Nike is one of the few running brands that still offers four footwear introductions each year; Spring, Summer, Fall and Holiday. The biggest introductions are usually saved for Spring and Fall, with Holiday and Summer having a smaller number of updates.
For Summer 2010, Nike continues to experiment and expand models that make up two of the brand’s unique categories of shoes, the Free and Lunar family of products. Nike is known to consistently introduce new technologies to see if they find an audience and if they do find a following, the technology is expanded into its own silo of products. Air Max was one of the better examples of this. First was the Air Max, then a whole slew of Air Max products that followed. The Free concept remains popular, but the line is somewhat limited in its appeal. The Lunar product has proven wildly successful and as a result, new models are being introduced in the Lunar line while the Free line receives updates to existing models and even loses a style in the process.
For the Lunar franchise, possibly the coolest is the new LunarFly+. Take a symmetrical LunarLite midsole and throw the upper from the 2008 Hayward on top and you have one hot shoe. At $80, this is gonna prove popular.
Spring 2010 brings new additions to the Nike Lunar family: the LunarElite+ and LunarSwift+. The Nike Lunar concept originated with the LunarLite Racer and LunarLite Trainer in Fall 2008 and introduced a new foam along with a carrier/inlay midsole construction method. The Lunar concept hinges on the super-light space-age Lunar foam (it’s true, this is where the foam originated) Nike originated in this line. The bounce is the result of the Lunar’s innovative midsole construction in which the super shock absorbing space-age foam is encased within a lightweight but slightly stiffer foam that provides a trampoline effect. It’s a unique, cushioned feel that provides impressive energy return.
The LunarGlide+ (available August 2009) uses the carrier/inlay method of the previous Lunar shoes, but the midsole is built with an asymmetrical design known as Dynamic Support. This system, with a TPU medial reinforcement, allows the shoe to deliver support for moderate over-pronation, while still being effective for a neutral gait. Another distinction for the LunarGlide+ is that it uses Phylon and Cushlon foams versus Phylon and LunarLite foams. Cushlon provides a firmer road feel which most runners prefer in a support trainer. The LunarGlide+ is light given the moderate support trainers it competes against are 2-3 oz heavier. The LunarGlide+ comes in at an estimated 10.7 oz. and provides the most pronation control within the Lunar family.