Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Nike Lunarglide+ - Verdict

I have religiously worn these shoes for several months now alternating them with my beloved Asics. However, the Nike Lunarglide+ have been my long-run shoes of choice and I've notched up 800km in them now and they are officially dead.

So what did I think? First of all you have to put my thoughts into perspective, I started running in about 1982 and wore waffle bottomed Nikes. I just couldn't understand why anyone was daft enough to run in anything other than these clearly superior shoes.

I was a committed Nike fan for years and years even after I kept buying Nikes that just didn't seem to be working for me, year after year after year. In the end though I couldn't ignore the simple fact that Nike had lost its way so I started trying every shoe under the sun, Brooks, Mizuno, Asics to name but a few. I eventually fell in love with Asics and especially the DS Trainer for racing (I still don't think you can beat that as a racing shoe for all distances). I even flirted with Nikes from time to time but was always disappointed.

So when Nike asked me to review these shoes I knew I'd be objective but I wasn't sure they'd appreciate my comments as I didn't hold out much hope. So to my conclusion: -

Style: - Black and orange, pretty funky but not for everyone - as for me I loved the alternative look and tend to wear lots of black so I'm giving them 9/10 for style.

Durability: - I NEVER wear shoes past 800km but few ever get close to that because the outsole always wears out on the outside edge and ball of the foot area. Once the outsole goes then you are making contact with the ground with the much softer midsole. This results in rapid wear but more importantly reducing the stability of the shoe. I wonder sometimes if manufacturers make the outsole a little soft so the shoe wears out quicker???!!! Maybe I'm just cynical! The Nike Lunarglide+ outsole was awesome and made it to 700k before the outsole had worn significantly.

The midsole is a little more difficult to gauge as it can be compressed and worn out without you even realising it. It's usually only when you get a new pair of shoes and feel like your on springs that you realise your previous shoes had no life left in them. A telltale sign is creasing in the midsole. I'm pleased to say that the Nikes still feel full of life and there is no creasing.

The upper, usually these have leather or plastic support bands on them that can become brittle and start ripping. With the Lunarglides they have a sort of cloth material to create the stability and I suspect this also helps keep the weight down. I note that along the edge of one of these bands a tear has slowly appeared during the last 100k or so but has not affected performance at all. So my overall verdict for durability is 9/10.

Comfort: - These shoes feel very "squishy" and are like walking on foam (not an unpleasant feeling as I wrote previously). This may have been a negative if they hadn't been the most stable shoes I've ever worn. They do seem to get a little hotter than most runners possibly due to their colour or tightly knitted material but this is a minor issue. These shoes have to be the MOST COMFORTABLE SHOES I'VE EVER WORN!. 10/10.

Stability: - Runners World classes these as stability shoes. I'm a supinator so I need neutral/cushioned shoes in theory whereas stability shoes and in particularly the Lunarglides are touted as being perfect for over-pronators. Can it be that these runners fulfill the cliche "One size fits all"? Maybe not one size but I reckon they would suit just about any running gait. I have never been so injury free or aches and pains free. 10/10.

Performance: - I have to say that I wouldn't race in these shoes given the choice as I feel that my Asics DS Trainers return a lot more oomph to each stride. Having said that the Asics take their toll because of that. Whereas the Lunarglides get you home not feeling too beaten up. I read one magazine review that stated that due to their lightweight that it wasn't recommended to run more than 10k in these shoes - I say twoddle to that. I reckon these shoes get better the LONGER you run in them. They would always be my shoe of choice for long training. Yes they are very light but incredibly well cushioned. 8/10.

So would I recommend these shoes? When I embarked on this journey I was worried how I'd write honestly as I'd received a free pair of shoes to review that I didn't hold out much hope for. Basically, I resigned myself to the fact that it would be polite criticism rather than a brutal tirade. I have however found the job to be very easy and I've been very pleasantly surprised.

So would I recommend them? Let's put it this way, I have a long run to do on Sunday, the shoes I was given have expired so I'm prompted to write this final review before popping out to BUY MYSELF a new pair. I think that probably says it all does it not?

Possibly the most comfortable, lightweight, forgiving & hard wearing running shoes I've ever owned. Also not as expensive as Asics either!!! No NIKE are not paying me to write this but I suspect if you buy a pair you will be very pleased.

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