Nike LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield
When Phil McCartney ascended to the position of global V.P. of sports performance at Nike, he took on the task of restoring the brand to its status as the premier 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 number of protective measures that it incorporates. So, for example, this shoe is said to possess some water repellent qualities. The principal question here is then, “how well does this shoe accomplish these things?” Check out the review below so that you can better decide if the Nike LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield is the right shoe for you.
- Great for daily use
- Water resistant
- Responsive ride
- Flyknit upper allows for some leakage
- Ride may be a bit too unstable for some runners
- At higher speeds the shoe may feel too squishy
- The most common comment about the Nike LunarEpic Flyknit Shield is the great comfort. A large number of reviewers say these have become their go-to for short distance running.
- The inner sole provides excellent cushion and bounce; especially for the forefoot.
- If you are looking for a change from more minimal running shoes, the LunarEpic is a good option. Buyers noted that the upper has a secure yet natural feel while the sole provides extra give and responsiveness.
- Although not waterproof, the design helps keep water and moisture out.
- The combination of flyknit and ankle collar makes it easy to pull these shoes on and off without having to mess with the laces each time.
- The ankle collar not only provides some extra support but it also keeps your feet warmer in cold or damp conditions.
- The material is breathable, helps repel water, is easy to clean, and has a lot of flexibility.
- The tread and grip of the shoe are great for use on pavement and in gyms. Not many reviewers have tried them on other terrain so they may not have enough support for trails.
- It was noted by several buyers that these shoes worked well for them running in light snow and slush. The tread gave them sure footing and the material kept their feet warm.
- Buyers with narrow feet feel the fit is snug without losing comfort. For wider feet, these shoes might feel too tight.
- A few buyers with flat feet noted that these shoes give them a good level of support.
- The toe box design is wide enough to not cause pressure or rubbing.
- The extra little support that the ankle collar gives is another point that is praised by many reviewers.
- The full shoe design is lightweight.
- The bright color options are popular.
- The coloring on the soles hides dirt more than the plain white soles of other, similar shoes.
- The unique design of the ankle collar is not for everyone. A number of buyers complain of rubbing along the back of the ankle sleeve; especially where the ankle sock meets the heel of the shoe. As many reviewers say, it may just take some time to get used to it. However, for some people, it's a deal-breaker.
- These shoes are water repellent but not waterproof. Wearing them in excessively wet conditions will cause some discomfort.
- Most buyers used these shoes for short to mid-distance running, but there is not much said on how they will perform for long distance.
- While the cushioning is praised, a few people noted that it needs to be balanced more from toe to heel as well as have a little more support in the arch.
- There are a few reports of wear on the shoe starting to show within a few months.
- Being a shoe designed by Nike, the price of the LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield is on the higher end for running shoes.
- Although not necessarily a negative point, it is worth noting that sizes run small. Many people recommend buying a half to full size larger. Also, for people with slightly wider feet, the material of the upper may feel too tight.
- One reviewer noted that it is easy for small pebbles to get stuck in the tread. Keeping them cleaned out will help prolong the life of the sole.
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.
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 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.
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 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 lightweights 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 Nike LunarEpic Flyknit Shield 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Nike 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.
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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 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.
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 principal 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.
- Flyknit upper
- Partly water resistant upper
- Two removable insoles
- Lunarlon midsole
- Flywire cables set about midfoot
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.