Over the past couple of years, most additions to Nike’s running shoe arsenal have been all about speed. Shaving off those extra seconds from your lap times, propelling you forward and making running all the more fun.
I would estimate that the journey started from the time the Nike Epic React Flyknit (a shoe I love for more than one reason—it does take me back), the Air Zoom Pegasus 35 and the Air Zoom Pegasus Turbo.
In the last year, we saw the successors for these, including the Air Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 and the Air Zoom Pegasus 36. You may even add the Zoom Fly 3 to that list of running shoes focusing on technology to make you run faster.
But widening the appeal and perhaps changing track just a little bit is the Nike React Infinity Run. This one is not only about speed but tries to do that little bit more to help with injury prevention too.
So, how does it really do that? There is technology to help you with that. Under your foot, the midsole is still the brilliant React foam. In fact, there’s 24% more of it compared with the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2.
The more density of cushioning there is beneath your foot, the better insulated and protected it will be.
Secondly, the design of the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 incorporates a wider footprint, quite literally. That is to give you a surer landing, prevent sideways wobbles and give you a firmer push from a stable foot landing. The Infinity Run stack measures 33mm height at the heel and 24mm in the forefoot—that means a 9mm offset.
I am a huge fan of Nike’s React midsoles, purely because my feet like what is close to the perfect balance between cushioning and responsiveness.
They retain these traits with aplomb even after two years of mileage on the first generation Epic React Flyknit.
There will be inevitable comparisons with the Adidas Ultraboost 20 (this is priced around Rs 17,999). The Nike React Infinity Run costs Rs 13,995. You save a lot of if you choose right.
Nike isn’t one of those companies that would hide behind dodgy internal studies or some such thing. In fact, for the React Infinity Run shoe, Nike commissioned a study through the British Columbia Sports Medicine Research Foundation comparing it with one of their own shoes, the Structure 22. This included runners following a 12-week variable training program which finished with a half marathon.
The results showed that the Nike React Infinity Run registered a 52% lower injury rate compared to the Nike Structure 22 shoe. The study included 226 men and women, and an injury was defined as missing three or more consecutive runs due to running related pain. Nike says the study found that 30.3% of Nike Air Zoom Structure 22 runners experienced an injury, while only 14.5% of Nike React Infinity Run runners suffered a similar an injury.
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