Foaming at the mouth for energy return
React is a totally new foam Nike developed in-house. They’re not just putting a new spin on the EVA that’s been used for decades, nor using a TPU material, like Boost, that’s proven popular with manufacturers over the last few years.
The decision was based on runners’ feedback. People wanted a foam that could do it all: be lightweight and soft, yet still provide rebound and hold up to high mileage. That’s difficult to achieve because, typically, soft, light foams just aren’t durable. And high-energy-return foams tend to be heavy.
React is replacing Lunarlon, the extremely soft foam Nike’s been using in many of its running shoes, like the LunarEpic. However Lunarlon was so delicate it had to be encased in a firmer “carrier” foam to prevent excessive wear. React is durable enough to be exposed—even in areas where it makes contact with the road.
What’s more, React is 11 percent softer and has 13 percent more bounce than Lunarlon foam. As for durability, Nike gave testers broken-in React shoes that were worn for 500 miles. When asked how many miles they thought the shoes had traversed, the average response was just 15.
Now while energy return is still a feature companies love to boast about (and runners are all too eager to get their hands on), know that no technology will rocket-fuel your runs. The tech can feel like you’ve got some added pep in your stride. And the Epic React Flyknit certainly provides that springiness once you get moving.
For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!Back to top