With its newest run show in the pipeline, Nike started by posing the question: are injuries actually inevitable? The question spurred Nike to focus efforts on the potential of reducing runner injury; and its newest running shoe, the Nike React Infinity Run, is billed as a step toward that objective.
When Nike debuted the Zoom Vaporfly 4% in 2017, the shoe was ‘built for notching PRs and breaking limits’. The same year, Nike React, a proprietary foam offering cushioning and energy return debuted.
The Nike React Infinity Run ‘encompasses the best qualities of those two technologies’ – a blend of biomechanical efficiency and cushioning. Nike adds that the ‘breakthrough shoe offers a more democratic solution to stability, and an advance from traditional motion-control designs.’
The Infinity Run provides a soft, responsive platform and delivers it with a widened midsole. Similar to the geometry of the Zoom Vaporfly 4%, the Infinity has a rocker-like bottom that claims to yield a more fluid transition from foot strike to toe off.
The Infinity’s rocker-geometry encourages a slight lean forward, moving a runner’s foot strike from heel to midfoot, or even forefoot. This creates a natural forward feel of propulsion. The wider platform and the supportive foam that accompanies it aim to provide a reassuring feel. Nike adds that the shoe gently guides the foot in a smooth, straight line, reducing side-to-side wobbling and movement.
‘These attributes make the Nike React Infinity Run ideal for the kind of runs that don’t fall into the silo of interval or tempo, long run or race. This shoe matches best to base-run days, those middle-mileage, moderate efforts.’
Citing a study by the British Columbia Sports Medicine Research Foundation (BCSMRF) on 226 runners in the Nike React Infinity Run and the Nike Structure 22, a traditional motion control shoe, Nike notes that runners in the Nike React Infinity had a 52% lower injury rate than in the motion control shoe, with wearers confirming that they felt less pain in their knees and feet.
The Nike React Infinity Run will be available January 3 for Nike Members and receives a general release January 16.