NIKE REACT INFINTY RUN – SHOE REVIEW
by BRIAN METZLER | DECEMBER 2019
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What New: Nike React Infinity?
- Who's it Best For?
- Pros and Cons
- Shop Nike React Infinity
- About the Author
Nike does its research when it comes to keeping runnning technology on its toes. The Zoom Vaporfly 4% was debuted in 2017 and the same year it launched the Nike React midsole foam, which offered a new cushion/return combination that answered many runners dream requests.
Enter the new marriage of these two important research results and enter the new Nike React Infinity Run, a style that brings together these two technologies. Guest reviewer Brian Metzler took the shoe for a spin and reports that it 'rides like a dream'. Read on to learn more.
Nike spent the last several years doing intensive research on how to design faster marathon racing shoes and with science, innovation and new foam compounds.
Learning from this research they have used a similar process to develop the new Nike React Infinity Run supportive running shoe aimed at the bold task of reducing common overuse injuries among runners.
WHAT'S NEW: NIKE REACT INFINITY RUN
Unlike traditional stability and motion control shoes, the React Infinity Run is a smooth-riding, softly cushioned model that derives a stable and secure ride without any kind of medial post. Instead, it creates stability through a wide footprint, an advanced React midsole foam compound, a unique outsole pattern, a thin, stretchy tongue and a sturdy plastic heel-anchoring bar at the rear of the shoe.
Working with the British Columbia Sports Medicine Research Foundation, it put 226 runners in this super-stable, well-cushioned shoe and found that 52 percent fewer injuries were reported than runners who wore traditional stability shoes.
How does the Nike React Infinity Run improve a runner’s gait?The Infinity’s rocker-geometry encourages a slight lean forward, moving a runner’s foot strike from heel to midfoot, or even forefoot; this creates a natural forward feel of propulsion. The wider platform, and the supportive foam that accompanies it, provides a reassuring feel — the shoe gently guides the foot in a smooth, straight line, reducing side-to-side wobbling and movement.
Unlike a lot of Nike running shoes, the React Infinity Run doesn’t have a narrow fit in the forefoot. The stretchy engineered mesh upper wraps the forefoot like a sock, but it’s more of a comfortable snugness thanks to the pliability in the material.
The midfoot and the heel of the Nike React Infinity Run cinch down reliably well, although one of our wear-testers did complain about a little looseness in the heel. With a buttery soft step-in sensation on the top, bottom and sides of each foot, the React Infinity Run feels like cushy bedroom slipper.
The ride offered by the Nike React Infinity Run is very soft extremely smooth and moderately energetic, almost as if your feet are rolling through the gait cycle without any inhibiting segments in the midsole. The extra-wide flared-out design in the heel and forefoot is what makes this shoe stable, but it also prohibits it from feeling very agile.
Overall, thought, our wear-test group reported that it fits, feels and rides like a dream.
WHO'S IT BEST FOR?
The Nike React Infinity Run is great for runners who mix up their training loads and types of runs. From the mixture of base runs, intervals, tempo runs and long runs. With the wider platform, the 'Infinity' makes it suitable for base run days – those of moderate efforts. This is the workhorse shoe with a strong styling – and will work for those starting their running journey to those high mileage runners who need a run through a steady supply of base-miles shoes throughout the year.
Additionally, runners who overpronate and typically have worn stability or motion control shoes will also be pleasantly surprised at how stable this shoe feels without feeling any type of clunky of stability devices under the foot.
PROS AND CONS: NIKE REACT INFINITY RUN
Pros: Nike React Infinity Run
The Infinity Run provides a soft, energetic platform and delivers it with a widened midsole. Similar to the geometry of the Vaporfly 4%, the Infinity has a rocker-like bottom that yields a more fluid transition from foot strike to toe off.
This feels a lot like a soft and comfortable maximally cushioned shoe … because it is. While Nike would never say it took cues from Hoka, we certainly can see a few similarities. That said, the React Infinity is a unique shoe unto itself, one that is both richly cushioned and also very stable.
Cons: Nike React Infinity Run
The only downside of the React Infinity Run is that it doesn’t have much pep to it. And that's okay; it's a great shoe for long runs, slow runs, recovery runs, but it tops out somewhere just below tempo pace.
It has an energetic bouncy feeling, but not one that inspires super fast running.
NIKE REACT INFINITY RUN SPECS
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.”