Nike’s line of LunarGlide shoes provide good stability and a soft cushion. For this reason, they’re popular with bigger runners (like me at 6′ 4″). I have worn LunarGlides for a few years now, and I can attest to the benefits of a comfortable shoe when you’re running over fifty miles of pavement each week. What you sacrifice for pillowy comfort is the sure-footed feel of the road beneath you. The Nike LunarGlide is a great training shoe, but I would recommend a more traditional racing flat for speed workouts and races.
Name: Nike LunarGlide 5 Shield
Purpose: Training, Mileage
Type: Stability, Cushioning
Extras: Repels water, provides reflective visibility, blocks cold air
Price: $100 – $120
The LunarGlide 5 Shield has a reflective layer of material beneath the outer mesh that keeps out water and blocks the wind. As a year-round runner in New Hampshire, I grab this shoe whenever the temperature dips below 30 degrees F or the roads are messy. Because of the added tongue lining, I can wear a pair of thin socks and my feet stay warm enough to comfortably finish my long runs. The reflective leopard print provides an additional measure of safety when running in compromised visibility or dark winter mornings and evenings.
The sole of the shoe utilizes a foam core material that Nike calls Lunarlon. It provides good cushioning, but seems to stiffen up a bit on the really cold days. It sometimes feels like the shoes are slapping at the road surface. In snowy conditions the sole provides very little traction and I often resort to snow screws or other means to stay upright.
The sole of the LunarGlide 5 has very deep grooves that to improve flexibility. This feature helps the runner land and toe-off efficiently. However, the deep grooves often pick up small rocks and other debris which then have to be cleared. Not a problem if your road surfaces are clean, but a real problem when they’re not.
The LunarGlide 5 Shield tips the scales at a scant 9.9 ounces. The fit is snug, but not tight. Nike’s flywire technology integrates with the lacing system to wrap around the midfoot and provide a good fit. I purposely skipped a shoelace loop where I sometimes have issues on the top of my foot, and the shoe still fits like a glove.
For me, the LunarGlide 5 works well as a high-mileage training shoe. However, I really feel the difference when I change into a more minimal shoe for speed work. If you’re looking for a cushioned, stability running shoe this winter, the Nike LunarGlide 5 Shield might be it.