Nike Lunar Tempo General Info
The Nike Lunar Tempo is a lightweight neutral trainer designed with a cushioned ride in mind. The shoe adds a small amount of rubber compared to the previous model on the sole which gives a small amount of extra durability.
Just a few minutes in these shoes is all you need to notice the cushioning and unique fit Flywire gives you.
Nike Lunar Tempo Sole Info
The sole is almost entirely foam, besides a few patches of rubber on the bottom. This makes for a very cushioned ride.
Nike features Lunarlon foam in the sole which I would say gives a more cushioned ride than the New Balance Fresh Foam shoes (such as the 980s).
Nike describes Lunarlon as a foam that’s “30 percent lighter” than the traditional Phylon foam they use while also being resilient.
I found this to be true, since the foam didn’t wear down much at all during my 50 miles of testing. I noticed the arches in this shoe compressed much more than standard neutral shoes, so don’t expect too much support!
The sides of the sole have grooves that run the length of the shoe which not only look neat, but also allow the sole to compress nicely during impact. There are 19 raised sections on the sole of the shoe where 12 are rubber and the remainder are foam.
The foam sections are mostly in the midsole where the shoe sees little abrasion, but this will reduce the life of the shoe compared to a similar shoe with only rubber.
These raised sections make the shoe traction fairly reliable in muddy and snowy environments, just be careful about the elements getting through the upper.
Nike Lunar Tempo Upper Info
The upper is mostly a single piece of intricately woven fabric with strategically placed venting holes. Because it is almost all fabric, Nike painted on their logo and didn’t overlay any additional materials onto the upper.
Beneath the outer fabric on the upper is a more uniform internal mesh that runs the length of the shoe up to the heel-cup.
I found the upper to be very breathable, to the point where I might not want to take this shoe out on a very cold run without thicker socks.
The Brooks Launch 2s also has very breathable fabric, but I found their fabric of the Lunar Tempo to be more durable with similar breathability. I was disappointed that these shoes didn’t fit as well as most other Nikes on me.
The toebox felt small. I think it’s partially because the fabric upper in the toe box has a stiffer fabric beneath it that holds the shape and my feet felt that stiffer fabric.
It could also be that the shoe has double the normal amount of fly-wire ‘wires’ and that makes the shoe tight fitting.
This isn’t much of a deal-breaker, it’s more of a note that you should give these shoes a test run in a larger size before purchasing them.
Nike placed Flywire in the Lunar Tempos, and it’s twice as much flywire as most shoes with the technology such as the Nike Air Zoom Elite 7s. Was it twice as snug?
I wouldn’t say so, it just evened out the force on the Flywire. I also noticed the Flywire rubbed against itself when you walked in the shoes. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but it was subtle and unusual.
I was happy to see ample use of reflective material in the Flywire and in the heel (I like safety).
Because of this, I took a closer look at how Nike wove the fabric around the reflective heel patches and stumbled across what seems to be a minor manufacturing defect.
One of the fabric sections covering the reflective patches slides around on the reflective patch while the other 3 sections were glued/heat formed to the reflective material.
This doesn’t affect the performance of the shoe at all, but it does make you wonder how closely Nike inspects their shoes.
Nike Lunar Tempo Conclusions
The Nike Lunar Tempo is sure to excite those stuck with heavy cushioning shoes looking for a lightweight alternative.
It’s breathable, reflective, and fits tightly (maybe too tightly for some). I think this newer model brings useful upgrades to the predecessor and will perform as well or better.
We thank the nice people at Nike for sending us a pair of Lunar Tempo to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.