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MARATHON DIARY: NIKE FLYKNIT LUNAR 3
THE 2015 MODEL IS PUT TO THE TEST ON THE TREADMILL AND ROAD
Part 2 of the marathon series sees me testing out some new shoes. I was contacted by the lovely people at Nike to come down to Nike Town in London to customise my very own pair or the brand new Nike Flyknit Lunar 3, using their brilliant NikeiD system!
Nike Flyknit technology was born out of necessity. Inspired by feedback from runners who wanted an ultra-lightweight shoe, Nike embarked on a four-year, multi-discipline mission. Teams of programmers, engineers and designers created the technology needed to make the knitted upper with static properties for structure and durability.
The precise placement of support, flexibility and breathability - all in one layer - was refined, resulting in a featherweight and virtually seamless upper.
The Nike Flyknit Lunar 3 Men's Running Shoe is a unique combination of plush cushioning and an ultra-lightweight, incredibly strong Flyknit upper which is designed to help keep you comfortable and in turn, keep you running for miles. This was very appealing to me, given the nature of the marathon, 26.2 gruelling miles for ELF, anything that can make that a tad easier or at least more comfortable, gets an A+ in my eyes.
The design is very clever. It is incredibly light, only 224g for a size 9, but the Flyknit material creates a super-strong structure that Nike say delivers seamless and supportive comfort. It has a one-piece upper which integrates into a tightly woven denser knit in the heel, specifically designed to enhance support, and a looser, more open weave in the mid-foot and fore-foot which enhances stretch and makes for greater breathability.
At the base of the trainer is the Lunarlon foam midsole which has been on a carb-free diet and is much lighter than its predecessors. It delivers a soft, responsive cushioning experience and long-lasting comfort. Alongside the Lunarlon foam midsole is the outsole design, which follows a forefoot pressure map that helps guide each stride naturally for more efficient range of motion through toe-off.
More scientific sounding stuff comes in the shape of Nike's 'Dynamic Fit' technology, which Nike say wraps the midfoot and arch for a "glove-like fit." The pair I have are certainly snug, but in a reassuring way. Snug enough that you feel supported but not so much so that you have claustrophobic feet. The shoe features ultra-strong Flywire cables which are designed to deliver lightweight support throughout the foot. Other features include a foam-lined collar for even more support, moulded flex grooves which promote a natural range of motion and carbon rubber along the heel which ensures long-lasting durability
In my NikeiD session I ran through all of the colour options, literally thousands of different permutations, to come up with my own design. Black body with the multi-coloured Flyknit feature on the front of the shoe. Neon Nike tick and Lunarlon upper sole, white lower sole, black laces and black speckles throughout the soles. The all-black inner is complemented by a neon personalisation on the tongues, my Instagram and Twitter handle.
Having tested them both in the gym, on a treadmill, and on the road, these live up to the Nike promotional statements. They are supportive, yet not restrictive, comfortable, super lightweight, and very breathable. Not to mention they look cool as hell!