Nike LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield

8.6
8.6 score
Runnerclick score (8.6)/10

Our overall Runnerclick score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter
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Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
User's rating: based on 2 user ratings
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Nike LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield Review Facts
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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 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 Nike’s LunarEpic FlyKnit Shield is the right shoe for you.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

 

  • Great for daily use
  • Flexible
  • Water resistant
  • Responsive ride 
  • Durable
Cons
  • 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
See How
Reviews were analyzed here:
We read, analyze and sort reviews into positive & negative categories to give you the complete picture.
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 2 hours analyzing a total of 117 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

Positive
  • 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.
Negative
  • 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.
Reviewmeter
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 117 reviews we found in total, 10% were negative, and 90% were positive.
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Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

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.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

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.
Upper
Upper

Upper

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.
Weight
Weight

Weight

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.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

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 foot chamber 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.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

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 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 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.
Style
Style

Style

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.
Durability
Durability

Durability

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.
Protection
Protection

Protection

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.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

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.
Support
Support

Support

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.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

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.
Price
Price

Price

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.
Traction
Traction

Traction

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.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

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.
Stability
Stability

Stability

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 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.
Drop
Drop

Drop

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” drop.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- Five decoupled pods for outsole
- Flyknit upper
- Partly water resistant upper
- Two removable insoles
- Lunarlon midsole
- Flywire cables set about midfoot
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

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.