Personally, I liked the Nike React foam, but I didn’t have a pair of water repellent running shoes yet. So, when I found a pair of Nike Odyssey React Shield on sale, I couldn’t resist.
The Nike Epic React 2 and the Odyssey React Shield are quite similar shoes. They have the same forefoot height of 18 mm, the same heel height of 28mm and thus also the same 10 mm drop.
There is only a slight difference in weight since the flyknit upper of the Epic React 2 is 10 grams lighter. So, that’s 239 grams for the Epic React 2 versus 249 grams for the Odyssey React Shield.
The upper is what makes this shoe special and what sets it apart from the other shoes in the Nike React line. It is a water repellent upper with a G.90 rating.
They are clearly proud of that at Nike because they even printed it on a label and put that on the heel counter.
But that wasn’t enough, it is also printed on the insole. And it also says water repellent on the tongue of the shoe. However, to find out what G.90 means wasn’t so easy.
Because if you Google the term, it mainly just shows you all the shoes in the Nike Shield line, but it doesn’t really give you any other products with this rating. There are ways to measure and describe how water repellent fabric is, but as far as I can tell, G.90 isn’t one of them.
The upper is made out of two smooth materials, one that makes up most of the midfoot of the upper and another a bit more stretchy material that makes up the toe box, tongue and heel counter of this shoe. It is not a one-piece upper, like the Epic React, but it has a semi-detached tongue.
The Odyssey React Shield has a new lacing system compared to the Nike Epic React. It has a toggle lacing system that is supposed to be faster than just tying your laces. However, I do find it a bit more difficult to decide how tight the laces should be.
And if I pull them tightly the remainder of the laces are a bit too long. It also makes it impossible to lace them any other way, which seems to be a trend in running shoes lately, because I’ve got several pairs that have that same problem. There are no extra eyelets you can use and if you wanted to put other laces in, you’d have to cut the toggle system.
The sizing label is, just like in the Epic React 2, stitched onto the insole. You can put it underneath the insole, but it will sometimes pop out from underneath there and it might irritate your foot. With the flyknit upper it sort of made sense that they didn’t stitch the label onto the inside of the tongue, because the flyknit is quite form-fitting.
But I’m not sure why they didn’t change that with the Odyssey React Shield. They already stitched an overlay on top of the tongue, so they might as well put the label on the inside like most shoe companies. Or just print it onto the inside rather than using a label.
The Odyssey React Shield has the same kind of full heel cup that the first version of the Epic React has. It also has several reflective details on the upper of this shoe, since Nike expects you to wear this shoe during different weather conditions and when you might be running in the dark.
The Odyssey React Shield has the same React foam midsole as the Epic React and the Epic React 2. It provides a nice and cushioned ride with a bit of bounce.
Since the Odyssey React Shield is meant to be worn in wet weather conditions, the outsole has more rubber than the outsole of the Epic React. Nike has used Storm
Thread rubber for the Odyssey React Shield, which provides more traction on wet surfaces. It doesn’t only have rubber underneath the heel and forefoot, but there are two extra pieces of rubber underneath the ball of your foot extending towards the midfoot.
Since I was used to the flyknit fabric of the Nike Epic React 2, it took me a while to get used to the Shield upper of the Odyssey React Shield.
It feels a bit tighter and narrower in the forefoot. But I wore my regular running shoe size and that was fine.
Although I like the Epic React foam, I did miss a bit of stability in the upper on the medial as well as the lateral side. Even though there is a plastic triangle for extra support on the medial side of the midsole.
I liked the ride and I didn’t experience any hotspots with the upper, but on longer distances, the lack of stability and the narrowness of the shoe were an issue.
I think it was a smart move from Nike to keep the React midsole the same since it’s so popular, but make a model that you can wear in wet weather conditions. It does have good traction on wet roads and your feet won’t get wet when it’s raining a bit.
So if you are looking for a shoe you can use in wet weather conditions and you are a fan of the Epic React midsole material and aren’t looking for a bit of stability or maybe you just have a bit of a narrower foot, this is the shoe for you.
When I first saw the Nike Odyssey React Shield, it reminds me of an amazing new design for a sportscar.
I’m not sure who designed this shoe, but they deserve a raise—elegant design, well-thought-of, and interesting use of materials. Not only is the price right (€97 on Amazon as of this writing), but they look incredible.
The colors differ from an elegant black and grey to gold and black combination with a little orange line on the bottom of the sole.
It is for the more daring customer to a completely black Batman kind of a sneaker that will probably be my next buy.
The shaft is made of very soft material that feels like a sock. It is a very thin fabric, which will not give your feet a warm hug in the cold winter days but feels very comfortable and ready to wear.
The upper top of the shaft may be water repellent, but the fabric side is not. It is not for running in cold or wet winter days. Nevertheless, for all other occasions, it is definitely worth putting on.
You can close the shoe with a toggle lacing system, which was a first for me but I like it! It is fast and easy to use.
It also has the reflecting lines on top and at the back, which look stunning and cool.
The sole, or what I would like to call the “soul” of the shoe, is probably the most important part of the shoe—biomechanically, orthopedically, and comfort-wise.
The shape is very good. It gives you a balance under your foot or midfoot where it needs to be.
In the Nike Odyssey React Shield, the toe-off begins where it should be, which is right after (proximal) your metatarsal heads. This is the area where when you flex your knee, the shoe will roll forward and actually help you run or walk.
The material is so soft and comfortable to walk on that it feels like you are literally walking on clouds. The back is not too much backwards and keeps your walking pattern normal and comfortable.
The sides of the sole are a little outwards, which gives you a more stable walk, helping you not to twist your ankle.
It will also keep your foot from sliding off to one side (pro or supination) as you see in so many shoes these days.
Many shoes today look really awful and painful for your feet. We see people who own such shoes a lot in the consultations, complaining about pain in their feet and wondering why they feel this pain.
Good to know
- The Odyssey React Shield utilizes the Nike Shield technology, which makes the shoe weather-ready. It has the water-repellent capacity to keep the foot dry when running on rainy or wet running conditions.
- The shoe features the new Nike React foam technology, which is designed to deliver a responsive and bouncy ride. It efficiently absorbs shock during landing without affecting energy return, making every step smooth and consistent.
- The Nike Odyssey React Shield also features a toggle lacing system for a quick on and off adjustments. In one pull, runners can easily adjust the fit in cold, wet weather.
A rubber material covers the outer sole of the Odyssey React Shield. It aims to deliver foot protection and durability in high-wear areas. It has zigzag grooves that are designed for traction and flexibility.
It also uses a storm-tread wet traction rubber. The placement of the rubber in the forefoot and heel sections is meant to deliver added traction and durability. Compared to the Epic React, the shoe has more rubber outsole, but it maintains its minimal weight.
In the midsole is the new Nike React technology. It is strategically placed in the midsole to give runners a smooth and springy cushioning. It absorbs impact during landing, and it ensures a high-energy return for a powerful toe-off.
The fluid geometry design of the midsole is specifically created to enhance the performance of the runner without adding too much weight to the shoe.
What makes the Nike Odyssey React Shield a weather-ready running shoe is the G.90 water-repellent upper. The use of the Nike Shield technology and the sealed seams allow the foot to stay dry even in wet running conditions. The upper material is slightly thicker than the usual to keep the foot warm, but it remains to be durable and lightweight.
The shoe features a toggle lacing system which is designed for easy and quick adjustments. Runners can tighten and loosen the laces in just one pull. This lacing system also aims to provide comfort and a personalized fit.
Reflective elements are added in the upper to increase visibility when tackling the dark routes.