Size and fit

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.

Nike React Element 87 Style

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.

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.

Notable Features

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.

Nike React Element 87 History

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.

Nice to know


  • 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.


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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.