Nike’s most popular support running shoe line returns in its latest incarnation as the LunarGlide+ 3. Nike has made some significant updates to the latest model which has improved its fit, flexibility and the level of protection that it offers against the bone jarring impact that road running generates, to create a high performance and fast support running shoe.
The LunarGlide 3 has been updated with additional support to help control pronation and guide the foot throughout the gait cycle. As well arch support, the shoe has a heel cup that begins to control foot motion from the moment your heel touches the floor and not just during the middle section of the gait cycle.
Flexibility is a theme that Nike are keen to develop across their whole range of 2011 running shoes. If a trainer is flexible then this means that it is able to follow the foots natural movement, which makes for a much more efficient running style. Nike have achieved this in the LunarGlide 3 by engineering a very flexible sole and midsoles section of the shoe, which allows the whole unit to move more freely.
Focusing on flexibility is one thing, but too much flexibility can be dangerous, especially in a shoe that is meant to offer support and guidance. Nike have managed to achieve the balance quite well with the LunarGlide 3, as although it isn’t as flexible as say the Nike Free Run+ 3, it is much more flexible than any of the 2010 support shoes. The real challenge facing a shoe manufacturer when trying to build flexibility into a support trainer lies with the actual support mechanism itself. Removing or altering this section in some way is one way that you can free up some stiffness within the shoe but by doing this you risk compromising the integrity and the support that it can offer. Nike opted to install a dynamic support post into the LunarGlide 3 as it allows the shoe to move more freely but without the stiffness of a solid arch support post.
The type of cushioning that a shoe contains can define shoes performance. Gel cushioning, as is so popular in the asics shoe, is durable and effective at absorbing the shock that running on hard ground generates, but it offers nothing in terms of bounce or spring to a shoe.
The foam cushioning that Nike have installed into their LunarGlide 3 is a risky choice. Both Brooks and Asics have steered away from foam as it needs time to reset after an extend period of running and over time it loses its shock absorbing properties. On the other hand, foam is much more elastic than gel cushioning and so makes for a much faster and flexible shoe. It seems that Nike have gone for performance over durability so if you are looking for a pair of workhorse training shoes then these aren’t the trainers for you.
The last main innovation that has gone into the Lunarglide 3 is the mesh inner sleeve. This is the critical area that actually cases the foot within the shoe and so it is important that this area is climate controlled so that the scope for irritation is limited. Nike have installed this area of mesh to ensure maximum ventilation whilst maintaining a snug fit.
Nike Lunarglide 3 Review
Nike have placed a large amount of emphasis on flexibility and performance with their new Lunarglide model. The shoe has been updated with more support mechanisms to control pronation whilst running but this extra support has not been added at the expense of performance as an extra flexible sole combined with foam cushioning makes the shoe springy and responsive