Once again, Nike has created a running shoe unlike any other on the market right now. The Nike LunarEpic Flyknit, which launches today, took inspiration from an unlikely source—the Magista Football Boot. That shoe allows the foot, ankle and lower leg to work together as a single unit to emphasize natural movement and a feeling of fluidity. Nike designers wanted to bring that same concept to a running shoe.
The sneaker began with a breathable one-piece Nike Flyknit upper, but with an added element that makes it completely different from most running shoes—a mid-height collar. The sock-like collar is meant to lock the shoe in place, both physically and sensorially, as well as create a snug fit.
Olympian Sanya Richards-Ross was surprised by how much she loved the collar. “When you think of a mid cut on a shoe, you think of basketball – not running. I wasn’t sure how the collar would fit, but it perfectly hugs my ankle and delivers great comfort; that was the great surprise.”
The bottom of the shoe was inspired by running on the tree leaves and pines in Oregon, where Nike’s headquarters is located, as well as pressure maps of where a foot strikes while in motion. The result was an outsole that has superior traction and cushioning.
“It feels like there is almost nothing under your foot but I love the fact that you still feel very supported,” adds Richards-Ross. “When I was running and pushing off the ground, I could almost feel the shoe absorbing my movement better.”
Nike describes the shoe as having a “virtually vanishing fit that adapts to the body in motion.” The shoe is recommended for all types of runs, from workouts to recovery runs and even sprint workouts. “I feel fast and light which is how I love to feel in running shoes,” says Richards-Ross.
The LunarEpic Flyknit is available starting today at Nike.com and retail locations in a rainbow of colors for $175.