Just about anyone who runs regularly encounters injury — or at the very least aches and pains. Nike envisions a world where such hangups are not the norm, and its newest running shoe, the Nike React Infinity Run, is the brand’s latest effort toward such a utopia. And this one has some science to back it up.
The shoe features a blend of technologies developed for earlier shoes. The ultralight, performance-oriented Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% is celebrated for its geometry, with the rockered bottom fueling more fluid and efficient strides. Meanwhile, the Nike React boasts a proprietary foam that delivers a high level of cushioning and energy return.
Weaving the best of these two shoes together results in a shoe that is simultaneously speedy, supportive and, it turns out, safe. According to a study of 226 runners by the British Columbia Sports Medicine Research Foundation, the Nike React Infinity Run resulted in a 52 percent lower injury rate versus the Nike Structure 22, a classic motion-control shoe. Wearers also reported less pain in the knees and feet.
Because it basically compared a new Nike with an older Nike, this study is best digested with a healthy grain of salt. Still, the prospect of a super comfortable running sneaker that also delivers high performance and makes running more pleasurable and (possibly) reduces injury is a pretty tempting one. We are currently testing the shoe and will be sharing first-hand impressions very soon.
At a price of $160, the Nike React Infinity Run will be available January 3 for Nike Members and January 16 for everyone else.