Summary

We spent 6.3 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

11 reasons to buy

  • A large number of reviewers swear by the comfort delivered by the Shield version of the LunarEpic Flyknit.
  • The inclusion of the water-repellent upper and inner sleeve gives it better protection when the conditions get a bit cold or wet.
  • Several noticed how breathable the shoe remains despite the water resistant upper.
  • Flywire cables hold the foot down in security and support.
  • A handful noticed just how flexible the shoe is.
  • The traction is surprisingly superb on wet conditions, based on the observations of some runners.
  • It comes with a set of 4mm sockliners.
  • A few used the shoe for long-distance running or for up-tempo runs.
  • A couple of expert reviewers found the cushioning to be very good in absorbing shock.
  • It is good for distance running or even racing when the weather forecast isn’t too good.
  • A handful of runners said that the 10mm drop feels much lower, like a 6mm drop.

6 reasons not to buy

  • An already expensive shoe becomes even more expensive in the LunarEpic Flyknit Shield.
  • A handful found the fit to be too narrow.
  • The mid-rise design was a bit weird and funny for some runners.
  • Some runners complained about irritation on their ankles or Achilles due to the mid-rise design.
  • Small stones are sucked into the outsole.
  • A handful were disappointed that it runs small.

Bottom line

One of Nike’s most eye-catching and innovative shoes, the LunarEpic Flyknit becomes an all-weather shoe with the inclusion of a water-repellent upper and water resistant cleatie. The Shield version of the LunarEpic Flyknit continues to have a snug, socklike wrap up until around the ankle due to the revolutionary mid-rise design. It is very light, extremely comfortable, offers good arch support, and loads of traction. If the price is well within reach, the shoe is easily one of the best in the business.

Facts

Base model: Nike LunarEpic Flyknit
Update:
Terrain: Road
Arch support: Neutral
Weight: Men: 8.5oz | Women: 6.7oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 10mm | Women: 10mm
Pronation: Neutral Pronation
Arch type: High arch
Material: Vegan
Strike Pattern: Heel strike
Distance: Competition
Heel height: Men: 28mm | Women: 28mm
Forefoot height: Men: 18mm | Women: 18mm
Release date: Oct 2016
Brand: Nike
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $200
Colorways: Grey, Orange, Yellow
Size
Small True to size Large
See more facts

Rankings

A top 10% best Road running shoe
A top rated Nike running shoe

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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86 / 100 based on 4 expert reviews

  • 75 / 100 | Lorenzo Clerici

    The Nike LunarEpic Flyknit Shield

    I bought this model last winter intrigued by its innovative design which looked like a super comfy and fast shoe to me. Wow, these shoes feel like wearing a sock. It gives you freedom of movement with still a little support on the ankle.

    Regarding the design, I’d suggest to use them only with winter tights because they look quite goofy with shorts. Time to run!

     

    Toe box

    As expected, the toe box is a little narrow, but it’s quite usual for Nike running shoes. I also felt the 10mm drop was a bit too much for this kind of "free running" shoe type.

    Upper

    The whole upper part is actually a single one. This is for sure the best part of the shoe.

    There's a soft feeling embracing your feet up to the ankles. You could even run unlaced, but the lace actually helps you to find that perfect fit you are looking for.

     

    First run 

    Habitual testing route (flat+hilly - road+trail).

    Since this was the shield version, I’ve been happy to make my first run in a rainy and cold day. Water resistance passed the test. It wasn’t raining heavily, but my feet were dry by the end of an 8-mile run in mud and jumping in some puddles.

    I was a bit deceived by their design regarding the cushioning. They seemed much bumpier when I first saw them, but in the end, they were not even close to the feeling you can get from a Nike Free RN.

    However, I was really surprised about their grip on the wet surface, and even on trails, the shoe does a great job considering it's not meant for road running. I’ve also noticed that foot stability isn’t perfect while making turns. You sometimes feel like your foot is going beyond the sole.

    Long run 

    I wanted to test them on a long run before a race. After a couple of runs, I wasn’t so confident like I’ve been with other shoes, so I decided to go for a half marathon test at a tempo pace (4:10/km) before running a proper race.

    Feelings were really good until halfway. On the second part, shoes started to feel heavier, and the thick sole wasn’t so bouncy as I wished. I was a bit annoyed by the high drop and the narrow toe box pushing on the little toe.

    Outsole

    The outsole has a great grip on dry and wet roads. It also gives you decent confidence on simple trails.

     

    Bottom line

    I consider this a good running shoe which I personally use mostly for training during winter time and bad weather conditions. I wouldn’t use it for longer distances than 15k.

    There is still room for improvement, especially on the toe box and sole but the "sock feeling" is great and makes it a special shoe.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 90 / 100 | Mr. Stoltz | Level 3 expert

    It's very light. Although it’s a big shoe, all materials used are light weight.

  • 88 / 100 | Coach | Level 2 expert

    This is a shoe that feels like you’ve been wearing it for ages the moment you put it on. The all-weather Flyknit upper is just as comfortable as the version used in its fair-weather cousins. 

  • 91 / 100 | Chicago Athlete Magazine | | Level 1 expert

    However, the LunarEpic shoes are so feathery, that I almost think I liked them better than my normal running shoes, and I’m a Brooks Ghost model enthusiast. No exaggeration – I felt like I was gliding in these shoes, and my feet felt like they were resting on pillows, thanks to the Lunarlon pods that provide extra cushioning.

Become an expert

  • Nike almost always lives up to its reputation by continually looking for ways to improve their footwear, even their most popular and best-selling shoes. In the LunarEpic Flyknit it gets a modified upper that is now coated with TPU water-repellent material and a water-resistant cleatie for the inclement weather. Not only will the update protect the foot against the elements, it also gives a bit of warmth when the need calls for it.
  • Without question, the mid-rise Flyknit upper is the most glaring feature of the shoe. It takes Nike’s concept of a sock-like fit to a whole new level. The runner gets a wraparound feel all the way from the forefoot to just above the ankle. It also enhances support and stability, especially from a very light shoe.
  • The Flyknit is designed to give support and flexibility in the right areas. Without the use of overlays, the support is still there while giving the runner the freedom to have a natural ride.

The snug, and racing shoe kind of feel is very evident in the Shield version of the Nike LunarEpic Flyknit. It naturally becomes a favorite for those with medium to slightly narrower feet because of how it hugs the foot. There is decent room in the forefoot for the toes to splay. The heel and the midfoot are comfortably locked down. It runs true to size.


The innovation of the Swoosh in the LunarEpic Flyknit Shield continues in the underfoot. With a siped outsole that is laser-cut, the shoe gets excellent flexibility. A very sticky rubber is used in the outsole for superior traction, even on wet surfaces. The outsole layout also gives a boost in the cushioning due to the design and location of the well-articulated pods.


The same laser-cut design on the outsole is also utilized in the fused Lunarlon foam that covers the length of the midsole. It gives the shoe another element of flexibility and boosts the smoothness of the gait cycle.


The Flyknit offers good breathability and covers the foot from the forefoot to the lower leg in a one-piece structure. Nike uses this design to increase the support and stability of the shoe. In this version of the LunarEpic Flynit, the Shield technology gives water resistance to make it almost an all-weather runner. The Flywire cables provide optimal midfoot security and support.

Comparison

Author
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Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com