Verdict from +100 user reviews

9 reasons to buy

  • Many reviewers say that it is one of the most comfortable sneakers released in 2018.
  • Numerous wearers have heaped praises on the removable cork-lined insoles for helping improve the shoe’s in-shoe feel.
  • Descriptions of various purchasers include “straight-up fire” and “instant cop.” for the new lifestyle silhouette from Nike.
  • A couple of comments claimed the improved React soles are as comfortable as Adidas’ Boost sneakers.
  • Some reviews praised the translucent uppers to rock and glam up their sneaker fashion.
  • A lot of positive reviews focused on how beautifully crafted and designed are the Nike React Element 87 sneakers.
  • Some were quite surprised by the breathability of the translucent plastic-like uppers.
  • Some followers of the React shoes claimed the React Element 87 has “the most stable, soft, and relaxed cushioning” they ever felt from Nike React sneakers.
  • A few wearers were impressed by the lightweight feel of the sneaker.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some wearers are hesitant in copping a pair due to durability concerns on the translucent upper.
  • Some footwear reviewers also noted that the translucent upper gets dirty quite fast with dust and other minute particles entering the shoes.
  • One commenter said the asymmetrical tongue, due to its thin material, crumples easily and digs into the front part of the feet.

Bottom line

Adding another iteration to the Nike React Element series, the brand launched the Nike React Element 87. It is an instant cop for sneaker lovers wanting a comfortable, durable, and well-constructed shoe. Tagged as one of the best sneaker releases for Nike in 2018, the React Element 87 design delivers maximum comfort from the finest midsole cushioning from the Oregon-based firm to date – the Nike React sole.

Available at a premium price, the Nike React Element 87 offers real value for money for its superior cushioning, creatively designed elements, stylish colorways, and components.

Tip: see the best sneakers.

Good to know

The Nike React Element 87 casual shoes run true to size and are narrow to wide-feet friendly. However, many footwear reviewers suggest that wearing these stylish kicks in retail stores is a better idea since getting the perfect fit is essential. A loose-fitting top would pretty much result to creases and a wrinkled look that does not flatter the feet. The thin asymmetric tongue also adheres to the shape of the feet and ankles with thinly padded collars.

A suede material also covers the forefoot eyestay and holds the regular flat shoelaces together while the removable cork insoles add stepping comfort and breathability with its perforated portions. The unisex Nike React Element 87 is available in men’s sizes. Women can get a pair by ordering 1.5 sizes lower than their usual size.

The excitement was felt by the sneaker community once the buzz of the Nike React Element 87’s release started appearing on their online newsfeeds. Nike’s most stylish sneaker featuring the proprietary React foam midsole for 2018 was first previewed in Jun Takahashi of retail brand Undercover’s runway show in several colorways that by the time the shoe got released, it got sold out almost immediately. Another positive feature of the translucent upper is the Nike React Element 87’s ability to also give a spotlight on the socks you wear. Pair these kicks with vibrantly colored crew socks, neon no-show socks, and graphics printed ankle socks for a footwear color pop.

Wearing and styling the Nike React Element 87 with your wardrobe is uncomplicated. The futuristic style, deconstructed flair, and stylish elements included in the overall sneaker design make this shoe shine no matter what clothes you wear.  Men and women may opt to go for the athleisure route and style the low-top kicks with track pants, joggers, and relaxed fit tees and tanks.

                 Popular colorways

The first general release drops of the Nike React Element 87 in June (Europe, Latin America, and Asia) and July (the United States and Canada) 2018 includes the favorite sail/light bone and anthracite/black colorways. While the anthracite/black-White colorway looks promising and versatile at the onset, the sail or sail/light bone/white/rush orange/black colorway of the Nike React Element 87 was one of the most sought after with resellers jacking up prices for the Sail color a bit higher than the latter.

Other colorways released a few months after the initial drop include desert sand and dark grey. For the much anticipated UNDERCOVER x Nike React Element 87 collaboration which was released on September 29, 2018, the design was executed in a medley of colors. The colorways featured in partnership with the Japanese streetwear brand include the light beige and green mist colorways. Several other colorways were also hinted to be unveiled in time for fall 2019.

Using Nike’ most comfortable midsole foam material to date, the women’s and men’s Nike React Element 87 further elevated the sneaker game by introducing an experimental tweak into the already sophisticated  Nike React sole. Nike Sportswear designers specially drilled holes and placed rubber rivets into the React midsole cushioning for better stability while rubber traction was also placed in the right areas for added durability. A surprisingly breathable and semi-translucent TPE or Thermoplastic Elastomeric material with exposed taping and components also adds a new dimension to its footwear design as it allows you to show off your socks and rock a more modern style.

React foam technology in Nike shoes started in 2017 when it was used in basketball shoes like the Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 and the Jordan Superfly 2017. React foam was first used in basketball footwear due to its high energy retention capability which is needed to make swift movements including jumping. Soon, aside from basketball, running shoes like the Nike Epic React was released and several other footwear utilizing the React foam which is better and softer than Lunarlon and, believe it or not, 30 percent lighter than rival Adidas’ popular and bestselling Boost technology. React foam according to Nike researchers also quickly spring back to shape after undergoing pressure and minimizing energy loss. It is also Nike’s long-lasting foam midsole material to date.

The Nike React Element 87 was first seen not in Nike stores but in the Autumn/Winter 2018 show of Japanese cult streetwear label UNDERCOVER’s fashion show in Paris in March 2018. The longtime collaborator of Nike led by its founder Jun Takahashi was the first to showcase their take on the iconic React foam sneaker in several colorways which were only released through the UNDERCOVER x Nike React Element 87 in September 2018.

The cutting-edge design of the Nike React Element 87 was dropped for general release only in June 2018 for Europe, Asia, and Latin America and the US and Canada release in July 2018. Designed as a lifestyle running sneaker, the Nike React Element 87 resembles the silhouette of the Nike Internationalist and involves modern aesthetics like a translucent upper, exposed stitching, and a tweaked React midsole.

The low-top sneaker in its initial drop featured the more popular Sail or Sail/Light Bone/White/Rush Orange/Black colorway and the Anthracite/Black-White colorway. Soon other colorways were released like the Desert Sand and Dark Grey colorways. The UNDERCOVER x Nike React Element 87 colorways, featured earlier in the Paris runway show, including the two general release colorways such as the light beige and green mist colorways.

Nike designers stressed that the Nike React Element 87 compared to its predecessors like the Epic React isn’t a running shoe but a lifestyle sneaker aimed for use by the urban commuter. The lightweight React Element 87 sneaker is proposed for wearers looking for comfortable footwear as they traverse the urban jungle on a daily basis. The Nike React foam midsole was updated and engineered with grooves studying foot motion and rubber pods placed for extra stability, cushioning, and traction.


  • Spotted rocking the style of the Nike React Element 87 include sports stars like NBA superstar Lebron James, American soccer star Jamal Adams, and NBA player Devin Booker.
  • Also seen wearing the React Element 87 kicks include Air Max collab designer Sean Wotherspoon, K-Pop star Dara Park, and musician-rappers DJ Khaled and Tinie Tempah.
  • Reflective materials are placed at the heel tab and eyestays to add visibility in low-light conditions.
  • A textured TPU heel clip adds a stable feel while flat shoelaces are secured by a suede eyestay.
  • Translucent rubber pods are conspicuously placed in parts of the midsole where traction is needed the most.


How Nike React Element 87 ranks compared to all other shoes
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Bottom 34% Nike sneakers
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The current trend of Nike React Element 87.
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Danny McLoughlin
Danny McLoughlin

Danny McLoughlin is a researcher for RunRepeat covering football, sneakers and running. After graduating with a degree in computer science from The University of Strathclyde, Danny makes sure never to miss a game of his beloved Glasgow Rangers or the Scotland national football team. He has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.