Marathoners aren’t the only ones serious about running these days. More young adults are taking to running to stay fit than ever before. Five and 10 km daily is what most amateurs are likely to target, with an eye on improving timing and stride.

The former comes with practice, while the latter owes so much to the shoe you choose to wear. When you’re going shopping for a running shoe, there’s some tough competition out there. The choices are endless, and honestly, you’re unlikely to pick up a pair that’s bad, so to say. But what makes one shoe better than another? And why are some of them so astronomically priced – more so, are they actually worth that much money? We’ll tell you, while also explaining why Nike’s latest drop is an exciting option to consider if you enjoy running.

When looking for a running shoe, certain features are paramount. For one, cushioning is of utmost importance to ensure that you’re comfortable throughout. Lightness is another factor. Getting more technical, energy return – or the feedback you get from the track every time your shoe hits the ground, which is so important to stay fresh towards the end of your run – starts playing a bigger role, the more you get invested in the activity. And of course, if you’re paying top dollar, you’re going to want your shoe to last you a long, long time.

With Nike’s new Epic React Flyknit shoe, energy return takes centre stage with the brand’s new React foam cushioning. Typically, hard foams offer better energy feedback, while softer foams are more comfortable. Striking the ideal balance is therefore a challenge. Nike takes it head-on here by opting to go lighter – the React foam is considerably softer and more comfortable.

The design of the upper is deceptively simple. A minimal, breathable one-piece bootie sculpts perfectly over the forefoot, toe and arch. The midsole, too, is a single piece of the Nike React foam that cushions only where necessary.

With a 10 mm offset (drop from heel to toe), cushioning under the forefoot is a huge bonus that many other running shoes lack. In the Epic React, you’re grateful for it with every stride you take, especially when you experience minimal impact while running on hard surfaces.

Aesthetically as well, the shoe looks superb. The white variant might be tedious to maintain (simple soap and water scrubbing with an old toothbrush is good enough to clean with), but it looks stellar, with the neon pink, electric blue and tallow details on the heel cup – so good that you can wear it around town too.

At Rs 15,995, the shoe does cost a pretty penny. But if you ask us, it’s an amount worth coughing up given the longevity, durability and stylishness of the model.

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