Ask any runner how they'd like to see running shoes improved and they'll likely list three things: longer lasting, better cushioning and improved energy return. Simple requests, right? Not quite.
You see, for as long as sneakers have existed, improving any one of these things has typically come at the expense of the others. To deliver all three in one fell swoop should be considered nothing short of a miracle – and yet Nike have cracked it! Their team of chemists, innovators, engineers and designers united their talents to deliver the holy trinity in the form of a new proprietary foam known as React.
The Swoosh gave us our first taste of React in 2017 with the React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit and Jordan Super.Fly 2017, but the time has finally come for it to enter the runner market with the Epic React Flyknit.
Unlike the current React-enhanced basketball designs, the cushioning is fully exposed on the new runner, with a distinctive midsole that is sure to give adidas' BOOST a run for its money.
From a technical standpoint, React delivers 13 per cent greater energy return than even Nike's latest Lunarlon cushioning – a revolutionary foam in and of itself. Despite the added springiness, React is also noticeably softer than previous EVA-based foams, allowing it to provide a smoother run over rough and uneven terrain. On top of all this, Nike claim React technology to be their longest-lasting foam ever!
The Epic React Flyknit is the first runner to utilise the new technology. In contrast to its cutting-edge abilities, the shoe's design is relatively simple. It features a precision-engineered one-piece Flyknit bootie upper and minimal add-ons. The shape of the sole unit was informed by vigorous lab testing – observing exactly how the foot moves with each stride and the forces that are exerted with it. This data was then fed into a top-secret algorithm to create the runner's unique tread pattern and further improve performance.
When it comes to a revolutionary runner, on-foot feel is key, and the Epic React Flyknit doesn't disappoint. Nike put it through its paces on the feet of elite and everyday runners alike, who clocked up more than 27300 kilometres between them. The verdict? Testers consistently expressed that the model made them want to run more often!
The Nike Epic React Flyknit will launch on February 22 through Nike's online store and select retailers. If you can't wait that long, you can experience React cushioning on-court right now with the React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit and Jordan Super.Fly 2017.