If you started running a few years ago, when it was still disparagingly referred to as jogging, you know how heavy trainers used to be – like wearing lead weights on your feet. Not any more. Manufacturers are literally tripping over each other to bring the latest lightweight fabric technologies to our feet. Last month saw the arrival of the Adidas Boost, now it’s the turn of Nike with the latest incarnation of its Flyknit technology.
Unlike some trainers which are made out of several pieces of fabric, the selling point of the latest Flyknit Lunar 1+ running shoes, is that they are made out of a single piece of fabric. This, Nike claims, helps to reduce friction and keeps the weight down because there isn’t any need for stitching or glue. Certainly the Flyknit Lunar 1+ trainers I ran in at the Nike event at London’s Somerset House were very lightweight indeed (just a shade of 200 grammes). But they were also very comfortable too. This is partly down to the ‘steam-before-you- sprint’ service where the trainers are placed in a steamer for 30 seconds before wearing them for the first time so they are moulded to your feet correctly. But it’s also due to the Lunarlon midsole that gives you extra spring in your step.
To test out the Lunar1+ running shoes, Nike had advertised for a group of runners via Facebook to take part in the ‘Flyknit Experience’. So off we went in a big gang, running along the banks of the Thames along with British middle distance runner, Hannah England (World Championship Silver Medallist, 1500m). It was all good fun, like a giant running flash mob, armed with neon coloured batons. Up we went onto the Millennnium Bridge, running up the steps to the theme tune to Rocky then across the bridge (thankfully no longer wobbly) up to Waterloo and back round to Somerset House on the north bank near Temple. Along the way several activities were planned, most of which seemed to involve shouting and screaming and waving our batons in the air – no wonder pedestrians seemed to scatter in fear, as over 100 Nike-clad runners approached at speed.
Given that before the Nike run, I hadn’t actually been running for a month because of a football related foot injury I actually felt pretty good at the end of it. Whether that was because of the Nike trainers, or the thrill of running around central London on a crisp, clear night I don’t know. But one thing is for sure: the Flyknit Lunar 1+ running shoes felt very comfortable. As they are so light weight I thought running on the pavements may have taken their toll on my legs, but in fact they felt really bouncy too, giving me an extra spring in my step.
Obviously with a price tag of £140 they aren’t exactly cheap. But for serious running enthusiasts, especially those who belong to running clubs, they are a very sensible investment indeed. And while the pink and black pair I tried out wouldn’t be my first choice of colour, there are several colour ways to suit different tastes.
To find about more about the technology of the shoe see our interview with Nike product ‘Ekin’ (a product manager who knows Nike back to front, geddit) Sam Adams.
Sorry it’s a little dark (and pink) but it was late by the time we finished our run.
And here you can see my pair of Nike Lunar 1+ coming out of the steamer, before putting them on before my first run. Looks great doesn’t it, like they’ve been cryogenically frozen for thousands of years and are just seeing daylight for the first time!
You can see Hannah England, Silver medalist, World Championship 1500m talking about Nike and her training regime here.