If you have ever found yourself scouring the internet or your local soccer shop to find a shoe that can function as a proper lifestyle shoe and still be ready to jump into a competitive match whenever the moment arises, the options are fairly few and far in between.  The old adidas Samba might fit the bill, but it’s certainly not the most exciting of potential choices, and most other lifestyle soccer shoes from the major players within the soccer world wouldn’t function well under the demands of an actual high stakes game of footy.

However, Nike appears to have taken a stab at creating the boot that’s ready to help crank your casual Friday look up a notch, and then quickly silence any doubters in any impromptu short-sided play.  Enter, the Nike FC React.

When we first got a glance at the Nike FC React, we assumed that the shoe was created to go down the route of previous Nike FC footwear.  We’ve seen Nike craft together a Magista, the HyperVenom, the Tiempo, and even the Superfly in versions that have been stripped of almost everything that makes them a proper boot and shift towards a completely lifestyle footwear oriented build.  All of those versions were often presented under the banner of Nike FC, and all of those shoes would have been terrible options to use when actually trying anything intense with a soccer ball.  None of them offered extremely close fits, none of them offered a high level of lockdown, and only a few of them had outsoles that would have actually been capable of handling the responsive needs of an indoor soccer boot.

However, the Nike FC React is a different animal.  While the old Nike FC shoes looked like indoor boots (but didn’t have the build to handle that function), the newest Nike FC shoe looks like a lifestyle shoe, but is built to handle indoor play.

The first thing you notice from the shoe is that the fit is immediately tight.  The stretchable tongue sits tight, along with a low-cut collar that hugs your foot.  The entire surface of the boot isn’t nearly as padded as the stretchy looking tongue would suggest, and there’s only one layer of material underneath the mesh-like material that covers the entirety of the shoe.  There is one area of high abrasion coating, right where you’d strike the ball if you were attempting to curl it around a wall, and it seems that this is the greatest aspect to confirm that this is meant to be a boot that is capable of as much function as it is fashion.

Time on the ball in these is nice, and Nike made sure that the upper was soft enough to flex and move addressing the ball, but be thick enough to offer a nice bit of padding.  It never quite matches up to the actual turf or indoor options Nike has, but the intent is certainly there.

The biggest headline for these has to be the Nike React outsole that is supposed to have us forget about the years of Lunarlon and the smooth ride of adidas BOOST.  The material certainly offers a great bounce and level of comfort, but the FC React doesn’t seem like the best representative Nike could choose to showcase the React.  We were impressed, but we haven’t gotten rid of our other shoes simply because of React.

One aspect of the boot that we don’t like for trying to play actual soccer is how thick the laces are on the FC React.  If you’re going for a shoe that’s capable of handling more than just making us look awesome in our jeans, you’d think that the laces would be a bit more streamlined.  There isn’t a single Nike Soccer Cleat out there that has thick laces, so why should the FC React be different?

The heel also isn’t padded low enough for our heel, as trying to wear it for long periods of time did seem to cause a hot-spot.  While this might mean Nike only wants you to use it for indoor play, the look of the boot makes us think that Nike should have constructed this shoe to offer all-day comfort.

For anybody looking to expand their Nike arsenal, looking for a boot that they can wear to work and then to the local short-sided pitch after quitting time, or simply wanting to test out Nike’s React tech, the FC React isn’t a bad option.  However, in the attempt to blend together a lifestyle shoe and an indoor option, Nike feels like they haven’t done an extremely successful job with either aspect.  If we’re playing indoor footy, we’re going to want a better boot and if we’re wanting to wear some Nike swag to work or for a night on the town, we’re going to want something that offers a different fit and better comfort.  We didn’t exactly wake up one morning thinking about how badly we wanted this style of boot, and the FC React doesn’t quite have thinking that is a bad thing.  This feels like a lifestyle shoe mainly with the different colors and styles on offer, it can claim to be the best lifestyle shoe that can perform on the indoor court but it still wouldn’t make a good indoor shoe. Stick to lifestyle with it, and look good doing that.

3.5 / 5 stars     

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