Before my current pair of the LunarTrainer+, I have tried out the shoe once during the shoe's trialing road show and took it for a 30KM practice run. I know it's risky to take it for such a long run but I just couldn't hold myself back as I just wanted to get the real feel of the shoe. Besides, the shoe just looked too good and pure to resist. Here's how my maiden experience with it went.
I chose size US9.5 which is the size I usually wear. The first 5KM was fine, but things took a change from 6KM onwards. I felt the tightness on my left toe area. However, the right was fine. Struggling with it, I carried on till I arrived at the rest area and quickly had a check on it. As expected, my big toe was blistered. As it was still a long journey ahead and not wanting to go barefooted, I had no choice but to continue on with the shoe. This time, I had to change the way I land especially at down hill sections. This is to prevent my big toe will be rubbing against the toe box. At the end of my 30KM run, I was relieved that all is over and that there was no bleeding on my toes, just blister.
Back then, my initial feedback upon completing my run was the shoe was really light for a trainer! Not to forgetting too, the great cushioning system from the LunarLite foam which is rather different from conventional shoes. The foam is 30% lighter compared to Phylon and yet it was responsive and I can feel the "springy" effects of it. Shoes this light and responsive, running uphill is made much more easier.. However, the lime green outsole is still made of Phylon which is use to protect the LunarLite foam in it from the hazardous environment especially water. And carbon rubber which is the black colour area on the outsole is placed strategically at high wear areas to prolong the shoe's life span. As for the ventilation, it was good thanks to use of traditional air mesh.
The LunarTrainer+ is build as a neutral cushioning shoe and will suit to those who are mild pronators or mild supinators. Though the shoe does look pretty flat with the addition of a flat sockliner, it does have some kind of "roll bar" mechanism build into the heel area of the outsole. It's hidden within where the LunarLite word is and I can feel that it is assisting in controlling the degree of pronation of the feet.
The main drawback for me will obviously be the toe box. Though the shoe looks pretty wide due to the construction of the outsole, the toe box was build pretty narrow. Therefore, it was kind of painful for my big toe especially, during my run as it was rubbing the wall of the shoe which contributed to blisters. Therefore, a half size bigger is recommended to allow the toes to move freely and fortunately, now that I chose a size US10, blisters is a thing of the past and I’m able to run more efficient in it. The reason behind choosing a half size bigger is because as we runners run, our toes tend to grow larger with every pounding made. With a little more room, this will allow the toes to have sufficient space to “breathe” especially in tight shoes.
Another thing worth mentioning is the grip of the shoes. The shoes tend to slide around pretty easily especially on sandy or concrete surfaces. Not sure the reason why but my guess will be the design of the tread which is rather different from normal running shoes. Besides, due to the thin collar, ankle socks are much preferred over “no-show” socks as the collar might cause abrasion on the heel if not protected.
Finally to sum it all up, the Nike LunarTrainer+ is a great shoe as it is certainly can improve on ones run. The Nike LunarTrainer+ is now available at all Nike stores retailing at a recommended price of RM389.
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