Summary

We spent 6.7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

5 reasons to buy

  • Several satisfied users lauded the good-looking design of the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2.
  • Some buyers admired the lightweight construction of the shoe.
  • According to some comments, the Epic React Flyknit 2 is a very comfortable running shoe.
  • Those who have tried the first Epic React Flyknit admired the performance of the 2nd version; they said that it works impressively well on both long-distance and uptempo runs.
  • A few runners noted the perforations in the upper of the shoe which gives the foot unmatched breathability.

5 reasons not to buy

  • The shoe is expensive compared to other road running shoes.
  • A couple of users mentioned that the shoe runs small.
  • A few medium-footed buyers noticed that the forefoot feels too narrow for them.
  • Most of those who purchase the shoe online were unhappy because the colors are inaccurate and misleading.
  • One runner reported that the exposed React foam starts wearing off after using the shoe a few times.

Bottom line

Following the phrase `If it’s not broken, do not fix it`, Nike releases the 2nd version of the Nike Epic React Flyknit with minor upgrades. True enough, many users are still impressed by the performance of the Epic React Flyknit 2. People love its lightweight design, comfortable cushioning and breathable coverage. Though there are some buyers who have expressed disappointments toward the shoe’s sizing and colors, the Epic React Flyknit 2 has still proven to be a successful release.

Facts

Terrain: Road, Treadmill
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 8.4oz | Women: 6.9oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 10mm | Women: 10mm
Fit: Narrow heel, Medium toe box, Narrow forefoot
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Use: All-day wear
Material: Knit upper, Rubber sole
Features: Breathable | Sockless wear | Cushioned | Comfortable
Strike Pattern: Heel strike
Distance: Competition
Technology: Nike React, Flyknit
Heel height: Men: 28mm | Women: 28mm
Forefoot height: Men: 18mm | Women: 18mm
Release date: Feb 2019
Brand: Nike
Width: Men: Narrow, Normal, Wide | Women: Normal, Wide
Price: $150
Colorways: Black, Gold, Purple, Silver, Blue, White, Grey, Pink, Multi, Red, Beige
Size
Small True to size Large
Forefoot fit
Narrow Wide
Heel fit
Narrow Wide
Toebox
Tight Roomy
Flexibility
Stiff Flexible
Breathability
Warm Breathable
Cushioning
Firm Plush
Durability 6/10
Comfort 9/10
Traction 7/10
See more facts

Rankings

A top rated Road running shoe
A top rated Nike running shoe
Top 1% most popular running shoes
It has never been more popular than this December
Better rated than the previous version Nike Epic React Flyknit

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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90 / 100 based on 17 expert reviews

  • 92 / 100 | Marijke van den Hamer

    Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 - Is it still epic?

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    I never got to try the first version of the Epic React, although they were on my wishlist. There was quite a lot of hype surrounding them (but isn’t that always the case with Nike shoe releases?) and some even declared them the best running shoes of 2018.

    This was the first running shoe that contained the Nike React foam, which is speedy yet supportive. The Epic React also became a very popular casual shoe. So, I had to give the new Epic React 2 a go.

     

     

    They do look like something in between a casual sneaker and a running shoe. There are multiple colorways, but the main colorway is black with a splash of color around the midsole and on the outsole.

    Since the upper only consists of the flyknit and the outsole hardly use any rubber, it is a very light shoe, which only weighs 196 grams. It has an 18 mm stack height in the forefoot and 28 mm in the heel, which gives it a 10 mm drop.

     

     

    Nike hasn’t made any huge changes to the Epic React 2, but why would you change a winning formula?

    The only real changes are the heel counter, which now dips down in the middle and the lacing system which is now split into two parts. The Nike swoosh is also different, it is on both sides of the shoe and it is embroidered onto the flyknit.

     

    Midsole

    The Nike Epic React 2 has a wider midsole than the Pegasus Turbo and thus provides a bit more stable ride. I liked the Pegasus Turbo with the ZoomX midsole, but it worked kind of like a sponge, it’s soft but it temporarily loses its shape when you put weight on it.

    This would result in quite a bit of ground feel with the Pegasus Turbo. Nike describes the React foam as being responsive and springy. Well, it definitely is springy, I’ll give them that.

    The React foam does keep its shape and therefore provides better impact protection than the Pegasus Turbo. It’s a nice and cushioned ride.

     

     

    Because of the Nike React foam midsole, I do not really notice the drop that much since it doesn’t really feel like you are being propelled forward. With the Pegasus Turbo, I did have the feeling that I was being pushed forward slightly, something that I didn’t really experience with the Epic React.

    Instead, it feels more like you are being propelled upwards. Which isn’t a complete surprise if you consider the fact that the Nike React foam was first used in Nike’s basketball shoes. And for basketball, the upward motion would be more useful.

    In the beginning, the midsole reminded me more of a trampoline on which you want to jump up and down on. In the end, I did get used to the midsole, but still didn’t really have the feeling that I was being propelled forward by the shoe itself.

     

    Upper

    The flyknit upper gives you a snug feeling, but it is flexible enough to avoid any hotspots. In this version, the eyelets are separated into two parts, a lower and an upper part.

    This should allow for more flexibility, but the flyknit upper is already really flexible, thus I’m not sure if this really makes a huge difference. But since the upper is made out of one piece of flyknit, the laces don’t have that much effect anyway.

    Normally laces tighten two separate pieces of the upper together over the tongue of the shoe, but with the one-piece upper that isn’t possible. You can tighten the laces a little bit, but if you tighten them too much the flyknit will fold in on itself, which isn’t very comfortable.

    There also isn’t really a way to tie the laces in any other way, since there are only a limited number of eyelets on this shoe. Which for some runners could be an inconvenience.

     

     

    Due to the flyknit the sizing label was stitched onto the sockliner, normally it’s tucked in underneath the sockliner and it doesn’t bother you, but sometimes it would come out from underneath the sockliner and I could feel it on the side of my foot. This would eventually become annoying and I would have to put it back underneath the sockliner.

    The outer heel counter on the Epic React 2 now dips down at the back and is, therefore, smaller than in the first version, but I’m not convinced it makes any difference, since there is another heel counter on the inside of the shoe which is a lot higher in the back and still gives you the support you need.

     

    Outsole

    Part of the React foam is exposed, while part of the heel and part of the forefoot area of the outsole are covered with rubber. The rubber does provide enough traction on roads and easy trails.

     

     

    The exposed React foam did start to wear a little bit after about 50 miles in these shoes, but the rubber still looked good, so I don’t think it will be an issue while I put more miles in these shoes.

     

    Performance

    It is not as much of a speedy ride as the Nike Pegasus Zoom Turbo. The Turbo is more of a fast 5 or 10k racing shoe, while I would classify the Epic React 2 more of a half marathon racing shoe.

     

    Fit

    Although the flyknit is a bit snug, I had no issues with the sizing and wore my normal running shoe size.

    Conclusion

    When running in the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2, does the word epic come to mind? Well, calling them epic is obviously quite the claim. I wouldn’t really go with epic, it didn’t completely blow my mind, but I would go with great.

    The Nike Epic React 2 is a great half marathon racing shoe. It’s comfortable and springy and adapts easily to different kinds of workouts. I’ll definitely keep these shoes in my rotation and I’m considering buying more Nike running shoes with the Epic React foam.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 98 / 100 | Tomek Szulczyk

    Nike Epic React FLyknit 2 – Second chapter of wonderful friendship

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    The first installment of Epic React turned out to be the best shoe I had the privilege to run in, which is reflected in my review full of admiration and love.

    It broke my heart when I finally needed to retire them after over 700km. I had an additional pair, but I gave them away to justify my purchase of the newest edition.

    Again, they were available in many new exciting colour options, but I had my eyes set on a juicy red version. Always wanted to own a red sneaker—that edgy spicy look.

    The price didn’t change from the previous version, which was $220 AUS. Sure, they had some discounts on other colorways, but I was already committed to getting that red one.

    I got them from the official Nike website. The picture below was taken right after unboxing. It felt like Christmas.

     

     

    Appearance

    Not much really changed since last year. Nike swoosh is a bit bigger and more defined, although the lacing design looks slightly different. I wonder if that contributes in any way to stability.

     

     

    Moreover, the heel cup is visibly trimmed. Also, it can be my imagination, but laces look bit wider than before. But, I guess I washed my old ones several times in the washing machine so that could be it.

    Other than that, it’s quite hard to spot major upgrades. Weight is still super light, and I guess there was no point in changing much in the visual department as it was flawless.

    This shoe's great asset is that it delivers as a performance shoe while maintaining attractive casual appeal.

    At the time of writing, I have a bit over 100km in this shoe, and again it is a joy. I am using it in rotation with another light, fast shoe by New Balance.

    Fit

    I learned over the time that with Nike, it is wise to go at least half size up, especially if your foot is on the wider side like mine. Stretchy upper wraps tight around the foot providing a snug fit.

    With the previous installment, it took me a moment to mold into the shoe, but this time it felt almost instantly at home. It could be either the case of me being so used to the shoe or upper is bit stretchier.

    The bottom line is that if you enjoyed the feel of the first version, you would not be disappointed.

    My runs are mostly short, between 8-10km, and I like to go fast 4:10 to 4:30 minutes per km. The fit of Epic React Flynkit seems to be perfect for that type of exercise.

    Upper

    The new version comes with lightly improved upper made out of lightweight, flexible, and breathable fabric Flyknit. One-piece bootie construction molds perfectly around your foot, providing a secure fit.

    Also, thanks to updated heel design, the back of the shoe is softer, so it is easier to slide in. Overall, it is more comfortable—just like a nice sock.

     

     

    It may take several runs for it to adapt the shape of the foot before we achieve that perfect bond. But the comfort that your foot will feel in that Flyknit wrap is divine. I

    t is worth noticing that the stretch of the fabric varies from location, which is pretty great. I am guessing that after some constructive feedback from the previous installment, Nike added some extra flex on the forefoot and collar.

    Redesigned lacing panel allows bit more movement in the upper's midfoot area plus the Nike swoosh is larger, which may be giving some extra stability on the sides. I couldn’t really tell, but it looks good.

    As mentioned before, laces seem a bit wider. Overall, the marinating period was way quicker for me this time than with Epic React Flyknit one.

    Midsole

    What shines in Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 is a midsole entirely made of Epic React foam.

    This foam is made of synthetic rubber blend, developed by some great minds at the Nike headquarters after years of hard work. It is engineered to make sure that what you are putting in on your run is generously released back.

     

     

    The shoes have great energy absorption and responsiveness. All of that contributes to that smooth heel to toe transition and shock prevention for your joints.

    Like in the previous model, this midsole gives you a fast, light, and springy ride—you will be running on the clouds again. I got to admit; it is a joy to be in this shoe.

    Comfort is just on another level plus midsole prove to be also very durable. Heel to toe drop remained 10mm, but I just got used to it. I’m a forefoot runner anyway, especially on those speed days.

    Outsole

    Majority of the outsole is exposed React foam. It keeps the shoe light and bouncy. We have some additional layers of translucent rubber placed at the front and rear (high wear and tear areas) to improve durability.

    These are just enough to get the shoes good traction while still keeping the weight on the minimal side. The rubber maintains the pattern of the foam while having flashy colorway, which looks really good.

    Please keep in mind that due to that design, it won’t be advisable to run them on demanding terrains. They are perfect for roads and flat, even surfaces—tracks that will allow you to run fast.

    Even though you can quite early notice some wear on the outsole, especially the foam, it took me a good 600 plus km in version one till I started to worry.

    They will serve you well for a decent amount of time. I could notice some slipping, but mostly on wet days, so there is no need to panic.

     


    Outsole fresh out of the box

     


    Wear on outsole after 100 km plus (road, sand terrain mostly) where there is barely any difference

     

    Pros

    • The versatility of that sneaker on different levels. Its appearance is excellent for casual wear and running. While its performance is great for easy long runs and speed runs. Overall, it is great for all round.
    • React foam is a technological miracle.
    • The upgraded Flyknit upper was amazing, and Nike managed to make it even better. Under this category comes overall comfort and breathability.
    • The price for this version is expensive, but the shoe has proven to be worthy. It is also available on crazy sales everywhere so anyone can score a bargain.
    • It has insane energy return.

    Cons

    • There is not enough improvement in comparison to the previous installment
    • It has a 10mm drop, and for a shoe that I use for speed runs, I would prefer less.
    • The design of the outsole (exposed foam) reduces traction and durability.
    • It is not a supportive shoe if you are looking for one.
    • As for sizing, the design of the toe box requires to go ½ - 1 size up. This is especially true if your foot happens to be wide.

     


    A bit of an action shot

     

    Conclusion

    I had a fantastic time in Nike Epic React Flyknit version one, and I retired them by finishing half marathon and beating my previous time on that route by seven minutes. They were great.

    I did not hesitate for a second in purchasing the newer release, and I am not disappointed. Everything that worked is still there and more.

    Overall, the fit and feel got improved. New colour designs got released. I love my red ones—they are an eye-catcher.

    This is a perfect shoe for someone who is looking for a good snug fit, lightweight, and performance. I just like into slip them on and go for a nice fast run.

    It flawlessly transitions from that full-on fast day exercise to easy recovery jog. It is definitely not stability shoe but, don’t get me wrong; it provides a certain amount of security, which is enough.

    I just appreciate that it has a flexible upper and minimalistic feel. It is not the cheapest option on the market, but what are you getting is a solid running shoe and a flashy casual shoe in one.

    Moreover, the number of sales available at the moment will blow your mind.

    If you start listing all that technology that was packed in like Flyknit upper, React Foam, and lacing system, it doesn’t seem to be as expensive anymore.

    It was my number one choice for a long time until I recently discovered something that blew my mind even more and even from the place I was not expecting. But, that is a story for another review.

    The Epic React Flyknit family has a special place in my heart and always will. If you are a running enthusiast, I highly recommend giving it a shot. It may change your life.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 85 / 100 | kofuzi | Level 4 expert

    I consider the Epic React to be a kind of shoe that straddles the line between an actual running shoe and a lifestle shoe.

  • 86 / 100 | Seth Fowler | Level 3 expert

    The midsole remains pretty much unchanged from the original Epic React, and honestly I think thats a good thing because it is one of the best part of the sneaker. It's very comfortable and soft without feeling unstable.

Become an expert

  • The first Epic React Flyknit model has become one of Nike’s popular running shoes. The model features an appealing design, lightweight cushioning, and breathable coverage. After a successful release in early 2018, Nike has released the upgraded version of the Epic React Flyknit. The latest iteration, the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 features a similar design to its predecessor with minor enhancements in the heel counter and Swoosh logo element.

As per Nike’s official website, the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 fits true to size, just like the Nike Strike 2 running shoe. However, it is also recommended to purchase half-size up if runners prefer a slightly bigger fit.

The shoe has a narrow volume in the heel and midfoot sections, and the forefoot area offers a medium fit. The toe-box also offers enough room for toe splay.

The Epic React Flyknit 2 comes in standard D-medium measurement for men and B-medium for women. Half sizes are also available for men’s and women’s versions.

In the outsole of the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 is a rubber material strategically placed in the forefoot and heel area. The purpose of the rubber placement is to give the outer sole durability. It also provides a good amount of traction for road surfaces.

The rest of the outsole is the exposed React foam. The fluid geometry design of the foam offers flexibility and a smoother ride without compromising cushioning. It also reduces weight in targeted areas.

The Epic React Flyknit 2 features the popular React midsole foam. It is built to give runners responsive and springy cushioning. It delivers a high level of shock absorption during landing and encourages a smoother heel-to-toe transition.

It comes with a fluid geometry design in the surface of the foam to reduce weight and further enhance the performance of every runner.

In the upper of this neutral shoe is a one-piece Flyknit material. With a cleatie design, the Flyknit upper offers a glove-like fit. This material also delivers lightweight stretch and support.

The inner sleeve of the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 facilitates easy entry and the contoured collar, which is designed to sit right below the ankle, aims to deliver a more comfortable fit.

The modified heel counter continue to provide runners with a secure and stable feel.

Lastly, the large stitched Swoosh logos in the lateral and medial sides offer additional midfoot support.

In choosing the best running shoe, there are many factors that a buyer should consider - the price, the running technique, and the materials used to name a few. The most important component that would make the shoe standout is the technology used.  In the case of the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2, the winning technologies are the React foam and the Flyknit upper.

React technology

The React technology is the newest midsole foam from Nike. It is first launched in Nike’s basketball division in June 2017. The first two basketball shoes to use this technology are the React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit and the Jordan SuperFly 6. This midsole technology aims to deliver lightweight support, high energy return, and responsive cushioning.

Flyknit upper

The overall concept of this material is to provide a minimalist upper design with maximum benefits. Nike formulated the Flyknit to provide wearers with seamless, featherweight, and form-fitting foot wrap. It also offers lightweight stretch and breathability.

This material has been used in various Nike products including sneakers, soccer cleats, and basketball shoes.

The first Epic React Flyknit was released in February 2018 and after a year, the 2nd version is ready to impress the fans again. It featured the new React foam technology and was designed for serious and casual runners. Just like the Pegasus 35 and Revolution 4, it has become one of the popular Nike running shoes to date. But what really makes the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 popular?

Comfortable and street-ready design

Aside from being a lightweight and  high-performing road running shoe, people like the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 because of its all-day comfort and stylish design. Thanks to the Flyknit upper that delivers proper ventilation and seamless wrap.

The overall design of the shoe has received positive feedback from wearers because it is stylish and looks good even with jeans and other casual outfits.

Responsive and bouncy cushioning

Responsiveness and high-energy return are the two things the React foam offers to its users. The midsole technology of the Epic React Flyknit 2 offers long-lasting and consistent performance, miles after miles. Its lightweight design and springy feel do not compromise comfort and durability.

Lightweight and breathable coverage

The Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 is a lightweight road running shoe. It is as light as its predecessor and runners love to use the shoe for competition and long-distance runs. Thanks to the Flyknit upper and React midsole technology that still offers reliable performance without being heavy.

Users have been a huge fan of the Flyknit material. Aside from being lightweight and stretchable, the Flyknit upper offers unmatched breathability. Even on warm running condition, the foot remains sweat-free and cool.

The Epic React Flyknit 2 is a running shoe for everyone. It is built for runners of all levels and the design is meant to provide impressive performance for men and women. Below are few Nike shoes with React technology on its midsole.

Nike Legend React

The Legend React is a lightweight shoe meant for daily running. Along with the React midsole is the textile upper, which gives breathability and comfortable fit. In the outsole of the shoe is the rubber material with grooves, which are design for durability and traction.

Performance-wise, the shoe is average. It does provide runners with comfortable cushioning for short runs and the overall ride quality is comparable to other affordable shoes in the market. Since it uses the React technology, just like the Epic React Flykni 2, the shoe is responsive and offers high energy return.

Nike Odyssey React Flyknit 2

The Flyknit version of the Odyssey React is on its 2nd version as well. The design of the Odyssey React Flyknit 2 is as eye-catching as the Epic React Flyknit 2. Both shoes come in a lightweight and durable construction.

Aside from the React midsole foam, the upper of the shoe is a combination of Flyknit and synthetic material which offers a blend of flexibility, breathability, and support.

Overall, the shoe delivers breathability, flexibility, responsiveness, and durability. This shoe is a good option for runners who are looking for lightweight runners with a street-ready design.

Nike Rise React Flyknit

The Nike Rise React Flyknit has a lace-less, high-cut design. It is very different from the Epic React Flyknit 2 but the shoe still delivers a good combination of flexibility, responsiveness, and breathability.

The lace-less design offers comfortable lockdown and the high-cut design offers added ankle support. The thin collar remains stretchy and comfortable.

The outsole is made of exposed React foam but rubber placements were added into the forefoot and heel sections for traction and durability.

  • The Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 was debuted by LeBron James, wearing the “Pixel” colorway.
  • The shoe is released in “8-bit”, “Pixel” and other colorways.

Comparison