Judging by the responses among media and consumers so far, Nike is about to land another hit with the upcoming Nike Epic React Flyknit. Headed for a February 22 release, the progressive running shoe implements the latest performance technology in a futuristic-looking design.
Then again, the Nike Epic React Flyknit is more than just a play on the continuing slimmed-down “tech silhouette” trend. It’s built to walk the walk, keeping Nike’s mission statement in mind: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
In terms of innovation, Nike’s React foam sole is computer-engineered from one single piece of material and has already proven a big performance enhancer in the Hyperdunk 2017 and Jordan Super.Fly 2017 basketball models.
Serious runners could hardly wait to take the first running iteration of React for a spin. They got their chance during a trial session at the recent Nike Epic React Showcase in London, England, attended by Nike athletes and Senior Director of Nike Running Footwear, Bret Schoolmeester.
Here’s what Nike-sponsored athletes from a variety of disciplines – because running is essential to all sports – said about their training regimen and experience with the shoe in a panel discussion moderated by multi-Gold medallist Michael Johnson.
Professional boxer from Berlin, Four-time German Champion
Zeina, please tell us why running is important in your training as a boxer.
Boxing is a full body workout and it’s exhausting for all the muscles, so stamina, endurance, speed and strength are the ingredients for successful boxing training. And these attributes I train while running. You have to become better every day, and that’s why I enjoy it so much.
Now you’ve got the Reacts to run in – how did you feel?
I was totally impressed because the shoe looks so simple but feels unbelievable on your feet. It’s super light and comfy and really adds style to my feet. It feels like I’ll be able to run a really long distance, for example the Berlin half marathon in April.
Football Player for Tottenham Spurs
How important is running in your training?
It’s very important. I think football is more about not only playing the game on the pitch, but being physically ready. If you’re fit you’re going to make the right decisions in your head and if you’re quicker and faster than your opponents then you’re a little step in front of the other guy.
European CrossFitter from Stockholm
Tell us about how you use running in your training?
Running part is a big part of my training, especially in the off season when I do a lot of long distance running at a low heart rate to build stamina. During a CrossFit competition we do about 15 events in four days. There’s lots of running involved during the events and I need stamina so that I can recover quickly. But I love and enjoy running.
British sprinter and Olympic bronze medalist
You’ve had some injuries, and had some set backs. How do you stay so positive with all those challenges?
For me staying positive is quite easy because naturally I’m quite a positive person. I felt really grateful that the most important thing in my life, and the thing that I wake up thinking is how can I run faster today. My job is to run in a straight line – with a little bend now and again – but really it’s just to run in a straight line. I honestly feel so grateful and blessed and I’m not going to squander that opportunity.
Loaded with technology
Other Nike athletes sharing their positive experiences with the Nike Epic React Flyknit included Estelle Raffai, 200m Sprinter from France, Caster Semenya, Middle distance runner from South Africa and 2016 Olympic Gold medalist in the 800 meters, and UK sprinting hopeful Reece Prescod.
Athlete feedback played an important role in making the shoe. Designers and athletes invested 2,000 hours and tested more than 400 combinations of tooling and chemistry and logged 27,000 kilometers of test runs.
The Nike Epic React Flyknit implements the latest Nike designs in several ways: First, there’s the wedge-shaped Nike React sole, a new foam tooling engineered from just one piece. Created via computer-engineering, the sole follows the design concept “Opposites React” by combining softer and firmer areas for a new level of cushioning.
Second, React foam joins forces with strategically placed rubber segments on the toes and heel for added traction on the oversized outsole.
And third, the ultra-form fitting upper is crafted from breathable Flyknit plus fused overlays for a lightweight and supportive running experience.
The Nike Epic React Flyknit launches globally on February 22, 2018. It will be available via Nike.com and at select retailers.