Nike Lunaracer Running Shoe Review

I’ve written a number of shoe reviews on this blog in the past few months, but have barely scratched the surface in comparison to the number of shoes that I’ve actually run in. The next installment in my series of review is the Nike Lunaracer.

I bought a pair of Nike Lunaracers last summer (the 1st generation Lunaracer is the basis for this review) to use primarily as a racing shoe. They’re incredibly lightweight, with my size 10.5′s weighing in at an amazingly miniscule 6.9 oz, which means less weight to move with each swing of the foot, and thus a quicker turnover. Over the course of a longer race (e.g., a marathon), a lighter shoe also translates into less energy expended, and thus more gas in the tank in the final miles. The Lunaracers are probably the lightest shoe that I have worn, and they most definitely make me feel fast. Below are my collected thoughts about these shoes after putting in about 100 miles in them:

Nike Lunaracer Review


Appeaance: I’ve talked before about my love for flashy shoes, and these certainly fit the bill (see picture above). The shockingly yellow, puffed-up sole is very bright, and I’ve been asked on occasion if they glow in the dark – like many of the running shoes that I wear, these are definite head-turners. I have the original Lunaracer (the Lunaracer 2+ has now been released), and I really like the look – their appearance alone makes you feel fast.

Nike Lunaracer Review

Fit: When I first ordered my Lunaracers, I ordered the same size (10) as I wear in my other running shoes. They felt incredibly tight, and it was with a good deal of disappointment that I decided to return them for a half-size larger (10.5) – I desperately wanted to take them for a spin. The second pair arrived, and the fit was much better, though still fairly snug. In fact, my only real criticism of these shoes is that they don’t seem to fit my foot perfectly. They’re not uncomfortable really, they just feel a bit too snug, and I think it’s because they’re slightly narrow for my foot (which seems to be in line with my past history with Nike shoes in general). My feet are by no means extra-wide, and I chalk this snugness more up to a difference between my foot and the specific fit of the shoe. I don’t blame the shoe for this, and I know plenty of people who love the feel of the Lunaracers. I’ll add that I did wear these during the Hartford Marathon last October, and I had some serious blistering issues – hard to say for sure that it was the shoes since I had run a previous 20-miler in them with no major problems.

Performance: Performance is where the Lunaracers truly shine. They’re so light that they make you feel like you’re flying when you run in them. At the same time, the sole is well-cushioned, and more than capable of taking you on a long run without suffering. I would go so far as to say that the LunarLite cushioning feels downright cushy, but in a good way. The upper is very minimalist and largely lacking any support – the flywire fibers are about the only thing giving the upper anything beyond a fabric-like feel. If these shoes were just a tad wider, I’d go so far as to say that they’d be among the most comfortable shoes that I have worn. Given my experience with them in the Hartford Marathon, I’d say they’re more than capable of handling the distance, they just weren’t ideal for me given the reasons mentioned above. That being said, for a shorter race (5K, 10K), I wouldn’t hesitate to use these with regularity even given their relative narrowness.

Summary: The Lunaracers are light, cushy, and flashy shoes. They tend to run small and on the narrow side, so ordering a half-size up was necessary for me, and even with this they are still a bit snug. If you have a narrowish foot, the Lunaracers will likely work well for any race distance, but if. like me, your foot is moderate too wide, then they might be more suited for shorter races on the range of 5K’s to the half-marathon. Regardless of the fit, the one thing is one thing that the Lunaracers most definitely are is fast, and this I can guarantee.

Update: As I mentioned above, the Nike Lunaracer 2+ has been released, but the original Lunaracer can still be found on-line from a variety of sites, and in most cases it can be had at a relatively cheap price relative to its original MSRP.

Below are a few videos that highlight the Lunaracer and new Lunaracer 2+:

About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. Goatlips says:

    I want these! Shame the v2 is all ugly and bloated. They have some v1s at UK Amazon: link to amazon.co.uk… …I wonder if my tiny size 7 feet can fit into those 6.5s? :s

  2. Goatlips says:

    I’m about to order some! link to wiggle.co.uk

    Do these have the life expectancy of a hamster?

    …According to youtube these original, and best, Lunaracers are Nike+.

    • Pete Larson says:

      Haven’t put enough miles on mine to know the answer – wound up being to
      narrow for me.

      Pete

      • *Why can’t I use my Blogger account to post? Have to ‘Post as…’ guest and my posts keep disappearing!*

        I’ve returned my Lunaracer+s to Wiggle. They’re at least a half size too small, probably a whole size if you don’t like a tight fit. Also, they’re grey, like Pete’s above, not white like the Wiggle photo suggests. The yellow on the upper is very faint too, unlike Pete’s. The blue Nike swoosh is blue as shown, however. I’d email Millet Sports to see if their’s are actually WHITE, as advertised…Mmmmm, they did seem extremely narrow (EXACTLY the same build as the women’s version?), so narrow that the insole liner is poking into the upper’s
        material beside the ball of the big toe (where my wonderful Zoom Jasari+ iD failed…after c.650 miles, mind you). The material is very thin there and will certainly fail, very quickly! Not at all recommended for cross country/trail running! Upper seems very weak, too ‘professional’, not built to last. :S

      • Goatlips says:

        Thanks Pete. I’ll be back give my review of the Lunaracer+ when I’ve destroyed them.

        *I did write more, but it seems that if I post something here, then click on my hyperlinked text, then click my browser’s back button my post gets deleted!* (Happened 3x! Very annoying)

  3. Have you tried the lunaracer 2? I bought a pair without trying on (couldn’t find anywhere near me that stocks them) and whilst I find them incredibly light and fast, I was really surprised to find that they dig onto my arches – they seem to be very narrow and curved in the middle. I have never experienced this with other “neutral” shoe before. By using a different innersole and doing some surgery on it I was able to make them wearable for short (less than 10km) distances, but no longer. I agree that the sizing is small – I bought my regular size and have to wear a very thin sock. If I ever bought them again I would go up half a size

    • Pete Larson says:

      Never bought the Lunaracer 2 for that very reason – first version was
      far too narrow for my feet.

      Pete

      On Monday, December 20, 2010, Disqus

  4. I’m a forefoot striker who runs track and XC, I race distances from the 400m-5k. I’m looking for a new pair of shoes and are stuck between the the Lunaracer+, which I found on running warehouse on sale, and the kinvara 2. Can you forefoot strike comfortably in in these and can they handle various distances? thank you

  5. I detail, discuss, and blog about different shoes that members of my college track team wear at my blog, I do a pair a day, I hope you like it: runwithstyle.blogspot.com

  6. Goatlips says:

    Firstly, where these are shown as white in some shop photos, they’re actually grey, like Pete’s! These shoes, in a 7.5UK, are 6.0oz (Nike claimed they were 5.5oz in a 8.5UK, much heavier, although still EXTREMELY light). Also, these shoes a far too ‘professional’, they won’t last 250 miles, if I had to guess. The cloth upper is so light and thin they’d wrinkle and tear beside the big toe joint as you push off with your forefoot – a weak area, a problem compounded by an insole that protrudes into it from inside the shoe.
     Most importantly, according to Nike’s shoe size chart, my 26cm foot is a size 7UK. These are NOWHERE NEAR the claimed size! These are a whole size out and they are so extremely narrow that they’d probably be too long if you get the right width!
    I’d only recommend these for track sprint training, instead of spikes, and to get a whole 1 size up (definitely)! Joggers should get the AdiZero Adios instead (again, narrow, you need a half size larger).

  7. I love love love my Lunaracers! We match! They make me feel like a swift rockstar. :)

  8. Fanelli Reed says:

    I LOVE, Adore, this shoe – I have 2 pairs, one 1/2 size up and one a full size up. I am training for my first marathon in Oct and am panicking because I can’t find these anymore….I’ve been up and down the web, but no go…HELP!! Any suggestions?

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