INTRODUCTION

When you have been running in the older Lunarglides (6,7) up to now and are now seeking to replace them, here’s a heads-up. The Lunarglide as we knew it got an comprehensive make-over last year.

Everything about the Lunarglide 8 was new. The midsole contained Lunarlon, but switching to a Lunarepic inspired sole design altered the ride quality.

This year brings a update to the Lunarglide 8’s ride quality, as the upper fit is pretty much the same. Which means you know the drill – if you curently have the Lunarglide 8, get another couple of the same rather than buying the LG9.

And in the event the LG8 didn’t make the cut for you personally last year, scroll right down to underneath for a set of alternatives in the mild-support category.

DESIGN AND MATERIALS

The Lunarglide 9’s upper comes with an identical form factor as the 8, only visually cleaner. There’s a single-piece knit Flymesh upper externally with an interior sleeve which wraps around the midfoot.

An interior bumper creates dedicated toe-box room in leading. The Flywire cords have already been redesigned for the LG9. Rather than the thin cords on the 8, the Lunarglide 9 uses thicker cords which are concealed between your outer upper and the inner sleeve. You can view these as slight bumps beneath the printed Nike Swoosh logos privately.

The thicker cords feel just like another group of laces located over the midfoot sides. There’s also one less column of Flywire on the 9. The last handful of eyelets are no more mounted on this cinching system.

As the round laces will be the same as this past year, the lacing panel isn’t. Rather than the transparent laminate seen on the 8, the eye-stay runs on the no-sew synthetic which adds somewhat of extra strength for the reason that area. This is probably done to support the thicker Flywire cords which produce greater friction on the eyelets.

The heel counter receives a number of minor updates. There’s an external heel covering which appears like plastic initially but isn’t.

The heel heel counter is constructed of a flexible material which feels as though part foam and part rubber. The heel area looks a lttle bit downmarket in comparison with the LG8 or molded plastic.

On the bright side, the rubberized clip doesn’t exert side pressure like a number of the past Lunarglides did. This component also houses a little reflective trim in the same location as the LG8.

The second change is actually the heel collar height. The LG9’s upper rises slightly higher on the sides than 8, an update that includes a minor influence on the fit quality.

So far as the degrees of foam padding go, the LG8 and 9 are equally matched. The collar and tongue are generously quilted with foam for comfort, grip, and insulation from the top-down lacing pressure.

There’s another factor making the Lunarglide 9’s upper design appear subdued. The LG8 used a two-tone Flymesh which added visual depth to the otherwise minimal upper. The Lunarglide 9 doesn’t have that texture, therefore the overall design looks a lttle bit bland.

The Lunarglide 8 and 9’s sole design is founded on the Lunarepic. A softer Lunarlon core is encased within a firmer midsole, and the sidewalls have thin grooves cut in. The LG9 follows the same design, except that there’s a change in the sidewall groove design.

Instead of being limited by the rearfoot (on the LG8), the Lunarglide 9’s side grooves extend completely to leading. This changes the Lunarglide 9’s ride quality, both from a cushioning and transition perspective.

The outsole is mainly the same, except that among the midsole grooves extends downwards to the outer heel edge. Otherwise, the layout is identical to the LG8. That is a rubber-free layout with forefoot and heel pods.

And much just like the Lunarepic and the LG8, the grooves within the pods trap small rocks and dead bugs. The grooved pods grip well, but only once it’s dry.

Inside the upper may be the same removable insole manufactured from blown foam.

DURABILITY ASSESSMENT

Expect around 300 miles of running life. The first parts to fail will be the usual suspects – that’s the Lunarlon core and the all-foam outsole.

The Lunarlon core will slowly but surely lose its cushioning, and having less rubber on the outsole will bring about the latter’s early demise. To become more specific, you’ll see deterioration around the grooves of the forefoot and heel pods.

UPPER FIT AND FEEL

Very little has changed on the upper because the Lunarglide 8, therefore the fit quality is practically identical to the outgoing model.

The only noticeable change is felt around the midfoot. Using thicker Flywire cords makes the midfoot fit more snug-fitting. Does the midfoot feel much better than the LG8? Yes. The thicker and softer cords on the 9 do an improved job of spreading the cinching pressure.

The insides feel smooth as a result of the inner sleeve and the seamless construction. The plush padding of the tongue and heel add comfort and grip. Also, the heel collar is higher (compared to the LG8) on the sides, therefore the upper feels better too. The Lunarglide is definitely a shoe with great heel grip, and the 2017 model is no exception.

Remember that the external heel counter is rubber-like, so that it doesn’t press in to the sides like the way the LG6 did.

The Lunarglide runs somewhat warm because of the inner sleeve construction. Best for winters, but that’s something to consider in warmer seasons.

RIDE QUALITY AND BEHAVIOR

Calling the Lunarglide a ‘stability’ shoe is somewhat of a stretch. It includes a cushioned and a supportive ride with a hint of lateral bias, but that’s true for some jogging shoes, even neutral ones.

The Lunarglide 8 had a smooth ride, and the version 9 helps it be slightly better in the forefoot. Introducing flex grooves on lateral forefoot allows the midsole to compress on the outer side – a trait that was missing on the 8.

On the last year’s Lunarglide, all of the forefoot softness was focused in the guts because of the Lunarlon embed. With the brand new midsole design, you understand this sense that some softness spills to the outer forefoot. As a bonus, the forefoot transitions feel smoother too.

Having said that, the rearfoot ride is somewhat firmer than this past year. This sounds counter-intuitive due to the fact there are more grooves, nonetheless it is due to how they were created.

The LG8’s rearfoot grooves were directly stacked together. When weight was applied, the five grooves compressed all at one time to provide cushioning softness.

On the LG9, the grooves are spaced out. Therefore the effective count of grooves beneath the heel is really three . 5 rather than five. So fewer grooves = reduced compression = marginal upsurge in rearfoot firmness. Also, the midsole compression (on the outer side) feels better distributed rather than being concentrated in the trunk like the LG8.

Responsiveness – the midsole’s capability to rebound – is average on the Lunarglide. The forefoot gives better feedback as a result of foam pods that have a piston-like effect. However in relative comparison to new-age materials including the Boost and Everun, the Glide feels flat.

On the bright side, the LG9 doesn’t feel slow. The transitions feel smooth and efficient, as the midsole allows the weight loading to occur with hardly any mushiness. On synthetic tracks, the forefoot outsole grips perfectly and that supports quick push-offs.

When used for half-marathons and longer, the Lunarglide’s padded ride kicks in. There’s enough foam in the middle of your foot and the street to keep carefully the runs comfortable for some distances.

All said and done, the midsole insert is Lunarlon. This foam will degrade over time, therefore the ride experience at mile zero will never be the same at mile 200.

PROS AND CONS

The most irritating thing about the Lunarglide or the Lunarepic is their outsole. The foam pods with their thin, concentric grooves grab small debris from the street, and it’s a pain to pry them out after a run. And you can’t ignore them – you distinctly sense these objects lodged inside.

This is merely bad design. Sure, for the first year, we’ll cut Nike some slack. However, not changing it after even 2 yrs? That’s plain apathy. The outsole grips great and whatnot, but that’s no good if you’re always busy removing rocks from your own outsole.

The upper still doesn’t offer additional widths, so that’s another point docked off the score.

Among the items we like, count the smooth transition quality, the cushioned and supportive ride, and the secure upper fit. And because of the foam outsole, the Lunarglide manages to keep carefully the weight below 10-ounces.

SUMMARY, AND CHANGES BETWEEN YOUR LUNARGLIDE 8 AND LUNARGLIDE 9
As the LG9 lacks the distinct ‘Lunarglide-ness’ of the versions 6 and 7, it still combines the cushioning and mild-support aspect well. The softer core keeps the weight centered, and the medial side grooves give a wee little bit of bias. The upper includes a snug yet comfortable feel.

Transfers feel smooth because of the uniform stacking of the dual-density foam, and the outsole pods deliver good feedback. The Lunarglide 9 is a reliable daily trainer, in addition to a long-distance running shoe. Having said that, you should be ready to remove the rocks out from the sole after every run.

There are just minor changes over the LG8. The ride is slightly firmer in the trunk as a result of redesigned sidewall grooves, and the forefoot transitions feel somewhat smoother. The midfoot fit is a bit more secure as a result of thicker Flywire cords.

The lines are receiving increasingly blurry between your neutral and support footwear categories. ‘Support’ or ‘stability’ shoes – the type with medial posts and similar motion-control features – are slowly but surely fading away.

Even within Nike, older models just like the Lunareclipse or the Zoom Odyssey have already been retired. That leaves just the Lunarglide and the Structure as official ‘support’ shoes.

Nike also displays the Lunarepic when you filter ‘support’ on its website. As the Lunarepic and the Glide share similar midsole aesthetics, the Epic is too soft to maintain the same category as the Lunarglide.

If you wanted a cheaper yet supportive running footwear, then you might get the Lunar Apparent. The Apparent includes a Lunarlon embedded midsole with a supportive ride. The upper fits narrower compared to the Lunarglide.

RECOMMENDED ROTATION

This season, the lightweight Lunar twins – the Tempo and the Racer – are no more available. Just what exactly do you do for a lightweight racer/trainer, then? For the present time, the best recourse may be the Zoom Streak 6.

And if require a more impressive range of medial-side support, then your Zoom Structure 21 may be the shoe for the work.

THE BRAND NEW Balance 1500V3 complements the Lunarglide using its lightweight and supportive ride quality. Utilize the 1500V3 for quick track runs and races, and the Brooks Transcend 4 for longer runs in greater comfort and support.