Here for a second installment Nike brings the Lunar Eclipse +2. This upper end stability shoe boasts new improvements to the upper creating a more secure fit than its predecessor, and increased outsole durability. This new version still promises the same soft stable ride that fans of the first version have come to love, but with a reduced weight of around ¾ oz.
Nike Lunar Eclipse+ 2 First impressions:
Boasting a new “Dynamic Fit” system Nike claims that this new version will have a glove like fit, reducing the space between foot and shoe for greater comfort. This new system is visibly noticeable when I first took the shoes out of the box a vast contrast to the Flywire system that it replaces. Another noticeable feature that stood out was how pronounced the heel of the shoe was. With an Overall stack height of 30mm it is on the upper range for its category, but at first glance it looks much higher.
The shoe still offers the same great cushioning and stability as before, but as mentioned earlier has dropped a little weight from the first version which weighed 11.5 oz. compared to the +2 version which weighs 10.8 oz. The thing that really surprises me is I am not sure how they managed to do this, and maintain the same heel to drop and stack heights.
Nike Lunar Eclipse+ 2 Upper:
Nike begins with a nice open mesh material that covers a majority of the upper supported by simple bonded overlays. This material was thin, very breathable, and definitely did not lack in flexibility. As you move to the mid foot section the open mesh morphs into a more thin sheer mono mesh. This is part of the new Dynamic Fit system that replaces the previous Flywire system that many complained lacked support. The new system uses a series of soft material fingers that wrap the mid foot and arch from under the foot and then connecting it all at the laces. I found the new system to be very secure and held my forefoot nicely without being overly tight. The nice part about the Dynamic Fit was that it moved well with my foot giving it a glove like fit.
Along with Dynamic Fit Nike also changed the toe box of the +2. Many complained that the first edition was too roomy, and this excessive volume left wearers feeling unsupported and sloppy. Nike has answered this time around by narrowing the toe box significantly. I was able to notice this right away when I first put the shoes on. I must admit that I really think that they took it a little too far. I found the toe box way too narrow and compressed my toes to the point of being uncomfortable, and at points painful, on every run.
Finally, we finish up at the heel that has subtle changes but overall looks similar to its predecessor. The +2 still uses the same external floating heel support clip. The clip performed as promised by keeping my heel secure and not allowing it to roll excessively. However, I noticed that when running off road or on a cambered street the shoe would pitch and roll as one unit leaving me feeling a bit unsteady. The collar of the shoe is generously padded all the way around. A feature that runners with a narrow heel will definitely appreciate but that I found excessive. The whole package is finished off with a set of simple flat laces that remained tied on all of my runs.
Nike LunarEclipse +2 Midsole:
The upper of the +2 sits on top a bed of soft Nike Lunarlon foam that extends into the fore foot and drops to the outsole level. This provided a nice soft cushioned ride that did an excellent job of absorbing and distributing impact forces well. The only drawback is that none of that energy is returned back, so the shoe lacks any sort of responsiveness.
As previously mentioned the shoe has a significant heel that might be due to the Dynamic Support system that remains unchanged. The cushioning in the heel remains as plush as the rest of the shoe, but just more of it which heavy heel strikers will appreciate. Dynamic support provided nice overpronation correction without being controlling.
Nike LunarEclipse +2 Outsole:
The entire outsole of the shoe is constructed of BRS 1000 carbon rubber, except at the ball forefoot where the Lunarlon drops down. The outsole has no cut outs and uses the same waffle tread pattern providing excellent surface contact and traction. It appears that Nike has beefed up the amount material is uses also, hopefully eliminating durability issues that many complained about in the first installment.
Nike LunarEclipse +2 Opinion:
I tested this shoe primarily on easier days in hopes to utilize its cushioning to help recuperate my beat up legs. While the Lunarlon helped facilitate this the discomfort that I experienced from the narrow toe box made it hard to enjoy. Nike has done a super job with the other improvements and upgrades and has definitely taken a huge step in improving this shoe from its first installment.
Heavy heel strikers will appreciate the shoes super heel cushioning and support. Mid foot or forefoot strikers will find the same plush comfortable and now supportive and durable ride. Faster runners are cautioned as you may be disappointed in this shoe due to the lack of energy return.