Nike React Miler review
If you’re a runner looking for a well-built shoe for long distances or recovery runs, get the React Miler.
The Miler has a comfortable upper with a superb foot lockdown. It has reflective pieces for nighttime running and lots of stability features that make the ride of the Miler secure and structured.
Where does React Miler stand in the Nike lineup?
The Miler is a brand new shoe that Nike is marketing as a shoe designed to log the miles. Nike says that it's made for dependability on long runs and has a durable-feeling design.
The Miler is equipped with a full React midsole and a padded upper. To this day, I haven't been the biggest React fan.
To me, React feels too dense and rubbery without a bounce or spring to it. Perhaps the Miler will be the React shoe to change my mind about what Nike says is their most complete foam?
Can the Miler fill the void left by the Vomero and can the Miler match the Pegasus as a durable workhorse?
First impressions of the Nike React Miler
When I first took the Milers out of the box, the word which jumped out at me was “sturdy”. The Milers felt like a really solid, well-built shoe.
I was surprised at how heavy the shoes felt in hand. It felt even heavier than the Zoom Fly 3, which also has a React foam midsole.
When I put them on for the first time, the thick upper conformed to my feet. The general trend of Nike uppers has been stripped down, racing-inspired uppers but the Miler felt different: it was padded, thick, and smooth.
React midsoles are normally quite flexible (except for the Zoom Fly 3 which has a carbon plate inside it) but the Miler was difficult to flex and had quite a stiff forefoot.
The React midsole of the Miler also felt quite firm and dense to the touch compared to the React midsole of the Infinity Run.
Looks-wise, I wasn't such a big fan of the Miler. It looked like a tennis shoe with its overlays and broad midsole base. I can imagine a grandpa wearing it with sweatpants.
Sturdy, structured upper
The upper of the Miler is made from a thick, double-layer jacquard mesh. It has synthetic overlays on the toe box for extra protection and durability.
There are no Flywire cables but there are straps on the midfoot for structure and support in the midfoot area.
The heel is generously padded with foam and it has a thick, plastic external clip on the heel for heel structure and stability. I was happy with the lockdown of the heel. I experienced no heel slippage but there also are extra eyelets to do heel locking if you need a more secure lockdown.
The tongue of the Miler is flat and racing-inspired but it is padded with a small amount of foam for extra comfort. I'm not sure why Nike used this type of tongue instead of a long, thick tongue because the Miler is not meant to be used for racing.
The Miler's tongue is an improvement over the Pegasus and the Pegasus Turbo but it wouldn't be my first choice of a tongue. The tongue is attached to an inner sleeve so you won't get any tongue slide.
There are reflective strips on the toe overlays and the midfoot straps for night time visibility.
With all the padding and the overlays, the Miler is not the most breathable shoe and is more suited to cooler climates than warmer ones.
The Miler fits true to size and I ordered my usual 8.5. The toe box is wide and roomy and it shouldn't be a problem for most people. The Miler is not available in additional widths at present.
Overall, the Miler's upper is comfortable, provides a great foot lockdown, and feels very durable. The durability does come at a cost as the Miler runs warm.
Cushioned for going slow and recovering
The React midsole of the Miler rides soft. It's not as soft and not as spongy as the Infinity Run but it's softer than the React foam of the Vomero 14, Pegasus 37, and Zoom Fly 3.
This implementation of React foam feels dense and cushioned with less bounce and spring that you find in the Infinity Run.
I went for a variety of runs in the Miler and it felt best on recovery or long runs when I wanted lots of protection from the road in a comfortable package and I wasn't too worried about my speed.
The Miler isn't really suited to short or tempo runs due to its heavy weight and lack of responsiveness.
The wide midsole base of the Miler makes it very stable and foot strikes in them feel very planted. The edges of the midsole are slightly raised and there is a distinct “cupping of the foot” which contributes to the stable feel of the Miler.
The outsole is also full contact which results in very little lean bias. When you add all these stability features together, the Miler feels like the most stable Nike shoe that has been released this year.
The midsole is very stiff and inflexible so the Miler doesn't feel very snappy. There is also no rocker technology to help the shoe feel propulsive.
On the medial side of the midsole is a large, rubber-feeling rectangle that sits directly under the arch. This device acts as a firmer medial post to prevent the arch of the shoe from compressing too much when it is loaded.
This rubber rectangle is unobtrusive and you don't notice it while wearing the shoe.
The forefoot stack height is 21mm with the heel being 31mm. This 10mm offset makes the shoe perfect for rearfoot strikers as there is plenty of foam in the back to soften heel strikes. Conversely, forefoot strikers might find the Miler a bit too heel-heavy.
The insole of the Miler is flimsy and thin. It doesn't add much cushioning to the ride so most of the cushioning is contained in the Miler's midsole. The wording “TRUST FOR MILES” printed on the insole is another reminder that the Miler was designed to be durable and dependable.
Outsole promises 1000 km
There are two types of rubbers used on the outsole of the Miler: harder, carbon rubber on the lateral sides and softer, blown rubber on the forefoot, and a small strip on the heel. There is a wide decoupling groove in the centre of the heel which runs into the forefoot.
The decoupling groove and dimple under the heel make the shoe more cushioned by allowing a space for the foam to compress downwards towards the floor.
A large portion of the heel and midfoot are not covered by rubber and start to show wear first. The outsole of the Miler has great traction on all types of surfaces, wet and dry.
The rubber pieces on the outsole are thick and durable and the outsole should last over 1000 km with ease. The exposed midsole pieces will scuff after a while but they won’t change the ride character.
React has proven to be an extremely durable foam. It doesn’t lose much cushioning over the life of the shoe and it also doesn’t harden much in cold temperatures or get mushy in warm ones.
Overall, the Miler is one of the most durable-feeling shoes I’ve owned. There are no signs of weakness on the upper, the midsole won’t lose cushioning over time and the outsole is very hard-wearing. I will be disappointed if I don’t get over 1000 km of runs in the Miler.