Unboxed: Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit Shoes

Our first look at the new heavily cushioned training shoe from Nike.

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Nike has been making big waves in the running shoe industry lately with their racing shoes—specifically the Vaporfly NEXT% and the Vaporfly 4% models. Both models use a ton of cushioning and a carbon plate in the outsole to theoretically make the wearer 4% more efficient. They’ve helped elite runners reach the podium and break records, and the shoes in the line have quickly become popular from Boston to Kona. With their latest release, Nike is looking for the React Infinity Run Flyknits to keep people on the roads, rather than necessarily making them faster. 

Using a Hoka-amount of foam (and no carbon plate), Nike claims a 52% reduction of running injuries when compared to their non super foamy Zoom Structure 22—a shoe that is meant to provide support. Check out our video below for the full unboxing to get an early look at the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit, or scroll down for some quick takeaways.

First Impressions

$160, Roadrunnersports.com

10.5 ounces (men’s size 10.5), 8.1 ounces (women’s size 8)

What I Like About The Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit

  1. This is pretty light for a “structured shoe” at 10.5 ounces for a size 10.
  2. While the 4% line costs almost as much as a short-course race entry fee, $160 is pretty in line with other foamy brands. 
  3. The Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit’s upper looks awesome. Nike always does a great job with their upper, and the knit on this is no exception. 

What Makes Me Worried With The Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit

  1. This shoe has lots of offset: 9mm of heel drop is pretty big—especially in a world where lots of brands are at 0mm. For cushy comparison, Hoka One One’s Arahi 4—a similarly stable shoe—has 5mm of offset. 
  2. I do have some concerns about the roughness of the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit outsole’s top seam while running sockless, but we’ll see.
  3. Obviously Nike’s claims about injury prevention need to be verified. Basically cutting an injury rate in half versus a fairly stable shoe is pretty serious. It could also simply be a matter of their Zoom Structure 22 not being so great.

Other Thoughts

  1. The rocker on this shoe is also very Hoka-like. Something tells me Nike’s people didn’t like Hoka literally stepping on their toes with the Carbon X. Shots fired?
  2. We’re going to review this against Hoka’s Arahi 4 in a deathcage face-off to see if the foamy pioneers have anything to worry about.

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