Nike’s Reaction Infinity Run Lives Up to the Hype

Cate Lynch, Writer

Every athlete’s worst nightmare is getting injured, which sometimes seems almost inevitable. Nike’s new shoe, the React Infinity Run, ambitiously aims to stop injury before it can begin.

As an avid runner, I’ve dealt with numerous injuries, the most notable being achilles tendinopathy and a stress fracture in my lower back. Coincidentally, these injuries have occurred almost exactly a year apart, and in both recovery processes, I found myself reaching for the Nike React Infinity Runs.

The shoes come in a variety of colorways, ranging from neon and white combinations, to all black, to fun mixtures of yellow and purple. Numerous designs appeal to many consumers, so you’re sure to find one that catches your eye.

Truthfully, the appearance of a shoe hardly matters to most runners – more importantly is how well it works, and how likely you are going to want to train in it. In my book, the Infinity Runs rank high in both cases.

Dubbing their shoe as “breakthrough” and with a public intention to reduce injury (the sole of the sneakers even says “Designed to keep runners running”), Nike left a lot to live up to. In an external study conducted with 226 runners, it was found that those who used the Nike React Infinity Runs had a 52% lower rate of injury, compared to a control shoe.

If the single test or small sample size doesn’t convince you, allow me to. The wide forefront of the shoe creates stability with each stride, which is aided by the rocker design of the sole. Cushion is plentiful and responsive without weighing down the shoe, which comes in at 7.5oz for the women’s version.

When recovering from my first major injury, the stress fracture in my back, I trained and rehabbed in these sneakers. I made a full recovery, and didn’t get severely injured again until the following year, after I had switched to a different shoe (the Nike Pegasus 37). Diagnosed with Achilles tendinopathy, I reached for my trusted Infinity Runs, and have been injury free ever since.

Nike’s shoe is extremely durable and long lasting, which is good, considering the hefty price tag of $160. For an injury prone or avid runner, the purchase might be justified, but newer runners should definitely consider whether it’s worth it.

The Infinity Runs have a fairly narrow toe box, commonly seen in almost all Nike shoes, so those with wider feet should stay away. The large amount of cushion also isn’t ideal for any type of speedwork, whether that’s track workouts or sprints. However, distance runners will love this shoe for recovery and longer runs.

Another drawback comes with the lack of a tongue in the upper knit of the sneaker. It’s incorporated into the Flyknit upper, so tightening the laces can increase pressure on the upper foot.

Overall, this shoe leaves me with little to complain about, and I’ve only ever had good experiences with it. I can certainly testify in favor of the injury-preventing capabilities of the Nike React Infinity Runs, but even if you don’t believe it, try on a pair for yourself. The dynamic ride and comfortable cushion are sure to win you over.