This post was written for and first appeared on Harold being Harold.
The Nike React Miler, a shoe that came out in 2020, is new, at least compared to my usual shoe reviews, although version 2’s release is imminent.
Why these running shoes?
Early in February, I was having a lot of problems with my right foot. As a result of those foot problems, I needed a shoe with a wider forefoot, not too worried about it being overly breathable, and have a multipurpose outsole – it is still Winter, up heah in Maine.
After research, it came down to the Nike React Miler and a different shoe. TheWife, in her infinite wisdom, simply said.“Every time you seem to have problems, you end up going back to Nike. Why don’t you stop messing around, and go back to using Nike and then stick with them?”
Who am I to argue with that kind of logic? So yeah, I got the Nikes.
My Nike React Milers were a personal purchase through the Nike website using a combination of my veteran’s discount and their sale pricing at the time.
You can read my initial thoughts here.
Enough background how are they doing?
So far, I am pleased with the Milers as my primary daily trainers during February in Maine.
They are not the lightest choice or shoes that I would race in, but they weigh under 10 ounces and are comfortable for running or walking. I have worn them in sloppy/slippery conditions and remained upright, and my feet don’t usually get cold even though I have only run twice in them in temps above freezing.
Their weight surprised me since most reviews had them about half an ounce heavier. Which was a pleasant surprise.
The Milers in a men’s size 8.5 U.S. are my typical Nike size. For most other brands, I am true to size at an 8.0. The toe box is wide enough to accommodate my Tailor’s Bunionette problem on my right foot without issues in my regular running socks. There isn’t a lot of extra room in the forefoot, but there is enough, which is an essential consideration for my weird feet. I haven’t experienced any heel slippage or rubbing in the ankle wells, which is a welcome change from many Brands.
Feel (different from fit)
While I like the cushioning, it doesn’t feel like I am running on marshmallow either, which is good. Although I don’t think that I get a lot of energy return from the React midsole this time of year, which probably has something to do with most of my runs have been in temperatures below freezing. The React midsole is rumored not to do so well in colder temps, but I don’t think it is the only cause.
Attempting to push the pace in the Milers is more work for me than it is in other running shoes I have worn lately. However, I didn’t get the Milers for speedwork or to use for faster running. I want them to be comfortable and soak up the miles, keep my feet warm, and for that, they have done well.
There is a LOT of rubber on the outsole, so unless I focus on running quietly in them, they tend to be noisy and slap the road if I am not paying attention. Although if I do pay attention, the heel-to-toe transition is smooth and comfortable. So I have to pay attention more often or turn the music up.
I can use the React Milers in many conditions that I usually have to wear my trail shoes, which saves the trail shoes for trail running, really nasty weather conditions or the snowmobile trails. I like the grip that the outsole has, and while it does pick up some sand/pebbles, it isn’t bad compared to most shoes.
There is noticeable wear on the front of the shoes where I toe-off. It is not unusual to see significant wear on a shoe in this area for me, and I feel that I will probably wear through to the midsole somewhere between 200 and 300 miles. Which is also a big reason why I go through so many pair of shoes in a year.
With the Miler’s upper, I can wear my usual running socks on all but the coldest days, which is nice. The front toe bumper is sewn-in, and when I first saw it when I got them, I wondered if they might cause an issue for me. They haven’t, and I have found the upper works well for me at this time of year.
However, if I wear my regular Merino wool socks or the heavier winter-weight ones, they feel too snug/tight. While this upper works great in colder or cooler weather, I don’t think they would be the right choice for running in warmer weather. Swamp foot is not something I like all that much, it leads to too many blisters, and I feel that the Milers would lead to a good case of it on longer runs.
It is not a bad-looking shoe, but the available colorways are rather dull: gray, white, black, or the grayish-blue that I have. I customized a mock-up on Nike’s web page of the Miler for a color-way that I would like. Except I would add green laces. I would prefer the yellow highlights to the green, but it wasn’t an option.
Would I get them again?
I don’t know.
That is the honest answer, there a lot of things that I like about the Nike React Miler, but there are so many other great running shoes out there in the same price range that I might prefer because they are a little lighter, have a bit more snap/energy return and breath better in warmer weather.
However, for running in the colder weather in often sloppy conditions, the Milers have done an excellent job for me, and who knows, as the weather warms up, perhaps they will have a bit more pop to them. If they do, that might make me take a closer look at them for next Fall. Either way, I will have a better idea of the direction I will go with the Nike React Milers after they have over 200 miles on them.
Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received the Nike React Milers as a personal purchase from Nike.com. I was not required to write a positive review or any review as a result of my purchase. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and your experience with the product might be different. I am disclosing this per the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”