I use this shoe for my road runs and love it. Since I have used it my runs have improved and my over all enjoyment of running has returned. I have used it on some light trails and it feels just as good. Do not know if I would use it very technical trails though.
The above rating reflects my true admiration for the Nike Free 5.0. This was the first running shoe I purchased when they came out however many years ago and I still have use them when I need to change up my shoes. The current version I mainly use is the v4 and their durability is far greater than a traditional running shoe.
While not strictly minimalist due to the heel to toe drop they will allow runners to transition to a midfoot strike and make the next step to a true minimalist shoe all the easier. While they might not be a 5 rating for minimalism they are a 5 rating overall for those looking to slowly enter the world of minimalist running.
I know many people will claim that this isn't true "minimalist footwear", but the Nike Free 5.0 is a great shoe to serve as an introduction to being almost barefoot. The sole is very flexible and promotes itself to running by landing on the pad or mid-foot while offering great protection from whatever surface you run or walk on. However, if you are just walking the top of your foot and your toes can get very cold in the winter as the upper is extremely breathable. Also, the shoes seem to run a little small so order at least a half-size larger than you normally wear (I wear a 13 in Nike and bought a 14). The shoes come in many color combinations, many of which I find gaudy, but I own the pair in the picture and they are now my everyday shoe.
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