Nike Epic React Flyknit 2

The second version of the Nike Epic React Flyknit is not much different than the original sneaker which was introduced only a year ago. The heel counter is a little smaller yet still delivers great grip of your foot within the shoe and the iconic swoosh symbols are slightly larger and now stitched on the sides. This sneaker is designed to deliver a smooth ride while supporting your foot with high-energy React foam. The Flyknit upper is extremely breathable and provides an adaptable, comfortable, and supportive fit. The first generation of this sneaker received high marks by users and the second one is sure to follow suit.

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Pros & Cons
  • Extremely lightweight construction
  • Very breathable upper design
  • React foam delivers excellent energy return
  • TPU heel clip provides a stabilizing heel platform
  • Flexible design
  • Heel counter grips and secures heel in place
  • Cons
    • Heftier price tag
    • Colorways may not appeal to everyone
    • Some users said the outsole wears too quickly
    • Key Features
      The outsole of this version of the Flyknit is unchanged from the original successful sneaker. The middle of the outsole is made up of exposed React foam with raised wavy tread. The grooves in between these wavy lines of tread help the sneaker to be flexible and comfortable. The deepness of the grooves varies throughout the outsole with the deepest portions being in the middle of the sneaker, most likely to make the shoe more durable. The forefoot and heel portions of the outsole are reinforced with rubber in order to increase durability against abrasion where the sneaker needs it most. These rubber portions also increase the traction of the shoe and will deliver a better response on toe-off. The rubber areas also feature some small perforations that go through to the React foam which help to cut down on the weight of the shoe overall. As with its predecessor, these rubber portions feature a matching gradient color from the front of the forefoot and rear of the heel that fades to clear toward the center of the shoe.
      The Nike Epic React Flyknit original was such an amazingly-successful running shoe that Nike chose not to mess with its engineering too much. The midsole of this sneaker is made up of Nike’s most responsive foam material yet: React foam. After hundreds of hours of research and testing, React foam was unleashed and has proven itself to be lightweight, responsive, and durable. React foam delivers up to 13% more energy return than Nike’s successful Lunarlon foam by compressing upon impact and releasing quickly to result in a springy propulsive movement. Just like the original version of this shoe, the Flyknit 2’s midsole also features Fluid Geometry with the midsole material wrapping up around the heel of the shoe to result in even more cushioning and added stability. The heel clip of the Epic React Flyknit 2 is also unchanged from the previous version. This TPU heel clip is a firm support structure placed between the React foam and the upper to create support and stabilization as you step into your stride.
      The upper of the Flyknit 2 is the most updated part of the sneaker model but not by much. Just like its predecessor, the Flyknit 2 features an upper made up of Nike’s Flyknit material which is lightweight, breathable, and flexible. The single-piece construction of the upper delivers a comfortable and secure fit around the whole of your foot. Flyknit material is able to flex to form-fit to your foot shape and will deliver a comfortable yet adaptable fit. The design of the upper is a bootie-like design with a soft heel collar for easy on and off. The rear of the shoe features a heel loop to aid in this as well. One modification to the upper is the heel counter. Nike chose to make the heel counter a little smaller so rather than wrapping the heel, it holds on to either side of the heel, leaving the back softer and more comfortable. Another update to the upper is the swoosh logos on either side of the sneaker. Rather than just a synthetic glued-on overlay, Nike emblazoned the sides of the sneaker with a stitched-on version of their infamous logo.
      Because there are not a whole lot of changes to this version of the Epic React Flyknit, the shoe’s weight is equal to its predecessor’s. This extremely lightweight neutral running sneaker weighs in at a mere 8.4 ounces for men and 6.9 ounces for women.
      The Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 is a very ventilated shoe. The single-piece FlyKnit construction is lightweight and is equipped with larger knit in the forefoot which aids in excellent breathability. The entire shoe is very soft and breathable and can even be worn without socks because it is so soft and comfortable inside. Reviewers agree that this sneaker is definitely able to tackle warm running environments without your feet becoming overly sweaty.
      The lightweight construction of the Flyknit 2 is sure to keep your foot comfortable. The single-piece construction design and flexible FlyKnit material will wrap your foot with supportive comfort in a minimal design. The sock-like bootie construction slips onto your foot with ease and adapts to your foot shape. Reviewers have said that the shoe is surprisingly comfortable, despite the fact that your foot is right up against the FlyKnit on the interior. Nike’s React foam is designed not only for optimal responsive performance but also for cushioned comfort. The foam is made to be soft but not too soft and supportive but not too firm. The redesigned heel cup has been pared down some and several consumers said that they appreciate this change because it makes the shoe even more comfortable. This sneaker has been lauded as being one that can be worn all day without leaving your feet tired and sore, even if you wear them on a long run.
      Nike does a lot of things right and style is one of them. The Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 is a great-looking sneaker with its low profile design and aesthetically-pleasing silhouette. The sleek look of this shoe enables it to look great while racking up the miles on the road or just when you are out and about casually. Nike did not make a whole lot of changes to this model compared to its predecessor in terms of style other than the smaller heel counter and stitched-on swoosh symbols. One other aesthetic that they added was a little extra spray of complementary color on the rear of the midsole. The colorways offered in this version of the Flyknit are a little different too with their bold 90s-inspired designs.
      Durability is something that is still up for debate in the Flyknit 2. Because the outsole of this sneaker features a large amount of exposed React foam in the middle of the shoe, users are concerned with how long the outsole will hold up. In fact, a number of reviewers stated that this exposed foam area showed wear after only wearing them a couple of times. However, this could be just an aesthetic thing because there is a lot of foam in the sneaker and it would take an awfully long time to wear through all of it. The front and rear sections of the outsole are reinforced with rubber and this ups the sneakers’ overall durability level because these two areas tend to take the brunt of the force when running. The TPU heel clip will help aid in the durability of the sneaker too because it sits between the upper and the React foam at the rear of the sneaker and will help the foam maintain its structural integrity for a longer period of time.
      The outsole of this sneaker features a great deal of exposed React foam rather than rubber so this part of the sneaker will not be as protective against underfoot debris or uneven terrain as a sneaker boasting a full-length rubber outsole. The front and rear portions of the outsole are covered in an extra layer of protection however and will help protect the shoe against abrasion in these high-wear areas. The TPU heel clip located at the heel of the sneaker will also keep your foot protected by giving you a firm foundation to step on. The heel counter is smaller in this version of the Flyknit but it still grips your heel well and protects your foot from slipping out of the shoe.
      Epic React Foam is definitely a technologically-advanced foam midsole material and was engineered to deliver a great amount of response. After a ton of research, Nike scientists came up with React Foam with the aim of making sure it absorbed the energy applied to it and then release it back out in the form of responsiveness. The end result is a very springy and cushioned ride. Although the outsole does not feature a full-length rubber sole and does not have an aggressive lug system, this does not detract from the sneakers response level. The fact that there is not a lot of rubber involved actually helps the shoe to be very responsive.
      The React Foam of the midsole will allow the sneaker to absorb the shock upon impact and then release it right back out again thereby supporting and your foot and delivering a smooth heel to toe transition. Another supportive feature of this sneaker is the TPU heel clip found between the upper and React foam at the heel of the shoe. This firm heel clip is designed to support your heel and deliver a more solid platform upon heel strike. The heel clip will also help to support your heel by holding your foot in place as you move over uneven terrain and turn corners. The FlyKnit material that makes up the shoes upper will also help to support your foot because it adapts to your foot shape and prevents any negative space within the foot chamber resulting in a snug sock-like supportive fit.
      The Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 is ideally suited for the neutral road-runner. Due to the fact that the outsole is made up of a lot of exposed React midsole foam, the shoe would not be the safest to wear on technical terrains. Roads, sidewalks, tracks, grass, and indoor terrains are the best underfoot conditions for these particular sneakers. However, you may be able to get away with wearing them on the packed ground or a well-groomed trail with some success.
      One thing that might deter some people from purchasing this updated highly-acclaimed sneaker is the price tag. Currently, the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 can be purchased for $150 which is a hefty price for some individuals. With that said, this is a high-quality sneaker and is designed to deliver an optimal performance so if you are serious about your running, the price just may be worth it.
      Without the presence of an aggressive lug system, the FlyKnit 2 is not engineered to provide a high level of traction. However, a large number of reviewers were pleasantly surprised with how well the shoes grip the ground and really enjoy the rubber reinforcements on the front and rear of the outsole for this reason. One user said the Flyknit 2 even performed well in wet conditions and only slipped a little when she came upon muddy ground.
      While the lack of rubber lugs may slightly detract from durability and high levels of traction, it definitely helps the sneaker to be extremely flexible. The middle of the outsole is all exposed React foam which is super light and flexible. The upper is also made of lightweight and flexible FlyKnit. These characteristics combine to form a very lightweight and flexible neutral road-running sneaker.
      The most impressive stabilizing property of this sneaker is the unique TPU heel clip found at the rear of the sneaker. This heel clip is designed to provide a firm and stabilizing platform for your heel and works with the React foam midsole to deliver a smooth heel to toe ride. The heel counter is also a great stabilizing tool because it grips your heel securely in place as you run.
      With a heel stack height of 28mm and a toe stack of 18mm, the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 features a 10mm drop. The large amount of React foam may seem like overkill but many users say they love how great the shoe feels on foot and delivers a smooth and easy ride.
      Key Features
      - Minimal heavy materials used in the engineering of the sneaker result in a very lightweight shoe
      - Epic React foam in the midsole is extremely lightweight and is designed to deliver more energy return than another other previous Nike midsole material
      - Heel counter redesigned to be lighter weight and less constricting on the heel while also provides support and stability
      - TPU heel counter delivers a stable platform for your heel
      Bottom Line
      In 2018, Nike experienced an overwhelmingly positive response to its original Epic React Flyknit sneaker and was on the top of the list by a number of sneaker gurus. For this reason, Nike chose to only slightly alter the sneaker’s design in the second generation of the sneaker. The slight modifications include a smaller and less contracting heel counter and a stitched-on Nike Swoosh symbol as opposed to a synthetic overlay. Other than that, the successful sneaker remained utterly the same. The colorways of the Epic React Flyknit 2 may not appeal to everyone this time around with their bold and 90s-themed colors but there may be more colors coming out in the future. In the end, this is a lightweight, springy, and high-energy sneaker that will deliver excellent performance for sure.
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      By Abbie Copeland
      Last updated:
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      Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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