Some months ago I realised that my trusty marathon runners were starting to get a little thin in the sole (although I feel like I should change the spelling to the incorrect alternative soul as their degradation was making us both feel a little flat). They’ve had a good run. Two marathons, plus the training involved.
But with more (both in distance and frequency) running on the cards, time to give the old boys a bit of assistance with the youthful injection of a fresh pair.
Cue Major Hurdle No.1
I have wide feet, and funny little toes to boot, which means the standard width of a men’s runner is generally a little on the small size and tends to result in wear on the outside of the front of the shoe – where my little toe wears away at the inner lining as I bob along. Normally this is ok as I can get a good 500K out of them before they take on a hobo’ish look.
Major Hurdle No.2
The heat, humidity and general hard pounding of the concrete pavement in my Middle Eastern dust bowl means that not only do my shoes (and my feet) get a harder pounding than usual, but the dry heat, humidity and air conditioning cause the fabric to rot away.
Here’s The Rub
The last pair of standard Width Asics I bought out here lasted about 3 months before they began to show the signs of wear from my irritatingly shaped feet. So, I am NOT going to pay full price for a fresh pair of standard width Gel-Kayano’s and I cannot buy the extra wide ones here, not even in the blasted Asics store.
Time For A Change
So, I find myself walking around the Nike Store in Doha’s City Center Mall and for something between ‘not quite as cheap as I’d like for an untested pair of runners’ and ‘the price of a pair of too narrow Gel Kayanos’ I end up with a pair of Lunarglides.
My Dirty Little Nike Secret: A Brief History Of Love & Running Shoes
When I started running. Before I even knew about form, pacing, track sessions, tempo runs, stride length, pronation… all of that. When I just needed to get fit I walked into a generic sports store and bought a pair of Nike Free’s (the 2.0’s I think).
I bought them because they were very light.
I bought them because they were cheap.
I bought them because they were luminous yellow (actually maybe that should go at the top of the list).
I bought them because I could gamify my running with a Nike appy thing.
I loved those shoes, they were very comfortable.
In the years that have gone by, I have put Nike to the side somewhat. Feeling that they over-diversified their sports range, feeling that their shoes were designed to be pretty instead of practical. Replacing my brand preferences with more popular workhorses such as Brooks and Asics.
Ironically, it is the practicality of it all that has bought me back to Nike. I needed new runners, I couldn’t find a narrow pair of Asics that I was prepared to pay for and Brooks are non-existent here. Damn you Brooks, why can’t you export to the Middle East!!!
But The Nike’s were.
The Lunarglide 7
Now. They are very pretty with their blue fabric trim and glittery go faster tick. But they do claim to give dynamic stability and cushioning – which I need. They did hurt my feet a little at first, maybe a little too narrow in the middle. But I have managed to stretch them a bit and now I do not have that problem.
Since buying, I have done 5K and 10K races (setting PB’s) speed sessions, tempo runs, easy runs, from work runs, and most recently a 20 miler in them. They are holding their own very well. The tread on the bottom is still solid, the stitching is holding and there are no obvious signs of wear and tear on the fabric.
In short. as I approach the 250K mark, I am very happy with them. Are they my first choice for shoe? No. But would I recommend them to an overpronator if they were in a bind and Nike was one of a very limited number of options? Yes. Yes I would.
Sounds like a big tick for the big tick. Hopefully they will hold their own for another 500K.