Nike debuts the Epic React Flyknit sneaker with an all-foam bottom

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If there’s one body part that is enjoying all the benefits of modern technology and innovation, it’s the foot. From 3D-printed shoes to light-chiseled soles, the sneaker may just be the most improved object of the 21st century. And the latest improved sneaker comes from Nike, which has debuted the Nike Epic React Flyknit, a running shoe with an all-foam sole that leverages a new technology known as React. Promising cushion from stride impact, a lightweight feel for effortless runs, and enough durability to withstand the wear and tear of athletic activity, this may just be the shoe of the future.

Slated to hit stores on February 22, the Nike Epic React Flyknit features a knitted upper and a giant cushion underneath. When Nike says that this is an all-foam sole, it’s not messing around. The bottom is literally one piece of foam without any casing whatsoever, which should be some pretty serious comfort.

The midsole depended upon computational design, which helped Nike determine where to add more cushioning and support. The precision offered by algorithms allowed the company to eliminate material wherever unnecessary, leading to a more lightweight shoe. Moreover, the algorithmic approach helped Nike create “unique surface geometry on the foam for each size shoe,” as TechCrunch noted. That means that your women’s size 7 will be custom made to that particular size, whereas a men’s size 11 will be unique to that particular size. Generally, that isn’t the case — most shoes are designed to a single sample size, and then have material added or subtracted as needed. But not so with this new-age sneaker.

As Nike explains, “The midsole extends beyond the upper around the heel to provide the cushioning runners want and the stability they need. Deeper parts on the midsole and outsole indicate areas of more cushioning and shallower portions produce more firmness.” As for the upper, Nike claims that the one-piece Nike Flyknit bootie is engineered specifically for support, flexibility, and breathability. While it’s relatively minimal, it should still be supportive enough for runners to go the distance.

Nike claims that its React technology (though not necessarily this particular shoe) has been tested in more than 17,000 miles of running, so it ought to hold up to even your most arduous races. While pricing information hasn’t been released yet, it’s safe to assume that the shoe will cost somewhere in the range of $150 to $200.

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