Nike LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield Review Facts
When Phil McCartney ascended to the position of global V.P. of sport performance at Nike, he took on the task of restoring the brand to its status as the premiere maker of running shoes. He began by creating a team and dividing it into three interconnected squads. Each squad was assigned a directive to which their respective shoe design must speak. One squad, for example, was focused on McCartney’s “run easy,” initiative, the other two his “run fast,” and “run natural,” initiatives. The LunarEpic FlyKnit was the first shoe released under the “run easy,” initiative. It was a hit.
The Nike LunarEpic Flyknit Shield is a successor to the aforementioned shoe. The designers of this shoe hoped to honor the spirit of the original by reexamining the concerns that the original shoe hoped to address, and creating new ways to better handle them. They also wished to add greater versatility to the shoe and increase the amount of protective measures that it incorporates. So, for example, this shoe is said to possess some water repellent qualities. The principle question here is then, “how well does this shoe accomplish these things?” Check out the review below so that you can better decide if Nike’s LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield is the right shoe for you.
The outsole of the LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield is composed of five decoupled pods. These well articulated pods, or “landing pads” as they have so aptly been called, provide the outsole with its points of contact on the ground. These individual parts are siped, meaning that on each pod one sees circular laser-etched grooves. The outsole is composed of a sticky rubber that is meant to better establish its grip. The delineated circles on each respective pod have a mobility that is independent of those circles on the other pods. To elaborate, a concentric region is only made to interact with the ground when the smaller interior concentric regions, that serve as its counterparts, interact with the ground.
The midsole of the LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield is constructed from Nike’s patented Lunarlon
foam. Lunarlon is a tenacious cushioning foam that Nike reports is 30% lighter than regular Phylon foam, which is a derivative of EVA foam. Lunarlon foam is a composite of several different kinds of foam, all of which possess different levels of density. Beyond this, it is pieced together from a softer lightweight inner foam core, and a more resilient, stabilizing outer core.
The upper of the LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield is a modified version of the upper constructed for its predecessor, the LunarEpic FlyKnit. Unique to this redesigned upper is the integration of DWR (durable water resistant) coating to its TPU yarn. The redesign includes an interior change as there is now a water resistant sock liner that occupies the foot chamber. The essential focus of these inclusions was to provide the wearer a means of better dealing with inclement weather
. The upper has a high-reaching ankle collar that creates a more insulated feel. There are flywire cables about the midfoot.
The LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield when assessed with the average male’s shoe size in mind had a weight of about 8.5 ounces. When the women’s line of the LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield was weighed, it came in at approximately 6.7 ounces.
Most runners praised the shoe for its ability to establish and maintain an insulated feel without becoming too hot. The shoe manages to inundate the snug-fitting footchamber with a sufficient flow of air. This allows the runner to better stave off odor-build up, and to lessen the accumulation of moisture. All of these things factor together to grant the runner a less irritating and more hygienic ride.
The upper of this shoe circumvents what is recognized as the usual level of elasticity for the FlyKnit material. For these shoes, that amount of elasticity is relegated only to the tongue and ankle collar. The rest of the upper, in contrast to this, is devoid of this elasticity. The upper is instead more reminiscent of those uppers used in more traditional running shoes. The key difference, however, between this upper and those uppers we most often encounter is that this one has a level of breathability and lightweightness that makes it a lot more comfortable. The fabric of the upper conforms to the shape of the foot, and some runners have described it as acting as a second skin. There is a lot of cushioning distributed throughout the shoe. Most runners have applauded the shoe for being free of aggravating pressure and hot spots, but this consensus is not shared by all. For a few runners the stitched overlay near the rear of the shoe on which the LunarEpic emblem rests is a source of discomfort. They claim that this area of the shoe creates a source of major discomfort for the achilles. The shoe also comes with two removable insoles
, one featuring a thickness of 6 millimeters, the other 4 millimeters. This allows the runner to fix the shoe so that they can create a fit that better meets their needs.
The style of the LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield is a unique one. Each shoe in the line boasts eye-catching, vibrant coloring. Web-like crosshatching adorns the shoe, and it sports a high-reaching sock-like ankle collar. It’s a design that screams athleticism, but also cues the observer into the kind of technological-innovation its designers wished the shoe to exhibit. Nike’s swoosh logo is glued onto the upper. This is a strange design choice, as the logo is typically a part of the flyknit mesh itself. The running shoe has a heel height of approximately 28 millimeters, as well as a forefoot height of 18 millimeters. This is true for both the men and women’s shoes. The width of the running shoe for both the women and men’s lines can be regarded as normal.
Some interested runners have expressed their concern over the resilience of the shoe. To elaborate, the outsole in particular has encountered a great deal of scrutiny. This is because the outsole employs some very narrow pieces in its overall composition, and many are worried that these pieces might be too fragile to maintain the integrity of the shoe. Those worried about this, however, can rest assured that the chances of the outsole breaking down are not high. The outsole, for instance, was not affixed to the running shoe by way of common adhesives. Instead this outsole was attached to the shoe via a molding procedure that better connects it to the midsole. There are no overextending portions of the outsole, which means its chances of being rubbed away are greatly minimized.
The LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield has an upper that features a DWR coating that is said to repel water. This feature of the shoe has been a major source of its branding, and serves as one of the shoe’s most attention-grabbing claims. Unfortunately, the water-resistant properties of the shoe leave quite a bit to be desired. The running shoe does well to repel small amounts of water effectively, but it had an issue with leakage whenever the level of water was more than a light drizzle. When subjected to heavier rains or puddles the shoes allowed water to seep into the front quite easily.
The purported benefit of this Lunarlon foam is that it more evenly distributes the impact energies of a stride along the foot so that no one portion of the foot incurs too much pressure. This claim seems for the most part to hold up pretty well. Many runners have applauded the shoe’s construction for providing them with a well cushioned and springy ride. To increase the relative spring given to your ride, runners have suggested adopting a stride that is more dependent on one elevating onto their toes. There is a caveat, though. The responsiveness of the LunarEpic Flyknit Shield is greatly reduced when the runner adopts the faster pace of say a 5 kilometer trek. It has been reported by some runners that the outsole becomes too squishy at these higher speeds.
The LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield has a neutral arch. This type of arch is best suited for those runners whose feet have high arches that do not pronate or supinate in any aggressive way. This is because a shoe that adopts an arch like this will provide no added infrastructural support to accommodate aggressive supination or pronation.
This shoe is equipped to handle most roadways. They are intended for daily use in these areas, and do well to maintain their integrity and effectively take on the stressors of road work without causing pain
to the feet of the runner. It performs admirably on mud-laden and wet pathways. Some have successfully used them as gym shoes as well.
The LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield is set at a price that is higher than the average price for a running shoe of this kind and quality.
It has been reported that while its designers were trying to figure out how best to construct the shoe, they exposed prototype outsoles of different geometric patterns to many rigorous tests. Those tests involved subjecting the outsole to the mud and snow covered terrain of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. The intention was to arrive at an outsole that would provide the runner with enough traction to take on wet or slick pathways. Eventually a concentric pattern was decided upon. Most runners will be satisfied with the amount of traction granted to them by this design.
The flyknit upper contours to the shape of the runner’s foot. It stretches and contracts in accordance with the movement of the feet so that the runner is afforded a more natural stride. The fabric has been described by some runners as a second skin. The siped outsole, because of its decoupled pods, has more points where it can bend. This in combination with the Lunarlon midsole grants the running shoe its flexibility.
The high-reaching ankle collar of the shoe provides runners with a greater level of stability
. This allows runners to prevent ankle-rolling and other potential ailments that might reduce their ability to run fluidly and often. Outside of this measure, however, the running shoe can be seen to possess very little in the way of stability
. Some runners, for instance, have lamented the fact that this running shoe has an outsole made of five decoupled parts. The principle issue is that each individual pod can potentially interact with the ground in a way that is independent of the other decoupled pieces. This can create a wobbly and unstable feeling depending on the placement of the foot, the terrain, and the speed of the runner’s strides.
This running shoe sports a heel-to-drop of 10 millimeters for both the men’s and women’s shoe. This particular drop is too high to be considered a “natural
Five decoupled pods for outsole
Partly water resistant upper
Two removable insoles
Flywire cables set about midfoot
The Nike LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield is by no means a cheap shoe, and for some this may be the final straw that makes its flaws too much to bear. Those searching for a running shoe that performs well at high speeds while maintaining its stability may want to stay clear. Those runners insisting on grabbing a pair of running shoes that are completely water resistant will, likewise, want to consider other options. These, though, are the main grievances associated with the shoe. If one can overlook these then they are in luck because the Nike LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield does a lot of things right. The shoe works very well as a daily trainer
, is very flexible, and provides great traction on a multitude of surfaces. While the water resistant properties are nothing to write home about they do provide the runner with a decent means of preventing water from entering the shoe when confronted with lower levels of water (i.e. light drizzles). The shoe is also very comfortable and stylish. Again, the Nike LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield has its flaws, but if one is willing to overlook them then they are in for a nice ride.