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Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 Running Shoe Review

The Infinity has a cushioned and stable design that’s made for racking up big mileage

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(Image: © Unknown)

For

  • Smooth and stable ride
  • Highly durable
  • Improved upper lockdown

Against

  • Fairly firm and dull ride
  • Not great for speedwork

The original Nike Infinity Run was a great shoe. It paired a big chunk of comfortable React cushioning with a rocker in the midsole to make cruising through training runs feel that little bit easier.

There was only one real problem – the upper. Some runners found it didn’t provide enough structure to lock down the foot, especially around the midfoot and heel. So with the Infinity Run 2, Nike has done the sensible thing and focused on updating that upper, leaving the rest of the shoe much the same.

While I didn’t have any problems with the upper on the Infinity Run 1, I still prefer the design of the new shoe. There is more padding around the heel, and Flywire cables around the midfoot to hold the foot in place comfortably and securely. There’s also a lot of padding on the tongue, which is now more separated from the upper compared with the bootie design of the original Infinity. I’ve heard tell of people accidentally ripping this tongue clean off, and it doesn’t seem very securely attached to the rest of the upper, but so far mine is intact.

The Infinity is not billed as a traditional stability shoe, but it does have some stability features, such as the large plastic clip running around the back half of the shoe and the very wide forefoot base. I’m a neutral runner but didn’t really notice the clip on the run, and I consider extra stability to be mostly welcome in shoes with high stacks of foam that you’d expect to use for long, easy runs.

Underfoot there is a generous slab of Nike’s React cushioning. As a foam it’s an all-rounder – not hugely squishy or bouncy, but not hugely firm either. It offers a pretty “dead” ride in truth, which is not necessarily a bad thing – your legs are protected from the road and it’s comfortable, but you’re not getting the serious amount of bounce you get from the Nike Invincible or Asics Novablast.

The stand-out feature of the ride is the smoothness: the rocker moves you through your foot strike with an extra degree of ease, so you just keep on rolling without any harshness. It’s a great ride for logging easy and steady training runs in, and does it differently to a bouncy easy-day shoe.

I was also pretty impressed with how it felt during an interval workout running 24 60-second rounds, with 30 seconds of recovery. It’s not a lightning-fast shoe by any means, but it’s better for speedwork than similar shoes like the Saucony Endorphin Shift in my experience. I’d still rotate the Infinity Run 2 with a faster shoe if you take your training seriously though; or if you want just one shoe for all your training, opt for an all-rounder like the Saucony Endorphin Speed.

The Nike Infinity 1 was a shoe renowned for its durability, and I racked up several hundred kilometres in it without any signs of wear and tear. Given the lack of changes to the Infinity 2’s midsole and outsole, I expect it to offer similar levels of durability, which makes the price of £139.95 easier to swallow.

I found that the outsole gripped well in the snowy and wet winter we’ve been having – not surprisingly, as the Infinity 1 performed similarly well in these conditions.The fit of the Infinity seems true to size to me, as was the original, although the second version of the shoe is a little more snug.

The Infinity Run 2 is a shoe built with a purpose in mind – to offer support and protection on your easy training runs – and it succeeds in that aim. But that doesn’t mean it’s completely lacking in versatility: you could use it for faster running, though it doesn’t excel on this front.

Whether it’s the shoe for you will mostly come down to what kind of ride you prefer. It’s a smooth but pretty dull ride, especially compared with bouncier – dare I say, more fun – shoes like the Novablast or Nike’s new Invincible. There are also more comfortable shoes like the Brooks Glycerin if that’s all you want from your easy-day trainer.

The Infinity Run 2 is another solid option in this bracket, and it’s good to see Nike address the main flaw of the original with the updated upper. It’s expensive, but the durability of the React foam used will soften that blow in the long term.

Buy men’s from Nike (opens in new tab) | Buy women’s from Nike (opens in new tab) | £139.95

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.