NIKE ODYSSEY REACT – SHOE REVIEW
by BRIAN METZLER | SEPTEMBER, 2018
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- The Scoop oh the Nike Odyssey React?
- Who's it Best For?
- Pros and Cons
- Shop Nike Odyssey React
- About the Author
Introducing the Nike Odyssey React – a new release in the 'React' series from Nike, featuring their new midsole foam. The Odyssey is the mild stability version of the Nike Epic React that launched earlier this year.
Guest JackRabbit reviewer, Brian Metzler take the Nike Odyssey React out for some runs and deduces some tidbits that any runner considering this new shoe should know.
Want to know more about the new React midsole? Read more on our JackRabbit blog on that very topic.
The NIke Odyssey React is reliably secure and endlessly energetic!
The second shoe to feature Nike’s innovative React midsole foam, the Odyssey React is a lightweight, mild stability shoe that offers a slightly firmer ride than the original Epic React Flyknit that Nike debuted last winter.
It’s a trifle heavier than the Epic React Flyknit (but not enough to negatively impact the ride or experience whatsoever) and a bit more durable, too. It still offers superior cushioning and energy return
THE SCOOP ON THE NIKE ODYSSEY REACT
The single-piece foam package in the Odyssey React is similar to that of the Epic React Flyknit, with the big difference being an added plastic support tab coming off the TPU heel reinforcement on the medial side.Although there is still a lot of exposed foam on the outsole of the Odyssey React, there is a bit more durable rubber in high-wear areas of the heel and forefoot that adds both a more traditional feel underfoot and ensures a longer lifespan.
Probably the biggest difference compared to the Epic React Flyknit is the comfortable Jacquard mesh circular-knit upper, which adds offers some flexibility to conform to the shape of a foot and helps secure the saddle/arch area of the shoe.
Like many Nike shoes, the Odyssey React is a low-volume shoe that has a snug, athletic fit, with only a tiny bit of wiggle room in the toe box. Similar to the Epic React Flyknit, the foam midsole of the Odyssey feels is soft and absorbingly forgiving upon impact with the ground, but it’s also extremely responsive during the roll-through and toe-off phases of the stride.
It feels bouncy and energetic, especially at slower speeds, but it feels inexhaustibly smooth and sublime while running at faster paces. And perhaps most importantly, we found the ride to be as lively and resilient at the late stages of runs as we did in the first mile. Although this shoe falls into the mild stability category, it’s definitely not a very controlling shoe.
The heel clip, reinforced heel section of the upper and unique geometry of the foam help set the foot on a more stable path upon heel strike, but other than that it’s a neutral-oriented shoe that allows the foot to move freely through the gait cycle.
WHO'S IT BEST FOR?
Almost any kind of runner who has a low-volume foot and can tolerate the snug fit from the upper. It can certainly be a do-everything shoe, no matter if you’re a casual runner or someone who is training for a half-marathon or marathon.
You can run slow and fast in this shoe, and both short and long, but the sweet spot is definitely about slightly faster to very fast running. For those with narrow feet, it should be light and comfortable and peppy enough to wear as a race-day shoe.
NOTE: This is defintely a mild-stability shoe… If you’re a true stability runner, the Nike Structure is still your go-to Nike shoe.
PROS AND CONS OF THE NIKE ODYSSEY REACT
We love the combination of the traditional flat lacing system and the well-padded tongue (that’s actually part of the neoprene interior bootie) because of the way it comfortably locks down the foot to the socklinker. However, runner beware that it’s not very breathable or ventilated and can feel quite hot on sunny or warm days.
Importantly, the price is right! It’s a very similar shoe to the Nike Epic React Flywire and feels and performs similarly, but for $30 less.
The tightly fitting upper might be a challenge for runners with wider feet, both because it feels very snug and because it can crinkle awkwardly at the top of the first metatarsal joints and lead to slight irritation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER
Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles, wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.
He's the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He's the author of “Running Colorado's Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner.”