Nike’s new running shoe delivers all-round improvement for a more comfortable run
NIKE LUNAREPIC LOW FLYKNIT 2
SHOE TYPE Neutral
WEIGHT 219g for Men’s, 187g for Women’s
HEEL DROP 10mm
AVAILABLE AT www.nike.com.my, Nike stores and authorised resellers
FIRST things first — as a long distance runner, I don’t find Nike running shoes suitable for the mileage I log.
I wanted to buy its stability shoe once, the Lunarglide 8, only to find out that the toebox is too small. The Nike Free RN is sock-like and flexible but the thin outer sole tires my feet after 5km so I use it only for speedwork and casual wear.
But when the LunarEpic Low Flyknit 2 was launched, runners whispered that it is one of the best Nike shoes they have tried so I decided to cast my opinion aside and laced up to see if I’ve finally found a Nike running shoe that suits me.
Picked as this year’s Competitor Magazine’s editor’s choice award, this is the second reincarnation of the shoe, updated for a snug, seamless fit. The Nike Flyknit fabric is designed to wrap the foot like a sock for a natural, snug fit that flexes with every movement.
The outersole, meanwhile, features raised rubber that absorbs impact and cushions landings. And inside, the Lunarlon cushioning — a combination of soft and firm foam that helps absorb impact — creates a smooth heel-to-toe transition.
On paper, this shoe will make your run comfortable because it combines the flexibility of foot movement with adequate cushioning every time you land.
I took it for a 5-km run and agreed with runners’ consensus that the soft upper, cosy interior and adequate cushioning all contribute to make running comfortable in it. It’s both flexible and light, and for someone familiar with the hard cushioning of stability shoes, this is a refreshing change that’s still comfortable.
The run started off hard on the knees, maybe because my legs weren’t accustomed to soft cushioning. But after 500m, the pain was gone, running became easier and I found myself alternating speed between jogging and sprinting, thanks to the lightweight shoe. At less than 200g, this is the lightest shoe I feel comfortable running in.
Like many Nike running shoes, this one also uses Nike’s unique Flywire to help keep the midfoot snug.
I went on a 10-km run with it again, and the lightness and responsiveness is amazing. It feels like you are bouncing off the road and this pair, however unlikely, is becoming my favourite short distance running shoe.
A big plus point of this shoe is its great traction on different surfaces. The 5-km run took me inside shopping malls and the grip on the floor was even better. The sole looks very simplistic but the technology that went into it belies its function.
Whenever I go running with it, sometimes I purposely change surfaces to see which ones will make this slippery but I’m happy to report that even on puddles, this one keeps you stable.
My only gripe is that since now I don’t avoid puddles, sometimes the water splashes onto my shoe and sips through the knitted upper, making my feet wet.
But other than that avoidable condition, this is one light and responsive shoe that doesn’t neglect cushioning. It’s a great running pair. You just have to try it to believe me.
According to Nike, the development team for the Nike LunarEpic Low Flyknit 2 started with feedback from one group of runners — women.
Based on input from female runners, the topline and ankle scoop were reshaped into an unconventional silhouette and the collar was rebuilt with more cushioning to give runners a more comfortable shoe.
The team developed the shoe around women, every step of the process, believing that that it would lead to a better running shoe for men too.