Last Reviewed on 12 March 2019 - Minor Update - 18 December 2018 New Content
Nike LunarGlide 9
This is a good shoe for walking on concrete if you like the design.
It is at a reasonable price point and is pretty comfortable. Good heel support and protection to the achilles.
A lightweight shoe that is supportive for overpronators and also suitable for all day wear.
Only available in medium width and although toe box is roomy enough it will not suit people who normally take wide fittings.
Not well suited to people who want to fit their own orthotics.
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As soft and smooth as ever.
That’s how Nike presented their LunarGlide 9 shoes to the public.
As a former fan, I was curious whether the new LunarGlides lived up to their name and how they ranked as walking shoes for men and women.
Nike has hit the market with the latest release of its LunarGlide series. The ninth edition comes with an enhanced upper for support and better outsoles for optimal traction and lift-off.
The midsole technology is interesting and unique.
In the end, you are left with a breathable shoe with a solid foundation with a few minor downsides relating to sizing, design, and responsiveness.
Among the top complaints about the latest edition of the LunarGlides was how tight the shoe felt and how small it ran.
This is a problem since the shoe only comes in medium width fittings so is unlikley to be a good fit for people with wider feet.
While a few men complained about the sizing issue, the main voice of concern came from women. This is likely due to the fact that women require a larger toe area as they tend to have wider toes. They also have smaller heels and require a more snug fit in the back of the shoe.
It’s a pity that Nike didn’t accommodate the women’s shoe to have a wider toe area.
The problem is likely more centered around the fact that online shoppers, who are mostly women anyway, ordered according to their previous sizes.
I urge you always to take your foot size and not be lazy and simply base on your last pair of shoes.
In fact, the most common sizing complaint among women had something along the lines of “the didn’t fit as well as the LunarGlide 8 and felt tight”.
Even if you are well past your growth prime, your body, especially your feet, change shape and size.
So always measure your feet when buying shoes and use the online dimensions tool provided by most stores online.
When it came to fit, most men were generally happy and thought the sizing was one of the best features of the shoe as it fits true to size.
Expand to watch a short Video review
The outsole uses an exposed foam that has four specifically placed pods on the mid and forefoot section and one at the heel. These pods are laser-cut into thin slices that add flexibility and reduce shock.
The way the outsole is organized makes it look like a fingerprint or foot silhouette in a way.
While the design and laser-sliced pods are intended to be responsive many reviewers found the outsole to be not so responsive.
There have also been complaints that tiny rocks and pebbles kept getting stuck in-between the thin slices.
Some reviewers thought the outsole and midsole areas were plump in design more for show and not actual functionality.
Features of the Midsole
Like the outsole, the LunarGlide 9’s midsole is laser cut to form thin slices that are supposed to help make the shoe flexible and responsive.
The midsole is made of Lunarlon foam enclosed in Pylon which is fairly rigid and rough but is supposed to provide a soft supportive base.
A few people online mentioned how tough the shoe felt and how it didn’t respond well to prolonged use despite what Nike claims.
On the bright side, the shoe appears to be designed with overpronators in mind and has more than adequate arch support.
Multiple reviewers noted how they usually use custom insoles and orthotics but didn’t feel the need with the LunarGlide 9 Shoe.
This is probably a good thing since those that did try fitting custom orthotics had issues with getting them in.
The midsole is also well built for neutral pronators and people with what is considered neutral arches.
The reason the midsole feels rigid is partially due to the Dynamic Support build which is what solves the issue of overpronation in the first place.
One important plus to keep in mind is the Crash Pad designed in the heel area which is almost separate from the overall build itself. This addition helps lessen stress from heavy impact and adequately absorbs shock.
In fact, the laser cut slices on the sides of the midsole are very evidently thicker and more pronounced in the back and slowly said as they move from the ball area to the forefoot. This is so that the thick midsole on the heel absorbs more shock than your toes.
I guess it feels like walking on the moon… It was right there, I had to.
Insole or Footbed
There wasn’t much information regarding the insole apart from the fact that it is made of soft blown foam.
The footbed is also removable so you can place your custom orthotics without squeezing your feet in. The only issue is that the shoe is already quite tight fitting and custom orthotics tend to be thicker than those that come with the shoe. This will make the shoe even tighter when special orthotics are fitted.
Of course, there is plenty of arch support and the midsole is well made for overpronators so you don't even feel the need for custom orthotics or enhanced cushioning.
Heel Area & Achilles Support
Surprisingly the comments on the heel support were rather quiet when it came to the heel & achilles. In other words, there weren’t any noticeable concerns with regards to the heel and Achilles support of the shoe.
The heel appears to be supported by a thin plastic cup like TPU but in fact, it is a unique technology that blends foam and rubber for a semi-flexible and yet supportive heel slip that wraps well around the heel and keeps the foot stable and in place.
A few reviewers noted that the women’s shoe slipped off easily at the back and that the heel area was not snug enough.
Unfortunately, these reviewers also complained about an overall narrow shoe so this may be something to take into consideration before buying the LunarGlide 9.
The inner part of the shoe extends beyond the heel and outwards to provide a soft tongue that prevents blisters and chafing.
Lacing is usually boring and rarely cause for huge concern.
Generally, the Nike LunarGlide 9 Shoe has good breathability in the lacing area and no complaints regarding loose laces that came apart easily.
This may be in part due to the thick Flywire cords that extend from the upper to the lacing portion to ensure the laces move with the natural tightness or looseness of the shoe once in use.
Unlike lacing, the upper construction of the LunarGlide 9 is actually something worth talking about!
The upper is made of an almost single-piece Jacquard mesh that had an irregular and intricate design to supply adequate air circulation for cooling and enhanced ventilation.
In past models, customers complained of a week mid-foot that didn’t provide necessary support and stability.
As a response, Nike used thick Flywire cords to enhance support which along with the semi-flexible heel is a great feature.
Online commenters love the soft and comfortable feel of the upper and how snug it fits without being too stiff or tense.
In fact, most sizing issues related to the narrowness of the shoe but not so much an overly tight upper.
Foot or Toe Box
As mentioned before, women pretty much hate the toe box… what it’s true!
Some models have run small, so be cautious of what size you order.
Generally, men felt the shoe had solid wiggle room in the front and wasn’t unreasonably tight.
Keep in mind, apart from a little extension of the outsole over the toe area, there is no real support or water-resistant material so be mindful of where and when you use these shoes.
The Jacquard style mesh and the intricate designed upper of the LunarGlide 9 provide for an extremely well ventilated and breathable shoe.
Ideally, you can use this shoe for your long and short distance walking workouts as well as while your training in the gym and your feet are unlikely to suffer from overheating.
There is an adequate cooling system that prevents moisture from building up and causing painful blistering.
The optimal breathability makes this a solid all day shoe if you use it in dry smooth areas or in the office.
Comfort, Stability & Support
You can fight over the flexibility of the outsole and responsiveness of the midsole but there is one thing everyone agrees on, which is rare; the Nike LunarGlide 9’s are extremely comfortable.
Reviewers generally didn’t like the way the shoe looked and thought it was more plump and bubble-like in real life than in pictures.
But they felt it was justified given the incredibly comfortable and supportive feel.
The plastic-like heel and Flywire cords provide necessary support and stability as does the heightened midsole.
The upper is also very soft and fits snug over the foot like a glove. Overall people were very happy with the comfort of the shoe and noted its all-day functionality.
This is a good indication of a shoe that can be worn both on long and short distance walks.
Durability is always hard to cover especially when it comes to a shoe designed to be breathable and light.
When it comes to bulky hiking shoes you know they are going to be durable but with stability shoes, you just can’t be sure.
The outsole and midsole on the LunarGlide 9 are generally tough.
In fact, many reviewers mentioned how rigid the midsole felt which may be a good indication of a solid and durable base.
Of course the same can’t be said for the soft and flexible upper which has been reported to rip and tear as has the Nike logo.
As a side note, you shouldn’t use these shoes on trails or dirt roads in order to maximize the use out of them which is clocked around the 300-mile mark.
You'll love how light the LunarGlide 9’s feel and claim the weight makes it a perfect all day shoe for office wear and casual walking.
As a stability shoe, the LunarGlide is surprisingly light, coming in at 264 grams for the average men’s shoe and a cool 230 grams for women.
The online community has finally reached a consensus; the Nike LunarGlide 9 Shoe is light, comfortable, and good for all-day wear.
Oh, man, did Nike shoot themselves in the foot with this one - well I think so anyway.
I think apart from a few Nike employees and my granddad no one thinks this shoe looks good.
We all know the world is a ruthless place so it was only destined that the LunarGlide 9 would get killed when it came to design and style.
The shoe really has nothing that stands out when it comes to the upper and people hated how the midsole looked bulky but in a plumped up artificial sort of way.
Even the five-star reviews came in as backhanded compliments with comments like “it’s super light and comfortable but I hate how it looks”.
Of course, the women’s model has a few more color variations and ladies particularly liked the grey over pink style with the light heel clip.
Truthfully, this is a really affordable shoe that has solid functionality but isn’t necessarily the most aesthetically pleasing.
Responsiveness, Feel, and Flexibility
This is one of those times when just because it looks good on paper doesn't mean it works in real life.
Nike came out with a bulky and plump laser-cut midsole with Lunarlon cushioning with Pylon in an effort to make this shoe responsive and flexible. Truthfully, that isn’t the case.
Flexibility wasn’t something people necessarily mentioned in their positive reviews as much as comfort was. Instead, more than a dozen reviewers noted how unresponsive the Nike LunarGlide 9 felt.
A few reviewers mentioned that the shoe was light but it felt like you couldn’t make sharp turns because of the rigid and firm midsole.
Thanks to the deeper and more pronounced laser cuts near the heel, the back section of the midsole is relatively more responsive but this function essentially goes out the window near the forefoot.
Luckily, the upper feels great and is very flexible but not flimsy. Similarly, while the heel support is made to keep the foot in place, it is fairly flexible and moves with the ankle and heel while maintaining necessary stability.
Look the shoe is like a pebble magnet. Even if you run on smooth roads you are likely going to get a few small rocks stuck in your outsole.
With that in mind, you should avoid trails and rough terrain, especially during the wet season.
Stick with traditional walking and running terrains like asphalt, pavements, and the treadmill.
In terms of traction, the outsole actually comes through with some solid features. The five pods with laser cut slices grip the ground well and provide necessary traction for your activities.
The Bottom Line
Truthfully the online community is not ecstatic about this shoe and quite frankly neither am I.
Don’t get me wrong this is a solid shoe that provides a competitive price-point and gets the job done.
The Nike LunarGlide 9 is an affordable shoe for long and short distance walkers looking for a breathable, soft, and flexible upper and a solid midsole foundation.
There is also excellent traction and adequate spring-off the ground with plenty of heel support for more intense activities. If you like the design then this may just be the shoe for you.
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I love hiking with my family and taking in the cool air in the hills around where I live up in Ithaca.
Most of the time we take rather shorter walks out for a bit of exercise since there are so many things in life that we also want to do – and especially the kids.
Life is a balance but one where you should never take the beauty of nature for granted. I also enjoy writing about my experiences and helping others with the things I learn about shoes from using them, from friends and the family.