Nike Odyssey React

As of late, Nike has been releasing more and more models designed around their trademarked React midsole technology. Engineered mostly for use on the basketball court, this material provides soft cushioning while giving the wearer high levels of shock absorption and energy transfer. This results in a greater spring with each stride and jump. One of the better selling models containing this feature is the Odyssey React. When paired with a rubber compound outsole and jacquard fabric upper, runners have a shoe that's just as comfortable as it is responsive. Runners feel that this model works just as well in casual settings as it does during races and workouts.

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Pros & Cons

-Responsive cushioning

-Lightweight feel

-Relatively affordable

-Durable outsole

-Comfortable wear


-Narrower than average

-Lacks durability

Key Features
The Odyssey React is completely made up of a rubber compound. Extra amounts of this rubber are added to high-impact areas to provide greater protection against walking surfaces. For a stronger grip, and enhanced flexibility, its tread pattern is cut into wavy zig-zag grooves. Though reviewers appreciate the extra rubber, as well as the natural range of motion that it allows, some have noticed that its level of durability is inconsistent. It has a tendency to wear down quickly when used on gym equipment, especially treadmills.
As the name suggests, the Odyssey React’s midsole is made of the brand’s trademarked React Cushioning compound. This highly responsive material provides a level of shock absorption and energy transfer that’s as ideal for basketball as it is for racing and long distance runs. The platform is cut into a wavelike curve to better support the midfoot area, and an injected TPU clip is fixed into the midsole’s back portion for greater structure and security. Finally, a sockliner is placed in for added cushioning and can easily be taken out or switched for a custom insole. Reviewers not only enjoyed the cushioning that this feature provided them but also felt that it enabled better overall performance.
Jacquard fabric constructs the Odyssey React’s upper, conforming to the foot’s shape while still allowing unrestricted movement. Though it does provide the runner with breathable comfort, thanks to its small breathing holes, some consumers thought it made the shoe look cheap. On the other hand, they’re grateful that its sleeve and tongue are made of neoprene. This material’s smooth and breathable wear promotes easy insertion and quicker elimination of hotspots. Thin, synthetic overlays on the instep and sides provide this shoe with some much-needed structure. The heel shelf at the back aids the midsole’s TPU clip in holding the foot in place, as does padding around the collar. Those who enjoy night-running are also thrilled with the inclusion of a reflective 3M strip on the heel.
Though not as lightweight as other competition footwear, the Odyssey React still weighs significantly less than standard running shoes. Men’s sizes average out at 8.6 oz while women’s are rounded out at 6.9 oz. Lightness is a major requirement for racing shoes, as it enables the runner to reach their maximum speed and limits the amount of pain or injuries that they could potentially experience. The weight of this particular model still allows free and fast movement while providing additional structure. Furthermore, it means that it can easily be used for other activities such as casual jogging or weightlifting.
Though many reviewers are not happy with the look of the Odyssey React’s jacquard upper, they are very thrilled with how breathable it is. It features small breathing holes along the forefoot and around the sides to enable more targeted airflow. And it’s aided much further by the shoe’s neoprene lining, which works to keep hotspots under control. No matter their activities, or how long they were out running, reviewers said that they always felt completely cool and comfortable.
Across the board, the Odyssey React has been highly rated on its level of comfort. Aside from providing the runner with a great deal of responsiveness, its React midsole also gives them soft cushioning. The combination of the upper’s jacquard mesh upper and neoprene liner keep irritation at bay while allowing perfectly targeted breathability. Both of these fabrics conform completely to the foot’s individual shape while still enabling natural movement. Reviewers feel just as comfortable wearing this to work or for outings as they do during competition runs. The only aspect that negatively impacts this quality is the narrow toe box, making it unfit for those with wider feet.
Simple and streamlined, the Odyssey React’s design has become quite popular among Nike fans. A handful have noted, however, that it greatly resembles a few of the brands more well-known models, such as the Epic React. Its main sources of structure take the forms of thin overlays on the instep and sides as well as the heel shelf at the back. A pull tab for easier insertion and a reflective 3M strip are also present on the back of the shoe. Discrete eyelets featured in its lacing system maintain the shoe’s streamlined silhouette and give it a more unique look. Though neutral color options are more prevalent, brighter hues are also available to both men and women.
Reviews appear to be very mixed when it comes to the Odyssey React’s level of sturdiness. Some stated that the durability of its rubber outsole could be improved. Though it performed perfectly fine on road surfaces, it did start to break down when used on gym equipment. And while its jacquard upper wasn’t prone to tearing easily, unlike most textile materials, reviewers said that it did crinkle after only a few wears and made the shoe look cheap. Because of this, knowing how to properly care for this model is extremely important.
Though it delivers high levels of comfort and responsiveness, it’s quite safe to say that the Odyssey React is not a very protective model overall. Reviewers do appreciate the extra rubber added on to certain parts of the outsole but are unsure about its inconsistent durability. Its midsole is arguably the shoe’s most protective feature, completely absorbing the impact of each step and transferring it into an added bounce. Its jacquard upper, on the other hand, can do very little to safeguard the foot, other than providing breathability and preventing possible irritations. It does get help from the heel shelf and lacing system, which ensure that the foot is kept in place throughout wear.
Reviewers are extremely happy with how responsive the Odyssey React is throughout their runs. Nike’s trademarked React midsole is specially engineered to provide high levels of high absorption and energy transfer while still giving the foot a soft and cushiony feel underneath. Though some question its cheap appearance, its jacquard upper does enable this quality as well by providing a secure yet unrestricted socklike fit. Of course, none of this would be possible without its rubber outsole, which features a tread pattern that easily adapts to the runner’s strides.
Reviewers agree that certain parts of the Odyssey React are much more supportive than others. Its midsole and outsole definitely rank high when it comes to this quality. The outsole’s additional rubber sections enable it to be a protective and flexible base for the rest of the shoe. Its React midsole keeps the foot comfortably cushioned as it also safeguards against impact. Its wave-like curved shape gives extra support to its midfoot area, which is usually forgotten about during this feature’s design process. Though the upper gives a secure, sock-like fit, its primary sources of support are some thin overlays and a heel shelf at the back. Padding around the collar, which keeps the foot in place, also provides the runner with ankle support.
The Odyssey React is marketed strictly as a road running shoe, with reviewers experiences confirming this usage. Its zig-zag tread pattern provides the perfect amount of traction for all types of road surfaces. Though it also functions as casual wear and can be worn for indoor workouts, it has shown signs of inconsistent durability on gym equipment. In addition, there are no details explaining whether or not it can perform on wet surfaces.
The Odyssey React is priced at $120 across all major retailers, including Zappos, Running Warehouse, and Nike’s own website. Though this cost may seem high to some buyers, it’s actually quite standard for most high-quality running shoes. It’s even more impressive when one takes a closer look at all of the newer technology that this model features. However, its shaky levels of durability do cause some consumers to question if it’s worth the money they might spend. For those still interested in purchasing a pair, proper maintenance and knowing when not to use this model are essential.
The zig-zig tread pattern of the Odyssey React’s outsole is designed to provide the runner with a secure grip on all types of road surfaces. A good amount of runners have praised this feature and believe that the addition of extra rubber in some areas has made a significant difference. Though reviewers state that it could also work reasonably well for indoor workouts, the outsole’s tendency to break down when used on treadmills might make them reconsider. No significant information is available that details how well it performs on wet surfaces.
Though not many reviews discuss how flexible this model is, it can be assumed that the Odyssey React does enable a reasonably natural stride. The shoe’s zig-zag tread pattern was created to allow the runner to bend and move their foot as comfortably as possible. The durable midsole promotes this further while still giving strong support. And finally, because it only contains overlays and a heel shelf for stability, its jacquard upper provides a sock-like fit by adapting efficiently to the runner’s strides.
All of the Odyssey React’s stabilizing features go into maintaining the shoe’s shape and keep the foot in place. Its React midsole’s highly responsive nature heightens this quality by completely absorbing the impact and keeping the foot properly supported. Structure comes in the form of thin overlay along the instep and sides. A heel shelf at the back also maintains this model’s shape as well as making sure the foot stays locked into place. This is helped further by padding along the collar and the shoe’s traditional lacing system. Though it does not have any corrective features, reviewers still say that they feel perfectly secure while wearing this model.
The Odyssey React features a heel-to-toe drop height of 10mm, with the heel measuring 28mm high and the toe coming in at 18mm. While this is common for an average running shoe, those that are made for competition usually feature a low drop platform. Anywhere between 6mm and 4mm is usually the standard in order to promote better balance and posture. This particular model, on the other hand, provides the added heel cushioning that most runners look for. Those who require a low or zero drop platform would be unsatisfied with this shoe.
Key Features
-Rubber outsole featuring added material and a zig-zag tread pattern
-React midsole for enhanced cushioning, shock absorption and energy transfer
-Jacquard fabric upper conforms to the foot’s shape for a sock-like fit
-TPU clip, heel shelf, and lacing system keep the foot locked in place
-Neoprene sleeve and tongue enhance breathability and prevent irritation
-Thin overlays on the instep and sides give needed structure
-Narrower-than-average toe box
-Wide range of color options available to men and women
Bottom Line
Whether runners are looking for a shoe that will carry them through a tough race or need something dependable for work or casual errands, the Odyssey React can easily provide something to most runners. A rubber outsole gives protection and reasonably strong traction. The React midsole safeguards against impact and transforms each hard step into an added bounce. Finally, the jacquard fabric upper provides a breathable, sock-like wear that keeps irritations and infections at bay. Though certain aspects could be improved, such as its narrow toe box and the shaky durability of its outsole. Still, its cushiony comfort and energy return have quickly made it a favorite amongst Nike fans.
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By Jessica Pilla
Last updated:
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Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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