Tom's Guide

2022-05-11 08:56:29 By : Mr. Qida Guo

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By Jane McGuire published 20 April 22

A responsive long-run shoe that needs to be cheaper to appeal more to beginners.

Plenty of padding around the collar and tongue

Stability rails for the final miles of a marathon/offering light support when you need it

Lacks versatility for faster runners

When Nike released its Infinity Flyknit running shoe, it came with the caveat that it would help runners avoid injuries. Two years later, Nike is back with the third iteration of its easy, everyday running shoe, with some more tweaks to the upper to provide a smooth ride underfoot. But how does it compare to some of the best Nike running shoes on the market? I’ve run 30 miles in the shoe, over a number of different terrains and types of sessions, to put it to the test. 

Fans of the Infinity will be thrilled to hear not all that much has changed between the second and third versions of this shoe. Nike says it has added more cushioning around the heel and ankle for support, and has added Flyknit to the upper. It’s still a comfortable all-rounder, but in my opinion, it lacks the versatility of the original version of this shoe and is about $50 too expensive for most beginners. Read my full Nike Infinity Flyknit 3 review below to find out more. 

The Nike React Infinity Flyknit 3 is £144.95/$160 and has been available in the UK and the US as of April 2022. The shoe comes in five different colorways for both men and women and is available in sizes US 5 to US 12 (UK 2.5 to UK 9.5) in the women’s sizing, and US 6.5 to US 15 (UK 6 to UK 14) in the men’s. 

The shoe is more expensive than the likes of the Nike Pegasus 38 (and Pegasus 39, also released in April 2022), which cost $120. 

Nike calls this its “most tested shoe.” There’s a bit of a background story here — when Nike first released the Infinity, it came alongside a body of research that looked at how runners ran, and what they needed from a shoe to prevent common running injuries. The findings of the study, conducted by the British Columbia Sports Medicine Research Foundation, found that the runners wearing the React Infinity had a 52% lower injury rate than those in the motion control shoe (Nike’s Structure 22), with wearers confirming that they felt less pain in their knees and feet.

Type: Road Drop: Nike has not yet confirmed Colors available: 5 

The changes in the second iteration of this shoe echoed this research — with the introduction of a sturdier upper to give runners more support. Personally, I missed the lighter, sock-like upper of the initial Infinity Run, which I used for a lot of long, easy training miles. The thicker upper somehow made this shoe feel heftier, and less versatile. With the third iteration, Nike has tweaked the upper again, and added more cushioning around the heel and ankle for a more supportive feel underfoot.

The upper on the Nike React Infinity Flyknit 3 is made from Nike’s “Flyknit” material, which is designed to be sock-like, and hug the foot for a secure feeling. As mentioned, the upper changed in the second iteration of the shoe, in an attempt to make the shoe more supportive and comfortable. In the Infinity Flyknit 2, Nike added padding to the collar and tongue, and incorporated ‘Flywire cables’ to offer additional support in areas of the shoe. 

The upper of the Flyknit 3 feels very similar to that of the second version of the shoe — it does feel a little lighter, but is still not anywhere near as sock-like as it was in the first version of the shoe. 

The midsole of the Nike React Infinity Flyknit 3 contains Nike’s React foam, which is firmer and more supportive than the ZoomX foam used in shoes like the Nike Invincible Run, or the Nike Vaporfly Next% 2. It’s the same foam as that used in the Pegasus 38, and gives you a snappy feel underfoot, without being overly bouncy. Like with other React shoes, I found I had to almost break these shoes in, and it wasn’t until I’d done a few miles in them that I found the foam to be cushioned rather than firm.

Again, like previous versions of the shoe, the silhouette is the same — there’s a wider toebox for a stable feel underfoot, plus a rocker geometry to help support the stride, and aid a natural toe-off. This rocker isn’t all that exaggerated, but it’s definitely there.  

Nike says it has added more cushioning around the heel and ankle in the third iteration of the shoe, and these were comfortable straight out the box. However underfoot, they felt very similar to the previous shoe. 

The outsole of the Nike Infinity Flyknit 3 is definitely built for the roads rather than the trails. There’s no deep lugs here, but they are definitely gripper on the pavement than say, the Nike Invincible Run, and during testing, I had no issue with these on wet concrete, the treadmill, or light trail. 

Like the Infinity Flyknit 2, this is a decent shoe for everyday miles. It’s comfortable enough to wear on your long runs, and it could be responsive enough for speedier tempo sessions, although faster runners might find them a little hefty, and there are better shoes out there for that (check out our best carbon fiber running shoes). 

If you’re not comparing them to previous versions, as I am, you’re bound to enjoy the responsiveness of the React foam, and the stability added to the shoe to help mild overpronators in the final miles of a long run. 

They also look great too, which isn’t all that important for a running shoe, but in my opinion, if you’re spending $160 on a shoe, you want to be able to wear it to the gym or in the office as well. 

While the third-generation Flyknit is great  for easy training miles, my heart longs for the underfoot feel of the original Infinity Flyknit, which I found to be far more versatile, and far less hefty. I’d also argue that not all that much has changed since the Flyknit 2, so if you’re on a budget, snap the previous version up in the sale and you won’t be disappointed. 

If you’re not looking to spend $160 on a shoe, the Pegasus 38 shares a lot of the qualities of the Infinity Flyknit 2 — reliable, built for long training miles, and comfortable underfoot, for $40 less. What’s more, the Pegasus 39 is due to drop any day now, so you’ll likely be able to snap the 38 up for even cheaper. 

If you’re looking for something more exciting, the ZoomX foam in the Nike Invincible Run is far more responsive and bouncy, and feels great, even when running on tired legs.

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past four years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy. 

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