Why Nike’s New React Technology Is Good for the Brand

Nike has already delivered several celebrated innovations in 2017, such as its stripped-down Air VaporMax air bag with an integrated outsole. But the athletic giant isn’t stopping with its technology advancements for the year.

The brand unveiled its React cushioning today at a media event in New York City, which will debut on two basketball styles from Nike and a Jordan Brand.

For Nike, its featured on the React HyperDunk 2017, which was worn by basketball star Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors during the 2017 NBA Finals. For Jordan Brand, it appears on the Jordan Super.Fly 2017, which will be worn on the court by Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers.

David Creech, VP of design at Jordan Brand, expressed his excitement for a Jordan Brand style using a Nike proprietary development to Footwear News.

“It’s reminiscent of when Nike and Jordan both used Air technology back in the day,” he said. “The fact that we can use the newest Nike innovation is huge for us.”

Ernest Kim, the lead designer for React technology at Nike, offered to FN a simple explanation to what the cushioning compound does: “Nike React offers this unique blend of great cushioning, great energy return, lightweight and durability that makes it a perfect match for basketball.”

Kim also proclaimed that React is Nike’s “most complete foam ever.”

Nike React HyperDunk 2017 Jordan Super.Fly 2017
A look at the soles of the Nike React HyperDunk 2017 and the Jordan Super.Fly 2017.
CREDIT: George Chinsee

Both the Nike React HyperDunk 2017 and the Jordan Super.Fly 2017 arrive on Aug. 3.

But not everyone is a basketball player or interested in the sports shoes. Kim wouldn’t state the plans Nike has for React concerning other footwear categories, but said using it elsewhere isn’t off the table.

“As you know, we work across many different sports. I can’t speak to any specific details at this point, but definitely whenever you get to something this good you want to find ways to proliferate it,” Kim said.

And what you also won’t see from Nike is replacing its other celebrated cushioning franchises, such as Zoom Air, with React.

“Whenever you get something that’s good you want to get it out to as many athletes as possible. But at the same time we also know that different athletes like different things,” Kim explained. “We have this amazing portfolio of technologies, both in the upper and in the midsole, so we can offer great experiences. We’re going to continue to deliver a range of experiences, but stay tuned in terms of Nike React, because we’re looking for different ways to apply it  to deliver great benefits to athletes.”

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