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KEY STATS AND FEATURES

  • Price: £145
  • Weight: Men’s 302g / Women’s 244g
  • Stack: 9mm Offset (33mm Heel, 24mm Forefoot)
  • Neutral/Stability
  • Key Tech: Nike React Foam, Flyknit Upper
  • Best For: Slow-medium pace, half-full marathon distances

SHOE SUMMARY

Now on it’s second iteration, the Nike React Infinity Run is back in town with a reimagined Flyknit upper. It’s a versatile max-cushioned running shoe, perfect for those longer distance runs and daily training whilst also having the ability of being able to pick up the pace when needed.
When the first React Infinity dropped, it came with the bold claim that it could help runners avoid getting injured which is definitely something that drew my interest. What runner wants to get injured and potentially be out of the game for weeks on end? 

Nike held a study which split 226 of all ages and abilities in two groups whilst they followed a training plan for a half marathon. Half of the group wore the React Infinity and the other half work a Nike Structure 22, a traditional motion-control shoe. The results showed that the runners wearing the React Infinity had a 52% lower injury rate!
This version has gone through the same rigorous testing as the previous model and Nike have confirmed that low injury rates have carried over from the first Infinity, amazing! After running literally hundreds of miles in the first model I jumped at the chance to put this second iteration through its paces.

nike infinity react

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Upon unboxing, I was instantly drawn to the gold on black swoosh jumping out at me from the box. Nike, true masters of branding have done wonders to have this simple logo ooze so much recognisable style whilst remaining technical-running industry leaders. Constantly updating, innovating, and pushing the technology within their running products whilst still managing to remain at the top of the fashion game is an incredible feat and is certainly present here in this box.
I was extremely happy to see and feel the same foam and midsole-geometry return for the second iteration as this is where the React Infinity 2 came into its own. As the saying goes, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!

The obvious difference between the models is the total re-haul of the upper. This time around, they’ve opted for a more classic Flyknit design that I couldn’t wait to dive into and compare against the sock-like fit of the debut model.
Upon lifting the pair out of the box, I was surprised to find they felt the same weight as my old pair despite them weighing about 30g more due to the redesigned upper. Coming in at just over 300g, you wouldn’t wear these if you’re looking for race-day speed but they’re ideal for maintaining a comfortable pace to tally up those long-distance miles in your training plan.

nike react infinity

FIT

When first sliding my feet into the shoes I must admit, I’d forgotten just how present the arch is on a fresh pair. Initially, I found this to be just slightly too aggressive to be totally comfortable. That said, I know that this arch is designed specifically like this and as a runner that pronates, I found confidence and reassurance in the fact that this arch is the exact reason that these shoes are ideal for the structured support I need throughout my running gait. What’s more, as soon as I started running, the presence of the arch seemed to dissipate and it didn’t cross my mind again! 

The upper is the core difference in this iteration and has gone from being a looser, sock-like design to a more classic, heel and tongue set up with the addition of flywire cables to deliver precise support. This provides a much more locked in feel and is certainly a step-up in terms of obtaining a nice secure fit throughout the ride. The upper manages to negate foot slippage while also managing to maintain a nice roomy toe-box with an improved heel-fit to boot. One of the key issues reported on the first model was that there was too much heel-slippage. With the new padding in the heel collar, I didn’t notice this occurring at all which is a very positive and is an update that would appease many that found this irritating the first time around.

Overall, putting these on feels like an improvement in comfort and stability whilst keeping that same React Foam feeling that I’ve enjoyed in the first model. It’s apparent that Nike didn’t want to stray far from what worked before in the outsole and focused more on tweaking the upper to help the shoe feel as protective and supportive as it can while maintaining the same soft cushioning underfoot.

nike react infinity

PERFORMANCE

The React Infinity 2 certainly comes into its own when on the move. Simply trying these on doesn’t do them justice, it’s only once you start running that they begin to feel like a true contender for a spot in your running shoe rotation. At slower paces the shoe provides a soft feeling throughout the stride. Couple that with the heel-toe-rocker geometry style outsole, the shoe manages to deliver a soft-cushioned ride with a fantastic feeling of forward propulsion which helps make the run feel smooth. Fortunately, on the days I did want to run faster, I was happy to see that just like the previous model, they are up to the task with the slight caveat that you must work slightly harder considering there is no ‘pop’ compared with shoes designed for all out speed. That said, I am more than happy to pick these up for a run where I want to play around with my pacing and needing a shoe that can accommodate both slow and faster speeds.

I ensured to put these through the ringer by going for a variety of runs including hill sprints, tempo and longer runs alike. It was re-assuring to see the updated upper provides a vastly greater foot lockdown upper which held up throughout each of these. A combination of the flyknit and flywire cables working together really held my foot in place, I didn’t experience any heel-slippage or movement of my foot within the shoe despite tackling some feisty inclines! It’s also worth mentioning that cornering in these felt much more stable which is something I didn’t expect but was a pleasant and welcome surprise! Despite the Flyknit upper feeling much more rugged and durable I expected these to feel less breathable, though this wasn’t the case and I could feel air whipping around my toes in the roomy toe box.

Though they are designed for running on tarmac, many of my routes include a variety of terrain, the most extreme of which would be muddy/rocky paths. I’m happy to say that these stood up to the challenge and I had no issues in terms of loss of traction across the board. I can also say that I expect a great range of durability based on my previous pairs featuring the same outsole which is something worth considering when looking for a shoe ready for high-mileage.

nike infinity react
nike infinity react

CONCLUSION

The React Infinity 2 is a significant update and a pleasure to run in. If you tried and enjoyed the first model, there is much of the same here albeit with a vastly improved upper. This shoe is designed with a runner in mind who is on the hunt for a super-cushioned, ultra-protective and versatile running experience. It’s not just for elite runners trying to avoid getting injured as they put in the miles, it’s for a runner from any level looking to find their new favourite running shoe that boasts a nice wide range of versatility! 

To those who have enjoyed the first model and are currently on the fence as to whether to go for an upgrade, I would say this second model is enough of a step forward to jump in. The outsole remains the same and with the new and improved upper, many of the issues from the first iteration have been addressed and left in the past.
In my eyes, the shoe lives up to expectations and while I can’t speak for everyone, I haven’t had any injuries in it, so for now I stand behind Nike’s claim that it’s designed to keep me running!

If you enjoyed this, why not check out our other in depth performance reviews in our Extra Mile blogspace which features not just product reviews but a wide range of topics from training tips to injury and nutrition advice! 

 

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Ben Campbell

As the resident pronator on the Pro:Direct Running team, I love being able to live and breathe all things running on a daily basis! When I'm not out trialling all the latest structured running shoes around my area, you can find me tearing up and down the trails across Dartmoor and local Devonshire countryside. If not, I'll be in a nice little pub enjoying some vegan grub and probably talking about running!
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