The Nike LunarGlide+ 4: Less weight. Better fit.
- A summary review and first feel by Jolien.
(Photography and initial review from SoleReview)
The Lunarglide 4 dumps the earlier setup which had the soft core foam as an insert; instead the soft Lunarlon foam unit breaks out of the cavity and is positioned over the firm midsole as an independent component. The illustration below shows the evolution of Nike’s ‘Dynamic support’ platform – in the new Lunarglide 4, both the foam units are diagonally interlocked, and the redesigned configuration is meant for improved pronation control. This update has an effect on the ride; while overall cushioning has improved owing to the larger Lunarlon unit and feels uniformly well spread, it results in a decreased ‘give’ just under the base of your heel.
The Lunarglide 3′s midfoot support in the upper worked extremely well. They ran independent of the eyestay, and with some lacing pressure, one could create a custom level of fit. This June, the Lunarglide 4 does away with the straps, and in its place comes a network of multiple cords which run up sideways in the midsection. The cords are attached to the base of the upper, and extends out of the eyelets. Once the laces pass through them and are pulled up, the cords come together and apply pressure on the sides of the foot. There is a layer of synthetic leather fused on the upper which also doubles up as the eyelets for the laces to go through.
The Lunarglide 4 mesh and the outsole:
One thing which has gone from good to great is the use of the radical new mesh in the Lunarglide 4. Based on the Flyknit racer concept, the upper is made of a single layer mesh, which also is a simple component with a solitary seam at the heel area. From a manufacturing standpoint, this is quite a feat. This means each single upper piece would have to knit depending on the shoe size, instead of joining multiple pieces of mesh together. The mesh in the Lunarglide 4 is engineered to allow for different sizes perforations/vents based on the areas of the shoe. So in certain areas, the mesh has bigger openings, while in other places it is a closed, tightly knit structure. Ventilation is excellent on the Lunarglide 4 keeping it cool during running in the hot Queensland summers.
The Lunarglide 4 outsole gets a major update. There is far less rubber covering the expanse of the outsole, which reduces the overall weight of the shoe. Flexibility sees improvement on the Lunarglide 4. In the second picture below, the flex grooves on the Lunarglide 3 seems to be deeper when viewed from the side, the reality is that the Lunarglide 4 has deeper flex grooves running in the midsection. The perceptional difference in flexibility is barely noticeable during a run, but the Lunarglide 4 does flex better when stationary.
Other carry over features from the Lunarglide 3 include the two fabric padded collar lining which does a great job of keeping the heel from slipping, the molded sockliner with ridges to help wrap under the base of the foot and the molded heel clip which adds to stability during the run. The molded heel clip has also been redesigned on the Lunarglide 4 to open up more space, increasing ventilation in the process.
In summary, the new Lunarglide 4′s purpose is much more defined – that of a motion control shoe, but should be able to retain the Lunarglide faithfuls. The Lunarglide 4 is a lightweight, well cushioned and breathable running shoe – and to top it, they look rad.
Now available at Shoes Feet Gear, so come and check them out!