Neutral / cushion / high arch
Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.
Stability / overpronation / normal arch
Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.
Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet
Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.
Good to know
Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.
Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.
Good to know
If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.
WeightMen: 8.4ozWomen: 6.9oz
Heel to toe dropMen: 10mmWomen: 10mm
The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.
There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.
Heel heightMen: 28mmWomen: 28mm
Forefoot heightMen: 18mmWomen: 18mm
WidthMen: StandardWomen: Standard, Wide
Release dateFeb 2019
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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87 / 100 based on 5 expert reviews
Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 - Is it still epic?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Although the flyknit is a bit snug, I had no issues with the sizing and wore my normal running shoe size.
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.
Cruising the city sidewalks in the Nike Epic React Flynit 2
TLDR: These springy, stylish, short race-ready shoes fit like a sock, and don’t weigh much. Like other Nike running shoes, Epic React Flyknit 2 fit pretty tightly, so they don’t work for me on longer runs.
As with many Nike shoes that I’ve run in, these run relatively narrow. This is especially noticeable in the toe box with its low ceiling height. The stretchy upper fits comfortably.
The Nike React foam is pretty cushy. Hoops fans out there probably know this bouncy foam was created as basketball shoes. You'll feel that real athletic springiness when you run in these.
The uppers are very light but fit snug like a sock. It makes your foot feel supported and without fear of twisting an ankle.
In my mind, Nike’s biggest differentiator is their design. This is true of shoe style, ergonomics, and of course, their marketing.
These shoes could easily pass as casual sneakers. I believe Nike keeps this in mind when they make running shoes.
The fact that you can wear these out for a run, but also around town on a weekend, is a big selling point.
There are a variety of colorways, so you can go as bold or neutral as you want.
Distance: 5K | Terrain: City sidewalks
Location: New York City | Season: Summer | Conditions: 75 and humid
Compared to my Asics Gel DS Trainer 24, these trainers feel very springy and well-cushioned. It was not what I expected upon first glance since they appear quite minimal.
The protection comes in handy since I’m pounding pavements, full of busy street crossings and uneven cement sidewalks.
The shoes fit snug but comfortable, with the stretchy fabric allowing my foot to strike naturally.
My heel feels secure, with a slight snugness in the midfoot. I can reach down and feel the sides of my foot pressing against the sides of the shoe.
I typically wear a standard width shoe in other brands. So, by comparison, this one fits snug.
I want to try these out on dirt and hills, so I detour into a park and run the perimeter.
The snug fit on these shoes keeps me confident of my footing. However, they offer noticeably less traction on loose dirt than my Asics GT 2000. Still, they provide a pleasant ride for easy trails.
Because they’re light and snug, it makes it easy to maneuver around any obstacles in my way. After a few hundred meters, I decide to stop and tighten up my laces.
With foot-fitting uppers, I realized that I probably didn’t lace them up quite snug enough. As I break back into stride, they feel even lighter.
The Home Stretch
On the way home, it’s getting dark faster than I expected. Thus, I’m thankful for the bright red and gold glow of these shoes. The stretchy fabric keeps my feet cool and comfortable.
I’m curious to try them as the temperature drops. For my foot, the snugness becomes noticeable after a mile or two. They start feeling like they’re digging into my mid and forefoot a bit.
These are fun, bouncy shoes that offer good support despite their lightweight frame. Like a performance automobile, Nike’s running shoes are snug and cater to those who like a very tight ride.
That’s not really my preferred way to get around. I like a smooth and comfortable ride, with a bit more space to cruise down the highway, or offroad when I like.
In terms of style, they have a ton of appeal. Moreover, the foam outsoles do offer way more protection than you could realistically expect from a shoe of this size and weight.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Nike Epic React Flyknit 2: A modern and lightweight cruiser for all paces
I’ve been looking forward to trying the Epic React 2 since it was released. I’m a fan of relatively unstructured neutral shoes and minimal uppers and have had good experiences with several of Nike’s recent releases.
Though a very different shoe, I’ve been loving the fit and ride of the Nike Zoom Fly Flyknit and but wanted something for everyday use and slower runs (the Zoom Fly is a reserved tempo/progression shoe for me).
I tried on the original Epic React but was not inspired by the step-in feel; I thought the heel cup was too noticeable and seemed too radical.
Nike refined the heel cup, split the eyestay, and increased the size and thickness of the swoosh for the Epic React 2, all presumably to improve the fit. On step-in feel at least, it certainly worked for me!
Initial step-in feel is important, and the Epic React 2 felt great. The sizing was perfect (true to size), and with a medium-cushion sock, the fit was glove-like; the plastic heel counter just worked.
The shoe felt notably lightweight and very comfortable. The white and green colorway was simple and clean; the shoe overall has no unnecessary complexity. I couldn’t wait to take them for a run, which is always a great sign.
The upper is a single piece of Nike Flyknit material with a loose, more breathable weave in the toe which gets denser and more supportive towards the midfoot and heel.
The only real structure is the hard plastic heel counter. The stitched on Swoosh provides a bit of support to the upper, but otherwise, it’s just single-piece of knitting.
I found it a bit difficult to get the lacing right; with a thin sock, my foot was moving around a bit - couldn’t get the heel to lock in. With a tighter lace, I felt uncomfortable pressure on the top of my foot.
Note: there are no extra eyelets to do a heel lock. With a slightly more substantial sock, all the slop was gone, and the shoe nearly disappeared on my foot.
I find it hard to perfect the lacing. I have to re-lace partway into many of my runs, but when done correctly, I experience no movement around the heel and no undesirable pressure.
The midsole is just a slab of React foam, no plates, dual densities, or foot-hugging characteristics. The midsole has a great level of flexibility and stays with tight to the forefoot.
There is little to no arch support. I’m a true neutral runner and not a fan of overly structured shoes in general, so it’s off to a great start for me.
Nike’s advertising for the Epic React 2 showed bouncing “Jell-O” and seemed to promote the React foam as squishy and playful. With a significant heel stack (28mm) and based on my experience with the React foam in the Zoom Fly Flyknit, I expected a springy and soft ride.
However, the midsole was much firmer than expected and though still soft, not really squishy with no “sink-in” feeling. It doesn’t feel like there’s a lot there, but the ride is never hard or harsh.
I get some bounce from the foam, but it’s clean and refined, a less dramatic experience than other high energy return foams such as Adidas Boost, Reebok Floatride, and Nike Zoom X.
Although it’s not what I expected, I think Epic React 2 midsole is great: never a burden to run in facilitates a consistent turnover and provides a smooth ride at all paces.
The clean design of the Epic React 2 continues with the outsole, which is composed of two patches of crystal rubber in the high-wear areas and exposed midsole through the midfoot.
I’ve had no issues with grip in any conditions and found the Epic React 2 to be notably good on wet pavement. I’ve also run dirt paths in them and had totally adequate traction. They ran well overall, but there is definitely no real outsole, so I’d never choose them for off road.
At 87 miles (see photo above) there is no significant wear which is great to see. I saw others voice concerns about the durability of the crystal rubber, but it seems to be faring well so far for me.
My first run in the Epic React 2 was an 11-mile chill-out run - no pace goal, no watch checks. After a mile or two, I felt so locked into my pace, every strike was consistent, and the level of firmness was perfect.
Running felt effortless; my feet were turning themselves over. The ride is cushioned but not squishy. Overall, an enjoyable shoe to run in.
The foam is flexible enough to conform to the foot very well and combined with the knit upper and low weight makes for a fluid and unobtrusive experience. These aspects of the ride are a bit reminiscent of the Nike Free RN Distance for me but more responsive and lively.
While I wouldn’t choose them for racing, the Epic React 2 handles faster paces admirably and the feel and response remain largely similar. They don’t encourage speed but hold it well.
I still have the feeling of an easy lock-in to the pace and an enjoyable balance of ground feel and protection. It’s a consistent, smooth-riding shoe.
- Simple slab of foam provides a smooth ride at all paces
- Disappears on the foot with the right sock/lacing
- Midsole is a great balance of firmness and softness
- Good aesthetics and colorways - I’d wear these all day; love the pink accent colorway
- Hard to dial in the lacing
- A bit sloppy with a thin sock, possibly unaccommodating for certain foot shapes
This is now my go-to shoe for runs of any length where the bulk is a steady pace, possibly with uptempo blocks.
There are a lot of shoes that perform a bit better at fast paces, really encouraging speed, but the Epic React 2 can do it all; I’ve done some solid tempo blocks in them and recently took them for an easy 24 miler.
Overall, a lightweight, unstructured, well-designed, everyday road shoe.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
I consider the Epic React to be a kind of shoe that straddles the line between an actual running shoe and a lifestle shoe.
Updates to Nike Epic React Flyknit 2
- 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.
Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 size and fit
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 bootie 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.
Winning technologies of the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2
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.
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.
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, football boots, and basketball shoes.
What makes the Epic React Flyknit 2 popular?
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.
Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 compared to other Nike shoes with React technology
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.