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NIKE EPIC REACT FLYKNIT 2

Published on 28/02/2019 12:28

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I´ve worn out three pairs of Epic React over a total of 1396km in 11 months and now I´m going for the Nike Epic React 2.

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Technical assessment

Lightness

5

Cushioning

6

Fit

6

Stability

6

Responsiveness

6

Breathability

5

 

  1. My experience with the Nike React trainers

  2. Opinions on Nike React

  3. Technical features

  4. Conclusions

 

When Nike launched its new Nike React project in March 2018, it did so with the intention of breaking away completely from the previous framework of endurance trainers. Until then we had always talked about either fast trainers or cushioned trainers; little to nothing was said about "uniting" the two concepts. With the new React foam technology, Nike has managed to considerably lighten the design, compared to other trainers with similar cushioning. They presented us with the first "endurance" model on the market, with a weight close to "the red line" of 200 grams.

 

My experience with Nike React

Almost a year later, more than enough time has passed to highlight the importance of all that Nike promised us with their new proposal. Specifically, I wore out three pairs of Epic React (two weeks ago I wore the fourth for the first time, this time a pair of the React 2) for a total of 1396km over 11 months. Among which stand out the two "Ironman" marathons in Lanzarote (May 2018) and Copenhagen (August 2018). You can find all the training and information at Strava. https://www.strava.com/athletes/4875500

I received the trainers at the "Cursa Bombers" presentation in Barcelona. At the time I was in the final stretch of preparation for the Ironman in Lanzarote, and I ran out of time to decide which shoes would accompany me in facing the test. Epic React could be an option, is what I thought before receiving them. However, when I took them out of the box my first impression was that I would not take them to an Ironman, not even for the photos (excuse my frankness), because how was I supposed to run 42km "post bike" with something so lightweight! It went completely against everything I had in mind.

But everything changed at the start of the session. The "pacers" at Box Barcelona scheduled several training sets for us and while all the attendees were focused on their own training, I was totally out of it, trying to assimilate with sensations that were totally new to me.

If, when putting them on, I had the impression of wearing "fast" trainers, everything changed when I started running. A “sofa-like” sensation, that reminded me a lot of Pegasus or Vomero, but with an ease of step and a reactivity that I had never known from Nike. It was then that I thought maybe YES, they could be a great option for the Ironman.

And they were. Epic React Flyknit were my choice for both the preparation and the event itself in Lanzarote. The result was so satisfactory that they didn't just stay there. With React I had (finally) found my trainers and I continued to wear through soles for the rest of the season (Ironman Copenhagen included).

As it is more than evident that, in my case, the experience with Nike React has been overwhelmingly positive, for the new edition we decided to challenge different types of athletes to try the Nike Epic React trainers and to give us a brief opinion.

 

They tested the Nike Epic React 2 and these are their opinions.

 

Ana Gago (from Mallorca, Triathlete and Athlete with several podium finishes in different disciplines)

"Apart from its attractive design aesthetic, the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 surprised me with its lightness and great cushioning.  Regarding the design, a reduced number of seams gives me the feeling of wearing a sock, which provides added comfort without neglecting ankle support. In my case, my footstep requires me to use insoles, which I have been able to use with no inconvenience and without altering the performance of the trainers.

I think this is a very lightweight trainer, suitable for training and also ideal for competitions. I used them to perform in the Duathlon Championship of Catalunya, and I will also wear them when I compete in the Powerman Mallorca (International Duathlon) and for the Spanish Duathlon Championship qualifiers."

 

Oriol Silvestre (from Barcelona, Long Distance Triathlete who has participated in two Ironman 70.3 World Championships)

Aesthetically they're awesome, and the feeling when wearing them is like wearing a glove on your foot. After overcoming a complicated operation on my Achilles tendon, I needed to choose carefully the trainers I would face my recovery with. I think the cushioning of the Epic React 2 will be key in the process of getting me back to competition.

 

Anna Bardalet (from Girona, Athlete with podium finishes in mountain and road racing)

The Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 are very comprehensive. On an aesthetic level, which is the most striking thing at first glance, they blow everyone away. On a sporting level, they give me the security that I like so much for long distance, they have made me forget old injuries and they accompany me perfectly on different terrains. Without a doubt, they will be my trainers of choice for the Barcelona Marathon. 

 

The feedback from many different athletes about Nike Epic React 2 has been very positive and tells us that React will remain the favourite choice for training or competition for the most demanding runners.

 

Technical features.

Weight: 221g size 40.

  • React Sole: Composed of two parts differentiated by colour. In blue, the toe and the heel made of harder rubber to promote reactivity. The white central part is softer to provide the necessary comfort for long distances. Midsole in the form of a semi-curve to facilitate the flexibility of the trainer. As a point to the contrary, we could say that they have little grip on wet surfaces due to their very smooth sole. Regarding the duration of wear, it will depend a little on the person and the use; according to Nike, they should be well equipped for a 70kg person to run 550-600 km.

 

  • Upper Flyknit: Maintains the one-piece trainer that was so successful in the Epic Flyknit range, in this way achieving more comfort by avoiding the possible rubbing of seams in not having a tongue, and at the same time being more aesthetically pleasing. We also find more elasticated zones in the heel and instep areas, in order to be able to put them on more comfortably and quickly with the help of the strap around the back of the foot (a big plus for triathletes).

 

  • Shape: Being such a soft trainer, we can afford to take a size that is fully adjusted to the foot. The heat-sealed fabric gives us the sensation of wearing a "glove" and the back fastening in the heel area prevents the foot from sliding whilst supporting it, in this way achieving a great grip (fundamental for long distances where fatigue can cause us to lose technique). They come with the standard 2mm insoles that can be substituted if the athlete requires.

 

  • Reactivity: The feature that gives the design its name. A bouncing sensation incredibly achieved in an endurance shoe. A feature that makes them also perfectly suited to run at higher speeds.

 

  • Cushioning: The other main strength of React. It feels very soft whilst at the same time facilitating a quick step return in order to maintain a fast momentum. The sensation of sinking your foot in foam, but with a quick return, thus improving on the previous Flyknit model. A “sofa-like” sensation that doesn't compromise its reaction level. Cushioning that is practically perfect.

 

Conclusion

An endurance trainer which is also fast. Designed for athletes of average weight with a neutral footstep. A simply perfect cushioning system, completely different from what Nike has offered us before, which places the American brand first in line for medium and long-distance running. An approximate distance-weight recommendation range would be as follows (always for athletes with a neutral footstep):
 
60-70kg: 21km/42km
70-90kg: 10km/21km
+90kg: 5km/10km.

My height

1.86m

My weight

68kg

My clothing size

M

My birthplace

Spain

Técnico de producto en Runnerinn. Apasionado del deporte. Triatleta del ViWo Sports Team. Graduado en CAFE y entrenador de triatlón. Actualmente enfocado a media y larga distancia, aunque acabo haciendo siempre un poco de todo.

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