After the launch of the Epic React Flyknit, runners were wondering what would be next for the new technology. A mere two months later and we now have the Odyssey React, not a successor of the recent Zoom Odyssey, but seemingly a replacement for the LunarGlide. How does it measure up?
As much as the Epic React was hailed as the ultimate in cushion and responsiveness, the Odyssey seems even bouncier. We chalk this up to the forefoot rubber outsole adding more responsiveness to the ride of the shoe. But it feels good! It feels like there’s a spring in your step. It’s not to Zoom Fly 4% levels, but there’s a definite comfort and bounce. It might not be a racing shoe, since there’s not that level of responsiveness, but if you’re heavier, the lightness and bounce could make it ideal for speedwork. There is a light stability element, with the rim around the heel having extra material on the medial side, that works in conjunction with a form-fitting upper.
Speaking of, the upper is pretty different from other shoes on the market. The tongue is actually a neoprene wrap that has a set-up like a slip-on. This gives the upper a rubbery sensation that’s not unlike the sole. There’s support and lock down, without rigidity.
The thicker upper makes it run a little warm and people with wider feet may find the neoprene a bit tough to fit in.
We like the feeling of the Nike Odyssey React a lot. However, if you’re looking for a highly supportive shoe, evocative of the Zoom Odyssey, you will be disappointed. If you like bounce, though, you’re in business.