The Nike Epic React Flyknit running shoe is out today and features revolutionary proprietary foam aiming to give competitors an extra edge.
How you might ask? Well the foam is there to offer runners more cushion from the impact of each stride, give them the energy return needed to stay fresh late on, feel light underfoot and withstand the wear and tear of impacts and the elements.
Being one of the big boys, Nike called in its army of innovators, chemists, engineers and designers to deliver the Epic React Flyknit – touted as the first running shoe of its kind.
The shoe’s upper is sculpted with a one-piece bootie, precision-engineered for support, flexibility and breathability in the spots where runners require it most. Nike says it’s minimal and close to the foot, but still supportive.
Nike React foam is claimed to be significantly softer than EVA-based alternatives, smoothing bumps in the road more effectively, with a taller midsole to avoid ‘bottoming-out’ and wider to give runners a supportive base.
To accommodate this designers extended the midsole beyond the perimeter of its upper around the heel. It’s clever, Q-branch laboratory-type stuff with computational design culminating in a shoe with no carrier, cement or glue.
This method allowed for engineering the surface of the midsole to deliver cushioning and support in the specific spots needed during a run, while eliminating material, wherever it’s not necessary, to keep weight down.
The visually complex pattern varies in depth, where deeper parts indicate areas of more cushioning and shallower portions produce more firmness.
Because the upper sits on one piece of foam, the outsole is essentially the same as the midsole, but with a segment of rubber under the forefoot and heel for added traction and to help enhance the shoe’s durability.
All in all, you should be bouncing along like Mr. Soft from the Trebor Softmints advert.
The shoes are out now priced £129.95 for men and women and £89.95 for kids.
Buy now: From Nike