Saturday, February 16, 2019

NIke Odyssey React 2 Flyknit Initial Review: It's Epic React plus some Pop and A Touch of Stability

Article by Sam Winebaum

Nike Odyssey React 2 Flyknit ($120)
The Odyssey React 2 is Nike's lightest weight light stability trainer. It weighs about 8 oz /226 g for a men's size 9 (my sample US men's 8.5 weighs 7.7 oz / 219 g) with the women's coming in at 6.9 oz. /   195 g.

Odyssey React is about, if not the lightest, stability trainer out there. But neutral runners, and I am one who find a touch of stability useful as guidance forward, should have no issues running them as well. It weighs a couple tenths of an ounce less than v1. I did not run the Odyssey v1 so cannot compare directly but did the Epic React 1 (RTR review). It weighs very close to two ounces less than Nike Structure, a stability shoe as well as the Vomero 14  (RTR review) a neutral shoe with some stability from midsole side walls.
A close cousin to the Epic React the Odyssey weighs a few tenths of an ounce more and adds a blue medial injected TPU stability clip, a more robust upper, and most importantly for me more extensive and better placed outsole rubber.

My first short run in them at a variety of paces was far more enjoyable and snappier than the dull riding Epic with its stiff flex and inadequate front of mid foot rubber coverage.

The fit was true to size with a very secure foot hold front to back. The toe is quite pointy and low but I was fine, just at true to size in thin socks. Those who are bothered by low, pointy toe boxes may struggle .
Given the upper hold and how broadly the shoe stretched to my medium foot some may consider sizing up half a size. And as always new shoes do require some stretching on the run to get to their final fit. I found the mid foot  fit far more to my liking than the Epic React 1 where the mid foot medial side was so snug that it actually impeded my transitions.
The Odyssey 2 adds a stretchier Flyknit panel over the top of the fore foot and a new mid foot saddle to ankle panel.  Compare the photo below to the off foot photo above. There is some serious stretch over my big toe and mid foot yet the denser less stretchy gray side areas and rear panel kept the foot securely in place. Breathability over the top of the toe should be excellent while I am not so sure about the rest of the shoe and in particular the thin rubbery saddle over the mid foot and to the heel.

The ankle and achilles collar is far more padded than the Epic React which essentially only has Flyknit at the rear
The React midsole is the same 28mm heel /18 mm forefoot as the Epic React and Odyssey 1 but I do note more profiling/sculpting of the side walls of the Epic React for I presume a softer feel and more lateral release.
LEFT: Epic React 1            RIGHT: Odyssey React 2
The outsoles differ greatly with the Odyssey having more conventional rubber and more of it than Epic React. The React's single piece forward crystal rubber was not only very stiff making toe offs awkward for me.

The Odyssey has not only more coverage and further back than Epic React but some welcome segmentation compared to Epic React. The result is the dull feeling mid foot of  Epic React now is rubber covered in Odyssey for some transition pop with its front rubber segmented (unlike Epic) for some far forward flex to toe off.
It is also perforated with some holes on the lateral side to better drive the foot to toe off to the more continuous and stable medial side rubber. I do think the rubber back of the flex point could use some additional segmentation and more of a decoupling groove running from heel to near the toe.

The ride is stable , oh so light and quite fun. I particularly noticed, as the pace picked up, a pleasant combination of bounce from the React foam combined with a responsive stable feel from the outsole.  The forefoot felt a bit thin and firmer at slower paces but this may have been because I was not really activating the flex to toe off fast enough, lingering on the rear of forefoot rubber.

My initial thoughts ? One heck of a substantial trainer for a tiny weight of about 8 oz. At least for me, it is much livelier and snappier than Epic React 1. The upper is by no means a super roomy one especially way up front but for once the combination of a snug but fair knit and stout rear of shoe support works and works well here. I can well see the Odyssey being not only a great daily trainer for all foot strike types and one with enough support for heavy mileage, but also a long racer.
Watch our YouTube version of the review 

Full review with comparisons to be updated here.
Detailed reviews of Nike Zoom Vomero , Vaporfly 4%, Epic React v1, Zoom Fly v1 and Flyknit, Pegasus Turbo and 35, as well as hundreds of other run shoes here

Read Sam's full run bio here
The product reviewed was provided at no cost. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.
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vaad said...

i was looking for info/review on the new budget cushion trainer, reebok floatride forever. Is this review soon?
thank you

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Vaad,
Thanks for your inquiry and reading RTR. We expect our pairs of Floatride Energy Forever in about a week and will begin testing right away.
Sam, Editor
Thanks for reading Road Trail Run! See our page with links 100’s of in depth shoe and gear reviews HERE. You can also follow RoadTrailRun on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram where we publish interesting run related content more frequently as well as links to our latest reviews.
Shopping through links on articles help support RoadTrail Run and is much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

I wonder it may be hard to beat the beacon.

MechaDriver said...

In looking at the outsole and midsole, it looks very similar to the prior version of the odyssey react. Can I assume that the ride is the same as last year (assuming upper and weight don't directly impact)? Also, does it ride somewhat similar to the Vomero 14?

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi MechaDriver,
I have heard of no changes to outsole or React midsole so one could assume a similar ride. It rides differently than Vomero 14. The Vomero 14 have very distinct heel and forefoot feels. The heel of Vomero 14 is also stable but from sidewalls and not the lower plastic clip of Odyssey. Upfront the Vomero has a more distinct flex point somewhat further back and while I have not taken Odyssey up to faster paces I think the Vomero will prove more dynamic. The Odyssey is overall more of a piece and not quite as exciting for me but considerably lighter and that is felt You will find my Vomero review below at the link under Nike,
Sam, Editor
Thanks for reading Road Trail Run! See our page with links 100’s of in depth shoe and gear reviews HERE. You can also follow RoadTrailRun on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram where we publish interesting run related content more frequently as well as links to our latest reviews.
Shopping through links on articles help support RoadTrail Run and is much appreciated!

Rich said...

hey everyone - with Nike no longer producing the LunarGlide is the this a shoe that would be a good replacement for that?

Kevin L. said...

Are you sure it's a stability shoe? As far as I know the previous model wasn't.


Avis Nike Odyssey React said...

Hi Sam,
Thank you so much for your review of the Nike Odyssey React 2 Flyknit.
I agree with you on many of the aspects you mention in your article. Especially, I've been running with these shoes for 1.5 year now and I love the lightweight feel and the "bounce" it gives.
Anyway, I agree this shoe is a bit more stable than the previous version (which I love), but I don't quite agree it can be considered a stability running shoe. I'm with Kevin above... Real Stability Running Shoes offer a stiffer midsole especially in the inside of the foot IMO. This one is a neutral shoe, with a bit of increased stability.
My 2 cents... Keep on the great work! :)