Imagine a world where every runner gets faster. Pretty exciting. But also a hearty challenge, given the presumed hurdle of injury. But 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 a step toward that objective.
When Nike debuted the Zoom Vaporfly 4% in 2017, racers cheered; the shoe was built for notching PRs and breaking limits — privileging running economy. The same year, Nike React, a proprietary foam offering game-changing cushioning and energy return debuted. In running, the technology answered for a near impossible desire: A feel that was soft, resilient, lightweight and durable.
The Nike React Infinity Run encompasses the best qualities of those two technologies — a fine-tuned blend of biomechanical efficiency and cushioning — for a breakthrough shoe that 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 4%, the Infinity has a rocker-like bottom that yields a more fluid transition from foot strike to toe off.
This inspired combination has an instant impact on a runner. Slip the shoe on, and it feels at once stable and energetic, the spring in the React foam ready to fuel miles. 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, provides a reassuring feel — 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. In fact, an external 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, showed that runners in the Nike React Infinity had a 52 percent lower injury rate than in the motion control shoe, with wearers confirming that they felt less pain in their knees and feet.