Size and fit

The Nike React Element 55 sneaker comes with a rear pull tab for easy access. While the shoe has comfortable interiors, many of its users say the material remains thin and breathable.

Comparing it again to the premium Element 87 version, the Element 55 kicks have a regular EVA removable insole compared to the cork-lined option of the latter. The low-top sneakers are offered in men’s and women’s sizes.

Nike React Element 55 Style

Styling up the Nike React Element 55 is no longer dependent on how beautiful are your socks or how the socks would appear over the semi-translucent TPE upper material. With a mesh and suede combination on the upper, with some versions having a grid or checkered patterns, the general release shoe is aimed for wide success and gain mass appeal. With numerous colorways to choose from, one can have one or two colorway variants of the shoe depending on the season. Wearers may opt for vibrant colorways like Volt, Crimson, Total Orange, Overbranded, and Tie-Dye for the spring and summer months where clothing is often depicted in vibrant and bright hues.

For the Fall season, neutral and metallic colors are the best options like Light Grey, Clean White, Metallic Silver,  and Total Black colorway options. Styling the Nike React Element 55 is quite easy as they easily blend with sporty casual wear and street-style clothing. Wearers may pair their clothes with shorts, joggers, and jeans with tanks and shirts for that street-style casual wear look or a more sporty vibe inspired by the heritage runner aesthetics of the design.

Notable Features

The signature React Foam technology in the midsole, Nike’s most responsive and lightest material so far, is the design’s most striking feature as it delivers maximum cushioning and comfort that lasts all throughout the day.  The support and stability of the React sole are further improved with the rubber pods strategically placed in areas of the sole where it is needed the most. The modern design also combines the old and new as heritage influences on the suede eyestays and the overall shoe profile is patterned after the Nike Internationalist.

Nike React Element 55 History

The elements are basically at the heart of the design philosophy of the Nike React Element 55 when it was dropped in late 2018 as a fitting follow-up to the bestselling and hyped Nike React Element 87 which was touted as a Sneaker of the Year contender.

Nike designers literally played with the elements as both the Element 87 and Element 55 were named after highly reactive elements namely Francium for the Element 87 and Cesium for the Element 55. Both highly radioactive elements are what inspired designers to blend heritage designs with futuristic highly-reactive elements for a bestselling shoe.

The design of the Element 55 shoe just like the Element 87 sneaker. Both were lifted from heritage running shoes of the past that include the Nike Internationalist which debuted in 1982 with runner Alberto Salazar wearing them in the New York Marathon.

However, the Nike React Element 87 and its alternate shoe the Nike React Element 55 have few striking differences that include being devoid of thermoplastic elastomers or TPE material. Instead of the translucent, almost see-through upper material, Nike used traditional mesh in the upper which offers almost the same breathability function but does not require wearers to style their looks with visually stunning socks to compliment the translucent upper.

  React Foam technology

As a general release sneaker, the Nike React Element 55 also has the same rubber pod system that enhances grip and cushioning over the React sole. The Swoosh brand’s designers carefully studied areas of the sole that is exposed most to shock and impact and drilled holes to insert rubber pods to the bottom for enhanced traction, stability, cushion impact, and enhance shock absorption.

However, the main highlight of the design is the React Foam technology which is Nike’s best cushioning technology to date. The React Foam has been around since 2017 when it was used in basketball shoes such as the Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 and the Jordan Superfly 2017. React foam was used in these basketball kicks because of its high energy retention capability that is very helpful when players make sudden movements and swift maneuvers in the court.

Soon the light and responsive cushioning material were first used in running shoes in the Nike Epic React. React foam according to the brand is softer and lighter than their signature Lunarlon cushioning technology and some 30 percent lighter than competitor Adidas’ Boost cushioning technology.  Nike researchers also claim that their long-lasting highly responsive foam midsole material to date also springs back to shape quite swiftly after undergoing pressure and lowers energy loss.

Since then the React Foam technology has been present in many of the brands running and lifestyle silhouettes that include the Nike Epic React Flyknit, Nike Odyssey React, Nike Legend React, and Nike Rise React Flyknit. The most sought after Nike React Element 87 was first seen in March 2018 in Japanese streetwear label UNDERCOVER’s Paris fashion show. As a longtime collaborator of the Swoosh brand, UNDERCOVER led by Jun Takahashi was the first to collaborate with the Element 87 finally releasing their version in September 2018.  The Nike React Element 87 was first released in June 2018 in Europe and Asia and was dropped in July 2018 in the US and Canada. The general release Nike React Element 55, meanwhile, was first released in August 2018.

  Colorways, collaborations

The Nike React Element 55 was first launched in two colorways namely the Volt, Solar Red, Blue, and White colors in the swoosh and rivets contrasting with black mesh and suede upper. Several other colorways were also dropped in 2018 like the women’s exclusive particle Beige colorway.

With a wide array of color options, the Nike React Element 55 has been deemed more accessible and easier to cop compared to the Nike React Element 87. Some of the popular colorways released in 2018 include Black/Total Orange, Olive, Team Red, Black/White, Metallic Silver, Metallic Gold, Mica Green, Racer Blue, and Triple Black colorways.

UK-based footwear retailer size? dropped in November 2018 an exclusive version of the Nike React Element 55 shoes using premium materials and technical influence from its Escape pack theme. The recurring Nike “Escape Pack” theme was first introduced in 1988 and then reimagined by the sneaker retailer in 2014. The Escape Pack theme takes inspirations from the Nike Windrunner, Air Force II, and Lahar that fuses technical aesthetics seen in a nylon ripstop upper with a black and white grid.

The recurring Nike theme also served as a conceptual foundation of the exclusive release with an all-grid pattern in the upper, synthetic suede paneling in the eyestays reminiscent of the Nike Internationalist, and other synthetic leather accents.

Meanwhile, other grid upper designs of the Nike React Element 55 were also dropped to include Grey/Orange and Deep Green colorways. In December 2018, other neutral colorways were released like Light Grey, Cream, and Clean White options. For 2019, however, Nike further expanded its colorway selection for the Nike React Element 55 to include Midnight Navy, Pale Yellow, and Pale Pink.

Taking a more playful route, Nike also offered several vibrant colorways for the Nike React Element 55 to include the Wolf Grey colorway which featured Crimson and Volt accents. The brand also dropped Overbranded and Tie-Dye colorways that are visually stunning and apt for styling especially during the spring and summer months.

Nice to know

  • Some popular collaborations of the shoe include those with UK-based retailer size?.
  • Many celebrities have been spotted wearing these hugely popular sneakers to include Justin Bieber and Nike endorser Kendrick Lamar who is poised to release his own version of the shoe.
  • Other popular colorways of this shoe include the Overbranded and Tie-Dye versions.

Facts / Specs

Style: Sporty, Futuristic, Chunky
Top: Low
Inspired from: Running
Collection: Nike React Element, Nike React
Closure: Laces
Material: Mesh, Rubber Sole, EVA / Fabric
Season: Spring, Summer

Compare popularity Interactive

Compare the popularity of another shoe to Nike React Element 55:

Nike React Element 55 unboxing and on-feet videos

Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sports nut with a particular interest in football and running. He loves to watch sports as much as he loves to play. Danny was lead researcher on RunRepeat and The PFA’s report into Racial Bias in Football Commentary. His football and running research has been featured in The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Washington Post.