These days, more running shoes than ever before can reasonably claim to be stylish enough to wear when you’re not training, but the Nike Epic React Flyknit is our pick of the bunch. That’s because its style has in no way impinged on performance, with the React being a lightweight, comfortable shoe that’s great for all types of running.
Given how much we liked the first edition of the React we can forgive Nike for merely tweaking the colourways of the shoe with its updated version rather than making wholesale changes to its design. The shoe is available to Nike members through the app and will launch on the Nike website on 31st January, priced at £129.95.
There are two new Epic React Flyknit 2 colourways available at launch. According to Nike, both are inspired by the colour palette commonly found in the nineties tech world, and have names to match – 8-bit and Pixel. This nineties vibe reveals itself though splashes of colour like the lime green on the midsole and pink on the outsole of both the 8-bit (the white, above) and the Pixel (the black).
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The reason the shoe performs so well is the React foam in the midsole. The stack of cushioning makes it comfortable for easy and long runs, but it’s also impressively lightweight given the cushioning (weighing less than 240g for a men’s size 9) and firm enough that you can use it for tempo and interval runs, and on race day as well.
Since the React launched last year Nike has only used the foam in one other pair – the Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit, which is more of a true racer and has a carbon fibre plate in the midsole to help speed you on your way.
If you’re already a big fan of the React but aren’t so keen on the nineties colourways, this launch is still good news, because you should see some discounts on the original React as a result. On SportsShoes.com you can find some colourways for just £77.97 (men’s and women’s).
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.