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Nike Free TR 8 - Women's Review

Although the Nike Free series is geared toward running, this shoe performs decently in the gym for cross-training overall except for heavy lifting.
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Price:  $100 List | $89.05 at Amazon
Pros:  Comfortable cushioning, great style, lightweight
Cons:  Run small and narrow, high collar back caused blistering, lack lateral support
Manufacturer:   Nike
By Brittany Page ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 11, 2019
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 11
  • Weightlifting - 20% 4
  • Running - 20% 8
  • Support - 10% 7
  • Sensitivity - 5% 5
  • Protection and Durability - 10% 5
  • Gymnastics - 20% 7
  • Breathability - 5% 7
  • Comfort - 10% 7

Our Verdict

Finding a shoe that can meet every demand in a CrossFit gym can be an exhausting task. We need something that is comfortable, yet performs well in lifting, gymnastics, and running. The Nike Free series is geared towards running, but Nike has made some improvements on the TR 8 to make them even more breathable, supportive, and flexible. These are a stylish shoe, with many cute color options. They will look good in the gym for light CrossFit workouts and running alike.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $89.05 at Amazon$129.95 at Amazon$91.14 at Amazon$129.00 at Amazon$119.96 at Amazon
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Pros Comfortable cushioning, great style, lightweightExtremely versatile, durable, comfortable, good for runningVersatile, comfortable, light feelingIncredibly comfortable, will tackle everything you find in a CrossFit workout, can wear outside of the gymGood shoe for lifting and a general CrossFit shoe, great for rope climbs
Cons Run small and narrow, high collar back caused blistering, lack lateral supportUpper material bunches when tightly laced, heavyNot the best for really heavy liftsNever wanting to take them off, fun patterns will cost you a little extra, sell out quicklyBreathability, squeaking nose
Bottom Line Although the Nike Free series is geared toward running, this shoe performs decently in the gym for cross-training overall except for heavy lifting.Ditch the bag of specialized shoes and get yourself an all-around; these are our new favorite.The CrossFit Speed TR is a great choice for your everyday CrossFit needs and comes at an excellent price!If you want to avoid a bag full of specialized shoes and go for one all around shoe, then search no further; these shoes are amazing.An improvement over the previous version; the main difference being the flexible soles, which offer higher performance during runs.
Rating Categories Nike Free TR 8 - Women's Reebok Nano 9 - Women's Reebok CrossFit Speed TR NOBULL Trainers - Women's Nike Metcon 4 - Women's
Weightlifting (20%)
10
0
4
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
Running (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
7
Support (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
Sensitivity (5%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
Protection And Durability (10%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Gymnastics (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
Breathability (5%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
Comfort (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
Specs Nike Free TR 8 -... Reebok Nano 9 -... Reebok CrossFit... NOBULL Trainers -... Nike Metcon 4 -...
Upper Mesh Flexweave Monomesh and hotmelt overlay SuperFabric 3D print
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Weight (Measured) (One size 5.5 shoe) (Ounces) 5.75 9.125 8 oz 7.875 7.375
Heel to toe drop (mm) 8mm 4mm 3 mm 4mm 4mm
Length (cm) / Fit 25.5cm 25cm / normal 23.5cm 25cm

Our Analysis and Test Results

Nike's Free TR 7 was a highly recommended shoe with great support and comfort for cross-training workouts. One of the biggest names in the CrossFit shoe market, Nike is continuously evolving with time. They took the key features of the TR 7 and made the TR 8 even better. The Free TR 8 boasts a redesigned upper that is more breathable and features a thicker midsole. This flexible and lightweight trainer is best for casual wear in the gym, but if you are looking for a model with various color options at an affordable price point, this might be it.

Performance Comparison


The Nike Free TR 8 landed in the middle of our pack for CrossFit training shoes.

Flexible and lightweight  the Free TR 8 ranks middle of the pack for a CrossFit shoe  but would be a great choice for casual wear in the gym.
Flexible and lightweight, the Free TR 8 ranks middle of the pack for a CrossFit shoe, but would be a great choice for casual wear in the gym.

Weightlifting


The features that make the Free TR 8 a good option for running and the same that make it a poor choice for heavy weightlifting. The tri-star grooves on the bottom of this shoe compressed during our tester's three rep heavy back squat. The lateral and medial construction features Nike's EVA foam, which is a plus for comfort but makes it difficult to maintain stability under load.

Running


We are really digging the bootie design that big names like Nike and NOBULL are featuring in their shoes, especially when it comes to comfort and wearability during running WODs. The sock-like feeling gives you one less thing to worry about when you are pounding pavement. Our testers enjoyed running and jumping in these shoes due to their support, light weight, and flexibility. We ran over two miles in these shoes during our WOD, and they felt great.

The sock like feel of this shoe is comfortable while you're pounding pavement during your WOD. We loved running and jumping in these because they are so lightweight and comfortable!
The sock like feel of this shoe is comfortable while you're pounding pavement during your WOD. We loved running and jumping in these because they are so lightweight and comfortable!

Sensitivity


The heel of the Free TR 8 is incredibly firm, so we were interested to see what the feedback would be like once we took it out of the box and into the gym. The EVA midsole was comfortable, flexible, and cushioned through the arches. Our testers did feel this shoe pushed them anterior at points, but they were able to spread their toes and dig into the ground on all bounding and jumping movements.

The EVA midsole is comfortable and flexible  but we felt that it pushed us anterior in some of our barbell cycling during the WOD.
The EVA midsole is comfortable and flexible, but we felt that it pushed us anterior in some of our barbell cycling during the WOD.

Support


The Free TR 8 got a pretty big overhaul compared to its predecessor, the TR 7. The bootie fit of the uppers and fully attached, oversized tongue help your ankle feel stable and cradled. Nike also added TPU wings on the lateral and medial sides of the shoe. These wings, in combination with the reinforced lacing system, provide the wearer with extra stability. Nike's infamous FlyWire cable technology wraps up around the midfoot in the shoe's upper for added support and stability.

Protection and Durability


Although the Free TR 8 didn't score any of our top merits when it comes to protection and durability, there are some great features that Nike added to this shoe to help it withstand the demands of CrossFit and cross-training style workouts. Although our testers found it a bit strange that it didn't cover the entire toe box, the expanded outsole lip was durable during toesy movements like burpees, push-ups, and toes to bar.

The Free TR 8 didn't grip like we wanted it to during rope climbs. Our feet were slipping  causing us to use way more arms than we would have liked.
The expanded outsole lip was nice during burpees and pushups  but the heels were a bit to grippy on the wall during handstand pushups for our liking.

The double-layered mesh on the forefoot of the shoe is flexible and breathable, but one of our testers mentioned it feels flimsy. The midfoot of the shoe features a change of material around the ankle and arches of the shoe. The two different materials are sewn together with an exterior stitch that just didn't hold up to the abrasiveness of rope climbs. After our first workout, we saw threads pulling out.

The double layered metallic mesh is flexible  lightweight  and breathable  but it felt a bit flimsy.
The double layered metallic mesh is flexible, lightweight, and breathable, but it felt a bit flimsy.

Breathability


The double mesh on the upper of the Free TR 8 provided airflow and kept our feet cool during intense workouts. The rear half of the shoe's upper is what kept the TR 8 from scoring higher on the breathability scale. This is made of a might tighter-knit mesh that seemed to keep our arches warm once we got into our WOD.

Comfort


As the years pass and CrossFit evolves, so do its shoes. It can sometimes be difficult to find a shoe that is both comfortable and tough enough to handle abuse from the daily WOD. The Free TR 8 might not have topped our charts on overall performance, but these are a comfortable shoe for bodyweight and light cross-training workouts. The uppers of the bootie fit is comfortable and adaptable, and the EVA midsole offers support and cushion to keep your feet comfortable during runs. The heel cup is cushioned but took our tester a few workouts to break in.

The heel cup is cushioned  but it took a few workouts for us to break these shoes in. The bootie fit is comfortable and easy to slide on.
The heel cup is cushioned, but it took a few workouts for us to break these shoes in. The bootie fit is comfortable and easy to slide on.

Value


These are a decent option if you aren't looking to spend a ton of money on gym shoes. With various colorway options and a name like Nike, you know you are going to get a great looking shoe that performs well in CrossFit outside of heavy lifting. At this price point, they are worth giving a try.

Conclusion


If you are looking for a cost-efficient shoe from a name brand like Nike, that will not only perform decently in the gym but look fly while doing it, you are in luck. We liked the Free TR 8 for lightweight training and running. This is a good day to day shoe that can handle bodyweight workouts, but for heavy and intense CrossFit workouts, it came up short.

If you are looking for a comfortable  cute  cost effective shoe that will carry you through running workout and light CrossFit WOD's this is a good choice. The TR 8 did well with bodyweight  gymnastics movements  and running  but our testers didn't love heavy lifting or barbell cycling in these.
If you are looking for a comfortable, cute, cost effective shoe that will carry you through running workout and light CrossFit WOD's this is a good choice. The TR 8 did well with bodyweight, gymnastics movements, and running, but our testers didn't love heavy lifting or barbell cycling in these.


Brittany Page