What. A. Shoe. Even before this shoe was released there was a buzz about its capabilities. Nike had given us short clips and small clues of its features but when it landed I think we were amazed by the true technology behind it. As I will discuss further, it’s not just a pretty face…
Flyknit is a material that is now a staple part of many uppers in the running shoe range. But what actually is it? It is simply a combination of woven yarns under differing strengths to create a single upper. Flyknit material was constructed and engineered over a period of 4 years (2008 to its 2012 release date). But the knowledge placed in the design and production is far more advanced. Over 40 years of acumen from working with runners, NIKE refined the precise placement of support, flexibility and breathability – all in one layer.
On the Lunar Epic the tight sock like fit with a high ankle cuff is evident. A key new feature to running shoe but not to Nike. Mostly seen in the Football boots such as the Magista or Mercurial, the cuff supports you yet creates the vanishing fit to almost make you feel there is no upper!
The midsole of the shoe immediately underfoot is soft. Using the lunarlon compound we know from the Lunar range (Lunargilde, Lunar Tempo, Flyknit Lunar) there are modifications. In the Lunar epic two densities of foam have been used. One slightly firmer and the other softer. These have been combined under high temperate conditions. The best analogy I can give is that of marshmallows. Imagine a pink and a white marshmallow mixed and swirled and thus combined to form as one. This is exactly how the foam will give a very soft initial contact underfoot but is still able to offer a firm and responsive ride.
This is totally new concept and outsole style for Nike and a revolution in the running market. The outsole, in the design process, had hundreds of prototypes. The final design they settled on were the 5 isolated pods. These pods act as Pistons. When compressed they become firm to aid propulsion. The pods also make a rather amusing noise on the ground, as you here them reform stride after stride. Certainly not loud but noticeable.
The structure of the pods also mean for the first time ever, the shoe has no need for blown rubber on the outsole. This obviously reduces weight but aids comfort underfoot also.
Overall when running in this shoe it felt, excuse the pun, truly EPIC. Like nothing I’ve ever run in before! You couldn’t fee the upper around you but yet it felt stable. There was purely an awareness of the midsole. Varying my speeds I was able to feel the versatility of the shoe and it totally moved with me. Turning sharp corners I felt held and comfortable. Plus, there was no irritation anywhere and also no blistering (6km run). Do I want to run in them again? Hell yes.
Drop height: 10mm 22mm in heel 12mm in forefoot
Any questions you know what to do and give them a whirl instore at a Nike near you!