arch support, which makes sense because most professional or serious runners have high arches and these shoes are designed specifically for that crowd. Unfortunately, this means that those who need a lot of arch support probably won’t find this to be the best option. The Flywire cables provide adequate support in the toe area and throughout the shoe as well.


The outsole of this model is primarily responsible for how solid the traction is within it. Having above average traction is important because it can help prevent slippage and even falling which of course imposes a threat to your safety. The durable rubber composition gives especially good traction when running on roads or other similar surfaces in the outdoors; this also applies to indoor surfaces such as a basketball court. To back up this claim, there was not one review that complained of slippage or a lack of good traction in the depths of the internet, so it is safe to say that this aspect of the shoe is a relative success.


Responsiveness is basically defined as how a shoe bounces back after hitting the ground, thus affecting how your feet feel when running. This quality is prominent in these shoes, which have generally responsive cushioning without providing excessive bounce back. As a result, they are pretty comfortable to wear and a little bit of pep into your step without it being noticeable to the average consumer. There isn’t much to complain about when it comes to how responsive these shoes truly are.

Key Features

• Midsole has enhanced flexibility in comparison to prior models
• Single-seam Flyknit upper (as opposed to the usual seamless)
• Heel to toe drop of 8 millimeters
• Designed specifically for competition
• Rounded heel for smooth movement
• All materials combine for greater breathability

Bottom Line

Ultimately, there are not any major flaws on the Nike Free RN Flyknit 2017, and we would recommend this shoe for casual athletes and those training for big races or competitions. There is a color scheme for everyone thanks to Nike’s online customization feature, and it’s hard to hate the relatively simplistic design as a whole. They are paper thin and lightweight which makes them a breeze to wear daily. Moreover, the sole is durable, flexible, and even doesn’t get dirty too easily; all of these aspects contribute to its long lasting shoe life which can help save you money on buying running shoes in the long run. The innovative construction makes the shoes breathable and comfortable to wear for multiple hours at a time, and the Flyknit overlay is truly beautiful and comfortable as well. Lastly, it gets pretty good traction and is best suited for surfaces such as track or gym floors. This product is something that we would highly recommend to anyone because of its quality in every major area you could ask for.