Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 review

The Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 is the second iteration of the Epic React Lineup. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to give the first version of the Epic React a try, but I could say I do enjoy the second version.

It uses the popular React midsole foam, which is good if you want a cushioned and springy ride. It has all the things you would want in a daily trainer; it’s light, cushioned, responsive, and looks pretty slick too.

First impressions/looks

At first sight of bringing this shoe out of the box, I loved this shoe. It was light, had a nice simple design, and the midsole had a cool wavy design which was appreciated too.

For first impressions run wise, there was some bad and some good. The shoe felt pretty firm but felt better as the run went on.

The first thing I noticed was how breathable the upper was, which, depending on the temperature, could be good or bad. But, for the 49-degree weather, it was just right for me.

The next thing I noticed once I started running was how light the shoe was and for the weight to cushion ratio. It was one of the most surprising (and best) features about the shoe.

Flyknit upper is very breathable and light

The upper of this shoe is a one-piece flyknit upper. It was my first time trying a shoe with the flyknit upper, and I did enjoy it and could see why Nike has it on its top racers. It's very breathable and very light. I do appreciate the well-engineered upper.

It also features a very good heel cup, which has no cushioning. It would’ve been better with at least a thin layer of cushion, but it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would while running.

One complaint I had was that the flyknit doesn’t do good adjusting to narrow feet. This causes the tongue to fold over itself due to the tongue being attached to everything else, and it’s visually unappealing.

Another little thing is the tongue not having any cushion layer, which could cause irritation from the laces. Those things being set aside, I enjoy the flyknit material and think it is very well-engineered.

Noticeable wear around 50 miles

At first, I was concerned about the outsole durability because of the exposed React foam. Nike claims the shoe could last at least 400-500 miles, and some sources have said the upper limit is 650 miles. If true, it is a very good thing.

I will say, as the miles went on, the wear of the foam seemed to kind of slow down. Around 50 miles in, there is noticeable wear, but I don’t think it will affect the ride until a couple more hundreds of miles—probably just going to affect the traction.

One of the most comfortable shoes I’ve had 

This shoe is probably one of the most comfortable shoes I’ve had in the sense that it gets more comfortable as the run goes on. The React foam gives a responsive but cushioned ride.

On runs, the shoe feels super light on the foot. And, the best thing about this shoe is the amazing cushion-to-weight ratio, which is a very rare thing when it comes to high mileage trainers.

The Epic React 2 weighs just 8.4 ounces for a pair of US size 10, which is 1-2 ounces less than a typical daily mileage trainer. Of course, that comes with some discrepancies, which, in this case, was less rubber on the outsole.

The shoe does have a break-in period the first couple of runs, and it will cause a little discomfort like how it did for me as it is firm out the box.

One problem I heard about and I believe I experienced was the foam getting firm in colder weather. I believe I experienced on the colder days, which was like below freezing temps.

This shoe might have a little too much cushion for speed runs, but overall this shoe is perfect for a variety of runs form fartleks and tempos to long runs to easy, normal runs.

The Epic React Flyknit 2 is a little pricey

The retail price is $150, which is a little pricey. But, for a shoe that can last at least 400-500 miles (as Nike suggests it can), then the price isn’t too bad if you truly plan to use it well.

What I like about this shoe

I do like this shoe for so many reasons. It’s cushioned, lightweight, responsive, and it looks really clean too.

Perhaps one of the best things about Nike shoes is they have the most modern looks of every shoe brand. The shoes look fast if you care about that stuff.

The only problems I have about these shoes are the little discrepancies like the wide upper or the lack of rubber. But, I believe the good outweighs the bad.

This shoe is almost everything you would want in a daily mileage trainer.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Rankings

How Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 11% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Top 9% Nike running shoes
All Nike running shoes
Top 10% neutral running shoes
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Popularity

The current trend of Nike Epic React Flyknit 2.
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Author
Zack Dunn
Zack Dunn

I race distances between 800 meters and 10K whether it be on the track, the roads, or on cross country courses. My typical training consists of easy days, long days, workouts (fartleks, tempos, interval training, etc.). My typical training paces range from 7’30 a mile on easy days to sub-5 minutes a mile on fast interval days, and with many paces in between. I run anywhere from 40-60 miles a week. My personal bests are 2:00 for 800m, 4:30 for 1600m, 9:50 for 3200m, 15:57 for 5K, and 34:10 for 10K.