First off, let’s get one thing straight. I’m not a professional runner. I don’t run for fun when I have some spare time either. It’s something I’ll do on occasion—an activity I can squeeze in after a hard day’s work if I need to bust out a sweat. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy exercising—my poison is usually a few rounds of boxing or some early morning yoga.
And running? Well, the truth is, I find it quite challenging.
That’s why when Nike invited me for a Nike Running Club workout (the third I’ve attended in the last year or so), I was ready to face another pummeling, grueling night of torturing my skinny chicken legs. Yes, my legs are sexier than yours. Deal with it.
What was special about this particular run was that we were chosen to test out Nike’s latest running sneaker: the Nike Epic React Flyknit, a shoe that was gaining notoriety for being the best running sneaker yet.
From an aesthetic perspective, it’s a beautiful shoe. Gorgeous, even. The type of model sneakerheads wouldn’t mind adding to their footwear arsenal. Sleek but casual. Sporty but futuristic. It’s a design that immediately draws the right kind of attention. Let’s just say they’d probably work just as well with a pair of skinny jeans as they would with your ratty gym shorts.
Upon lacing them up, I could already feel the difference it added to the skip in my step. It was light, that’s for sure, and flexible enough for my feet to feel comfy nestled inside all that Flyknit awesomeness. I remember telling myself that, maybe tonight’s run wouldn’t be as challenging.
And as I prepared myself for the swift 5K run before me, I started feeling excited, mostly because I knew the pair I had on was special and would carry me through with ease. Running on pavement always messes up both my knees and the soles of my feet, an aching, pulsating pain conquering my joints post-workout. But as we were clearing street after street, corner after corner, I noticed that I didn’t feel the same pressure I usually did.
By the 2-K mark, I was already drenched in sweat, my heart pumping as fast as the rock and roll track I had playing on my phone. Despite already reeling from half of the run, I was still pumped and determined to see it through, to stride forward and finish strong. Plus, I couldn’t quit—the Nike people were watching for chrissakes!
The Nike Epic React Flyknit positions itself as a shoe that’s precision-engineered for support, flexibility, and breathability—basically, everything an avid runner could ask for (and then some). The extended midsole makes for great cushioning, the added stability a definite bonus. But for a casual runner like me, it was the overall performance booster these running sneakers were capable of that sealed the deal. Because of the intelligent design, the undeniable comfort and support, I was able to triumph over another run.
While cooling down with a few stretches, I realized how enjoyable the run had been. You see, I discovered that, when you’re not so focused on physical and mental discomfort, a (somewhat strenuous) run can actually be quite fun. And if a killer-looking pair of kicks can help you achieve that, you’ll feel even more like a winner.