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“You will read the reviews of a runner, who does not spend half her lifetime running through various reviews concerning the latest running shoes. I will tell of my feelings, what I see, what my feet feel, and all this in a very down to earth mode.”
I have been asked to test running shoes, which is of course an honor for me, a great challenge and at the same time I am filled with curiosity as well.
Since I have been running for ages, my feet are my pals since 10 years, I do tend to listen to all the messages they forward to my brain. I use both neutral and supported shoes.
Incidentally I happen to think, that a manufacturer can only be successful in presenting a new pair of running shoes on the market, if he considers the physics and the engineering of a good shoe, as much as the importance of the instincts of the runner. I am writing to you with my ignorant but well experienced feet.
Lunarglide 8 shield
It does not seem like a pair of shoes made to walk on the moon, this is my first impression. To walk on the moon, I would normally consider something different, something thick and wide, ( Hoka One One ), however looking from a different point of view, for instance the one from an astronaut, who walks around on the surface of the moon with an ease, like there was an invisible trampoline under each of his feet, the name is very accurate: this shoe gives a light feel.
“Browsing through the history of Lunarglide 8, I think this might have just been the basic concept of NIKE – to give us a light, but sturdy, slightly supported shoe.”
I am mainly a long distance runner, thus I am more used to flexible, but heavier shoes.
This heaviness is mostly offered by the amount of gel in the sole. Contrary to general trends, I believe, that there is a need for attenuation also for long distance running. Above 15-20 kilometers, your movements fall apart most of the time, so a bit of support does not hurt.
The most exciting sci-fi element, and the most critical issue for the runner is the way the sole is incorporated in the shoe itself.
“So, from the design point of view, the Lunarglide 8 sole gives the impression of it being caressed by a random galaxy, liken it to as if we had just been dropped in a star pond – a personal opinion.”
Therefore at first view, it does not look like your ordinary running shoe, but this changes quickly after having worn it the first time, more on this later.
Let’s talk about the functionality of the sole: the ridging is not too deep, the cutouts on the side are not even visible, and the side of the shoe is completely minimalist. This I find a bit odd, since highly gelled shoes are in need of a lot of channeling, since the bending and the step bending can mostly only be manipulated and eased through them. Mind you, this shoe does not really need it, as the sole is soft as butter, not a competition pair of shoes, but that is not what we are examining now.
In my experience however, I believe that the ridging has another function as well, namely when we are running on dry terrain. I believe it is highly unnecessary to wear heavy and not well ventilated shoes for the above mentioned terrain, for me a good solid hybrid asphalt pair of running shoes has proved to be much more efficient. I have also tried them on an easy, dry terrain as well, since I think they have to perform there too, however it did not take long, just by looking at them, to come to the conclusion that these are not hybrid category shoes. The ridges should also have a clamber function, so they can compensate for the smaller unevennesses in the terrain. Just imagine the wheels of a tractor, or a jeep. It is the same mechanism. Staying with the theme, I would more likely liken the Lunarglide 8 sole to an average summer tyre: only for use on a trodden path.
“On asphalt, and the treadmill it is an absolutely fantastic feeling.”
I am used to wider shoes in general, meaning, that the pair of shoe expands sideways, it is what I like to call the hoofing. So at first try, the Lunarglide 8 sole felt a little bit too narrow, I felt somewhat uncertain, however it did not take long before I felt at ease, and this new found gracefulness brought a bit of elegance to my running experience. To underline my feeling, I tried it out in snow, and the footprint was much narrower than my normally used shoes for long distance running.
It played well on longer part distances: the front, and middle sole parts reacted very nicely to the faster rhythm. I would not recommend it for shorter sprint races, as one could feel the overuse of the fabric, but certainly great for “more relaxed” competitions.
Lacing and tongue:
Nothing new in the lacing. To my joy, the tongue is not far too loose, as it is practically sewn in to the inner sole part, – this new technique is one of my favorite additions to the new generation of running shoes. It lies nicely on the arch of the foot.
“It does not irritate, does not press on the foot, it is easy to find the perfect fit of the lacing.”
The specific Nike loop technique also gives some playing space during use, to give way a bit, when there is pressure from running.
The upper part:
I have been using shoes, following the trends today, that are without sewing, but more importantly those shoes where they throw in a good solid supporting feature as well. Now this I did not experience with the new Lunarglide 8.
“It feels more like I am wearing a pair of well cushioned pair of socks.”
So I am no doubt a bit confused, as it does feel like putting your soft snow boots on after having spent a day downhill skiing. Feeling with my hands, naturally I found some more supported fabric back at the heels, but in the front and at the sides, it almost gives the impression of being barefoot. Those fearing for their toenails need not to worry and buy two sizes bigger, as there is practically no support at all in the front part of the shoe. However, your feeling of freedom is guaranteed, it does give an almost unbearable lightness to your running experience.
So all in all, the Lunarglide 8 gives more of an impression of being a wannabe running shoe but still just a pair of trainers, displaying the in vogue Nike minimalist agenda. Having tried it though, completely contradictory, I must admit it presents a reliable, comfortable, for a woman runner a particularly graceful stable light shoe.
“I would recommend it for asphalt, and treadmill running, for between 5-15 kilometers, at a steady easy pace, for runners with slightly inward leaning ankles.”
Special thanks to Playmax to provide me Lunarglide8 for testing.
Hereby I state that my opinion was not influenced by the provider.