Monday, July 13, 2009

Nike LunarGlide+ : Review



I was amongst some of the luckier one that was seeded with the above shoe last week at Nike's HQ in KL. LunarGlide+ is an extension from the LunarRacer and LunarTrainer+. As usual, the + sign denotes that it is Nike+ (or NikePlus) ready.

But if you think that the three are the same, you are not wrong to assume it as they all carries the Lunar "branding". But essentially all three are different. I shalt not go into the details of LunarRacer and Trainer (the latter can be found in my blog) but will concentrate on how different Glide+ perform compared to a few Nike Bowerman series running shoes.

LunarGlide+ comes in a bit heavier compared to the LunarTrainer despite having the FlyWire technology found in a few models. For you all new here, FlyWire is a technology that Nike use to lend support to the shoe minus the bulky "structure". Essentially, they looked like wires running across a certain section needing more support while shedding some weights off.


Flywire running in the midsection

LunarGlide+ comes in heavier might be due to the fact that it has heavier cushioning and very specific density LunarFoam at certain area. This is to cater for the (yet to be) patented Dynamic Support System which promises (Vomero?) plush ride with (Triax) stability. It is like a one-shoe-fits-all-kind-of-foot scenario where an overpronator, underpronator, high arched, low arched, neutral arched runner will find it comfortable to use. More so, this should appeal to beginner runner being daunted by all those terms above and might end up buying a foot specific shoes wrongly (ie buying a less supportive shoe when you have high arch) and ended up hating running.

In my own layman understanding, the LunarFoam biased towards one side, lending support to lateral movement, giving more support where and when it is needed. A search on the internet (and as per my pre-glide teaser in my Facebook) shows the left cut out section of the shoe, with the inner side of the left shoe being thicker to lend support to the arch.

Rocket science, really.


Thicker LunarFoam at the "inner" foot area


Food For Sole

Another different thing i noticed on the shoe is that the outsole was built differently compared to the other shoes. The LunarFoam was inserted directly to the sole and could be visible from the cutout section. It also has the waffle like outsole to lend flexibility and also to reduce weight.

The upper section of the shoe is made from mesh and it was quick drying compared to Triax, Elite and Pegasus. It was even quicker to dry compared to it's near cousin the LunarTrainer+.



LunarGlide+ comes in gender specific features and the women Glide+ has more thoughts put into the shoe. I wasn't privy of a pair of the ladies version but what i gather is that it comes with more support on the inner side to counter overpronation usually associated with ladies. Also, the toe box was also larger to accommodate bunion caused by wearing highheels.

To be frank, i can't comment on the above as i do not wear highheels and i definately do not run like a girl (again, let me reiterate that more girls run faster than me).

Nike Malaysia - a pair of sized 11 for the women in me to try and see if it makes any differences? Or a sized 8 so wifey could try it to give her opinion? ;-)

The pair i had came in black with striking orange sole. It is both subtle and attention grabbing - more so if you wear with the side specific quarter socks with orange heel cup. Compared to Pegasus, Glide do not have that many reflective materials, which might make it not a good choice to bring out running at un-Godly hours. If it can't be avoided, i recommend sets of blinkers (just don't over do it, else a plane might think you are an airport).


Beautiful

So, after all the talk above, how did the shoe fare in real life?

While i ran in it for a short 2.7km on the day i was given the shoe. It was too short of a distance to tell how it would perform in real training days.

I had the chance yesterday when i was participating in the PD Tri.

I've ran in multitude of shoes in my whole sporting life (i wouldn't call it a career as can't make a living out of it, not in this life) and i would say that LunarGlide+ is a relevation.

OK, i know that is like kaw kaw marketing, but i can't help but to say that since every other Nike they gave me was something better than the last. However, there is a caveat to this as one particular model, IMHO, perform below par. That is another story for another day.

LunarGlide+ has bounces in it. You feel like you are running on spring. every heel strike and transition to take off are spring like. I was tired after the bad swim and so so bike but the shoe yesterday performed.

Unlike LunarTrainer+ where the cushioning was too plush to the extend there wasn't any bounce or energy return, LunarGlide+ gives life to your heel strike.

I feel like i was gummy bear after eating the gummy jelly.

Seriously, i came out of the run beaming. The seamless contruction and the Nike specific socks gave me zero blister and zero funny feeling (of the bad kind).

I will use this for my 21km run in Desaru and if the sole outlast my running, i will be donning this in IM2010 (this mean i will have to ration my shoes properly...each pair would last a max of 500km and i am running thin on most of them)

But the highlight was when more than three triatheletes commented that the shoe looked great and at least 5 says i am a "whore" to color coordinate the shoe with my Ordu.

Am i one? I will leave you all to be the judge.



Bottomline
If you are looking for a decent shoe, please consider the LunarGlide+. They are retailing at the store at RM399/pair and definately cheaper than some of the shoes selling at RM699, which offers the same function/features.

Thank you Nike Malaysia for the opportunity to try the shoes and hosting the event at the HQ!







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