Performance Review: Nike Flyknit Lunar1+

Prose: Kim Nguyen (@317Kim)

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Weight: 5.5 oz
Test Size: Wmns 6
Colorway: Black/White/Light Charcoal

After accumulating over 600 miles on my Nike Lunarglide4+, I knew it would soon be time to pick up some new running shoes that incorporated the Lunarlon midsole (my favorite!). This was perfect timing because Nike had just launched the coveted Nike Flyknit Lunar1+ which is one beautiful sneaker. The clean silhouette is due to the combination of the precision-engineered and virtually seamless upper and an updated cushioning system to deliver the ideal blend of targeted support, breathability, and response. After two weeks of wear, I completely understand why Runner’s World® voted it “Editor’s Choice” in February 2013.

Fit
Whether I’m running, lifting or going to class, I need my shoes to fit like a second skin. This is exactly what the Nike Flyknit Lunar1+ felt like when I first put them on. Nike chose to use the ultra-lightweight knit upper to integrate areas of stretch, high breatheability, and support. I believe that this was done seamlessly and really gives the shoe a precise fit. After my first week of running, it even felt like a custom fit!

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The overall fit is just like Nike wanted it to be when the advertised it as having a sock-like fit. After lacing up my sneakers, I did some jumping around to test the lockdown abilities. It didn’t take long for me to notice that my heel stayed in place. The Flywire cables also ensure no slippage or sliding of the heel which would cause a runner’s nightmare: blisters.

Heel – Toe Transition
When running, the dorsiflexion motion (planting your heel down so that your toes point towards your body) feels great due to the comfort of the BRS 1000 carbon rubber and the flex grooves which slightly enhance articulation. The Flyknit Lunars stay completely in place and creates a smooth heel-to-toe transition from stride to stride. As mentioned in my primer, the cushioning is thicker in the middle and gets thinner on both sides that lead to the toe and the heel. This creates a footbed that enables every foot motion and foot strike to feel extremely natural.

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Cushion
I’m a runner that requires extreme responsiveness and support from the cushioning of my running shoes due to being an overpronator. Therefore, when I first experienced Lunarlon two years ago in the Nike Lunarglide3+ (thanks Finch!), I knew that I had graduated from Frees. Lunarlon is a very resilient foam carrier that provides plenty of support and plush cushioning. In addition to Lunarlon, there are blown rubber forefoot lugs for more cushioning and assist in creating a more efficient stride.

In my experience with Lunarlon (Nike Lunarglide3+. Nike Lunarglide4+), I have been able to run for several months accumulating well over 500 miles on each shoe and have the cushion still present. These have definitely proved to be durable runners which is why I have been a loyal consumer of shoes that incorporate Nike Lunarlon cushioning.

Traction
I mentioned the BRS 1000 Nike brand carbon rubber outsole earlier in the Heel – Toe Transition. I wanted to talk a little more about it though since it is such a crucial part of the performance. This durable outsole not only creates extra cushioning, but also provides excellent traction due its high carbon content. When walking or running in the Flyknit Lunar1+, it feels like the lugs on the outsole are working as fingers to grip the ground. The rubber is very effective for everyday runners because it provides more than sufficient traction and shouldn’t wear down very much over the coming months.

Materials/Durability
The Flyknit Lunar1+ utilizes a meticulous knitted construction process that minimizes weight and waste by using only what’s needed. The upper is entirely made of polyester yarn that’s fed into proprietary knitting machinery. This creates little to no waste, so the shoe is incredibly efficient to produce. I am all about being fit and going green so this was a bonus when purchasing the shoe.

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The laces were something that I had not experienced yet. They are flat, but not like the ordinary flat laces. They resemble the ribbons from the Nike Free Powerlines+, another great shoe in my collection. My run has only been interrupted by the laces once since I have had them, and that was probably a manual error. Swoop, loop, pull, and repeat! I really do like that they stay secure and add to the stability of the shoe while also being lightweight.

Although I do run every day, I have not questioned the durability of the shoe. I know that time and mileage will do some damage to the aesthetics of the shoe, but I don’t plan on investing in another shoe until the end of fall or the beginning of winter. I will say though, my worst fear is the upper ripping or getting snagged on equipment in the weight room. Since the upper is composed solely of yarn, I can’t help but to be cautious when I’m down there. Aside from that, I am not too concerned about having to replace these babies early.

Other minuscule details such as 3M stripes on the pull tab, the durable paint which makes up the Swoosh, and the speckle/glitter combination on the midsole gives you aesthetics and attention to detail to appreciate.

Overall, the Nike Flyknit Lunar1+ is a great addition to my collection. It performs great and looks great too! I love that Nike has lived up to their innovative reputation and created a “green” shoe. Unfortunately, efficient production doesn’t always mean cost effectiveness. Priced at $160, I would never have bought these if I were not a Nike running shoe connoisseur and collector. Regardless, I am a strong believer of getting what you pay for. The Nike Flyknit Lunar1+ doesn’t just keep you cool (literally and figuratively) it also keeps you in front of you competition.

Fit: 10
Cushioning: 10
Transition: 9
Traction: 9
Materials: 8

Overall Score: 46/50 x 100 = 92

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2 responses to “Performance Review: Nike Flyknit Lunar1+

  1. Pingback: TGRR Blog: First Impressions of the KD VI | The Gym Rat Review·

  2. Pingback: TGRR Year in Performance Reviews | The Gym Rat Review·

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