Nike Epic React FlyKnit V1 – Some Initial Thoughts

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.

Epic React 4-14-19

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?

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  • 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?

Too good.

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.

Nike Epic React Weigh-in 4-14-19

They are for me:

  • light-weight
  • comfortable
  • 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.

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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.

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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.

Nike Free 4.0 v2 Over 200 Miles

P6220009This afternoon I went over 200 miles in my Nike Free 4.0 v2.  My first run in them was on May 21st, so in just over 30 days I have run a lot of miles (for me) in them.

Thinking about it, I honestly believe that of all the running shoes I have ever owned, this is definitely one of the quickest, to reach this magic number!

Excited over a pair of Running Shoes

So how have they done over this short amount of time. The Nike Free 4.0 v2 has been nothing short of amazing! To say that I love this running shoe so far, would be an understatement.

It has been a very long time since I have been excited by how a running shoe fits and performs for me on just about every kind of run (except trails – these are definitely road shoes) that I have thrown at it.

They have fit since the first time I put them on and truly proved how great they were the second run I did in them. A 13.1 mile run with the last 5.0 miles done in the pouring rain with no blisters. That was when I started to believe that I had something special.

Also with these shoes, I have run 4 consecutive sub 1:50:00 for training runs of 13.1 miles, which is something that I didn’t think I would ever do. So they are light and fast for me, but cushioned enough for a half marathon distance or farther.

They have simply been comfortable running shoes – that just work for me.

What do they look like now?

For having 200 miles the uppers show virtually no wear or tear:

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The soles are showing the wear pattern of my landing on my heels more than I thought that I did and that I push off with my toes (old habits die hard).

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The only negative about the shoes are that they do collect small rocks in the grooves, which usually do not annoy me, but if they are larger the constant clicking noise will make you want to stop and get rid of the stone or if it is poking into your foot, you have to stop and remove it.  Other than this small irritation I do not have any complaints about the Nike free 4.0 v2.

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I would prefer to see the wear pattern be a little more centered on the forefoot, but I haven’t run this GREAT in years and really am not all that concerned by it right now.

Yes I plan to continue to work on improving my foot landing to more of a forefoot landing. At least with the 4.0’s I am not wearing away just the outside of third of the forefoot, it does show a more even wear pattern than other shoes that I have been using lately, so that is some progress.

The Toughest Miles

Now comes the toughest miles for most of my shoes – miles 200-400. This is where most of them start to break down for me very rapidly and great performers, suddenly become also rans.

Either the uppers start coming apart, the sole has worn too much in one area and causing an imbalance or the midsole cushioning material has begun to wear out. Any of which which can cause pain in my ankles, knees and hips, this is not there when the shoes are new.

Getting past the 300 mile mark for the 4.0’s would be a major achievement, if I am still running in them at 400 miles, that would be the mark of a very special shoe and beyond 500, well I have only had one style of shoe make it that far (the Old Blue Adidas Marathon Trainers – 2 of which made that distance).

It will be interesting to see how many miles I end up with on these shoes – I have a feeling that it will be more than usual.

The reality is

that I have been searching for several years for a pair of shoes that both fit and let me run comfortably in them.  Right now if I had to rate these shoes in comparison to others that I have run in they would be either 3 or 4 all-time, with the probability of moving higher as I get more miles on them.

I tend not to buy the exact same model twice in a row, to give my legs a little different feel and I just got the Nike Free Run+3 and ran in them for the first time this afternoon, so more information will be coming soon about them.

The only thing that I can say is that I will buy another pair of Nike Free 4.0 v2, down the road, if they continue to perform like they have for the first 200 miles.

Nike Free 4.0 v2 – After 50 Miles

Nike Free 4.0

What can I say – I ran 50 miles in the Nike Free 4.0 V2 this week!

Never in my running career have I run 50 miles the first week I have had a new pair of running shoes. Never.

That says a lot right there about these running shoes.

Here is the link to the Nike Free Run site.

Disclaimer: I purchased these shoes at Dick’s Sporting Goods on 5/21/12 with my own money.

Construction / Fit

The Nike Free 4.0 just fit me right. Continue reading “Nike Free 4.0 v2 – After 50 Miles”