Testing Nike LunarTempo Shoes at Mile High Run Club

Testing Nike LunarTempo at Mile High Run Club

The Nike LunarTempo Shoes (Photo: Nike)

I’m a runner who loves ultra lightweight running shoes and ultra soft cushioning. I want to feel like I’m running on clouds and I want my shoe to weigh something in the range of clouds. So I was excited to try the new Nike LunarTempo shoes at a media workout at Mile High Run Club, a treadmill studio in New York City. Nike has billed the Nike LunarTempo as a shoe with “ultralight cushioning for high-speed miles.” The workout at Mile High Run Club would put that tagline to the test.

Nike LunarTempo Shoes

Testing Nike LunarTempo at Mile High Run Club

Nike LunarTempo in action. (Photo: Nike)

When I arrived at Mile High Run Club, a locker with my name on it was waiting for me, filled with complimentary running gear, including the new Nike LunarTempo shoes.

How did they fare in one treadmill run? The neutral shoe is a bit like running on clouds.

Nike used their Lunarlon foam midsole, which is indeed one of the cushiest rides in town. I currently wear the Nike Flyknit Lunar2 with Lunarlon. That oh-so-soft landing under the heel is one of my favorite things about that shoe, and the Nike LunarTempo didn’t disappoint.

But this time around, Nike has re-engineered the Lunarlon foam to make it even lighter at 6.2 oz for a women’s size 8, more responsive and just as supportive. After a few short wears, I can confirm that this shoes feels fantastic underfoot if you love a soft ride like I do.

Testing Nike LunarTempo Shoes At Might High Run Club

Flymesh and cables (Photo: Nike)

The LunarTempo’s upper is a seamless mesh, dubbed Flymesh, with cables to provide snug support around the arch and midfoot.

The Flymesh doesn’t hug the foot quite as much as Nike’s Flyknit upper, but is still on the supportive side compared to other uppers. Take that as a plus or minus depending on how snugly you like your shoe to hug your foot. Personally, I love that cradled feel of a wrap around my foot. And that mesh is incredibly breathable.

Through the course of a 4-mile treadmill workout, where we changed pace and incline frequently, I loved how responsive the Nike LunarTempo shoes were. As a long-distance update to the Nike LunaRacer, Nike designed these shoes for runners who want to go fast and long, a shoe that can go beyond the track and tempo runs over the long haul.

Testing Nike LunarTempo Shoes at Mile High Run Club

The women’s Nike LunarTemp (Photo: Nike)

Working with the NBRO run crew in Copenhagen, Nike designers discovered that many of them were logging heavy mileage in Nike LunaRacers, but could use even more support on long runs.

“As always, our source of inspiration is the athlete. After seeing how many runners were using the race shoe for their everyday training, we used the insights as a framework for our design solutions,” said Dave Roulo, senior designer of running footwear. “The shoe was designed to deliver comfort, cushioning, and responsive performance in training.”

Testing Nike LunarTempo Shoes at Mile High Run Club

Waffle tread (Photo: Nike)

So the flexible and light LunarRacer frame got the updates above, plus a waffle tread to improve traction and impact absorbtion, and carbon rubber in high-wear areas of the outsole for added durability.

On caveat on the Nike LunarTempo: they run a bit small. The toe box has plenty of room side to side, but is just a bit short in my normal size.

I wear women’s size 9 in the other four pairs of Nike shoes I currently own (Air Zoom Pegasus 31, Flyknit Lunar2, Free 3.0 Flyknit, and Free 4.0 Flyknit). The Nike LunarTempo size 9 was just a tad tight in the toes. I’m more of a 9.5 in these. So beware of a short fit. You might want to size up in these.

Other than that, the fit was great everywhere else. The Nike Lunar Tempos were incredibly comfortable and easily handled swift treadmill work. I’ll look forward to testing these more thoroughly on the road.

Nike+ Run Club Workout at Mile High Run Club

Testing Nike LunarTempo at Mile High Run Club

Mile High Run Club (Photo: Nike)

I’ve been to a few other Nike+ Run Club workouts—on Manhattan’s West Side highway, in Central Park, at the Niketown store in Midtown, and the iconic Icahn Stadium at Randall’s Island. I’ve come to really enjoy them.

Nike+ Run Club Head Coach Chris Bennett has a wonderful style that’s hard-charging but not too tough, and equal parts motivational and educational. Every time I do one of his workouts, I either learn something or am reminded of something I have forgotten, and have a fantastic run. I leave feeling like I can accomplish anything.

Testing Nike LunarTempo at Mile High Run Club

Coach Chris Bennett rocks the mic. (Photo: Nike)

The workout of the night? 12 x 90 second repeats at marathon, 10K, and 5K pace. When I checked in at Mile High Run Club, they asked me my 5K personal best. After some hemming and hawing—I’m not in PR shape!—they handed me a wristband with treadmill paces jotted down for me based on my best 5K time. In the studio, lines of treadmills facing a mirror awaited with towels and water bottles.

Coach Bennett rocked the headphone mic ‘90s style and talked us through the workout, pumping us up when it was time to hit it hard and bringing us down gently when it was time to rest. And as with most Nike+ NYC workouts, the jams were cranking.

I thought this particular workout was the perfect blend of tough but doable. Since our paces were chosen based on 5K race pace, this would be a swift one for me.

Testing Nike LunarTempo at Mile High Run Club

Rocking my treadmill workout, and yes, I always wear red lipstick. (Photo: Nike)

Comparatively, I’m a much faster 5K runner than marathoner. My 5K PR is 24:46 at a 7:58 pace. Based on that, I should be able to run a half-marathon in 1:55 and a marathon in 4 hours. Fat chance! I have yet to break 2 hours in a half and my marathon PR is 4:28.

For me, that meant my “marathon” pace in the workout was more like my half-marathon pace in reality. But I was delighted to find that running the easiest intervals at half-marathon pace still felt great. I did the whole workout feeling strong, but not entirely tapped out.

Testing Nike LunarTempo at Mile High Run Club

English Gardner joined us for the warm-up and cheered us through the workout. (Photo: Nike)

Nike also brought out 100- and 200-meter specialist English Gardner, who owns a silver medal from the 2013 World Championships in Moscow. “To be a runner, you have to be a little bit crazy,” she told us. You said it, English!

If you want to try out a Nike+ Run Club workout in New York City, they’re free and open to everyone. Check it out at Nike.com.

I attended the 2014 Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco courtesy of Nike as part of a media group. As always, all posts and opinions are purely my own. I’m always honest about my experiences. Seriously. For more information, read my Disclosure policy.

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Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


02 2015

11 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    The LunarTempo sound like my kind of shoe. I’ll have to look them up.
    Elle recently posted..Week 10 MyASICS Half Marathon TrainingMy Profile

  2. 3

    Running on clouds? Sounds fantastic! That’s neat that Nike offers those workouts.
    Emily recently posted..Hello 2015My Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      It’s a great resource to have when you want a group run!

  3. 5

    I’m sitting here in a pair of bright yellow lunar tempos that I bought today. Love them, though like you find them ever so slightly tight at the toe. Going to try them on a treadmill this week and see if that is an issue. The combination of light weight and cushioning is excellent.
    Kristi@ Blog for an Average Runner recently posted..Running for FunMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Great to hear! Let me know what you think after a few more runs. I love the cushioning!

      • 7

        I’ve done a treadmill run and an outdoor tempo run (actually faster than tempo – maybe because of the shoes???) and really like them so far. I can’t believe how light they are! Next test is a long run this weekend. If they feel good they will be my shoes of choice for the Prague Half Marathon at the end of the month.
        Kristi@Blog for an Average Runner recently posted..Running for FunMy Profile

        • Karla Bruning

          Awesome! They really feel SO light on your feet. Glad you’re loving them. So excited for you for Prague!

          • 9

            The Tempos passed the long run test – 19k in them this past weekend. Not surprisingly they did not pass the cold weather test…one of my runs last week in them was at -4F with the windchill. They were a little breezy! I think they will work well for me in Prague where temperatures should be very spring-like. Glad you reviewed them, I may not have considered them otherwise.
            Kristi@Blog for an Average Runner recently posted..Nike Lunar Tempo Shoe ReviewMy Profile

  4. Ashitha #

    I bought the shoes online in a size 40 and it ran a size smaller! I usually wear size 39 for sandals and for shoes I wear size 40. Nike lunartempo is so small for me that I literally cannot wear it at all! They are so tight at the shoebox! Now I have to resell it! :'(


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