Well, the Epic React FlyKnit version 2 is now out and about, that means that I finally got around to getting a pair of the version 1, at a good price from the Nike Outlet in Freeport last Saturday.
This was one of those surprise purchases, but it is a running shoe that I have been looking at since it came out last year. However, it is also one that I didn’t want to get until I had actually put a pair on and see how they fit my weird feet. The reviews of this particular model span the spectrum from runners loving them to those who just hated them.
With those kinds of reviews, I just didn’t feel comfortable with the get them online choice. Saturday was the first time that I actually saw a pair that I could try on.
Amazingly, they felt really good on my feet and after trying on several pair during the day, they were the best fitting shoe that I had tried on.
They came home with me.
I now have four runs in them and over 20 miles of running, so have a pretty good idea of what my first impression of them is. Now mind you this first impression could change over the course of the next 30-100 miles, but after today…well let’s talk about it.
What kind of runs have I done?
- 10K – at a faster, but not race pace – for a first run it was surprising.
- 5 miles in the rain on my test course, where I got down to my race pace for more than a mile – no problems with grip or picking up the pace
- Treadmill speed workout – where I ran at my 5K race pace for a 1/2 mile repeat and several 1/4 mile repeats. A fantastic test of how my problematic right foot would hold up after a total of 7.0 miles – no problems
- 5K Easy Run – an easy run to see how they felt at a slower pace. I kept hauling back on the reins – they just want to go fast
These runs are a pretty good representation of the runs that I normally do in a pair of daily trainers.
So how did they do?
I have been very lucky with the last two pair of shoes, (New Balance Beacon v1 and adidas Tempo 9) have worked great for me and each has gotten more than 300 miles on them.
When I compare the Epic React v1s to those shoes, it is more than favorable.
They are for me:
- cushioned – yet responsive
- quiet – damn near silent
- can run at a variety of paces
- have enough grip to work well on the roads in most conditions
I am finding that the more I run in the Epic React v1, the more that I like them.
The only concern I have so far is that in the no-tongue area of the left shoe, I get a small fold in order get the right snugness for these shoes. I could almost go down to a size 8.0 mens, but then my right foot would have felt off. The fold hasn’t bothered at all, it is more a thing I see than something that affects my running in the Epic Reacts.
One of the negative comments that some have made about the Epic React has been about the placement of the harder clear outsole material and how the React outsole would hold up. For me the placement of the clear material is where I typically show wear on my outsoles, so for the way I run, they should be fine.
However, the outsole tread pattern probably ain’t going to be much good outside during winter in Maine.
The other big complaint that I heard was that in cold weather they get too firm, it is spring, so the temps are not freezing and when it gets really cold now, I generally head for the treadmill or would use other shoes outside, so I don’t feel that it would be an issue for me.
Oh yeah, the purplish colorway – sucks. I am not a fan, but with how well I am running in the shoes, it really doesn’t matter what color they are. The orange ones are more my style.
The reality is that
The Nike Epic React v1s are a shoe that has really surprised me.
I didn’t really think that I would like them nearly as much as I am. I think the one thing that is really making a difference for me is how my legs have felt after three pretty tough workouts in a row and still wanting to go faster on my easy run. Which could be a problem if I am not smart, which is usually a problem. 😉
That no issues thing and not feeling beat up after a tough for me 10K and speed work sessions where I ran the workouts quite well is the difference between the other shoes I have been running in and the Epic React v1s. None of the shoes I have run in a long time would have been able to match how well my legs are feeling tonight.
My first impressions are very good, now to see how they feel after 100 miles when I plan to do my next review of them.
It should be interesting over the next 80 miles.