Nike Epic React Flyknit Performance Review

Nike’s latest rendition into running has been released. The Nike Epic React Flyknit. Back in January, Nike released what React is. They released it initially in their basketball line, Nike React Hyperdunk 2017.

Nike’s latest running technology, REACT, was designed by more input from the athletes. They wanted improved cushioning (from Lunarlon) and improved energy return (Adidas’ boost technology is known for).

The REACT system is and upgrade and replacing the Lunarlon system that Nike introduced by in 2008, with the Nike Lunarglide+. But 10 years later and constantly pushing the limits in running technology it’s time for an upgrade.

NikeEpicReact Design

The Unboxing

White is clean, especially an all white flyknit. You can see the attention to detail in the sneaker. They’re incredibly light in comparison to some of other running models Nike has released (Vomero, Pegasus, Structure, Elite). Aesthetically, Nike has done a great job to blend a running shoe with the capabilities of being worn around for general use. Before even putting them on my feet, I’m stoked for what could be!

Shoe Specifications

  • Men’s Size 10
    • Weight – 8.45 oz
    • Forefoot – 18 mm
    • Heel – 27 mm
    • Heel-Toe Drop – 9 mm
  • Women’s Size 8
    • Weight – xxx
    • Forefoot – 12 mm
    • Heel – 22 mm
    • Heel-Toe Drop – 10 mm

Test Runs

Billed softer than Lunarlon and durable to the point runners were given sample tested ones, that had 500 miles on them, thought they only had 15 miles and as high as 100 miles on them. The foam holds up according to Nike.

When you wear them, you get a sense of comfort with how soft the cushioning system. They’re so light I was amazed. I thought they were even lighter than some Nike Free Run models.

I loved the upper flyknit material. I like it comparatively to many of the different upper materials Nike has used in the past. On 5k runs, I liked how responsive the shoe was. I tested it through the roads of West Chester, which aren’t exactly even, and the shoe held up great. I could hardly feel the gravel underneath my feet and felt relatively stable through the different terrains.

I really enjoyed the shoe when running workouts on the track. I felt like I was running faster on the track with them on and that they held up well when doing 200s and 400s. I felt bouncy when running and felt as though I could have run faster and run more. The shoe felt “right” for a speed workout.

In comparison to some other Nike models (I use):

Pegasus 34 and Zoom Fly: The Epic REACT is not nearly as stable feeling or firm feeling in comparison to two models. It is much softer and I did feel a bit more springy when running especially when doing speed workouts on the track.

And finally when lifting. I had to test them out when doing a short workout. I lift in the Metcon, billed as Nike’s crossfit shoe. I think they were almost too soft to lift in. I felt like I had too much cushion and not able to feel the ground surface enough to feel comfortable lifting heavy weights. But it’s a running shoe, not a lifting shoe.

Maybe Nike will make a Nike Epic REACT trainer, utilizing the same cushion support but more minimalist and bill it as a training shoe.

Overall Impression

I am comparing to my current training shoe, Nike Zoom Fly, my current racing shoe, Nike Vaporfly 4%, and the competition, Adidas UltraBOOST. While it’s not as “soft” as the UltraBOOST, I did find it more stable than it. So for those who really enjoy a plush feel, the UltraBOOST is a great option, but if you need stability in a shoe then opting for the Nike Epic React Flyknit is the choice.

I won’t be replacing the Vaporfly 4% anytime soon because it’s strictly a racing shoe that I don’t do any training in them.

Comparatively to the Nike Zoom Fly. I’ll mix in the Epic React for training runs. I’ll opt to use them for track and hill workouts since I like the upper of the Epic React more than the Zoom Fly. I feel more locked into the sneaker.

Nike reinvented and replaced the Lunarlon cushioning system and brought to the table a formidable shoe to compete with Adidas UltraBOOST. Time will tell to see how else they incorporate Epic React into other models and across other sports. But Nike is off to a strong start and I’m curious on how they’ll continue to update and improve on future models.


2 thoughts on “Nike Epic React Flyknit Performance Review

  1. Hi,
    I am wondering are they as soft and as cushioned running shoe as the Nike vomeros 12/13. Also are they more responsive running shoe too. Which would be a more responsive and cushioned running shoe – the Adidas ultraboost or Nike epic react. Thanks

    1. I think the Ultraboost are more cushioned than the Epic React. Your foot feels encapsulated nicely and evenly with all the cushion.

      Comparatively to the the Vomeros, they are much softer and responsive and lighter than the Vomeros.

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