Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 Review – Worth it for the price?

Weight8.4oz/238gms approx. (US 10)
UpperSingle-piece flyknit mesh with fused layering and plastic heel clip
Midsole9 mm heel-to-toe offset(26mm heel, 17mm forefoot)
OutsoleDurable translucent rubber on the forefoot and under the heel; exposed React sole 
TerrainRoad, track
Best used forLong and moderate-paced runs

Overall Verdict

If you are somebody who loves an all-day-long comfort beneath your feet, Nike Epic react flyknit 2 could be your go-to shoe like it is mine. The upper design hugs your feet for better fit and comfort. Some people find the fit overwhelming, so I would suggest you go for half a size up for a snug fit.

+ Cushiony comfort due to React foam
+ Pleasing for all-day casual wear
+ Smooth and responsive even after hundreds of miles
+ Feels light given the amount of cushion in it
+ Conforming Upper fit
+ Bold aesthetic with modern style

Midsole stiffens in freezing temperatures
Not for wide fit: wide width options aren’t available

Nike brought in revolutionary changes by the introduction of React foam into the footwear industry. This revolution paved the way for the manufacture of lightweight and durable shoes. The shoes are soft and yet unexceptionally responsive. I have had a long run in Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 for a better-informed perspective. Let us have a quick review of improvements that added an extra kick to the Men’s Nike epic react flyknit 2 after introducing its first edition into the industry. Read on.

Introduction to the buoyant Nike pair

Nike Epic React flyknit 2 is snug with enhanced performance, an amplified version of its predecessor. Nike has leveled up the game by launching React foam in the industry which reigns superior in energy return, durability, comfort and is significantly springier than its predecessor. React foam is the showstopper in the Nike Epic React flyknit 2—again. The Vice President of running footwear at Nike, Brett Holts, says Reacts eliminated the shortcoming of both Lunarlon and EVA. The revamped details in flyknit technology – both upper and bottom – gives room for better fit and comfort.

The Nike flyknits 2 weighs just 8.4 ounces in US size 10 for a half pair with a sizable 26mm heel and 17mm forefoot. The pair costs $150. Similarly priced shoes with cushioning would be Adidas Ultraboost 19 but at the cost of higher weight. Other React-based trainers at a slightly lesser cost would be Nike Odyssey React flyknit 2, which boasts about its lightweight flyknit construction and synthetic material support at an amount of $30 less than flyknit 2.

The PU-based shoes continue to dominate the footwear industry; however, these are assuredly massive and bulkier than the React foam-based shoes. This floatable feel bestows Epic React an upper edge in the dynamic shoe industry. 

Epic React flyknit 2 is not a speed shoe; it is suitable for long and moderate-paced runs owing to its cushion-to-weight ratio. Another shoe coming in the desirable cushion-to-weight ratio category would be the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus men’s running shoe which weighs just 7.2 ounces. Nike flyknit 2 gives comfort to the feet, making foot injury negligible. In my experience, the feet felt less sore after a long run for hours. The ability of React to maintain its longevity of energy return and durability gives it an edge.

What is new in the exclusive Epic React flyknit 2?

There is not much significant difference in both the editions: Epic React Flyknit 1 and Epic React Flyknit 2. The tight fit that grips the feet during sudden turns, or more precisely lurch, is almost the same. The strategically placed rubber pieces in the new edition are better perforated for enhanced grip and flexibility. However, there is more volume in the upper, which gives enough room for wiggle and paves the way for feet to breathe. The upper has been relaxed by splitting the fused lacing eye-stay into two, unlike the Epic React 1. The subtle changes between the two shoes have been discussed thoroughly in this article.

Bolder and better: One noticeable change in the successor is the Nike logo. On Epic react 1, the swoosh is glued to the shoe like in every other standard Nike sneaker. However, on epic react 2, the swoosh has been made puffier by embroidering it into the upper, which not only makes it look better but also more durable than its predecessor. Nike took it up a notch here. However, some believe that this change could have been avoided with a better pricing offer, that is, a lesser cost for the pair.

Updated stabilizer and plastic heel clip are the two welcome additions, which bestow the new pair with its peculiar characteristics that make it stand out of the lot.

First impression and experience

Apart from some evident changes from its predecessor, the aesthetics of the shoe have undergone specific changes that would only be apprehended by eagle-eyed observers. A subtle color gradient has been added to the midsole at the rearfoot along with a plastic heel clip just above the color gradient. In addition to the advantages of a plastic heel clip (read on for its benefits), it also imparts a lustrous appearance. Nike has trimmed the heel cap to a slightly firmer piece for better control. 

Epic React flyknit 2 hasn’t neared the elite racing shoes of Nike Flyknits men like the Vaporfly 4% Flyknit. However, Nike Epic React 2 turned out to be more spacious at the toe box for flexible fit than the former, highly recommended for comfort-loving sneakerheads.

If you’re looking for options, Air Zoom Pegasus is one of the options to be pondered upon for training shoes. It is a speed shoe preferable for movements producing shear force, which is comfortable for feet. Nike Zoom Elite 10 and the streak 7 are best suited speed-shoe options for road races. If you are someone who doesn’t care about flyknit upper and are fascinated only by react foam, go for the Legend React and save $50 or so bucks extra.

Traction is solid on dry ground. The cushioning softness is best experienced at temperatures above 0°C/32°F. In freezing temperatures, the React foam stiffens. You are better off running in shoes with rubber-clad outsoles. The Adidas Boost and ZoomX foams are highly resistant to these irksome changes. However, the React foam is more responsive than bouncy, unlike Nike’s Zoom X foam. 

 Ride and comfort

I was a little skeptical at first about the shoe’s durability and comfort. But after a good amount of running, I can assure you these are, by far, one of the most comfortable and durable shoes in the category of specifications mentioned earlier. Even after miles of running, this pair is still very responsive and springy. The smooth heel-to-toe transition keeps the feet in a comfortable position throughout.

However, these aren’t recommended for running on irregular or rocky terrain.

Sole unit

A commendable revolution in the sole material Nike has managed to accomplish with the deliberation from athletes, chemists, and designers is the ‘Nike React’. The new cushioning composition has made it much more lightweight, durable, and lives up to the hype of a smooth and responsive landing. 

React foam makes your strides comfortable due to its rubbery re-bounce. Heavy landing runners would appreciate that the React midsole has evenly spread cushioning, which makes landing on the forefoot or midfoot easy-breezy. The midsole has been capped with durable translucent rubber on the heel and forefoot, which provides better traction wherever needed. The texturing of react foam under the midfoot adds to the traction of the shoe.

The thin insole makes the access of feet to cushiony React foam easier underneath, which delivers excellent feedback with every footstrike. Most of the running shoes in the industry have deceptive layers instead of proper cushioning, unlike React midsole. The combination of rubber and exposed React foam adds to the grip outside. The minimized outsole rubber is one of the reasons for its lightweight. Nike added color to the outsole rubber, which is also aesthetically appealing.

Another thing that sets out Epic React 2 from other shoes is the solid plastic heel plate which connects the upper to the sole around the heel. This change might seem trivial, but the results are commendable. It offers more support during running and jumping by increasing its landing response. This plastic heel clip upgrades the shoe’s performance significantly. The flared midsole and heel give the foot kinesthesia cues. 

Another thing that sets out Epic React 2 from other shoes is the solid plastic heel plate which connects the upper to the sole around the heel. This change might seem trivial, but the results are commendable. It offers more support during running and jumping by increasing its landing response. This plastic heel clip upgrades the shoe’s performance significantly. The flared midsole and heel give the foot kinesthesia cues. 

Upper unit fit

Flyknit makes the upper lightweight with desired stretch and breathability. It is a single-piece flyknit that covers for the absence of a separate tongue itself. The fabric fits the feet like a rugged sock with a second-skin feel, and it is soft and impalpably rough. The varying intensity of stretchability factor of the material proffers room for comfort; collars and forefoot have more excellent elasticity. The upper of Epic flyknit 2 is more relaxed than its first edition. However, in appearance, flyknit upper keeps the same sleek-knit-silhouette look as its predecessor.

The soft yet not-so-mushy heel does not have any synthetic layer on the outside. The fit might, at times, feel a little tight for long-distance running, so purchasing half a size up is preferred for more room and comfort. However, narrow feet may be challenged with lockdown sized up. The Epic React flyknit 2 could be preferred for all-day casual wear due to its lightweight and cushioned surface. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long does Nike Epic react flyknit 2 last?

A simple answer would be – as long as you take proper care of it. Nike Epic React 2 has undergone half a thousand trials for over a hundred miles yet always felt new underfoot. I have run miles and miles in these and can assure you I have miles to go.

Is the Nike Flyknit machine washable?

It is all up to your convenience. However, we do not recommend putting your precious shoes into the washing machine or using any harsh products such as bleach. For best results, clean your shoes as soon as they get dirty or wipe them regularly to avoid washing them frequently.

Should you wear socks with a flyknit?

 Go sockless! There is no need to wear socks since the upper has been designed to give a snug sock-like fit – the upper contours to the feet for better support. You may want to put it on for a better fit (it is all up to you). 

Is men’s Nike Epic react flyknit 2 good for running?

I mentioned how the fit felt a little tight during the long run. I would suggest you go for a half size up, then you are good to go. The spacious toe box lends room for the foot to breathe and is great for runs. 

 Does Nike Epic react flyknit 2 run small?

I would recommend a half-size up only if you are planning on running in these; for casual everyday chores, the size is snug. The flyknit upper is fit but not too tight, it has provided enough volume for breathability and wiggling of feet.


Nike has successfully made the running shoes better with minor updates. If you manage to get the right fit, this shoe is a solid choice for casual wear and daily trainer. This pair is extremely pleasant on feet as well as versatile. To sum it up, if you are looking for something above average both in looks and performance, go for it.