We spent 7.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

9 reasons to buy

  • The Nike Epic React Flyknit was a comfortable shoe right out of the box, several users exclaimed. Other runners expressed how comfortable the shoe is: some compared it to running on pillows and clouds, while another voiced comfort even on the knees.
  • The outsole was surprisingly durable, wrote a commenter.
  • The lightweight disposition helped increase running speed, a couple of reviewers observed.
  • A lot of wearers said that the Epic React Flyknit was a good-looking shoe.
  • Some runners were pleased with how responsive the midsole was.
  • One tester liked that the Flyknit upper was snug and structured.
  • There was just the right amount of cushioning: not too soft and not too firm, explained a reviewer.
  • The shoe allowed natural movement, even during fast-paced activities, commended a buyer.
  • The Epic React Flyknit was an excellent shoe for up-tempo days and speedy runs, a reviewer claimed.

8 reasons not to buy

  • The shoe had a narrow fit, according to a couple of purchasers.
  • Several customers experienced a weird popping noise from the shoe that was quite bothersome.
  • Not much support for midfoot strikers, a disappointed user stated.
  • Although lightweight, the shoe’s structure made it look bulky, a reviewer thought.
  • Some users disliked that the shoe required a break-in period.
  • A bit tight around the forefoot, according to numerous customers.
  • The Epic React Flyknit did not have a lot of grip on indoor surfaces, said a runner.
  • The heel counter was too rigid, especially during the first few wears, a wearer mentioned.

Bottom line

The Nike Epic React Flyknit seemed to be a successful release, but not quite. Although many runners praised the shoe’s comfort level, durability, and weight, there were some who were dissatisfied with the fit and support. In terms of performance, the shoe received both raves and rants. Thus, it could be said that the Epic React Flyknit is an average running shoe; not perfect, but worth a try and worth the investment.

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Video reviews and unboxing

- Nike introduces a new foam technology, called the React, in the Nike Epic React Flyknit. This running shoe claims to provide a whole new level of comfort that is long-lasting. Its durable, flexible, and responsive properties make it ideal for road running, casual jogging, and speedwork on the track.

- Unlike other midsole foams made of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), React is made of a unique rubber that is proprietary to Nike.  This material is present in both the midsole and outsole to keep the shoe’s weight at a minimum, but not at the expense of performance.

- The shoe’s upper is a soft and secure Flyknit material, to give the foot a secure wear that feels as comfortable as a sock. The design maintains simplicity, in order to promote optimal breathability. With a lightweight and seamless construction, the upper offers a precise fit that improves the running experience.

The Nike Epic React Flyknit has a standard running shoe length, and it will fit wearers with a narrow to moderate foot volume. The forefoot and midfoot construction allows a snug fit; thus, runners who prefer to have more room might want to purchase a half-size larger than usual. This shoe is available in medium width for both the men’s and women’s versions.

The React foam outsole of the Epic React Flyknit aids the midsole in providing a sufficient amount of energy return, as well as additional cushioning for the underfoot. Because it is a foam material, this outsole resists compression and is able to retain its shape, appearance, and structure even after many miles.

There are sticky rubber reinforcements strategically placed in the forefoot and heel areas. This is to give the outsole durability and the needed traction to grip various surfaces, especially roads.

The midsole also uses React foam. In a nutshell, the development of this technology was the result of runners’ clamor for a shoe that offers the following: increased cushioning to protect from impact, prolonged energy return to handle long runs, lightweight underfoot protection, and durability.

The React foam claims to be exceptionally responsive and bouncy. It responds by “snapping back” as a reply to the foot’s impact during landing. Compared to Nike’s other proprietary cushioning, the Lunarlon, the React foam has 13% more energy return. This midsole foam is used in the Epic React Flyknit 2 and other well-known Nike road running shoes.

Nike also introduces Fluid Geometry, a technology that works by altering the design of the midsole – it extends to the upper and around the heel to enable stability. With Fluid Geometry, the shoe is made lightweight as the midsole is distributed across the entire shoe. However, the minimal weight does not hinder the shoe from supplying adequate support and responsiveness. Therefore, this feature is present to maximize the runner’s performance.

There is an injected heel clip made of thermoplastic urethane (TPU) that equips the shoe with added stability, especially during transitions.

The upper’s internal structure is a Flyknit cleatie, which consists of a single-piece element, precisely engineered for support and flexibility. With such a construction, the upper is minimal and breathable. It also delivers a sock-like fit, thus ensuring a locked-down feel and a secure run.

Because of the cleatie construction, the tongue is seamlessly merged with the rest of the upper. Thus, there is no pressure on top of the foot, in contrast to other running shoes with traditional tongues.

For an even snugger fit, the heel area has Heel Skin, a thin and pliable structure that supports the heel minus the hard and irritating sensation.

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.