Nike LUNAREPIC FLYKNIT Review
My jaw dropped when I saw this shoe. The Nike LUNAREPIC FLYKNIT had me more juiced up than the Oregon Project on Run Gum. From the moment I saw the shoe, I was frantic. I had to try it, even if it was horrible the LUNAREPIC was sure to get attention from the shoe industry. I am certain every running shoe manufacturer’s design team has a pair of these that they are dissecting and deciding if there are features they need or can incorporate in their line. This shoe is epic. I drank the Kool-aid, I’ll pour you a glass.
The traction. Wow. The LUNAREPIC has a lasered outsole that grips like nothing I have ever tried. It is a hard to describe the feeling, you will need to try it for yourself. I doubt Spider-man’s feet are this grippy. I ran on pavement, cobblestones, wood decking, dry and wet surfaces, I felt superb grip and traction on all of them. Nike says the pressure-mapped outsole, combined with the laser etched lines on the midsole creates a tailored cushioning experience for the runner. You can dial in the cushion with two included Ortholite insoles, one is thicker throughout, the other has less cushion throughout. My shortest run in the LUNAREPIC was 6 miles and my longest so far has been 18 miles. The shoe’s midsole and outsole can take the high mileage and the shoe feels light and fast enough for speed days. The size 10 weighed in at 8.75 oz! That is incredibly light.
The upper is also quite impressive. I took Runners’ World editor David Wiley’s advice and sized down from my normal 10.5 to a 10. He was correct. The 10 fit perfect. I mean perfect. the upper is like a glove, no hot spots or pressure anywhere. It wrapped my foot so well that it was like having a midsole/outsole attached to my foot. I was nervous about the high collar on the shoe at first. I got over it. The first run I went with socks that were taller than the collar, it didn’t hurt the performance, but it did make everything feel bulkier. I went out for the 18 miler with a no-show pair of Swiftwick socks. The high collar was not an issue. Nike says “[The] Mid-rise Flyknit upper disappears for fantastic sensation underfoot.” I would agree. I was talking to couple other runners I trust that are also trying out the LUNAREPIC, here is what they had to say.
“While a high cuff isn’t common in running shoes, Nike’s Flyknit construction is what makes it even possible to wear the LunarEpic for many irritation-free miles. The bootie stretches to fit around every bone in your ankle and doesn’t interfere with your range of motion, something that can’t be achieved using traditional cut-and-sew techniques. The feeling really is no different than a quarter-length trail sock.” – Jeff Dengate, Shoes & Gear Editor at Runner’s World
“…LUNAREPIC really surprised me. I’ve done one full-length easy run in them and a couple shorter doubles… no need to buy another Pegasus. This is like the most modern interpretation of the same idea, and I think it delivers the goods.” –Brian Shelton, Owner, Foothills Running Co.
Get a jar out to collect all the rocks/pebbles that the unique pressure-mapped outsoles collect. The rocks are small enough that they haven’t bothered me during the run, but after every run, I remove a dozen small pebbles from the shoes. While I dig the look of the shoe, many won’t. If you have cankles or are self-conscience about your ankles I recommend avoiding this shoe, it won’t be flattering. The price is going to be a barrier. At $175 these ain’t cheap.
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It is still early in the year, but these are definitely my front runner for “2016 shoe of the year.” They are fun to run in. As I mentioned, I would go with a 1/2 size down from your normal running shoe size. I have a low volume foot so both insole inserts worked for me. The thicker one made the upper even more snug and gave a little more cushion at the front of the foot, it may be too much for people with wide flat feet. When you get your pair of LUNAREPIC you can figure out which insert works better for you. I thought I would prefer the thinner one after a couple runs in both I lean towards the thicker one. The shoe is listed at 10mm for the offset, the inserts do not effect the drop. As far as durability goes, there isn’t much noticeable wear on the shoes after 50 miles. If you can part with the $175 I say grab a pair of these today. The LUNAREPIC are a unique and enjoyable experience to run in.
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how is the ride compared to the lunar 3? thanks!
Hi Mike, It is really tough to compare this to any shoe. The firmness of the midsole may be comparable, but the way it absorbs shock and grips provides a uniqueness.
How does the width feel? I usually try to find 2e width as i tend to chafe behind my big toe (wide feet, flat arches…) Currently trying to decide between Lunarepic (that doesn’t exist in 2E) and Lunarglide 7 in 2E. The lunarepic are obviously the cooler choice…
Hi Martin, They upper is stretchy, so it may accommodate your foot. It is hard to say since I have narrow, high arched feet. -T
Perhaps a little carbon fiber and Kevlar would solve your pebble stuck in the soft foam shoe problem.
What else could get stuck in there, could it be harmful,,like thorns and sharp road debris?
We have been building over the malleolus running and trail shoes for 10 years.
It is just like most of the big foam shoe companies to lead from the rear.
A hui hou,
That would probably ruin the feel of the shoe. There is plenty of midsole, you don’t feel the pebbles while you are running.
Can you sprint in this shoe
It is fine for speed work. If you are talking about real sprinting, I would go with a spike.
I can’t wait to try out the Nike LunarEpic! Just have one question. How is the support for your feet if you normally run in Nike Air Zoom Structure? When I wear Flyknit it doesn’t feel its supporting enough when you got some pronation problems. Would you then still recommend this shoe?
Hi Nadine, I am not sure I would recommend the shoe for someone looking for a shoe with support. It is neutral with no posting or support.
could you distance race in this shoe? or mostly for training?
Thanks for the review! I’m searching for a new shoe. Been using Newton Fates, Saucony Kinvara, and Saucony grid type A6 mostly the past few years. I think 4-6mm heel/toe drop is my sweet spot. These are advertised at 10mm, are they really that high? I am always confused with the number of shoes that range from 8-10mm (eg: adidas adios & bostons to a lot of the Nike running shoes).
Hi Joe, I don’t find the drop that noticeable. Give them a shot and let us know what you think.
Just some quick feedback from my experience with the shoe. This felt like the perfect shoe right off the bat. I have been looking for a replacement for my Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit 2014 as I did not like the update to the shoe in 2015. Love the outsole even though, you’re correct, it’s a rock quarry. However after a couple longer runs I started to notice some achilles pain. I have not had any previous issues with my achilles so it wasn’t a recurring injury. It seems that the flyknit is applying a little too much pressure right where my achilles attaches to the heel. I’ve searched around and have heard the same complaint a couple other places. Had to give up on these. And for the monetary investment…that sucks. Just thought I would give a heads up. Thanks
Thanks for the feedback Kurt.
Just curious if you’ve put more mileage on this shoe?
Funny, I ran it this morning. I have around 200-250 miles on them.
Thanks, Thomas! I’m just over 100mi in my pair, dig them, and just trying to gauge how many miles other folks were getting out of them.
I am surprised how well they are holding up. I am glad you are enjoying them.
I play handball and need a new pair of shoes. I have been looking at these but i don’t know if it can work for me. I have some issues with my knee and therefor I need the shoe to be supportive. And how is the shock absorbers in the shoe? Do you think i can make feints in it?
Thanks in advance
I would get a court shoe, not the Lunerepic. It isn’t designed for side to side moves. The collar does not offer ankle support.
Just had to drop a line in support of these bad boys. I love them, couldn’t be happier. Ironically I stumbled on this review after googling lunarepic rocks because I was sitting around picking out pebbles and was curious if anyone else had the issue! So far that’s my only complaint, but I’m no longer a distance runner so I won’t throw in my 2 cents for racing, it’s strictly a training shoe for me.
Are these good running shoes for someone who weighs about 200? I have the Vomero right now and I am looking to change to something different very soon. How is the support compared to the Vomero. Is there much difference in them or not much where you will know.
I think they would offer enough support for a 200 lb runner. I weigh 165 lbs though. So I don’t really know. I would give them a try. Nike will let you return them in 30 days, Running Warehouse gives you 90 days.
How does this shoe do with shin-splints?
Shin splints are caused by a weakness in the muscle, not shoes. Try doing toe raises.
which one these or the nike free rn flynit
I haven’t run in the RN, so I would have to say Lunarepic 😉