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Nike added about a year ago another trainer to their line-up, the Nike Free Train Versatilityand now it's time to review its features. The release came just after the Nike 3.0 V4 was introduced, the two sharing quite a few elements of design. Most significantly the two are part of the Nike Free family, a product initially designed for minimalist runners. The brand was able, however, to build on this silhouette and give us a quite solid, versatile trainer. As the text on the boxes says, it was made to lift, run, jump and cut.

We took advantage of a sale going on these days for the black and white version and took these for a spin in the gym as well as on the streets. Lightweight and stylish, the Nike Free Train Versatility felt comfortable from the get go. They feature a generous toe box and the flexibility characteristic to the Free series. Overall, as expected from a Nike product, the shoe performed quite well, making it another cross-trainer favorite.

Upper

The Nike Train Versatility features a seamless warp-knit upper (just as the Nike 3.0 V4) with synthetic overlays. It looks thicker than the traditional mesh used for the Free series. It feels, however, just as comfortable, being flexible and highly breathable. This thicker fabric gives the shoe better durability and endurance when pressure is applied in different spots when lifting or jumping. The warp-knit fabric stripes have been strategically positioned to add strength to the upper of the shoe. They also give the shoes a stylish, modern look. The Flywire cables blend in with the fabric’s stripes, while offering stability and support. The shoe also feature a molded sockliner that imitates the shape of the foot, for better support. The tongue is very thin and the collar is very light padded, as part of the final goal to have this shoe deliver a sock-like fit. Characteristic to the series, the Nike Train Versatility also features a heel heel loop for easy on and off.

Sole Unit

The sole features a dual density Phylon foam that provides optimal cushion and stability for a training shoe. For this style Nike added rubber overlays on strategic points on the outsole to enhance its grip to various surfaces. This feature is also essential in adding durability of the shoe. Compared to other shoes in the Free series, the sole is shaped to offer more support while exercising, being a bit wider and not as soft. Despite this, the shoe is not on the wide side as far as sizing goes, and it feels just right on foot. The Nike Free Train Versatility sole features classic hexagonal flex grooves that are a key feature for the series.In the gym it performed well with extensive lateral movements while it felt great on short 4-5 miles runs.

Bottom Line

As its name suggests, the Nike Free Train Versatility is a cross-trainer made to cover multiple activities. While it performed well in most of them, I would use these for indoor use mainly. The support for long distance runs is not enough for a tall, 235 pounds individual like myself. Even for long walks I would avoid these. Also, the sole tends to collect a lot of pebbles and stuff from the roads. In the gym they felt great, offering enough support for all activities it was designed for while being very light and flexible.

All in all this is a stylish looking shoe and with its key features it offers a great value if you're looking for a versatile work-out shoe. If you don't want to buy the more expensive Metcons, these are great for their price. The brand has been generous in offering countless colorways for this style and will likely continue to release more both for men’s and women’s.

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