Verdict: It screams comfort and fun, but the Nike React Miler 2 is everything but a speed-oriented trainer. True to its name, this shoe took us the distance! It's soft and bouncy, but it also comes with some unnecessary features, which we think just added to its weight! Regardless, it's a shoe that can swallow miles and it's a shoe that's built to last.
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With its near-perfect upper and soft yet lively cushioning, the React Miler 2 is an excellent option for runners in search of a daily trainer that will carry them through everything but faster-paced workouts. However, despite their outstanding performance, Nike could cut out some seemingly useless elements such as the medial post, plastic around the bottom of the heel, and excessive collar cushion.
Who should buy it
The Nike React Miller 2 is recommended for runners who are looking for an excellent neutral daily trainer that offers a lively underfoot feel with an ultra-comfortable upper.
Who should NOT buy it
Do not buy the Nike React Miler 2 if you need:
a running shoe for quick-paced runs (the Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next% is great for tempo runs; the Pegasus 38 is also a good option as it is versatile enough for both slow and fast-paced runs)
The React Miler 2 offers a luxurious and comfortable fit
The React Miler 2 provides an enjoyable and supportive fit with its thoughtfully designed upper. Perfectly true to size, the React Miler 2 caused no discomfort. The toebox does not agitate my toes, as it is not too narrow nor too shallow. The plush heel cup, collar, and tongue wrap around my ankle region nicely and give the shoe a luxurious feel.
I feel confident and locked in
The most innovative feature of the upper is the lacing bands which snuggly lock your midfoot in, without being a nuisance. I was surprised to feel the bands change how the upper wrapped around my foot in a custom, confidence-inspiring way. I thought they may make the shoe feel too tight/restrictive, but instead, they have prevented my foot from shifting around on tight corners or steep declines.
Soft ride with a slight bounce
I love a shoe, like the Nike React Miler 2, that uses a soft heel and can still transition smoothly from mid to forefoot. When you first land, the shoe feels soft yet does not deflate your stride; rather, it has a slight bounce which helps you move efficiently to the next stride.
I enjoyed the spongy and reactive feel on my daily runs; however, some runners may find the ride a bit too soft. The ratio of soft to responsive lends itself closer to soft, which limits the shoe’s versatility. If it had just a touch more spring to it, then I think nearly all runners would be happy to use the React Miler 2 as a run-almost-anything workhouse, but since cushioning stands as the shoe’s top priority, I plan to limit it to daily training and weekend long runs.
The upper of the React Miller 2 oozes comfort
The upper is very comfortable, so I do not want to be too critical with too much padding around the heel collar. The overlays are well-placed and unobtrusive, which allows the shoe to flex naturally without pinches. As a plus, Nike incorporates a pull loop sewn to the heel, reflective elements, and materials that feel high quality in order to ensure easy lacing, safety, and good value.
The React Miler 2 has a couple of useless elements
Nike could cut some of the useless elements that give unnecessary weight and zero benefits, such as:
Medial post - the translucent piece of rubber was more gimmick than useful support mechanism.
Plastic around the bottom of the heel - they say it offers support but it feels like an extra, useless weight.
Heel padding is more decorative than functional
If there’s anything I’d encourage Nike to change, it would be to decrease the cushioning slightly around the collar, as some of it seems more decorative than functional. Further, the plastic plate around the heel also seems unnecessary and could shave some weight.
The Nike React Miler 2 held up as expected after 30 miles
I do not anticipate these being the most durable shoes I’ve tried in the past few years but they should last the expected 300-400 road miles. They have substantial enough rubber on the outsole, that even the foam that is exposed, shouldn’t get torn up too quickly.
Likewise, the React midsole has maintained its responsiveness and initial feel after 30 miles. There have been no tears, peeling rubber, or issues to note.
I have been a runner since middle school and am now in graduate school. I typically cover anywhere from 20-40 miles per week on roads, trails, and occasionally the treadmill. I have competed in several races both local and collegiately, but I've never raced a distance longer than 10k. However, I'm currently training for the 2018 Philadelphia Marathon.