The best so far

New Straits Times - - Heal - Nike Lu­narEpic Low Flyknit 2 Road Neu­tral Com­pe­ti­tion 219g for Men’s, 187g for Women’s 10mm RM629 www.nike.com.my, Nike stores and au­tho­rised re­sellers slizta@nst.com.my

FIRST things first — as a long dis­tance run­ner, I don’t find Nike run­ning shoes suit­able for the mileage I log. I wanted to buy its sta­bil­ity shoe once, the Lu­nar­glide 8, only to find out that the toe­box is too small. The Nike Free RN is sock-like and flex­i­ble but the thin outer sole tires my feet af­ter 5km so I use it only for speed­work and ca­sual wear.

But when the Lu­narEpic Low Flyknit 2 was launched, run­ners whis­pered that it is one of the best Nike shoes they have tried so I de­cided to cast my opin­ion aside and lace up to see if I’ve fi­nally found a Nike run­ning shoe that suits me.

Picked as this year’s Com­peti­tor magazine’s ed­i­tor’s choice award, this is the sec­ond rein­car­na­tion of the shoe, up­dated for a snug, seam­less fit. The Nike Flyknit fab­ric is de­signed to wrap the foot like a sock for a nat­u­ral, snug fit that flexes with ev­ery move­ment.

The out­er­sole, mean­while, fea­tures raised rub­ber that ab­sorbs im­pact and cush­ions land­ings. And in­side, the Lu­narlon cush­ion­ing — a com­bi­na­tion of soft and firm foam that helps ab­sorb im­pact — cre­ates a smooth heel-to-toe tran­si­tion.

On pa­per, this shoe will make your run com­fort­able be­cause it com­bines the flex­i­bil­ity of foot move­ment with ad­e­quate cush­ion­ing ev­ery time you land.

SUR­PRISE, SUR­PRISE

I took it for a 5-km run and agreed with run­ners’ con­sen­sus that the soft up­per, cosy in­te­rior and ad­e­quate cush­ion­ing all con­trib­ute to make run­ning in it com­fort­able.

It’s both flex­i­ble and light, and for some­one fa­mil­iar with the hard cush­ion­ing of sta­bil­ity shoes, this is a re­fresh­ing change that’s still com­fort­able.

The run started off hard on the The sole does not look com­plex, but the trac­tion it delivers is ex­cel­lent, even on floor. knees, maybe be­cause my legs weren’t ac­cus­tomed to soft cush­ion­ing. But af­ter 500m, the pain was gone, run­ning be­came eas­ier and I found my­self al­ter­nat­ing speed be­tween jog­ging and sprint­ing, thanks to the light­weight shoe. At less than 200g, this is the light­est shoe I feel com­fort­able run­ning in.

Like many Nike run­ning shoes, this one also uses Nike’s unique Fly­wire to help keep the mid­foot snug.

UP THE DIS­TANCE

I went on a 10-km run with it again, and the light­ness and re­spon­sive­ness is amaz­ing. It feels like you are bounc­ing off the road and this pair, how­ever un­likely, is be­com­ing AC­CORD­ING to Nike, the de­vel­op­ment team for the Nike Lu­narEpic Low Flyknit 2 started with feed­back from one group of run­ners — women.

Based on in­put from fe­male run­ners, the topline and an­kle scoop were re­shaped into an un­con­ven­tional sil­hou­ette and the col­lar was re­built with more cush­ion­ing to give run­ners a more com­fort­able shoe.

The team de­vel­oped the shoe around women, at ev­ery step of the process, be­liev­ing that it would lead to a bet­ter run­ning shoe for men too.

my favourite short dis­tance run­ning shoe.

A big plus point of this shoe is its great trac­tion on dif­fer­ent sur­faces. The 5-km run took me in­side shop­ping malls and the grip on the floor was even bet­ter. The sole looks very sim­plis­tic but the tech­nol­ogy that went into it be­lies its func­tion.

When­ever I go run­ning with it, some­times I pur­posely change sur­faces to see which ones will make it slip­pery but I’m happy to re­port that even on pud­dles, this one keeps you sta­ble.

My only gripe is that since now I don’t avoid pud­dles, some­times the wa­ter splashes onto my shoe and sips through the knit­ted up­per, mak­ing my feet wet.

But other than that avoid­able con­di­tion, this is one light and re­spon­sive shoe that doesn’t ne­glect cush­ion­ing. It’s a great run­ning pair. You just have to try it to be­lieve me.

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