Behind the Moonshot: Nike React Infinity Run | Nike

Behind the Moonshot: Nike React Infinity Run | Nike


Injury is the worst thing for an athlete. It’s a nightmare. It’s awful. Heartbreaking. You lose a little bit of yourself. I feel like something is missing. It’s an emotional drain on the body as well. Our job is to always understand the runner and listen to the runner. But also being able to measure them objectively. So the north star for us is ultimately to try and move the needle in terms of how we reduce the risk of injury. People have been trying to solve running related injuries for a long time. Nobody’s cracked the nut, so to speak. One of the ways motion control works is to control pronation. And pronation is a natural motion of the foot during the rollover process. It’s been assumed that that leads to injury, so the goal has been in running shoe product creation for a long time, well if we control pronation we will control injuries. But it’s certainly not one size fits all. There’s lots of ways we’ve done this in the past. We’ve actually been successful. We know how to change pronation with motion control shoes, but we haven’t made the link to say that actually reduces injury and the reality is it hasn’t. The first thing we looked at with the shoe was the cushioning. We used our React foam, which is incredibly soft, but it’s also incredibly durable. To make the shoe more stable we had to look at the width of the shoe, look at how wide we could go. The last thing we looked at on the midsole is the rocker, or the rollover point on a midsole, we call it. You want a shoe that has incredibly smooth transition or ride. So once you feel that you’ve designed and built a shoe that meets the requirements we’re looking for, the next step is to put it through its paces with real runners and see if we’re actually changing injuries. And to do that, we partnered with Dr. Michael Ryan at the British Columbia Sports Medicine Research Foundation. This is the largest prospective running injury study that we’ve ever done. There’s lots of definitions of injury. The one that we use in the study is if you miss 3 consecutive workouts due to running related pain. Over a 12 week period we tested 226 runners. Half in the Nike React Infinity Run and half in the Nike Structure 22 to see whether there was a difference in injury rates and pain perception between these shoes. Runners trained for a half-marathon using a variable training program that involves mixing up both the distance and speed of the workouts. The result that was incredible for all of us was that the runners, both males and females, who ran in the Infinity shoe sustained 52% fewer injuries than the same cohort that ran in the Structure. It clearly shows that we are on the right track and it’s a great first step on our journey to that north star of no runner should get injured. If I don’t have to worry about injury, I’d just run for miles and miles and miles. A world without injury, is the world where you can achieve success. Crossing the finish line healthy is just so incredible. At the end of the day we’re always trying to make athletes better and part of being better is not being hurt.

36 thoughts on “Behind the Moonshot: Nike React Infinity Run | Nike

  1. This was great! Appreciate the insight into the some of additional thoughts on the shoe. I'm about 50 miles into the shoe so far and really enjoying it! Looking forward to putting a lot more mileage in them.

  2. What do you think about this a stability shoe? For someone that needs stability. Compared to a Brooks adrenaline ? Curious you're thoughts.

  3. A stability shoe?
    The best one is the Asics GEL-Kayano 26. And the Asics are making great things happening with the Glideride and the new GEL-Nimbus Lite.

  4. This is why I threw a lightly used new Nike Zoom Structure into the trash can a few years back. Absolutely horrendous cushioning, and a friend had been injured so badly she never train for a run again.

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