This past week I picked up what I would consider to be one of the more significant releases this year from Nike. No it is not a retro or a Jordan or a limited Lebron release it is the next installment of the highly successful LunarGlide franchise, the LunarGlide+ 4. I picked this shoe up for two reasons, the first being the extremely obnoxious colorway you see above and the second being is that it is the first general release Nike product to have a (partially) FlyKnit upper.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the importance of FlyKnit I suggest reading my write up on it here but in the mean time I will briefly break it down for you. FlyKnit is an update to an engineered mesh that allows you to specify areas of strength and areas of stretch by how the mesh is knitted. The LunarGlide+ 4 is still very much a traditionally built shoe as it is basically half FlyKnit and half welded. What is most impressive to me about the FlyKnit construction thus far is how much more registered it looks in person. The photos I had seen didn’t reveal to me anything more than areas of breathability, which is great; but once I saw the shoe in person I really had a better grasp of how the upper is engineered. The designer created a subtle exoskeleton within the knit that has a tighter weave for support while the more open weaved areas allow for the previously mentioned breathability but also allows for stretch and flexing.
The other key innovation on the 4 is the addition of Dynamic Flywire. Up to this point Flywire has been welded between to surfaces, the bottom surface being a lightweight mesh and the top surface being a thin film of TPU; the sandwiching of the Flywire created a lightweight support system that brought the upper closer to the foot. While the previous iteration of Flywire was as close to second skin as we have had on a shoe it often times would feel stiff and failed to expand with the foot. The updated Dynamic Flywire is lighter then its predecessor and is adaptive. The new Flywire is basically elastic cables that flow around the shape of your foot and wrap under it to nestle in with the midsole.
I think the Dynamic Flywire is a dramatic improvement from the previous iteration of Flywire. One fear I had of it though was that the cables would be noticeable in feel on the foot. I was afraid that they might actually provide irritation but I was completely wrong. The cables are about 1mm thick and are virtually unnoticeable. They synch down very well with the foot as you lace pulling the FlyKnit layer closer to you. If you are familiar with the Dynamic Fit that Nike has put in almost all categories over the past two years you will completely see this as a similar approach. I actually think the Dynamic Flywire is a step better because it is less in layers.
The shoe is incredibly light. It comes in at 10 ounces as opposed to 11.2 ounces on the LunarGlide 3. The sole unit features Dynamic Support, just the same as the previous 3, but graphically this time it does a much better job of showing foam densities. The midsole is divided by two pieces the Lunarlon cushioning element is featured on the lateral side while the higher density Dynamic Support piece is the focal point of the medial side. I thought it was a great design feature to break up the color blocking of the two pieces. It creates a very dynamic look, no pun intended.