The Nike Lunarglide 9 was a no brainer for me when I first got them. I thoroughly enjoyed the previous iteration of the Nike Lunarglide 8 (check my review here) and used many different models of this line for long distance training runs.
It is quite odd for me to like this line due to the fact I do most of my training in minimalist/near minimalist shoes.
But I need to thank my two little ones, Caden (3) and Nicholas (1), for bringing my attention to this line. See, most of my runs during the warm months in Pennsylvania, USA are done with me pushing a Double Running Stroller.
Over time I started to realize that my minimal shoes were just not giving me what I needed when pushing the beast of the stroller up hills during runs lasting up to 10 miles.
I decided against all that I am, and got a pair of stability shoes, and that's when I got the previous Lunarglide model. I began to appreciate the support and eventually threw them on for running my 10+ mile training runs. The rest is history.
Follow me guys as I break down this shoe. If you want just the quick notes to go ahead and scroll to the end. Either way, let's get it going!
The upper is overall solid! It's a big win in my opinion and an upgrade from the 8. I literally have nothing bad to say about it.
Great multi-layered mesh. It has wonderful breathability and mixes snugness with mobility. Very similar vs. the Lunarglide 8, but due to the more secure fit and softer feel, I view this as a definite upgrade!
I have ran in these in the summer and winter months. These offer great breathability and protection — a great shoe for any weather.
The cushion is the ticket. As you can see from the pic, it brings great comfort here and allows for a better lock-in. Love it.
Again, upgraded and successful with it. Heel rises a little higher than rest of shoe, and great rubber heel cup fits in with it to provide a nice secure fit.
When running on hills and pushing the stroller, I need a great lock-in. These meet it!
The same theme here, guys. More cushion. Nike seemed to want to provide more plush with the 9, and it shows. Tongue connects wonderfully to the socks like the inner lining of the shoe. Brings more secureness.
The beefier laces start the upgrade here. It is then followed by a wonderful system incorporating nice thick Flywire which not only lead to a better lockdown but more support around the whole midfoot.
Out of all the shoes I own, this lacing system is the best I have seen and felt on my foot. As you can see above the thicker flywires are a significant upgrade.
This area is a win or loss, depending on your preference. The toe box is a bit more narrow (which a prefer) vs. the 8 but still has plenty of room. I would still say it is about normal in the amount of space given.
The midfoot of a stability shoe is where the greatness needs to lie. For me, this area rocks it! Like I said, I love my minimal shoes and don’t like restriction in my foot mobility as I run.
You would never guess it, but this shoe delivers just that! The midfoot brings mild arch support, a responsive cushioned feel, and tons of forefoot mobility. You can actually almost curl this shoe up on itself.
How many “stability” shoes can you say that about?
The dynamic support is perfect for those looking for mild assistance in overpronation. It provides just enough to sustain a nice neutral gait for longer runs when you start to break down.
Love this stuff. No squishy and soft stuff here (I hate that) but some firm and responsive foam. Allows you to feel the road so your feet and react the way they are supposed to. Big win.
Lunarglide 8 vs. 9
Not much difference here. I would give the win to the 9 though. The 9 comes with a more present arch support system than the 8. Other than "the feel," there is no difference.
The outsole here is identical to the Lunarglide 8. Zero difference at all. If I were to say one thing that I dislike about this shoe, it is this area.
Not a flaw - just disappointed they were not upgraded. I never had any issue with the traction, but the wear just isn’t good.
A few years ago, Nike started to get rid of the rubber tread, for what reason I have no idea. This model follows that design, which leads to quicker breakdown.
The life of this shoe just doesn't last as long as it should. In addition, the laser grooved sole brings forth TONS of tiny stones getting trapped in them. If you look above, you can see all the stones that are still in there.
Feel & performance
The Nike Lunarglide 9 delivers exceptional stability and flexibility. It is my favorite thing with this shoe. I can run long and have the support, but still feel light and quick. This shoe just doesn’t hold you back as some other heavier stability shoes may.
In addition, cushion here allows for great road feel. You are able to just cruise and still feel connected. With too much soft cushion comes a loss of connection. This shoe doesn’t suffer from that at all.
If you are a fan of this line, you will be very happy with this new model. It’s all the great feel of the Lunarglide 8 but has a more plush and supportive feel.
For me, recently this shoe has been my workhorse. Here's how the runs go:
Daily training runs
Yes! I often come home late in the day and work a job the puts me on my feet most of the time. When I get home and run after work, I need something to give a little support. These do that.
I have ran up to 23 miles in these and feel great the whole time. The only issue with long runs is that they will not last as long as some other daily trainers you are used to. The soles will just get worn quicker.
Yes for you but not for me. As I said, I prefer a minimal shoe in general, and when I need to go fast, I'll throw something else on. However, these shoes are extremely light and will allow for great speed work experience for those of you who like a little support.
Pass. The tread is just too little for it, and on top of that, you'll get stones stuck. I tried it, didn’t work well. I felt very cautious the whole time.
I wouldn’t say these weren’t made for race day, but you sure as heck can. I would say ½ - full marathon would be great distances for these. Hold up wonderfully at a moderate - fast pace and will give great support during.
- Great mix of cushion and feel
- Solid shoe for any distance
- Supportive yet flexible
- Little goes a long way
- Quality of materials
- The outsole/tread
- Quicker breakdown vs. other daily trainers
This shoe is a big LOVE and win for me. I absolutely love the support and the fact that it combines flexibility with stability.
I would recommend this shoe for anyone. I think it has something to offer no matter what type of shoe you are used to running in.
Good to know
- The Nike LunarGlide 9 is designed for runners who have a low arch structure because it was created to exhibit stability against overpronation.
- The Flywire cords that have always been a feature of LunarGlides are now concealed in this version; the strings are made softer and wider, and they hug the foot as the laces are tightened.
- While the Nike LunarGlide 8 integrated a printed overlay at the back of the shoe for heel security, the LunarGlide 9 utilizes a plastic heel counter to keep the heel in place.
As consistent with the LunarGlide series, the 9th LunarGlide version is best for runners with narrow to medium foot measurements. It cups the heel and rearfoot snugly while retaining comfort around the ankle and providing more room for the toes. The Flywire cords are present to secure the foot without the suffocating or digging sensation. The width profiles are D – Medium for men and B – Medium for women.
The outsole of the Nike running shoe is exposed foam with 4 pods under the forefoot and 1 pod under the heel. The pods are laser-cut and its grooves give the appearance of a slice – this feature is to help the shoe’s flexibility and traction, to reduce the impact and improve responsiveness.
The laser cut design extends to the sides of the platform, thus adding more to the plush sensation rather than to the support.
The 9th LunarGlide still makes use of the Lunarlon cushioning, which is encased in Phylon. These two types of foam provide softness and support. The Lunarlon technology allows the shoe to be light and plush while remaining to be firm in order to function excellently no matter what type of activity is done.
The Dynamic Support construction involves a denser medial mid-foot section to provide stability to the foot of the runner. This is especially helpful for those with overpronated foot motion.
A Crash Pad has been designed in the heel part of the sole unit. This decoupled section of the platform isolates impact shock during the landing phase of the gait cycle, making sure to fully absorb the energy without any rippling effects to the forefoot lift.
The upper material of the Nike LunarGlide 9 is made of a Jacquard-style mesh to provide adequate ventilation and support where it is important. The mesh feels and looks like a knitted fabric, thus adding to the comfort of the shoe.
The external TPU heel counter keeps the foot in a steady position. It also prevents accidental shoe removals.
The padded heel collar and tongue provide plush support to the top areas of the foot.
The previously thin Flywire cords are now thick and plush in this iteration. They’re not designed to be mostly outside the upper fabrics, thereby reducing the possibility of exposure to potentially abrasive conditions. These cords connect directly to the lacing system, so they cause the midfoot area of the upper to adapt to the tightening or loosening of the shoelaces.
The Lunarlon foam was first introduced by Nike in the running industry through the LunarGlide shoe series, which made its debut in 2008. Marathon running had brought up the need for a shoe to withstand relentless impact and provide consistent spring in stride; this inspired the idea for the Lunarlon. Nike designers Kevin Hoffer and Eric Avar introduced the Lunarlon to give runners—as well as basketball players—a shoe with soft cushioning and bouncy responsiveness.
When creating the Nike LunarGlide, the creators opted to showcase the Lunarlon technology through what they called the Dynamic Support. This feature is a two-part midsole system that provides stability and cushioning simultaneously. With the utilization of the Dynamic Support, the Nike LunarGlide gets a dual-density midsole that works in two ways: soft-density foam cushions impact, while firm-density foam stabilizes pronation.
Although there were a number of updates from the previous version, several reviewers claim that the changes in the Nike LunarGlide 9 are not as noticeable as expected. Still, it is worth mentioning what the brand has to offer in the ninth release of the LunarGlide.
First, the upper gets a cleaner design. The Nike LunarGlide 9 appears to be simpler (yet still stylish) compared to its predecessor. In addition, the LunarGlide 9 is offered in fewer colorways than the eighth version. For runners who want a smaller range of options to prevent getting overwhelmed, this was a good move for the LunarGlide 9.
And because the LunarGlide 9 features thicker Flywire cords compared to the previous version, the result is a more secure fit around the midfoot area. Both runners and testers have observed this when wearing the Nike LunarGlide 9.
Meanwhile, the sole unit, although featuring mostly the same structure as the LunarGlide 8’s, provide a smoother transition this time around. It is because the midsole of the LunarGlide 9 introduces flex grooves on the lateral side, enabling a more consistent feel of the Lunarlon cushioning in the entire platform. The inclusion of this detail found wearers running longer distances.
Although the Nike LunarGlide 9 is unique in its own right, the meticulous buyer is certain to look for alternatives to this shoe based on both similarities and differences. Here, we compare the LunarGlide 9 with other potential candidates that might suit your running shoe criteria.
- Asics Gel Kayano 25. Based on reviews, most runners consider the LunarGlide 9 to be a lightweight shoe. This is one factor where the Gel Kayano 25 from Asics differs. The Nike LunarGlide 9 also appears to be the leading choice between the two shoes with regard to providing a smooth and responsive ride.
- Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19. According to users, both shoes excel in long-distance running, although the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 takes a longer time to break in than the LunarGlide 9. The Brooks running shoe was also regarded as having a sturdy construction, which meant it felt more durable than other running shoes.
- New Balance 990 v4. The LunarGlide 9 and the 990 v4 from New Balance differ significantly in weight, with the latter being the heavier one. The Nike running shoe also wins in the comparison of price.
- Nike Air Zoom Structure 22. While both shoes are within the same, affordable price range, the Nike LunarGlide 9 is the more lightweight option for overpronators. Meanwhile, runners who want a bit more stack height might want to look into the Nike Air Zoom Structure 22.
- Asics Gel DS Trainer 24. Although both the Gel DS Trainer 24 from Asics and the Nike LunarGlide 9 are both stability shoes for the road, the former is better suited for races, with its lighter weight and lower stack height that offers more ground feel. On the other hand, the LunarGlide 9 is geared towards daily runs.
The Nike LunarGlide 9 debuted with a retail price of $120 (US). To the average consumer, this might already be a bit expensive because it goes above the 100-dollar range. However, there is an adequate amount of feedback that indicates users are satisfied with the shoe considering its cost.
Further comments regarding the LunarGlide 9’s performance and technologies make it easy to conclude that the shoe is a worthy investment, but it is also worth noting that there may be other running shoes in the market that could include more features for the same price.
Overall, if you are looking for a simple and straightforward running shoe that offers the functionality you need, the Nike LunarGlide 9 will provide it to you at a reasonable cost. Actually, the reliability of this shoe can be attested by the fact that it is already in its ninth release—a proof that runners constantly regard the Nike LunarGlide as a good buy.
- The main feature of the Nike LunarGlide 9 is the Lunarlon foam, which is specially designed to cater to athletes who need a continuous spring in their steps, such as marathon runners and basketball players. The Lunarlon foam was actually formulated by a team that includes chemical engineers; the material came to be by combining ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) and nitrile rubber (NBR).
- During the creation of the first Lunarlon-based running shoe in 2005, the new material was “sticky as a marshmallow” and was not as functional as expected to be formed as a midsole. Thus, the idea to encase the Lunarlon inside a Phylon shell was built.
- The Lunarlon foam is also used in Nike athletic shoes under other categories, such as basketball, training, skateboarding, and snowboarding. The material has proven to be efficient enough to be beneficial in many kinds of activities, but the unique cushioning it provides make it a most ideal companion of running shoes, such as Nike LunarGlide 9.