Nike Epic React Flyknit is the first running shoe that will include the system ‘Nike React’, a patented foam that gives more cushion, the energy return to stay cool at the end of a race and wear resistance of the weather.
The forefoot, the toe and the instep of the new shoe are fitted thanks to the one piece Nike Flyknit bootie, designed to provide restraint, flexibility and breathability where the runners more than they need.
Since Nike React foam is significantly more fluffy than EVA foams, smoothes the bumps in the road more effective, but the midsole had to be higher to avoid touching the floor and wider so that the runners had a base of support.
As a solution, designers expanded the midsole by exceeding the perimeter of its upper part around the heel, to provide both cushioning and stability.
Since the upper part rests on a foam unit, the sole is essentially the same as the midsole, but with a rubber segment under the forefoot and heel that increases traction and improves durability of the shoe.
We already have the analysis and features of Nike Epic React Flyknit, the latest from Nike. Although said that way, being Nike a brand that does not stop innovating, the appearance of new features almost becomes routine … But no, this is the fat ones. Nike Epic React Flyknit arrives as a cushioned daily training shoe but with a meager 239gr in the man’s finish and 195gr in the women’s one, you can see it’s going to be able to wear it in all kinds of situations.
As we advanced in What is Nike React ?, the Nike brand has decided that they have been manufacturing EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) mediasuelas for many years, first, pressed EVA later and EVA derivatives and polymers looking for a cushioned midsole in a gentle but effective way. Well, those of Oregon have found that it is a long time with the same and have invented a new material that is nothing of the above. It is a new creation and, for now, it seems that they want to keep the secret of how they get it, as if it were the Coca-Cola formula.
Nike is now off with a midsole that can be revolutionary. A midsole that combines in a superlative way: Damping, reactivity, durability and lightness. Although in this, in the great change of the midsole, brands such as Adidas and Boost present in iconic models such as Supernova or Energy Boost, New Balance and its achieved Fresh Foam in 1080 or Vongo, ASICS with FlyteFoam present in shoes such as Noosa FF o Dynamis, Brooks With its DNA variants plus BioMogo present in models such as Ravenna or Levitate or even Saucony with Everun, which we already find in models such as Freedom ISO or Triumph ISO, to name a few …, they have already made a technological leap with respect to they had been doing before, so in advance they do not win …
Let’s start at the review. What did Nike communicate about this new compound?
That the material is not based on EVA but is 100% newly created. It is a material obtained from a rubber or synthetic rubber and in which, to achieve it, designers, engineers and chemists have participated. After three years of development and 400 chemical recipes, they have obtained a product tested over more than 27,000 km. That there have been many athletes who have done their bit and that, among them include some of the likes of Eliud Kipchogue, Galen Rupp, Colleen Quigley, Emily Infield or Evan Jager. That the tests have been carried out all over the world to check the behavior of the new compound in different environments, climates and temperatures.
As expected, the details provided by Nike to convince the product is not trivial … Although it may be understood as an “incongruity” the fact that Epic React Flyknit is inspired by the first Nike Air Epic 1985 and Nike Internationalist. But one thing does not take away from the other and what is involved here is the quality of the design and materials and technologies that can help improve the performance of the runner and prevent and even prevent injuries.
But let’s leave behind the theories and generic data provided by the manufacturer that is what others have published without even touching the shoe. We do have the shoe, in fact we are already running with them and we are able to explain more about “who” is actually Nike Epic React Flyknit. Go for it.
Nike Epic React Flyknit Analysis.
Epic React Flyknit midsole
The Epic React Flyknit midsole has a huge appearance, as if it were very thick. Actually it is not so much, since the foot, inside, is lower than it appears on the outside. Thus the height of this new synthetic rubber in the finish of man is 28mm for the heel and 18mm for the metatarsal. This leads to a drop of 10mm. In the case of women, the drop is the same, 10mm, but on heights of 22mm in the heel and 12mm in the metatarsal area.
One of the advantages that Nike has obtained with the new compound is that although the EVA undergoes changes of behavior under extreme temperatures (against colder it is harder and against more heat, softer), React is able to work between 100º and – 60º maintaining composure. This check itself is difficult to perform, so we will stay with the good faith of the manufacturer.
A concept that Nike coined is “Fluid Geometry”, to designate the material’s ability to be cushioned, reactive, lightweight and durable. The appearance reminds a bit of Boost or New Balance, since it is not smooth. In the React material, the relief has several functions:
- Visually it makes it easy to identify which shoe incorporates it.
- The areas with deeper drainage favors the damping and those with less drainage are more reactive.
- Eliminate weight
Another aspect that stands out of React is that it exceeds in benefits to Lunarlon, the hitherto, best material of midsole that had Nike, since it provides more cushioning more rebound (11% and 13% more, respectively).
Returning to the design, the base of the midsole expands as it approaches the ground. This benefits in providing stability to the tread, always from a shoe perspective for neutral footprint that is.
The lightness itself is an advantage, although in Nike Epic React Flyknit there is an area where you have to pay a toll to get it: the sole. Not because the shoe does not grip the ground, is that the way it is set favors some things but penalizes others. Let’s explain it:
The sole has to achieve adhesion, traction. Hold on, let’s go. But on the other hand it has to obtain that in a durable way since when in contact with the ground, the wear of this part of a shoe is brutal. To obtain durability the brands use solid rubber, mainly. But Nike uses in Epic React Flyknit a technique of mixed shoes and especially in the competition that is to insert the minimum of solid rubber and only in the places of maximum abrasion: heel and toe. And in the rest? The rest is completed with the own midsole, which reaches the ground. The material that replaces the solid rubber is lighter and therefore it is possible to reduce the weight. Traction is not lost, and the toll we say is paid is in the form of durability, since it wears out earlier.
If you run mainly on asphalt, they will last longer than if you run by land. And eye, clarify that we talk about durability, not performance, that does not suffer from that.
There are no flex grooves other than those of the configuration of the sole and when twisting to see how they behave we observe that they are very flexible. But by forcing them with our hands we have observed that they always flex in the same place. It will be necessary to see how this area of Epic React Flyknit resists over many and many kilometers.
The holes that are observed in the solid rubber have the function to scratch some grass and allow the rubber to flex better.
As an anecdote to say that the design of the sole reminds me more of the “spike” design of a court shoe than a “waffle” design characteristic of a running shoe, but here we enter again that Nike Epic React Flyknit baby of the designs of the competition sneakers, closest to this configuration.
The Nike Epic React Flyknit upper is visually simple and elegant. If it were not for the clip of the heel, in pink in the photos and that now we will explain, as well as the shooter in the same area, in yellow, I would say that even sober.
The type of light mesh used to transpire is Flyknit, as its name suggests. It has no seams and, because it does not have any, it does not have a tongue. The mesh that surrounds the foot acts as a tongue. It seems to carry, but what you see is a protrusion of the mesh that will serve, along with the heel puller, to help introduce the foot.
Nike no longer uses Flywire as in most previous high-end models. Nike is capable of carrying its own inventions, even if they work, for the sake of innovation. I will not enter to evaluate this, only to indicate that the brand does it. Thus, in areas where more adjustment is needed the mesh is very dense, while in those where more breathability is needed, the mesh is more open. Unlike other brands, Nike does not put a plastic reinforcing strip here in the area of the fingers because it relies on the strength of the mesh, very strong in this area.
The trick that Nike does use is to put, in the area of the instep, thermosealing reinforcement but on the inner side of the shoe. If you look, you see that Nike goes beyond just protecting the inside face of the Swoosh (the logo), and does it to reinforce the set. Since we are in the interior, it is important to point out, by unusual, that the cup of the heel is lined in a synthetic suede that will help to better contain the foot and avoid chafing.
The heel precisely has other of the novel elements of this model: Heel Clip and Heel Skin. The Heel Clip is made of TPU. Only with having the shoe in our hands can we see how the material protrudes from the midsole in the horseshoe of the heel.
It is in the heel where we find the only reflective element: a small vertical strip. It had arrived to us that the Swoosh (the logo) would be reflective, we have tried it and nothing at all. To see if in a future revision they put something else because it seems scarce that small strip of the heel.
Test and Sensations Nike Epic React Flyknit Review Running
First I will explain what Nike says and then what I say, when you wear these Nike Epic React Flyknit.
Nike explains that the adjustment is tight and that if you want more slack, that you take half a number more. I go a little further and I warn those who use their own templates: Those that come from Nike with Epic React have a thickness of 4mm and the fit of the shoe in general is comfortable, which is already theirs. On the other hand, mine (similar to what any runner or runner can use) go up to 8mm depending on the place, and the adjustment becomes tight. If with half a number more, as Nike says, you gain something in slack, speaking in terms of volume, so keep in mind.
Nike Epic React Flyknit on Feet
Well, to say that after wearing them for the first time, with my insoles, the feeling was the same as with some flying: they are very tight. And eye! I’m not talking long, since they are my number and long they are perfect for me. It is that the whole shoe closes on the foot from the area of the fingers to the heel, passing through the instep: there is not a single hole inside the shoe where it fits a piece of cigarette paper. They take the shape of the foot tremendously. I would say that the sensation of the first few times is compressive, following the entire contour of the foot: I can see the shape of my fingers as if I were wearing a sock!
I have a normal foot, maybe more tending to narrow than thick. It will be a matter of knowing who has a thick foot how it goes. It’s hard for me to introduce it, although once inside it fits luxuriously (as I say, with the feeling of being tight on the foot).
Nike Epic React Flyknit where he speaks best is running. Let’s see, I’m one of those who like that soft cushioning traditionally delivered by Nike. Well, in this model, this increases. You really notice in each stride the high level of cushioning of this shoe.
But I have to emphasize positively another aspect that is noticeable and a lot when using them: the rebound. The first steps were to think “My mother, how I sink … but … I go out! That is, notes like when hitting the ground, the material of the midsole absorbs you more than any other shoe you have tried, but also notes how that movement reverses and you perceive the reaction to take you up.
Other times, you have noticed how a shoe cushioned you when you fell, but then nothing, you start throwing your stride and nothing else. Here the two movements are noticeable: the descent and the rise (minor, of course). That going slow, entered heel. Going fast you do not sink so much and the shoe here the more agile notes. Maybe also because of the light weight they have.
The feeling in any case is very good, both slow and fast. Films fall without problems, all the time the sensation is really muffled. Of course, has not stepped on the ground (I think it is not their medium and who trains habitually by land surface and nothing by asphalt, sidewalks or cement, which directly look for something else). Where we have not tried it yet has been with rain.
Conclusion – Review of Nike Epic React Flyknit
Nike Epic React Flyknit is a daily training shoe but also contains elements sought in other profile shoes such as mixed or competition. It is cushioned and visually somewhat voluminous, but reactive, tremendously light and tight. I think it is a shoe that can be used throughout the arch of neutral runners and runners looking for a very cushioned sport, and also by those who value adding to this cushioning large doses of reactivity and lightness. And, by the way, do not mind that it is adjusted, at least the first sessions.
In my opinion you can make runs of all kinds and rhythm mainly by asphalt or urban environment. Its cushioning and lightness makes it a very good option for medium and long distance races in all kinds of rhythms, even fast ones.
Remember that the weight is 239gr in the man’s finish and 195gr in the women’s, while the drop of Epic React Flyknit is 10mm. Keep in mind that the structure is booty type, so loosening the laces does not have the same effect as in a slipper with tongue, where the sides open.
To me, it reminds me of a competition shoe where the fit is greater than in a comfortable daily training shoe. In this Epic React Flyknit I think it is done following the same philosophy. I do not know if it is correct, but that your level of adjustment may surprise more than one.