Nike has a lot of notoriety in the running world. Some earned, some not. “Nike doesn’t make good shoes” is a bald-faced lie, for instance, but the company does have a habit of throwing its power around. Let’s also not forget: For better or for worse, the greatest athletes in the world wear Nike. I would personally say that no one does innovation like The Swoosh. Whereas other companies are touting their few proprietary technologies, Nike has half a dozen and isn’t afraid to mix and match and try new things, even if those things peter out. This time, they rolled out a laser-cut midsole/outsole hybrid to introduce adaptive cushioning like never before.
The most distinctive feature of the LunarEpic is the high top ankle collar (like runners don’t have weird tan lines as it is, #amiright?). This seems to pull from their soccer line, where the Flyknit has gone over the ankle for the past few years. This serves to help the foot from sliding too much and just moving straight. It’s actually not that bothersome, surprisingly, but I also rock high top Converse on lifting days, so I may have just adapted to it. Anyway, the Flyknit here is practically on another level. It feels like an extension of your body. It’s like when Spider-Man wears the Venom suit: the clothes are alive!
The midsole is composed of soft Lunarlon foam inside a more durable carrier, which doubles as the outsole. This is where the magic happens. The actual ground contact portion is made up of laser-cut rings that move independently from each other. That means they can adapt more precisely to where you put your pressure. Again, it feels like the shoe is part of you.
There may not be enough cushion here for everyone (even if it comes with an additional, thicker sockliner). I personally wouldn’t want to use it for my next half marathon, although others will be fine with it. Even so, the shoe feels amazing in transition, jogging, gunning it, pretty much everything.
Verdict: Pretty Great