Nike LunaRacer 3

Nike has always been a pioneer in the running shoe industry, constantly setting new standards through their technological innovations and vibrant style. Despite their long history as one of the world’s top athletic brands, Nike manages to remain fresh, modern, and relevant in a constantly changing market, earning the respect of athletes and everyday sneaker wearers alike.

The Nike LunaRacer 3 is an example of Nike’s outside-the-box thinking, and like so many of other Nike lines, the LunaRacer 3 combines many stellar features to create a piece of footwear that appeals to everyone. Whether you’re a casual runner or an elite marathoner, the LunaRacer 3 is sure to be of benefit to those who want to feel light on their feet during a run.

Delivering great performance for those with neutral running gaits, the LunaRacer 3 features a solid overall design that’s lightweight, comfortable, and stylish. While a running shoe, it also has crossover appeal for those looking for a comfortable everyday shoe for walking, workouts, or just common activities. The midsole provides a great deal of cushioning and responsiveness, while its upper’s fabrics conform nicely to the shape of the foot after lace-up. Nike has been putting out some of the most popular lines of shoes for decades, and the LunaRacer 3 is yet another winner in their long list of achievements.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Offers maximum breathability through FLYWIRE upper mesh
  • Responsive LUNARLON foam technology provides generous cushioning and responsiveness
  • Stretchy, glove-like fit
  • Cons
    • Narrow toe box not appropriate for wide feet
    • Nondurable outsole features very little carbon material
    • Only suitable for flat, even terrain
    • Key Features
      The LunaRacer 3 has a thin outsole because the LUNARLON midsole makes up the bulk of the shoe. The outsole is an example of “if it ain’t broke” mentality, as it is identical to the outsole of the previous edition of the LunaRacer. Featuring a few pods for traction, which are larger than the ones from prior editions, as well as a few carbon rubber coverings which are visible as black specks, the LunaRacer 3 offers a fair amount of traction. The larger pods aid with extra padding, cushioning, as well as responsiveness. High-wear areas of the outsole are covered with Nike’s durable BRS 100 carbon rubber.
      The LunaRacer 3’s LUNARLON midsole provides soft cushioning. This foam—which Nike claims is 30% lighter than Phylon foam—is constructed from a combination of lightweight EVA material and Nitrile Rubber (NR). Running full-length, from heel to toe, the LUNARLON midsole provides enhanced transition from landing to take-off. Light, soft, and responsive, the midsole of the LunaRacer 3 is sure to appeal to runners and casual sneaker fans alike.
      Perhaps the biggest update to the third edition of the LunaRacer line is its upper, which has been revamped to address breathability issues of past editions. The new mesh used in this edition is soft and breathable, eliminating the need for overlays and fixing a problem that had been hampering this line before. The upper showcases a seamless construction that features Nike’s popular FLYWIRE technology, which is located on the outside and is separate from the upper. Consisting of threadlike fibers, this system provides support and stability via a lightweight modality, as opposed to using heavier insole inserts. In addition, the FLYWIRE fibers work as part of the lacing system to give the runner the proper fit. As a safety feature, Nike has placed a reflective strip on the heel area for added visibility in low-light conditions.
      The men’s shoe weighs a mere 6.4 ounces/181 grams and the women’s version weighs 5.5 ounces/156 grams, making the LunaRacer 3 one of the lightest running shoes available. This low weight reflects the consideration put into the construction of this shoe, and how every single piece of thread, fiber, and literally every speck of material was heavily weighed beforehand to create an ultra-lightweight running shoe.
      Breathability is improved on this version of the LunaRacer from its predecessors. The 3rd installment contains a new upper mesh with large perforations for added airflow to the foot chamber. Nike is known for using some of the softest and smoothest fabric materials on their shoe’s uppers, and the LunaRacer 3 is no exception. However, the only foreseeable drawback in a highly breathable shoe is its sensitivity to cooler weather. Therefore, the LunaRacer 3's will be best enjoyed in warm to temperate conditions.
      The LunaRacer 3 features fabric materials that are soft to the touch and lightweight. With LUNARLON and FLYWIRE technologies in its upper, Nike has made a running shoe that is both comfortable and lightweight. The LunaRacer 3 absorbs and redistributes impact pressure evenly so that your joints are not subjected to the focused shock of impact.
      Nike has always been on the cutting-edge of style, their brand has become an iconic cornerstone of sportswear, and their lightweight racers emblematic of what the creative minds at work for the company can achieve. As for as the LunaRacer 3, runners will not be disappointed with the vast array of color options available. For a quick preview of what can be found, here are a few of the branded names of these color combinations: University Red, Black Bright Crimson, Hyper Jade, Total Orange, and many others. There is something for everyone--from bright neons to more subdued basics like black, gray, and white—that will appeal to every style with the LunaRacer 3.
      The outsole of the LunaRacer 3 is standard, mostly due in part that this is a racing shoe intended for flat paved surfaces. The cost of speed seems to come at the expense of durability. While comfortable, the LunaRacer 3 is not a particularly durable high mileage trainer. On average, this shoe will need replacement after 250-300 miles.
      Nike FLYWIRE is effective, but is by no means an aggressive support and stability that emphasizes pronation correction. As for cushioning, the LUNARLON system provides a generous amount, and the redistribution of energy translates to keeping joints free from injury. In addition, the LunaRacer 3’s soft and breathable mesh protects against heat-related injury. It’s worth noting that while this shoe does offer a few effective protective features, this is an ultra-lightweight trainer that’s best for those who already have a naturally healthy gait and in general is better-suited for experienced runners with better mechanics. It is also best in fair weather conditions.
      The lightweight fusion of EVA and Nitrile Rubber that comprises the LUNARLON midsole. Nitrile Rubber provides the springiness that makes the LUNARLON foam so responsive. Runners will also appreciate how lightweight the LunaRacer 3 is, which also contributes to its overall responsiveness.
      Nike FLYWIRE and LUNARLON are the main support components in the LunaRacer 3. LUNARLON offers cushioning support and FLYWIRE helps maintain stability, but essentially both systems work together and offer a little of both. It's simple but effective, and most runners should feel adequately supported. However, it may not be enough for those who tend to overpronate, as this is mainly a neutral running shoe with standard arch support.
      If you’re the type of runner that enjoys switching up terrains without having to switch your shoe, this is not the shoe for you. However, for road runners that run on traditional running surfaces (asphalt, pavement, track), and those that race on these surfaces, the LunaRacer 3 is an ultra-lightweight trainer that performs well. In addition, this is also an excellent sneaker for everyday usage, workout, and walking.
      Nike shoes usually carry a hefty price tag, which is to be expected with this much-vaunted brand. However, the LunaRacer 3 has been out for a while and has even been surpassed by the LunaRacer 4, so as a result. the price has dropped significantly. Hunting around online, a runner may just find a great deal on this all-around great shoe.
      The LunaRacer 3 has good traction on flat, even, and preferably dry surfaces. While it has been noted that it performs decently under rainy conditions, the LunaRacer 3 will generally not provide the runner enough traction for wet surfaces. Our suggestion would be to keep terrain choice and running conditions simple so that the need for aggressive traction is not required.
      Give credit where credit is due! The LunaRacer 3 fits like a glove and if you want to get an idea of its stretch just bend, twist, and contort it in every possible direction. Soon, you’ll realize why so many have applauded it for its rubber band flexibility. With the help of the FLYWIRE system, and the stretchable mesh upper, runners will find a shoe that provides the best freedom of movement.
      Nike’s FLYWIRE technology works like cables on a suspension bridge. The threadlike cables hang from the shoe’s upper and latch on to the outsole. FLYWIRE cables are there to hold the foot in place and keep it secure and stable. The FLYWIRE system looks like extended laces on the sides of the shoe and works in conjunction with the laces to provide a good fit for the runner. Nike FLYWIRE is unique because it provides lateral stability by using flexible lightweight filaments. However, while this is a stable sneaker, the LunaRacer 3 is not specifically stability shoe.
      Heel height on the LunaRacer 3 measures 27 mm and forefoot height measures 20 mm, which results in a 7 mm drop. This drop is the same for both men and women’s pairs. A 7mm drop is ideal for discouraging heel strikers and encourages a mid- to forefoot strike. This drop makes it less likely that you’ll injure yourself from the poor running form.
      Key Features
      • Features Lunarlon, a soft, foamy, lightweight, and responsive cushioning system

      • Lightweight upper mesh provides flexibility and breathability

      • A stylish assortment of interesting color combinations

      • Dynamic Flywire that allows for a flexible fit

      • Engineered mesh that eliminates the need for overlays
      Bottom Line
      In the last several years there has been increasing pressure to make shoes lighter and softer than ever before. It’s clear that this was the intent of Nike when producing the LunaRacer 3. However, where Nike really shines with this edition is by going the extra mile to make a lightweight shoe that is exceptionally flexible and comfortable.

      The LunaRacer 3’s ultra-lightweight flexibility and responsive but comfortable cushioning provide some of the most important qualities that runners look for in a running shoe, which is the feeling of having nothing on your feet while on a run. Of course, there will always be drawbacks in over emphasizing certain qualities over others, but for runners looking for a quality road running shoe that’s lightweight, offers excellent cushioning, and is super-stylish, the LunaRacer 3 is difficult to beat in its class.
      Don’t expect the LunaRacer 3 to be the teacher of running shoes. In other words, if you are just getting started with running and are lacking in terms of your mechanics, the LunaRacer 3 may not be the best option. However, for experienced neutral runners that have their running style down pat and knows exactly what they need in a running shoe, the Luna Racer 3 may be their next favorite shoe. This also goes for those looking for a stylish and comfortable everyday shoe or walking shoe. Simply put, Nike has done it again, making a running shoe that almost anybody can enjoy.
      Where to Buy
      By Cesar Marin
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 30. 2021

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