Nike Says Its New Sneaker Feels Like Running on a Pillow — but Looks Much Better

Nike Epic React Flyknit
The Nike Epic React Flyknit features a one-piece Flyknit construction.
Nike

The latest evolution of Nike Running has arrived.

The brand today unveiled its new Epic React Flyknit model, the first running shoe to make use of Nike’s proprietary React foam cushioning.

With an emphasis on pillowlike shock absorption and energy return without sacrificing the durability needed for the rigors of the road, React is touted by the brand as the softest and smoothest — and perhaps more importantly, most resilient — foam cushioning it’s developed yet.

“Think about your pillow — when you’re laying your head down to go to sleep, you don’t want it to bounce back up after it hits the pillow,” said Ernest Kim, director of advanced footwear at Nike Running, when explaining the capabilities of React. “Instead, you want that pillow to absorb all of the force of you laying your head down so that you can get a good night’s sleep.”

Nike Epic React Flyknit The Nike Epic React Flyknit in action. Nike

First utilized in Nike’s React Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit basketball model (which was included in Virgil Abloh’s Off-White “The Ten” collection), React foam is also used on the Jordan Super.Fly 2017. But the Epic React Flyknit reveal marks the first time the technology has been put to use on a performance runner.

To fine-tune the midsole for running, Nike used what it calls computational design to form a one-piece foam midsole, eliminating the need for traditional glues or carriers. According to the brand, this helps both to keep things lightweight and allows for more targeted cushioning than before.

Nike allowed the React foam to stand out on this model, opting to keep things simple on the upper with a one-piece Flyknit bootie construction. Inspired by the speedy Flyknit Racer, the Epic Race Flyknit’s upper is designed to be minimal and hug the foot while maintaining support.

The Epic React Flyknit will be released globally Feb. 22 from nike.com and select Nike Running retailers.

Nike Epic React Flyknit The React sole detail of the Nike Epic React Flyknit. Nike
Nike Epic React Flyknit The Nike Epic React Flyknit in blue. Nike
Nike Epic React Flyknit The Nike Epic React Flyknit in white. Nike
Nike Epic React Flyknit Another look at the Nike Epic React Flyknit in white. Nike
Nike Epic React Flyknit Sketches of the Nike Epic React Flyknit design process. Nike

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