Renew has become Nike’s go-to budget foam in 2019. It’s appeared in sub-$100 runners, trainers, and even basketball shoes. No one quite seems to know what Renew is made out of (is it people?), not even Nike reps. From the feel, design, and market positioning, it’s our impression that Renew is a re-brand or re-formulation of Lunarlon foam.
It seems like the Retaliation is geared as a replacement for the Lunar Fingertrap training shoe, specifically. The midsole is slightly firm, but not enough to offer a good base for lifting and the shape is relatively unstable. At the same time, flexibility, cushion, and geometry is not ideal for running. So as a result, you have a shoe that doesn’t excel in anything.
The upper is fine, while being on the flexible side, but with adequate lockdown. It’s the best part of the shoe, but not mind-blowing and nothing stands out.
The Nike Renew Retaliation does nothing of note and holds no value when there are other, better shoes at the $75 price point. You can get the Nike Varsity Compete, Free TR or some Metcons or Reebok Nanos for a better price and performance. Even a running shoe like the Nike Quest will be way better for mileage, while keeping the same (or better) function in the gym.