- 80/100 by Men's Health
- 84/100 by Straatosphere
- 85/100 by Sneaker Freaker
- 86/100 by Fortress of Solitude
- 88/100 by Trainfora5k.com
- 72/100 by OutdoorGearLab
- 90/100 by Gentlemen's Quarterly
- 90/100 by Marathon Marcus
- 92/100 by Fit at Midlife
- 97/100 by GadgetMatch
- 89/100 by Triathlete
- 90/100 by Running Shoes Guru
- 90/100 by Running Department
- 90/100 by Jamiepang Blog
- 86/100 by News18
- 88/100 by Philadelphia Runner
- 90/100 by Keller Sports
- 92/100 by Trail & Kale
- 80/100 by The Straits Times
- 92/100 by RunningXpert
- 100/100 by T3
- 78/100 by Solereview
- 80/100 by Running Warehouse
- 80/100 by Coach
- 80/100 by Believe in the Run
- 82/100 by Fueled by LOLz
- 82/100 by Runner Expert
- 90/100 by JackRabbit
- 80/100 by The Daily Beast
Two years ago, in February 2018, Nike launched its new next big thing - the Epic React. React foam was to take over their popular but firm and lifeless, Lunarlon foam.
The launch was massive. They hired famous actors, athletes, and soccer players to advertise their new shoe. They paid them to say things like “it feels like I'm running on clouds” and “it's like running on springs.”
The Epic React was a good shoe, but it didn't feel like any of those claims. The real sensation to me felt like running on a rubber ball: cushioned but not soft.
Regardless of the false advertising, the Epic React was still a hit, and Nike sold boatloads of the shoe.
One year later, in 2019, Nike released the sequel - the Epic React 2. They only changed the upper, but it felt more restricting in the forefoot, and I didn't enjoy them. It still sold in the boatloads.
Fast forward to January 2019, and Nike released the React Infinity Run Flyknit, which is meant to take the place of the Nike Structure 22 and the Epic React, which have both been discontinued.
This doesn't make the least bit of sense because the Structure 22 and the Epic React are worlds apart in terms of ride, stability, and fit.
The Structure 22 was Nike’s most popular motion control shoe. It had a very firm midsole with a dynamic support medial post to prevent overpronation. It had a traditional roomy upper made from mesh.
The Epic React had a tight-fitting knit upper and was aimed at neutral runners. While being a stable shoe, the Epic React is light years away from the Structure 22, in terms of stability.
The new React Infinity Run Flyknit gets the usual Nike massive marketing push, this time claiming that their shoe prevents more injuries when compared to their previous support shoe, the Structure 22.
Looks-wise, the React Infinity Run looks more like an Epic React 3 than a Structure 23.
When first trying in the Infinity Run, it felt very similar to the Epic React but with meatier midsole cushioning and a more forgiving upper.
So can the React Infinity Run take the place of both the Structure 22 and the Epic React?
|TECHNOLOGY||react, lofted flyknit|
Upper & fit
Nike calls their new React Infinity upper material lofted Flyknit, and it's unlike any upper material they've used before. From afar, it looks like a soft knitted material, but when you touch it, it feels like a rough plastic material.
You can't help but feel like you've been tricked. Nike's Vaporweave that they use on the Zoom Fly 3 and the Vaporfly Next% feel like plastic, but Vaporweave feels smoother and thinner.
The tongue and top part of the heel area are knitted. Gone is the hard plastic heel counter of the Epic React. Instead, there's a soft internal heel counter and a hard plastic rim that wraps around the heel.
You get a heel pull tab at the back for convenience, but 6 months after I got my Epic Reacts, the pull tab snapped. I haven't had any problems with the React Infinity Run pull tab yet.
This new heel setup is a step backward because I experienced heel slip no matter how tight I tied the laces. What makes things worse is that the tongue has a bootie construction, so you can't do a heel lock.
You can also feel the lacing pressure through the tongue because it's so thin. I much prefer the upper of the Odyssey React Flyknit.
It has a lower, more cushioned collar with no tongue slide. It even allows you to do heel lock lacing.
The problems that I had with the original Epic React upper still exist. The collar comes up too high, so you can't wear them with low socks or the collar digs into your skin.
I have to wear the thickest socks in my cupboard to add a layer of cushioning between my skin and the shoe collar. Going sockless is also out of the question. How a big company like Nike overlooked these issues is a mystery to me.
Wearing thick socks in the React Infinity makes it very hot to wear, especially in tropical climates like Bali.
I actually like the look of the React Infinity Run Flyknit. The large stack height of the midsole makes the shoe look super-cushioned and soft. The swoosh that wraps around is silver and reflective, so it looks like a premium shoe.
There were two launch colours: black & white and this one- white, pink with a yellow collar lining. Black was boring, so I went for the 80’s Miami colourway.
The only problem is that the white part in the forefoot gets dirty and is a mission to clean because the dirt sinks under the plastic lining and gets trapped so you can't wipe it away. Nike says that the upper is three layers!
The toe box is wider and roomier than the Epic React. The knit doesn't stretch, so if possible, try them on before you buy them.
They were true to size for me. I have narrow feet, and if I wear thin socks with them, I can feel my feet slipping around in the shoe.
If I go down a half size, the length won't be long enough, so the fit can definitely be improved.
Midsole & ride
The React Infinity is the Ultraboost of Nike React shoes. It's the most React foam that they could cram into the midsole.
The cushioning feels more substantial and squishy underfoot. Running and even walking in them feel better than the Epic React. I always thought that the Epic React’s midsole was too firm and rubbery.
The React used in the React Infinity Run is a different kind from the React used in their Zoom Fly 3 and Vomero 14 shoes. It's softer and springier.
Nike calls their React foam their most “complete” midsole foam, but this is the third year they will be using React foam, and the novelty is wearing off.
React doesn't feel as responsive or magical as Nike’s own ZoomX foam. It's also heavy compared to super Foams like Hyperburst, Floatride, and ZoomX.
Nike takes a page out of the Skechers playbook for a change.
The React Infinity has a U shaped midsole to encourage midsole striking or “M Strike,” as Skechers calls it.
The ride of the React Infinity is super soft, so you could call it a max cushioned shoe suitable for long weekend runs of distances over 20 km’s. Nike doesn't say how much more React foam they added, but I estimate it to be about 30% more than the Epic React.
It's much more cushioned than the Epic React, and when compared to the Structure 22 is like chalk and cheese. It's no surprise that the React Infinity is not as snappy and responsive as the Epic React and Structure 22.
The React Infinity feels best on long slow runs at 6 minutes per kilometre or slower.
Ride transitions are velvety smooth due to the outsole rubber covering the entire outsole and the one-piece midsole.
The midsole flares out both in the rearfoot and forefoot like the “wings” of the New Balance Propel to add stability.
The plastic clip that wraps around the heel acts as guide rails to keep the foot centered.
There is a prominent arch that I felt the first time I wore the shoe because I have flat feet. This is something which I never felt in the Epic React or the Structure 22.
The more I ran in the shoe, the more I got used to it, and now I don't even notice it.
The shoe is very flexible for such a large stack height and flexes in the forefoot.
There is a high toe spring to help roll you forward, but the flexible forefoot mutes the rocker effect because the shoe bends instead of rolling you forward.
A thin insole is glued down to the strobe lining but only in the front of the insole to prevent it from sliding around. Like the Epic React, the insole is thin, so all the cushioning is contained in the midsole.
The React Infinity Run has a full coverage blown rubber outsole, which is what the Epic React always should have had.
I thought that Nike refrained from adding rubber to the outsole of the Epic React because it made the ride feel softer. However, the React Infinity Run feels soft even with a full-contact rubber outsole.
The slits in the forefoot outsole rubber make the shoe even more flexible. Dirt and sand get trapped in these slits, so be mindful of where you run.
The midsole scrapes on the medial side under the arch. I wish they had extended the rubber right to the edges.
The U shaped midsole works well at changing the strike zone from the outer heel edge to a more central area of the shoe.
The rubber used on the outsole is of average durability. I want Nike to use the hardened rubber that they use on the Pegasus outsole.
The React Infinity Run’s outsole grips well on both wet and dry surfaces.
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit vs. Nike Epic React 2
The Infinity Run has a better upper but suffers from heel slippage, which the Epic React 2 doesn't have.
The Epic React 2 has a really constricting, painfully tight upper. I prefer the softer, max cushioned ride of the Infinity Run, so I choose the Infinity Run.
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit vs. Nike Structure 22
The Structure 22 has the better upper because it doesn't have heel slippage, but the midfoot overlays peel off after a while. It has a very firm bordering on hard midsole with a Zoom Air unit in the forefoot, which you can hardly feel.
The Structure 22 is a rigid, stiff shoe. I prefer the bouncy, cushioned ride of the Infinity Run, and is the overall better shoe.
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit vs. Nike Odyssey React Flyknit 2
The Odyssey React has a more snug-fitting upper with better heel lock down.
It has a more versatile, responsive ride, but transitions are not as smooth as the Infinity Run because its outsole is not full contact. I still prefer the Odyssey React.
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit vs. Nike Zoom Fly 3
Both shoes have React midsoles, but their rides are worlds apart. The Zoom Fly 3 feels more like firmer Lunarlon foam, whereas the React Infinity Run is soft and squishy.
The Zoom Fly 3 has a Vaporweave upper that doesn't stretch and a firm arch that pokes into your foot. The React Infinity Run wins hands down.
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit vs. Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14
The Vomero 14 has the better upper but rides way too firm to be a max cushioned shoe. The Infinity Run has a midsole that the Vomero 14 should have had.
I choose the Infinity Run any day of the week.
- Super cushioned shoe
- High cushion to weight ratio
- Great looking shoe
- Sloppy forefoot fit
- Heel slip
- Lofted Flyknit is hard to clean
The Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit is a max cushioned shoe capable of many long, slow miles. It's a lot lighter than other max cushioned shoes such as the Ultraboost 20, Nimbus 22, and Glycerin 17.
So, where does the React Infinity Run fit into the current Nike running shoe lineup? It takes the place of the Vomero as an easy run max cushioned day shoe.
The upper, while being more comfortable than the Epic React's upper, suffers from heel slip, which ruins the shoe for me. In the next version, Nike also needs to fix the loose-fitting forefoot because it's a problem for narrow footed people.
Even if the upper problems are fixed, the React Infinity is incapable of replacing the Structure 22 or the Epic React.
Overpronators will who love the Structure’s firm; stable midsole will find the React Infinity too soft and slow. Lovers of the Epic React will find the React Infinity not responsive enough.
Even though I like the super soft midsole of the React Infinity, when it comes to max cushioned cruisers, I prefer the Saucony Triumph 17 and the ASICS Gel Cumulus 21 because they both have better uppers and more durable outsoles.
When it comes to React shoes, I prefer the Nike Odyssey React. It has a more comfortable upper and feels more nimble. It's overall more versatile than the Infinity Run.
The Nike React Inifinity was born of the impetus to create a shoe that reduces injury among runners yet retains some of the light and responsive feel of some of their more race-ready, speedier shoes. It appears that Nike has done just that.
Out of the box, the React Infinity is a thing to behold. It’s stylish design and color gives it a bold look.
On foot, it screams of comfort. While initially, the maximal cushion wasn’t as apparent as some other brands of maximally cushioned shoes, it did show its teeth during the course of my first run.
I'll expound on this later in the review.
The one-piece upper Flyknit hugs the foot really well, and I was very impressed with its seamless design. At first, I was concerned that the heel box might not fit me as snugly as I like, but my first run dispelled any notion of that right away.
The first few miles were free and easy with a sense of comfort that I don’t always get from a new pair of shoes. My training plan said 5 miles that day, but I really wanted to keep going.
The Nike React Inifinity fits pretty snuggly. A men’s 9.5, which is my usual size, fit but it was snug enough length-wise that I might have gone with a 10 if I was planning to run marathon-distance.
This is definitely something to consider when you’re trying them on in the store. Nike has always felt a little narrow in the toe box for my foot but the React Infinity has a roomier fit.
So while the length runs on the short end, the width of the toe box is wider than other Nike models that I’ve run in. I liked this aspect of the React Infinity.
As mentioned earlier, I worried about the heel box fitting a little loosely. At first, I just couldn’t get the tight, secure laced-up feeling I like and worried that I might have some heel slippage.
After a half mile, I snugged up the laces a little bit and for the remainder of the 5-mile run didn’t even think of it. The Flyknit upper booty cradles the ankle and top of the foot so securely that there was little or no excess movement in the heel area.
The one-piece Flynit upper is a thin layer of fabric and its airy quality felt cool and light. The thin sidewalls of the uppers, unencumbered by excess stuffing, were very welcomed.
While it seems like a small thing, the extra-wide laces and eyelets really helped to create comfortable synch on the top of the one-piece upper material. Little details like this make a huge difference.
The tight weave of the Flyknit upper is amazing. Supple, well ventilated and stretchy it creates a snug cocoon around your foot with its bootie style design.
The bootie eliminates any possible tongue float that might occur, since, in effect, there is no tongue. The multi-directional threading of the weave creates flexion in all directions and a durable surface that will likely last a long time, withstanding abrasion and tearing.
The Nike React proprietary foam compound was a welcome surprise. When you saddle up a maximally cushioned shoe, you come into it expecting the feel of a shoe like a Hoka Bondi or an Altra Olympus, but the Nike React Infinity has a uniquely distinct feel.
You do not get that “pillow-like,” “walking on clouds” feel that some other maximal shoes have. At first, it worried me that the promised cushion would not be there.
A few minutes into my first run I could feel the forgiveness of the cushion, yet the responsivity of the shoe was not compromised. The Nike React foam compound seems to deliver a healthy balance of cushion and energy return.
The React foam is soft enough to ease the blow on the joints of tired legs but stiff enough to feel responsive and agile on the road. It’s amazingly the best of both worlds, allowing the runner to “eat their cake and have it too” so to speak.
The wider midsole and forefoot are clearly what makes this a stability shoe and it excels in motion control.
If you’re an overpronating road runner, this is your next shoe to look closely at. As a stability shoe, the wide footprint makes for a very secure footfall and comfortable ride.
The sturdy plastic of the heel box keeps everything in place and protected. There’s a rigid plastic band that joins the heel box and the sole, making a sturdy connection and effectively eliminating any wobble that might occur there.
The Nike React Infinity is best suited for long training runs, easy recovery runs after hard efforts, or shorter races.
Runners returning to the sport after long breaks might also like the shoe for its ease on neglected muscles and joints (we’ve all been there) while they’re re-acclimating to the impact of running.
Most of us when injured still tend to train. However, cautiously, so having a higher cushion shoe in our arsenal is not a bad idea.
The shoe seems like an obvious choice for someone who is newer to long distances and looking for a forgiving ride, or someone coming off of an injury.
Additionally, runners who are brand new to the sport and are looking to ease into it will find added comfort in the maximal cushion’s ease on the joints that might be burdened by a few extra pounds of body weight.
Nike commissioned a study by the British Columbia Sports Medicine Research Foundation (BCSMRF), and they found that the Nike React Infinity resulted in 52% fewer running-related injuries.
The study was only based on 226 runners, so temper that statistic with that in mind. Either way, it’s a bold move for a company to say that their product is geared at injury prevention and then back it up with an independent third party study.
With that said, there is no stated claim that you will not get injured in this shoe. Clearly, the multi-variate causes of injury are too far-reaching to pin down shoe choice as the culprit, but being safe can’t hurt.
The rocker geometry of the Nike React Infinity creates a nice flow from midfoot to toe encouraging a very natural running form with a quick foot return. This style of geometry is showing up in more and more shoes on the market these days.
My longer runs in this shoe felt very natural and fluid. The combo of the cushion, comfortable design, and rocker flow create a superlative feel and delivers a shoe that can last for hours without a care.
- Comfortable and stylish
- Cushioned yet responsive
- Rocker geometry
- I’m still searching for one...
In summary, the Nike React Infinity is an awesome addition to the Nike family of shoes.
The shoe miraculously delivers maximal cushion while retaining a sense of responsive rigidity. The comfort achieved by Nike with the React Infinity is incredible.
If you’re looking for a cushioned shoe with comfort for days, this is definitely one to consider. As a long slow-distance trainer or a recovery-run shoe, the Nike React Infinity checks off all of my boxes.
At an MSRP of $160.00, the React Inifinity is on the pricier side, but in my opinion, it’s well worth the money.
Interested to try your own Nike React Infinity Run? Check out Nike's official page here!
If you’re after a stable shoe for slow running along flat, straight roads, then the Nike React Infinity Run may be the ideal shoe for you. If you’re expecting a little more from a £140 shoe, then you may want to have a look around, or at least “try before you buy.”
The Nike React Infinity Run promises to be the ideal daily shoe. Comfort and responsiveness from a slab of Nike’s legendary React foam, sculpted to provide a rocker geometry designed for fast transitions.
All this backed by a study which shows that it prevents injuries too! What’s not to like?
Unfortunately, the shoe just didn’t work for me, and I was reminded of Byrd Baggett’s advice: “If you promise the moon, be able to deliver it.”
Towards the end of last year, I injured my foot during a training run. An x-ray revealed a displaced fracture of 5th metatarsal shaft.
After many frustrating weeks in a cast and some gentle rehab, I was finally ready to begin running again. At this point, the Nike React Infinity Run caught my eye.
According to Nike, the React Infinity Run “reduced running injuries by 52%... during a 12-week running training programme”. Reading further, it seemed that Nike delivered this reduction in the prevalence of injury by developing a hybrid of neutral and stability shoes.
I was extremely conscious that I was at risk of favouring my injured foot as I recovered. This could lead to future problems, and so this neutral/stability hybrid was extremely interesting.
I hoped the React Infinity Run would help correct any sub-conscious changes to my running style that arose as an after-effect of my injury.
So, the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit was ordered and I looked forward running in a shoe which Nike had promised would deliver “an abundance of cushioning and elements of support”, together with an “ability to be incredibly responsive” with “a distinct ‘rocker’ shape to roll you through a fluid foot strike.”
There’s a reason why Nike appears to be the most prevalent leisure shoe. Nike’s can be seen on the feet of anyone from an elite athlete to schoolkids and even middle-aged dads mowing the lawn (I have to include myself in that bracket too!).
The reason is that even leaving performance aside, Nike know how to make a good looking, comfortable shoe.
The Nike React Infinity Run is no exception. It is offered in a great range of colours, though you’ll see me sporting a somewhat conservative black/white colourway.
This really is a great looking shoe. The eye is drawn to that half-submerged swoosh that takes the eye back to the flared heel, and then up to the heel collar. A stretch tongue rises to sit snugly against the base of the shin.
The low profile lace holes and flat laces complete a sleek-looking upper, which sits upon a huge chunk of React foam.
This foam is pleasantly contoured and flares at the forefoot and the heel to provide what is easily the largest footprint of any shoe I’ve worn, and that’s saying something for a runner who wears a UK13/US14 shoe.
I really like the look of this shoe, and I couldn’t wait to put it on my feet and go out for a run.
The Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit is listed at 291g/10.3oz. My own UK 13/US14 weighed in at 362g/12.8oz, which is exactly the same weight as my Brooks Ghost 12.
I’ve come to expect a premium cushioned shoe to be listed at around 300g. As mentioned, the Ghost was the same in my size, and the New Balance 1080 is within a few grams too.
So essentially, the React Infinity Run weighs just what I’d expect from a daily cushioned shoe and doesn’t feel heavy during the run.
Fit & comfort
For me, the Infinity Run is true to size. I slipped the shoe on, and the stretch tongue immediately held the shoe snugly around the midfoot even before lacing up.
That, combined with the heel collar to fit comfortably around my ankle. The forefoot provides plenty of space for toe movement, and my toe sits approximately ¼” from the end of the shoe.
The only other Nike running shoe I have is the Zoom Fly Flyknit, which I also have in a UK13/US14.
The React Infinity Run is also longer. A runner who finds the ZFF or similar shoe to be the ideal length may prefer to size down by ½ for the React Infinity Run.
For reference, I also wear a UK13/US14 in an ASICS, Under Armour, or Inov-8 shoe. In shoes from New Balance, Hoka, and Salomon, I’d generally need to go for a ½ size larger (UK 13 ½).
In all cases, my shoes tend to be a US 14/EU49, so I believe that the variation in UK sizes is likely to be down to conversion. The Nike React Infinity Run felt great right out of the box. I tied the laces lightly and headed out of the door.
The foot feels comfortable for an easy-paced run. There’s no need to tie laces tightly as the shoe will hold the foot.
I have read reports of heel-slippage from other runners. However, I haven’t found this to be the case, even when running up the steepest of hills.
My only concern on fit comes in tight turns and uneven ground where the shoe’s relaxed fit and wide sole can cause problems. I’ll address that within the performance section below.
The upper of the React Infinity Run is manufactured from Nike’s new “Flyknit Loft”. This incorporates three layers of breathable, lightweight fabric.
Perforations in the forefoot increase airflow. The fabric feels far more durable than the “engineered mesh” used in many current shoes.
The upper is a one-piece bootie construction incorporating an elasticated tongue section, which helps to hold in the foot and creates a sock-like feel. A tab at the back helps to pull on the shoe.
A denser fabric overlays the ankle surround, retaining elasticity to fit snugly to the ankle while allowing movement. A moulded heel cup cradles the rear of the foot and extends to form the swoosh at the midfoot.
Two rubber/plastic guide rails extend up from the midsole to encircle the midfoot and rearfoot. These contribute to the stability of the shoe and will be further discussed below.
A thin sockliner is all that separates the foot from the React foam of the midsole, with the upper glued directly to the foam without the need for a strobel board.
The sole of the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit delivers a heel stack height of 33mm with a forefoot height of 24mm and consequently, a drop of 9mm.
It consists of a single, full-length slab of React foam with a rubber outsole.
The midsole of the React Infinity Run contains much more React foam than other shoes. It’s 24% more than the Nike Epic React.
According to Nike, “with Nike React, we see significant advancements in all dimensions of cushioning: impact attenuation, energy return, lightweight, and durability. That’s why we call it our most complete foam ever.”
This slab of React foam delivers cushioning and responsiveness, with a rocker-shaped sole of the type that is used on the Next% (though nowhere near as pronounced in shape in the React Infinity Run).
The sole can also be seen to flare at the back of the shoe, further increasing the platform of foam beneath the foot. What is instantly noticeable is the wide platform on which the foot sits.
You can see from the photo that the forefoot sole is 17mm wider than the Zoom Fly and 10mm wider than the Ghost. Similar variations can be seen at the rear of the shoe.
By contrast, the midfoot area of the sole is narrower than the Ghost (by approx. 12mm) and is even slightly narrow than the Zoom Fly. The wide platform delivers a stable ride, improving stability.
There’s no doubt that the narrow midfoot section works with the guiderails to maintain a neutral foot position. These elements work together to prevent that old enemy: over-pronation.
Unfortunately, the narrow midfoot does mean that you may feel the guiderail and the insole pressing into the arch of the foot. I didn’t find this uncomfortable and soon forgot about it during a run.
The profile of the midsole provides a rocker shape designed to deliver a smooth, fast transition from landing to take-off.
At a time when many shoes are produced with minimal, strategically placed rubber pods on the outsole, the Nike React Infinity Run uses a fair amount of rubber.
I can only imagine that this is to increase durability and life expectancy in a shoe designed to be worn for mile after mile of long slow runs. This rubber also offers excellent grip and gives great traction when pushing off.
The rubber at the back of the foot follows deeper midsole grooves offering more cushioning during heel-landing, especially on harder surfaces.
The grooves tighten through the mid-foot enabling a smooth transition. The rubber of the forefoot is laid laterally across the entire wide platform for good traction at the toe-off.
The shoe has shown very little wear and still looks almost brand new after approx. 100 miles. I’d be surprised if this shoe didn’t deliver upwards of 500 miles for most runners.
An assessment of a shoe’s performance is a personal thing. To put this review into context, I’m 49, about 6’2”, approx. 90kg (200lbs), currently running 40-50 miles per week due to coronavirus restrictions and coming back from injury building back towards sub 40’ 10k form.
According to Nike, "the React foam within the Nike React Infinity Run reduces the use of superfluous muscle power, diminishing fatigue and enhancing performance, keeping you going for longer..."
"React will spare your joints as you strike down onto hard, unforgiving concrete and infuse every stride with the kind of zealous power that is often elusive in the running world,” Nike added. "
Wow! I couldn’t wait to wave goodbye to fatigue, feel that enhanced performance, and for my every stride to be infused with that elusive zealous power. And to cap it all, I was less likely to be injured too!
Sadly, for me, at least, it wasn’t the case.
The first few runs were fairly short and slow; the last thing I wanted to do was inhibit or even reverse the repair of my fractured foot.
I welcomed the wide forefoot, which gave me plenty of space. The foot was held comfortably but without undue pressure. The toes have plenty of space to move around.
I have read that some runners experienced heel slippage, but that is not something I have encountered. Even when wearing the shoes to one of Eryri Harriers’ Thursday Night Hill Sessions, I found the heel securely held on even the steepest of ascents.
The mesh upper is very breathable, which does prevent the foot from overheating on longer runs. Don’t expect the foot to stay dry in wet weather, though you’ll find the Nike React Infinity Run drains well.
The really wide sole of the shoe provides an unrivaled feeling of stability and ensures very little foot roll through each foot strike and take off.
So, I gradually built up my running for several weeks wearing the Nike React Infinity Run. The foot was well-cushioned, and I plodded along nicely as the mileage built up.
I did find the legs getting fatigued towards the end of my runs (still only 6-8 miles), but just put that down to the need to build up fitness again.
The relaxed fit of the upper, combined with the wide base of the shoe does mean that the foot has to work hard when cornering. The same was true of uneven surfaces; I couldn’t use this shoe on even the easiest of trails.
Unfortunately, I soon began to experience the early signs of shin splints. Again, I put that down to the build-up of miles. I began to mix in some off-road running with my Hoka Speedgoat 4 and also reached for my Brooks Ghost 12 for my next road run.
I quickly realised that it wasn’t the lack of fitness that was making me feel sluggish. In the Ghost, I immediately felt lighter on my feet and enjoyed an energy return I could only dream of from the React Infinity Run.
I felt fresh at the end of the run, despite running at a slightly faster speed. At the time, my Brooks Ghost 12 had already seen approx. 200 miles of wear.
Over the next couple of days, I did a blind (watch hidden) easy-paced run on the same route, at the same time of day. The first day I ran in the Ghost 12, the next in the React Infinity Run.
The results were interesting. Both runs showed an almost identical average heart rate, but the run in the Ghost was 10s/km (approx. 15s/mile) faster than the Nike React Infinity Run for the same effort.
I’ve continued to mix up the running shoes, and the shin splints were averted. I’ve now run at approx. 100 miles in the Nike React Infinity Run.
In addition to the easy runs that this shoe is designed for, I’ve also worn it for a couple of long interval session runs, and a tempo run. In both cases, I did find it difficult to get up to speed and to maintain speed in this shoe. Turning at speed also led to a lot of movement in the foot.
My overall conclusion is that this is a reasonable shoe for a slow-run day. It’s comfortable and gives a decent amount of cushioning. Don’t expect too much energy return, and whilst you can pick up the pace in this shoe, it takes a bit of work.
As mentioned, the wide platform is inherently stable and combines with the guide rails to provide further support for those who require it. I usually run in a neutral shoe, and these built in stability features were generally pretty unobtrusive, except when cornering.
I found the very wide forefoot a little awkward for quick changes of direction when I could also feel the guiderail pressing into the medial arch of the foot. Similarly, running on uneven surfaces, the shoe lost a little of its stability, and the foot moved around in the upper.
The Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit is a comfortable daily running shoe with plenty of cushioning. It is ideal for those slow runs when you can just slip out of the door and enjoy your surroundings without worrying about pace.
The shoe is stylish and well built, with a wide platform providing stability without over-engineering. The rubber outsole will protect the react foam midsole for mile after mile, and I’d predict that this will be an extremely durable shoe.
Unfortunately, the Nike React Infinity Run just didn’t work for me. I found the shoe had very little energy return, and in contrast, almost sapped the energy from my legs during a run.
The wide platform combined with a Flyknit upper made cornering a little awkward, and any uneven surface can be something of a challenge.
Shoe reviews are subjective, and I know that many runners have really enjoyed this shoe; please read a few and make your own decision. For me, though, there’s no way that the Nike React Infinity Run is going to replace the Brooks Ghost as my go-to daily running shoe.
With a name like “React Infinity Run,” it’s easy to think these new shoes are designed to teleport you to your desired location practically.
Perhaps what Nike was really hinting at is likely how quickly one is able to run, recover, and repeat seemingly in the blink of an eye without encountering any running-related injuries. With that being said, how do the Nike React Infinity Run stack up?
Nike certainly loves using catchy names for their shoes, which naturally builds curiosity in regards to their shoes.
Despite the fancy name, Nike appears to be shifting gears by placing emphasis on runner injury reduction and they’re certainly taking a step in the right direction! Enter the React Infinity Run shoes.
The React Infinity Run Flyknit design is packed with more foam and improved uppers. This provides a more secure and cushioned ride.
It’s no hoax. If you appreciate scientific data, the British Columbia Sports Medicine Research Foundation (BCSMRF) performed an external study on 226 runners outfitted in the Nike React Infinity Run, as well as the Nike Structure 22.
Runners in the Nike React Infinity had a 52% lower injury rate! Anecdotally, the runners subjectively reported they felt less pain in both their feet and knees running in the React Infinity.
|HEEL-TO-TOE DROP||9mm offset|
|SHOE TYPE||road running|
Midsole & outsole
Hello Nike React foam! The React foam is allegedly Nike’s most responsive foam to date.
The React foam cushioning was designed to increase the “bounce” in your run to enhance your overall running experience. Visually, one can see the sheer amount of underfoot foam.
As you can imagine, more underfoot foam equates to an increased shoe stack height. There are 25mm of foam cushioning in the forefoot and 34mm in the heel. Fear not!
The increase of extra foam doesn’t automatically turn the shoe into cinderblocks. In fact, the shoe is pretty light in weight.
A women’s size 8 is 230 grams (8.09 ounces), whereas a men’s size 10 is 293 grams (10.27 ounces). So, not too shabby in the weight department!
The React Infinity’s platform is responsive and encompasses a widened midsole to keep you comfortable on your running adventures. Additional updates include increased width in the forefoot and a more supportive and stable platform.
In addition, there is a greater amount of rubber on the outsole than previous iterations. This improves the traction of the shoe and enhances the overall durability.
Another improvement to the shoe is the rocker shape of the forefoot which encourages a midfoot strike gait pattern. This helps increase the efficacy of transitions with each step.
Upper & laces
Chances are you already are familiarized with Nike Flyknit technology, but there are some pretty awesome updates to the upper of the React Infinity.
The React Infinity is triple-knit and comprised of a more durable material than previous iterations. Upgrades to the upper didn’t add additional weight to this shoe.
In fact, the upper is incredibly lightweight, breathable, and flexible, too. The upper is nonrestrictive and has a more relaxed fit, yet still locks the foot down adequately.
The upper has a bootie design which makes slipping on the React Infinity a piece of cake. It is also outfitted with a pull tab to help get these kicks nearly effortlessly. The lacing system is very simple with external eyelets and flat laces.
I’d say the Nike React Infinity Run fits true to size.
Here is my size chart of various shoe brands to be used as a comparison in choosing the right size for yourself:
|The North Face||9.5|
Looking at the React Infinity, the design appears as though it’s intended to help you go faster. It is tempting to think that the React Infinity Run Flyknit as comparable to the Nike Next% or even the Vaporfly 4%, but the React Infinity is in its own category altogether.
Where the Next% or Vaporfly 4% are the shoes of choice for those reaching for that next PR, the React Infinity is not quite in the same league. In fact, I would say that the React Infinity is perfect for everyday base mileage.
Most seasoned runners have a shoe rotation with numerous types of shoes designed to accommodate the variations in their training. If you are reaching for a PR on every single run you are asking for an injury.
With that being said, it’s good to mix up your training with slower recovery runs, moderately fast runs, and even occasional all-out effort. If this is already your plan, you likely know that shoes offer different benefits while using them.
I’m not saying pushing the pace in the React Infinity isn’t impossible, but for me personally, I felt as though the shoe performed best at moderate effort.
Remember, the objective behind the React Infinity was injury prevention and injury reduction, so it’s best to use the shoes for their intended purpose to get the most benefit out of them.
All of my mileage in the React Infinity was primarily outside on the road, as well as on the treadmill. I’ve tested the React Infinity at different pace variations to see what these shoes were really made of too.
I found that I liked the React Infinity for base mileage the best. In all honesty, I was left less impressed with up-tempo running because I didn’t get the “pop” and energy return I desired for quick turnover.
Certainly, you can run fast in any shoe, but I felt like I was really working in the React Infinity to maintain a fast pace. On the flip side, for moderate-paced runs or slower-paced recovery runs, I felt as though the React Infinity was great!
The rocker-shaped bottom encourages a midfoot strike and the React foam keeps your feet comfortable, especially on runs up half marathon distance. The foam felt balanced to me, where it was neither too mushy, nor too firm.
The updated Flyknit upper is very breathable and appears to be quite durable and sturdy without compromising comfort. The React Infinity has a tongue-less design with a bootie fit.
I do like the bootie fit of the shoe because it is easy to slip on, but I had one qualm with the midfoot of the shoe in regards to adjustability. The knit upper hugs the foot well, but is not very adjustable.
You can sync up the laces for increased midfoot lockdown, but it does cause creasing of the upper which leads to irritation while running. I did have a little bit of heel slippage while walking in the shoes, but this was not problematic whilst running in the React Infinity.
The shoe sizing is correct, but the Flyknit material around the heel counter is rather thin causing some slipping.
I’d like to add that I’m a neutral runner, but the stability of this shoe was actually kind of nice. Upon inserting your foot into the shoe, the first thing you feel is the shoe hugging your arch.
The stack height of 9mm is a bit higher than I prefer, but everyone’s personal preference varies in regards to what stack height is most comfortable for them. The wider width of the shoe is designed to increase stability, which I personally believe added to the overall comfort of the shoe.
The shoe is not as wide as an Altra or Topo shoe model by any means but is certainly wider than other Nike running shoes I’ve ran in previously. Ultimately, the React Infinity is a comfortable shoe of choice but definitely is niche-specific for moderately paced efforts.
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Wider-fit design
- Lightweight and breathable
- Pricey ($160)
- Not adjustable in the midfoot
- Somewhat niche specific for base mileage/moderate effort
- Some heel slippage
Without question, the shoe is aesthetically pleasing. At a steep price tag of $160, the Nike React Infinity may deter everyday runners from enjoying this shoe, but the shoe can double as casual/gym use as well to get more bang for your buck.
With hundreds of shoes on the market, it can be daunting to choose the right shoes specifically for your individual needs. The efficiency of biomechanics and overall fit and feel is imperative to keeping you healthy for all of your run adventures.
Injury prevention/reduction keeps you in the game longer without spending time nursing nagging injuries. In essence, I’d venture to say that the Nike React Infinity is suitable for all fitness levels.
If you’re looking for a great daily trainer that will keep you comfortable with the potential of mitigating running-related injuries, the React Infinity is a stellar option.
Interested to try your own Nike React Infinity Run? Check out Nike's official page here!
Nike advertised this running shoe to "help reduce injury and keep you in the run." I have had plantar fasciitis issues, and I will say I never felt that pain once since running in this shoe, but I have felt new pains in many other areas, so I semi agree with that statement.
In terms of first impressions and looks, the shoe has a nice design. It's very simple, and it looks fast while still having a cushioned look to it. It does look a little clunky, but on foot, it wasn't clunky at all.
One thing I will say based on looks is the shoe didn't look breathable at all from the outside but looking into the shoe you can see the light shine through the shoe showing that it is breathable.
The ride of the shoe wasn't bad as long as it wasn't causing my foot to hurt, which unfortunately was not that often in this shoe. This sucks because this was a shoe I wanted to like, but with the problems that it gave me, I just couldn't get myself to like it.
There was never a run when I was excited to put on the shoe, and most of the time, I was dreading it. I had done almost every kind of run in the shoe, at almost every kind of pace I would train at. I had gotten this shoe on my down week, where I was just running 3 miles each day.
On my first run in these, which was 3 miles at 6:30 pace, the shoe performed well, and it wasn't hurting my foot at the time. I had thought that the shoe was comfortable. I enjoyed the toe-off, which was due to the rocker shape it has.
But as the week went on and as I started running more and more, that's when the problems in the arch of my left foot and the laces digging into my right foot started occurring.
Another one I had done and this was an 8.5 mile run at 6:54 pace. This is the run where I had started getting pain in my left arch. There were many times during the run where I had to stop because my foot was hurting that bad.
On the flip side, one of the best runs I did in these was a workout I had done where I did 2 x 2 miles at 5:45 pace (11:30 each interval), ending with 1 mile hard which was 5:30.
During the workout, the shoe felt great, and I didn't experience any pain. This shoe isn't made for that kind of work out (it's not the lightest option), but it still performed really well.
Even if it wasn't the fastest or most killer workout for me (I'm a 16-flat 5k guy, but I was just getting back into training), the shoe still performed well at sub-6 paces, and it even surprised me a little bit.
Although it sounds like I'm only talking about the bad of the shoe, the shoe did have some good in these runs though.
A lot of these runs were during or after rain showers, and the shoe performed well on the slick roads, having real good traction. These days were mainly in the 60° to 80° range, and the shoe never felt hot, and it had very well breathability.
The upper of the shoe is really where I think the major problems came into the shoe. It is called Flyknit Loft, which is the most durable form of flyknit to date. I believe the upper could've been good, but was executed poorly.
The two major parts of the upper that gave me the most problems was the tongue and the heel counter. Those two parts for me went hand-in-hand.
So, the heel was really loose, as almost every review I saw claimed it was. I even got half size down, and I thought it was still really loose. The only way to fix that was to tie the laces tight.
While trying to tie the laces tight though, along with the tongue being very thin, it causes really bad irritation/pressure on the top of my foot. Most of the time, I even had to stop because it made running very hard to do at the moment.
In terms of the upper for the toe area, it was very breathable and was good. For the midfoot, it locked down snug, and that was very nice.
It was that heel counter and the tongue area where I just really experience problems and pain with it. I think the upper area is really where the shoe fails to perform well.
The midsole shoe is a full length React foam. This foam is meant to be more durable, lightweight, and more responsive than typical foams you would see in other shoes.
The shoe also has an ITPU heel clip that provides more stability and acts as a guide rail, which is one of the stability features of the shoe.
One problem I really experience with the midsole in the shoe was that the left arch of my foot, during some of my runs, felt extreme pain. I don't know if that if it was the heel clip that was digging into my arch, but on some runs, the pain was awful in that area.
Other than that, though, the midsole was responsive, provided good protection, and well-cushioned.
The outsole of the shoe is made of a rubber compound, which is meant to prevent wear and tear after hundreds of miles. The geometry of the outsole is intended to provide proper flexing of the foot and allowing the foot to bend naturally through the gait cycle.
The price of the shoe is $160, which I really think is overpriced for the shoe. I think with the poorly engineered upper, it doesn't give the shoe a reasonable price—maybe somewhere more of the $140–$150 at the most price point.
In conclusion, this was a shoe that I wanted to work out for me, but just didn't. Sure they provide good cushioning, breathability, and stride efficiency.
But, they just caused too much unnecessary pain that overshadowed the good things. Granted, everyone's different, and maybe it was just the way that my foot is that made these problems occur.
I do think Nike had good intentions going into this shoe, but I think it was executed poorly in important areas.
The New Nike React Infinity Run comes loaded with the ultimate promise, to “help reduce injury and keep you on the run.” This is a very bold statement to claim, considering how important it is for a runner to stay on the road.
This statement comes with a note:
“In testing, the Nike React Infinity Run reduced injuries by 52% compared to the Nike Air Zoom Structure 22.
*The Nike React Infinity Run reduced running injuries by 52% compared to the Nike Air Zoom Structure 22 in a study of 226 men and women during a 12-week run training program (injury = missing 3 or more consecutive runs due to running related pain).
Our study found that 30.3% of Nike Air Zoom Structure 22 runners experienced an injury, but only 14.5% of Nike React Infinity Run runners experienced an injury.”
By attending Nike Run Club events, Nike local reps explained that in this study, the runners had to stick to a plan that introduced two elements, strength training, and recovery regimens.
This means the shoes complement a bigger picture of how a runner should approach injury prevention that includes the shoes as a tool in the toolbox.
This does not mean the shoe itself does not have elements that bode well to this claim. But is it a holistic approach to strength training, graduality, and recovery that will get you those numbers, but let's better dig into the shoes.
The Nike React Infinity run (Nike keeps making these names longer), has a 9mm offset, a forefoot stack of 24mm, and a heel stack of 33mm. The weight comes in at 10.27oz (Men's size 10) or 291 grams.
This is a daily training shoe that sports the famous Nike React foam. This is considered to be lightweight in the cushioned daily trainer segment, but far above other Nike offerings.
At first, you’d be tempted to compare them to the very popular 2018 Nike Epic React Flynit. The looks might be deceiving since the Infinity Run differs greatly.
Epic Reacts were famous for being lightweight, coming at 8.74 oz. (Men’s size 10). The extra weight seems to be coming from the expanded geometry of the Infinity Run, as well as denser React foam, to claim 25% more foam than the Epic react.
Nike React Infinity Run definitely takes cues from the Epic React in the forefoot area of the upper and the lacing but differs in the heel counter area.
The design elements try to conceal a rigid heel counter and the newly introduced guide rails that run from the arch area all the way to the medial side.
Nike React Infinity Run next to its inspiration, the Nike Epic React Flynit.
The introduction of a new version of Flynit hides an interesting element.
The shoe actually has two different types of Flynit, with a more conventional Flynit going from the middle of the shoe to and around the upper section of the heel counter. Except for decorative elements, it seems to serve no performance purpose.
When looking from above, as while wearing them, you’ll notice the odd shape of the toe box, that has been made significantly wider.
The midsole shares similar elements as those found in the Epic React, but that’s where the similarities end.
This is a sensitive subject. After running extensively on the Epic React, I came to love the softness of the midsole.
This, combined with the comfort of the Flynit and the lightness of the shoe, made for a very snappy and relaxed feel. Those days are gone.
The Nike React Infinity Run seems to have a far denser formulation of the midsole. Even comparing them to the Nike Zoom Fly 3 and its carbon fiber plate making for a more rigid ride seems softer than the Infinity Run at first.
This revelation during the first miles was very disappointing, but I did come to realize that the foam seems to soften as you go. At the time of this review, I have been noticing improved softness at around 60 miles, so not all is lost.
The denser 25% more React foam makes for a firmer ride.
And the Flynit... I miss the old Flynit. The snug, tight-but-giving feeling of the Flynit is not as noticeable as in the now touted “Flynit Loft.”
This new iteration is more plastic feeling than a cotton-like feeling. It is a lot more breathable, better water-wicking and all, but I miss the old one.
The new “Flynit Loft” is more plastic feeling and feels less snug than the original Flynit.
Although you’ll never see the word stability in the description, they are described as a “stable feel.”
The most noticeable element of this stability in disguise is the arch support, it is alarmingly noticeable during the first runs, but it goes away as well with time.
Maybe the more interesting technology of this pair is the way Nike achieved to make the shoe stable without the use of prominent guide rails or elements in the upper. Instead, Nike tweaked the geometry of the midsole to make it wider at an angle, to provide more resistance to a pronating foot.
Before I tried these, I asked many reviewers whether they felt the stabilization of the shoe or stability elements. All concluded that they did not, it’s very subtle, but sort of activates when needed.
The wider base and toe box are a welcome evolution. They contribute to the stability element of the shoe without adding extra weight or substantial guide rails.
In terms of performance, The Nike React Infinity run does perform as a daily trainer should. It is not crazy-fast, but it’s no slouch either.
I have tried speed workouts in them, and the great thing they have going for this is the amount of rubber in the outsole and how this translates to grip never seen in the Epic React.
The outsole is almost entirely covered in rubber, making this a contender for a long wear life.
On my longer runs, I did not notice any bottoming out of the foam. This is probably the reason why the midsole is denser than the Epic React or the Zoom Fly 3s.
The first was not meant for long distances, and the second is meant to be in the air more at faster speeds. The Nike React Infinity Run is built to please mid-packers and up.
I believe this to be the first shoe designed by Nike to actually be used as the main pair on your way to marathon training. This is the one that will take your Pegasus and Ghosts out of the rotation.
The other performance element that has evolved is what they call the “rocker.” It means the shape of the midsole promotes a forefoot strike.
However, it also takes the foot through the gait cycle more seamlessly, in the absence of any carbon-fiber plate or any other rigidity element. The midsole gives to the flexing of the shoe, providing comfort and freedom of movement of the foot.
One of the changes made to improve the fit was to widen the whole footprint of the shoe. This makes for a more comfortable fit for wider feet and better accommodation to foot inflammation at longer distances.
This also makes the shoes a little less snug at your usual size. On the Epic React, some people needed to go a full size up to compensate.
- The geometry of the shoe allows for better stability at a lower weight
- The bigger toe box is greatly welcome
- The flexibility and softness of the midsole provides a comfortable ride at longer runs
- The grip of the outsole is superb
- The looks are odd but nice
- The foam does take its time to feel soft
- The new Flynit loft is more plastic and less snug than the previous version
- The widened toe box makes for a less snug feel, so it is better to try before you buy
When I first heard about the Nike React Infinity Run, I thought it was too good to be true - pure work of marketing brilliance that lacked substance.
Nike claims that one of their studies “showed that runners in the Nike React Infinity had a 52 percent lower injury rate” when compared to another Nike motion control shoe.
For us runners out there who suffer injury after injury (so, basically everyone at one point or another), this sounds like a dream. We want this shoe to work.
We want it to be real. We want the claims to be valid!
After a couple of weeks in the shoe, I’m confident it can make you run longer and further with fewer injuries. You might not be able to run for infinity and beyond, but this shoe may be a significant step on the path to Nike’s goal of injury-free running for everyone.
No, it’s not perfect (yet), but it’s a great shoe with a fantastic idea and design.
While most brands are popping out shoes designed to help you crush your next PR, the Nike React Infinity was created to make sure you get to the starting line, so you have the opportunity to go after that PR.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty. First, let’s start with my first impressions.
I was stoked to lace up the Nike React Infinity Run. I’ve been a Nike fanboy since my wee soccer years, so I’m always excited to put on Nike’s latest trail and road running masterpieces.
The React Infinity couldn’t have come at a better time. The shoe came the day before my wife went into labor 3.5 weeks early with our 2nd child.
The birth and everything went smoothly, but my body was put through all the stressors of having a newborn baby. Nights with little to no sleep, aches and pains from standing and rocking, tightness throughout my body from anxiety, stress, and a lack of my normal routine of running, stretching, and foam rolling.
Basically, I was the perfect recipe for an injury disaster.
Yet, I laced these bad boys up, and I ran, and I ran, and I ran—injury-free. The foam in the midsole gave me tons of energy, and I found myself smoothly running despite the aches and fatigue.
Now, weeks later, I’m still running without any pains or niggles, and I do contribute a large portion of my current positive health to the Nike React Infinity Run.
However, it’s not all sunshine and daffodils. There were a few things I noticed right off the bat that I wasn’t a fan of.
First, I didn’t love how the laces only had 4 eyelets. They didn’t go far enough up the shoe to really lock in my heel and ankle as well as I’d hoped.
I like when shoes include the ankle lock with the laces, and I was disappointed not to see it on the Nike React Infinity. Nonetheless, I laced the shoes up just a bit tighter than I prefer to find the right fit, and I was off and running without noticing it too much.
Comfort & ride
The shoe is mega comfortable, and the ride is pristine. Well, if you’re going fast, that is.
Yes, it’s a strange oxymoron, but this shoe’s energy return and ride shine when you’re pushing the pace (think tempo run). When I slowed down the pace and entered more of the easy/recovery pace, I found I wasn’t getting nearly the energy return I’d expected.
It was actually taking less of my energy to bump up my speed a bit. It’s a weird experience given that this shoe is supposed to be an injury prevention shoe, and injury prevention is usually associated with lots of slow, easy running.
I tried this shoe out on the asphalt, concrete, treadmills, and dirt trails, and it shined on all the above. Super bouncy feel, and you hardly notice the 10.3 oz of shoe beneath your feet.
The upper Flyknit is terrific. It’s super comfy and breathable while hugging the foot snugly.
This Flyknit material is high quality and extremely durable; you won’t have to worry about any wear and tear for a good long while. The upper is also one seamless construction, removing unnecessary seams and layers that can irritate the foot underneath.
The stretchy collar secures the foot nicely, even in the absence of the additional lace eyelets.
I wish the collar were just a bit tighter (especially since it’s so stretchy) to lock the foot in even more. The heel does come with a very convenient pull tab to help squeeze your foot into the narrow opening.
The shoe claims to have a wider platform, but I think the sole could be a bit wider. I felt like my feet were trying to explode out the sides on impact sometimes.
But this is the shoe trying to keep your foot from pronating by guiding it down a smooth straight line, reducing the side-to-side wobbles that after millions of repetitions can lead to aggravated injuries.
This “natural” support of the arch is great for correcting pronation, but it can cause a bit of irritation, too, at least during the break-in period.
The midsole comes with more cushion than it’s preceding models, helping you go further and longer with a smooth, comfortable ride.
Like with most cushy midsoles, you’ll need to give these shoes some time in between runs to decompress, so maybe this is an every other day shoe (which fits in nicely as a recovery run when training).
A rubber compound outsole protects the midsole and provides adequate traction on dry surfaces. It wasn’t bad on wet surfaces, but it didn’t offer anything special for these circumstances, either.
I like the balance the outsole strikes with staying light and providing enough protection for the bottom of the foot. I felt like I had excellent traction for my running gait, and the shoe still felt responsive.
Everything about this shoe screams quality. From the seamless upper to the puffed-up midsole to even the simple pull tab, this shoe delivers quality in all the right places.
As you can see from the pictures of the outsole and the upper, after 50+ miles, there are little signs of breakdown. I imagine this shoe will stay strong for 200+ miles. No problem!
I can’t complain about the looks. Although it’s Hoka-esque with its beefed-up midsole, the Nike React Infinity delivers on the right colors and proportions to still be an attractive piece of footwear.
Whether you’re wearing it on the trails to the gym or to the office, you’ll feel confident and on top of the world in this Nike shoe.
At $160, the Nike React Infinity Run is on the more expensive running shoe spectrum. But there’s a caveat. If the shoe really can help you cut injuries in half, what would you be willing to pay for it?
I, for one, would pay much more than a $160 for a shoe that guaranteed fewer injuries. The Nike React Infinity can’t quite make the “guarantee” yet, but it’s on the right track.
TL;DR? I got you covered
All in all, I love the Nike React Infinity Run. It’s not perfect, but it delivers quality ride, comfort, and recovery.
While it might not be able to promise healthy running for the rest of your life, I do believe the shoe’s design will improve your running form and reduce running-related injuries.
Eliminate them? Not quite yet. Reduce them? Yes, I think so.
- Helps (so far) reduce injuries
- Excellent responsiveness and energy return (when running at a faster pace)
- Grade A quality all around
- Wonderful Flyknit upper
- Fantastic midsole cushioning for Hoka-like comfort with Nike-like responsiveness
- A bit on the pricey side
- The corrective nature of the shoe can be a bit painful at times, especially during the break-in period
- It’s difficult to get a good, snug heel lock with the limited lace eyelets
Interested to try your own Nike React Infinity Run? Check out Nike's official page here!
The Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit is not your normal Nike daily trainer. Prior to having this shoe, I have been running daily in the Nike Turbo 2 until a couple of my friends recommended the Infinity Run Flyknit.
I wanted to find something that has a similar ride with more cushion. This seemed like the perfect shoe for me so I paid more than I like to pay for a shoe ($160 at the time) to give it a shot.
A shoe that advertises itself as ‘designed to reduce injury’ needs to create a lot of wow factor at $160 and this shoe has ended up falling out of my rotation. It's a shoe that has not only failed in preventing injury but it has seemed to flare up my plantar fasciitis due to its narrow toe box despite it having a somewhat larger-than-normal forefoot width.
100+ miles later, I'm still not quite sure I get the hype at such price point. This shoe makes a huge claim that it can reduce injury, and I'm just not sure how the high stack and aggressive midfoot fit will do that for most runners.
There are a number of reviews that mention that this shoe gets more comfortable as they break-in, but my experience has been quite the opposite. The foam after 100 miles feels significantly less bouncy than when they first came out of the box.
Ultimately, it's a shoe that creates some pain due to its somewhat narrow and aggressive ride. That’s not to say this will happen to everyone but it’s just not a shoe that works for me.
One notable thing about the Infinity Run is that it features a new, third generation of Flyknit. The new version has a similar feel to previous versions while remaining flexible and, in my opinion, very comfortable. It features three distinct layers to create support while maintaining a neutral ride.
The fit is somewhat tighter than previous iterations of Flyknit and the ankle collar is a bit higher than the Pegasus Turbo 2's. The ankle collar is flexible and it didn't irritate my Achilles.
A shoe that claims to help reduce injury might just be too good to be true, and I wonder how Nike got away with its tagline for the Infinity Run.
For me, this shoe is too narrow through the toe box for mileage weeks. In fact, the shoe was narrow enough for me, I have completely removed it from my rotation. It certainly didn’t meet the big claim that it could help me run injury-free.
This is a shoe I wanted to love. I was hooked on the idea of a Nike shoe with more foam cushion that I could use for longer runs. I also love the look and fit of this shoe, so I was disappointed to not enjoy the ride in this shoe.
As someone who ran 400+ miles in Nike Turbo 1 and 2s, this sounded like the perfect shoe for me. However, the mixture of cushion, narrow fit, and aggressive ride is just not a combination that works for me. At 30 mm, the stack height is a bit excessive, creating a ride that doesn't have the same ground feel and balance of Turbos.
The Nike Infinity Run weighs 10.3 ounces which isn't light, but the snug fit allows the shoe to avoid feeling clunky or heavy.
The lacing system has eyelets that run all the way up the shoe and create a snug fit that wraps around the foot.
The shoe has a significant amount of Nike React foam, which initially felt bouncy. However, as expected, the ride's softness completely wore off over time.
This makes the Infinity Run a better option for runners who like to move faster in daily training runs and are looking for a snug, somewhat aggressive ride with more cushion than typical racers or flats.
Overall, I simply don't think this is the latest and greatest Nike technology. I personally like the Nike Turbo 2 for better long runs and would look at other options for a highly cushioned daily trainer.
If you are a Nike-only runner, and you are looking for something highly cushioned with a high stack and semi-aggressive fit, you may find exactly what you're looking for in the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit. It's just not quite what I expected and it just didn't work for me.
I have retired these from my rotation before they were entirely worn out which is rare for me and I don’t think I’ll be going back to them anytime soon. At $160 retail, it’s not a direction I will be going in again in the future
Good to know
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit vs. Epic React Flyknit 2
At first glance, the React Infinity seems like a direct update to the Epic React Flyknit 2. It is partially true but the Infinity brings some changes that make it closer to maximalist stability shoes:
- Added support: The heel clip and wider outriggers make a stable neutral shoe
- More cushion: Extra React foam makes for a softer, maxed cushioning experience
- Heavier weight: 9.7 oz (275g) over 8.4 oz (238g) - as a result of the first two points
- More pronounced rocker: elevated forefoot and heel encourage even smoother transitions
- Added rubber outsole: the presence of a full-length rubber outsole helps the shoe last longer and feel grippier in slippery conditions
The outsole unit of the Nike React Infinity Run is made of a rubber compound. This material is tasked with protecting the base of the midsole unit from the abrasive nature of the surfaces. Also, it provides surface traction, a trait that is fundamental to the safety and efficacy of the running session.
Shallow flex grooves grace this shoe’s forefoot section. The ribbed nature of these elements is meant to make the platform as flexible as possible, thus allowing the foot to bend naturally as it moves through the gait cycle. The forefoot lift is the part of the gait that benefits the most from these grooves because it involves the bending of the toe joints, tendons, and muscles.
Nike React is a full-length cushioning unit that has been devised by Nike to deliver optimum cushioning in a lightweight and flexible package. It is also meant to offer long-lasting performance due to its durable construction. The thickness of this piece has been increased to make it more voluminous than previous models that have used the React.
An injected thermoplastic polyurethane (ITPU) heel clip offers additional support at the rear. This technology is fundamentally a sidewall that steadies the foot and keeps it in place, whether during the run or just idly standing. It doesn’t add any bulk to the shoe, though it naturally supports the arch through its medial midfoot curve.
A sockliner is placed right above the primary cushioning system. This add-on is designed to provide a soft surface on which the foot can rest. It has a fabric surface to simulate a luxurious platform. It can be removed or replaced with a new one if the runner wishes to do so.
The upper unit of the Nike React Infinity Run is made of the Flyknit Loft, a version of the Flyknit technology that is touted to be more durable than ever. The resilient fibers of this material don’t make the material stiff. Instead, it retains the flexibility and the form-welcoming nature of the tried and true technology that runners have come to associate with the best Nike footwear.
A seamless construction governs the overall design of the React Infinity Run’s upper unit. The absence of unnecessary layers and stitching offers a feeling of being wrapped by a sock.
A one-piece opening delivers a hug that is similar to a sock. The stretchy wraparound collar hugs the topmost parts of the foot, securing the heel, the ankles, and the roof of the foot.
A pull tab is added to the rear of this shoe. The fabric loop is meant to help the runner in widening the opening, thus helping with the in-and-out process of wearing or removing the shoe.
A wraparound overlay system covers the sides and the heel. This synthetic print, which has the Nike Swoosh logo on both ends, helps the rest of the upper when it comes to securing the foot and keeping it in place. Accidental shoe removals and in-shoe quivering are prevented because of this accouterment.
A traditional lacing system graces the bridge of the silhouette. Flat shoelaces go through discreet eyelets, permitting the runner to customize the tightness or looseness of the wrap and accommodate personal fit preferences.
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