The Nike Epic React Flyknit is the Swoosh’s newest running sneaker, mixing qualities from a few of their older models with some very, very new tech.
The Nike Air VaporMax, the Nike Flyknit Racer, the Nike Lunar Trainer and the Nike Waffle Racer all played their part in the Epic React Flyknit. The VaporMax’s Flyknit toebox is a callback to the VaporMax while the rest of the one-piece upper “takes cues” from the Flyknit Racer. And as Nike’s newest flagship running silhouette, the Epic React Flyknit’s design team made sure to look back at the legendary Waffle Racer.
When Lunarlon cushioning debuted in 2008 on the Nike Lunar Trainer, it was the height of the Swoosh’s technology. Longtime Nike designer Eric Avar teamed with Kevin Hoffer to figure out a way to give runners and ballplayers a soft, yet responsive cushioning system. They eventually created Lunarlon, a mix of EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) foam and Nitrile Rubber. The combination of foam and rubber was the first step in creating a revolutionary new cushioning platform.
Now, about a decade later, the Swoosh has React cushioning, originally debuted on the Hyperdunk 2017 and the Super.Fly 2017. It’s a super-durable, bouncy and supportive foam that finally delivers on the mission that Avar and Hoffer started with Lunarlon.
The Epic React Flyknit’s one-piece upper is able to sit on top of the React midsole thanks to computational design. This new method has allowed the Swoosh to speedily and efficiently create React midsoles that have the capability to support themselves without any glue or cement. Nike can create midsoles for the Epic React Flyknit in a matter of minutes, a significant upgrade from when they had to go through thousands of iterations at a snail’s pace. The midsole’s “visually complex pattern varies in depth, where deeper parts indicate areas of more cushioning and shallower portions produce more firmness,” Nike says.
The Nike Epic React Flyknit drops on February 22 for $150.
Top photo courtesy of Nike