Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

It’s been a mild winter in Maryland with the first day of March being no different. Yet, as spring approaches I begin to transition back into full running mode after mountain biking, indoor spinning, and strength training during the colder months. So of course I was anxious to try out Nike’s new LunarEpic Flyknit 2 running shoe for men which I received in grey with the black swoosh along with a fresh, matching outfit. Launched in early February the 8.8-ounce shoe (size 10) currently lists for $160 at various retailers including Road Runner Sports.

The second iteration of the LunarEpic allows runners to go farther more comfortably if distance is the focus. I typically put in 120 miles a month during running season when preparing for various Half Marathons. With an array of technologies to its credit part II came at the right time. Nike’s first employee, Jeff Johnson, inspired the LunarEpic FlyKnit 2 for the intent of mimicking the sensation of striding on pine needles. Indeed it feels something like that when you spring from each step, an impression that could ultimately increase your speeds. It certainly did for me, in particular during the end of my runs when I sprint to finish strong.

Its white sole is engineered from the lightest and most condensed foam (both soft and firm to soak up impact) that Nike offers while the outsole features raised rubber and laser-siped pods — similar to tire tread — for better traction and flexibility. The Lunar brand was envisioned by Nike, as you can imagine, to represent the net effect of astronauts landing on the moon with soft bounces while dispersing “evenly spread” energy. Additional design techniques include Lunarlon cushioning and a 10 mm drop which simulates a near minimalist feeling.

The LunarEpic Flyknit 2 is basically an extension of your foot. Though, some runners may not like the initial suffocating feel of the slip-on shoe that basically imitates a pair of thick socks. But after a few minutes and strides the material expands and becomes breathable due to laser perforations in the forefoot. It’s also more of a neutral shoe so if you need structure it could work and it may not. I wear structured shoes for longer distances but did not find the FlyKnit 2 uncomfortable after the initial 50 miles. Only time will tell. I also have wide feet and didn’t have to compromise since they conform a bit.

As I mentioned, Nike also provided a Dri-FIT running shirt and running tights with embedded reflectors and two pockets for my car keys and iPhone 6 with the case. Connecting to a pair of BOSE SoundSport Pulse Bluetooth headphones I was fully connected and felt as hands-free as a bird. The only problem I can foresee is keeping the Flyknit fabric clean. Of course I need to look good which makes me feel good which makes me do good. Dion Sanders said something like that! Enjoy the run.

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