Nike Odyssey React Flyknit 2 Review Facts
The Nike Odyssey React 2 is the light stability cousin to the Epic React and the second in the Odyssey React series. The biggest change from the previous version comes in the upper which features a Flyknit weave instead of an engineered mesh. This change makes the shoe more breathable and lightweight. There were also issues with the narrow width of the toe box in the first version which has been addressed by giving a little more lateral space. However, the structure of the shoe remains narrow. The heel counter has been extended to provide some support to overpronators and Nike’s iconic swoosh logo has been made slightly larger on the side. The first generation of this Odyssey React sneaker was appreciated for the comfortable ride and affordable price and the second one is sure to follow suit.
The outsole uses rubber in portions at the toe, sides of the midfoot and on the hee. This is more rubber than you can see in the Epic React Flyknit
and the Odyssey React shoe. This extra rubber reinforcement gives this shoe superior traction and durability. The rubber is perforated with holes on the lateral side to help the foot toe off easily to the stable medial side rubber. The rubber is 2mm thick and uses ‘Fluid Geometry’ which places a strategic amount of rubber where support is needed the most.
Just like the Epic React and the Odyssey React, this shoe also features a full Nike React midsole. This is Nike’s most bouncy foam material yet which took years of development to perfect. Typically the React is light, bouncy and responsive and has that spark that makes running a bit more engaging. The Odyssey React Flyknit 2 does have all of those qualities but it is just more on the responsive, firmer side. There is a thin TPU heel counter at the rear of the shoe which is extended for stability
The Flyknit helps the shoe breathe better and is stretchable enough to accommodate your foot. The Knit is pretty strong and holds the structure and shape of the shoe pretty well. There is a pull tab on the back which a lot of reviewers appreciate. Another portion where we can see the Flyknit is the tongue which gives the top of the shoe a smoother and snugger fit. There is a heel clip in the upper which locks in the heel and adds stability to the shoe.
Weighing 226g for the men’s pair and 195g for the women’s, this shoe is quite lightweight. In fact, this shoe is a little lighter than the previous version. Since this pair is made for daily training, it is important for the shoe not to feel too heavy as this could affect speed and responsiveness. As we’ve mentioned, the outsole features more rubber than other React series which adds to the weight however the light Flyknit upper balances this weight. The Strobel board inside the shoe is perforated to cut weight from this shoe.
The pores in the Flyknit material are quite large which brings a lot of ventilation to the forefoot but also makes your socks beneath visible. However, you can choose to avoid socks as the upper material wraps around the feet in a sock-like feel. However, the breathability in the non-Flyknit portion of the upper felt lacking as the rear portion of the shoe is closed off with a non-breathable material. The added stability of the upper is the tradeoff here.
This shoe is quite narrow with not a lot of volume in the toe box which is similar to the fit of the Pegasus Turbo
. There is a lot of React midsole cushioning in the heel which provides a comfortable experience while running in slow paces but this shoe shines in fast paces. The sock liner in the Odyssey 2 is similar to one in the Epic React and is thin yet soft. This adds to the cushioning in the shoe. You can find a soft lip around the heel that angles backward to cup and lock the heel in place.
The shoe has a sleek and streamlined look and does not depart from the Odyssey React. There are many colorways with the black and white ones being the most popular. The Flyknit on the upper is stretchable but still keeps the front of the shoe narrow. Almost all runners enjoyed the sleep look of the shoe and report that this shoe can be used casually on occasions besides running.
Nike has the term ‘Flyknit’ printed on the middle of the shoe which interestingly doesn’t have the Flyknit material which many found odd. This could be because printing on Flyknit will damage the material but Nike could have just avoided printed the term. The heel clip on the rear of the foot is shiny and does not include reflective patches that were found in the previous version of the shoe. It also features the famed Nike swoosh on the side of the shoe.
The Odyssey series was created because of complaints of poor durability in the Epic React series. And this shoe solves the issue by adding quite a bit of rubber in the outsole which also protects the React Midsole from being too exposed. The TPU plastic in the heel helps the foam maintain its structure because of its strategic location between the upper and the midsole foam at the rear of the sneaker. A few reviewers wore this shoe for their daily training runs for a couple of weeks and did not see major signs of wear and tear but expressed concerns about the Flyknit upper.
The React series does a decent job of providing protection to the foot but isn’t on the same level as a trail running shoe
. The outsole has thick rubber on certain areas and exposed React on others which cannot protect the foot very well against stones, rocks or underfoot debris. The Flyknit has larges holes that may allow dust and dirt to get inside the shoe. Your heel will be protected well due to the TPU film and the plush collar.
The React midsole material was developed in house by Nike to provide lighter, softer, responsive foam in one package. Runners were very happy with the responsiveness of this shoe and felt good energy response instead of a dead feeling under your foot. With no carrier foam or glue, runners stand directly on the React foam to which allows them to feel contact with the ground.
This Odyssey 2 provides a more supportive fit compared to the popular Epic React. The tongue is also made of a Flyknit weave that has a stretch to it and helps maintain a sock-like feel. It has a seamless fit which we think is the best upgrade to this shoe from last year’s model. There is ample padding on the heel which prevents friction and pain around the Achilles. The shoe features a traditional lacing system that many runners appreciated as this is a simple method of customizing the fit. In terms of fit, these shoes are snug so if you prefer a bit of a wiggle room, we would recommend that you go up half a size.
The Odyssey series was designed to be a lightweight road running shoe. The outsole is designed for that purpose and has a geometric design pattern to provide a good grip on the road and provide smoother transitions between jogs. This shoe is not the best option for technical terrain as there is a lot of exposed React midsole foam which the shoe would not be the safest to wear on technical terrains. Runners have worn this shoe at work and at gyms because of its amazing cushioning capabilities and found nothing to complain about.
This shoe almost seems like a budget version of the Epic React 2.
Priced several dollars lower, this shoe has almost all the features of the Epic React 2 albeit in thinner or lesser quantities. For those looking for daily training or road running shoes, the Odyssey 2 is lightweight and has good cushioning and is a good option. If you require heavy duty cushioning, you can consider other Nike models.
The traction is great on roads, dirt paths, and light trails. This shoe can work for most runs- short or long distances, slow paces and act as a daily trainer. Though some runners have used this shoe indoors and at the gym, the outsole might break down sooner than expected. Some reviewers tried this shoe on a wet surface and felt quite confident of her stride. This shoe hasn’t been tested on muddy ground so we cannot give an accurate assessment of its traction.
This shoe is not as flexible as other Flyknit shoes. This can be explained due to the extra rubber reinforcement on the outsole. Some features add flexibility to the shoe such as the midsole and the upper. The React midsole is very flexible and allows runners to pick up the pace easily. The Flyknit upper and the tongue provides lateral flexibility. These features make this lightweight and just flexible enough to make this a good daily trainer.
While still a neutral shoe, the Odyssey 2 extends the TPU heel counter to the medial side which can help overpronators. The overall stability of the upper is improved by the plastic panel wrap that goes from the midfoot to the rear of the shoe. This shoe has a high arch which is uncommon in stability shoes and is best suited to a medium-high arch.
It has a 28mm heel and an 18mm forefoot height thus making this a 10mm drop shoe. Being a neutral shoe, this drop helps absorb the shock of impact, decreases the pressure on the knees
. Some even say that a high drop forces the foot to follow the body’s natural gait and helps runners maintain a good form over long runs. There is also adequate cushioning to not let the drop detract from comfort. However, fans of zero drop shoes may not find this shoe suited for their needs.
Nike React Midsole to provide soft cushioning and response
Flyknit mesh in the upper and tongue that brings breathability
Molded Foam collar to protect the ankle and prevent tension in the Achilles
Fluid Geometric designed rubber outsole which adds durability to the shoe and provides a smooth transition
It’s only the forefoot and the tongue that has the Flyknit while the rear of the shoe is padded with traditional material. Many runners felt that the toe box was tapered a bit too much and almost felt pointy. This shoe will fit the bill for those who want a bouncy React midsole but in a more controlled package.
If you’re a neutral runner and are looking for a springy and cushioned shoe, then this shoe is a great option considering its price. This version of the shoe is slightly lighter than the previous but you can still enjoy good cushioning that adds a bounce on shorter runs and comfortable ride on longer runs
. The shoe can also be worn casually on walks, at work or at the gym and can be styled easily.
The Odyssey React 2 is a better overall shoe than last year’s version. There are a few areas of improvement such as the shoe’s breathability in the rear and the narrow toe box.