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Nike Reax TR 8 Review
Nike Reax TR 8 solidified its constant presence on the market with a few new colorways being released this spring, making it a good time to review its features. The Reax series has been introduced more than ten years ago when Nike became serious about making training shoes. Since then various versions have been released, both for men and women. The Nike Reax TR 8 is a silhouette that stuck with many as their favorite training shoes, despite newer versions being released (much like the Nike Air Max Torch 4 in its series). This is likely because of its good looks but also certainly for the comfort and support it provides.
Out of the box the old school look of the Nike Reax TR 8 is quite catching and if you like the smell of new shoes this style for some reason has a bit extra of it (I noticed it every time I got a pair). There are two versions of this shoe, with one featuring some mesh upper and the other in all leather. With the spring in sight I decided for the mesh one, especially when this gray version became available.
The Nike Reax TR 8 feels comfortable out of the box, mainly due to its lacing system that is made to wrap up around your feet while the padded tongue adds some cushion right under it. The upper is made of synthetic leather and mesh that is sturdy and durable. For this mesh version Nike implemented its seamless technology to blend the two materials together while leaving the rest of the seams in place. This makes sense since this is a spin-off the original version with all perforated leather upper that had the initial success. Personally I like the mesh version as it feels more flexible and of course much more breathable.
The tongue is sewn in towards its lower side, just enough not to annoyingly go to the sides while wearing the shoes but also leaving some flexibility on the upper part. The heel collar features some solid cushioning, much needed especially with the not so flexible sole. The standard foam insole is removable, something welcome for a pair that you'll be working out in. There is no lack of branding as you'd expect from a shoe from Nike and it all looks just right.
As far as the sole goes, here we see why many associate the Nike Reax TR 8 with the Nike Shox . The sole is engineered with a solid plastic plate sitting on top of six columns and the EVA from the forefront is hidden by the upper materials, just like the Shox. However , for the Reax the cushioning and energy return come from the area under the columns and the outsole rubber. Thus the cushioning is limited in the heel area which makes sense for a training shoe built with stability in mind. In the gym these do very well for lifting weights and cross-training but I could not recommend these for running, at least not for long runs. The rubber outsole feature a pods pattern that seem to follow sensitive areas of the foot where support is needed in the gym. The rubber material gets a bit slippery when walking on a neat wet surface and while it did not happen to me I did hear a few people complaining about a noise coming from the sole. The issue seems to be the hard plastic material the columns are made of that rubs against the softer material from under the columns. A bit of good ol' WD-40 lubricant seem to take care of this issue.
The Nike Reax TR 8 is without a doubt a good looking shoe with a distinct technology and design that make it obvious why it gained so many fans over the years. Even if they are advertised as training shoes they make up for a great every day sneaker. Nike training shoes are usually over $120 so if you do not want to break the bank and get a good value, these are surely worth considering. Their retail price is $84.99 but often you can get them for less and there's always a variety of colorways to choose from.