Nike Lunar Ballistec 1.5 Shoe Review

Price: $ MSRP: $

Upsides

  • Good durability
  • Comfortable
  • Plush cushioning

Downsides

  • Traction
Video Review

Summary

The Nike Lunar Ballistec 1.5s made a statement with our playtesters both on and off the court thanks to a wide variety of available color options. Our testers were happy with the level of comfort they found from the first hit to the last, with barely any break-in required. We did find the length to fit slightly long. If you are between sizes, we recommend going with the smaller size. Not all of our playtesters were happy with the stability and traction, but they did like the comfortable ride the Lunar Ballistec 1.5s offered. Most of our playtesters were also happy with the durability. With their 6 month sole warranty, the Lunar Ballistec 1.5s are a potential option for the avid player who logs a lot of court hours.

Nike Lunar Ballistec 1.5 Shoe Scores

Comfort 4.2
Ventilation 3.0
Arch Support 3.4
Foot Support/Stability 3.9
Overall Sole Durability 3.7
Toe Durability 4.3
Traction 3.3
Weight 4.2
Overall 4.0

Comfort - Score: 4.2

Our playtesters found plenty of plush cushioning in the Lunar Ballistec 1.5s, which provided a really comfortable ride on court. Andy said, "These are definitely comfortable shoes right out of the box, especially in the upper area that wraps around my feet. The plush padding, along with Nike's Adaptive Fit technology, provided a soft, yet snug fit all around my feet. The cushioning underfoot was fairly average, although the low profile midsole allowed me to feel very connected to the court."

Chris found "just enough" of everything he needed for a comfortable fit. He explained, "I found these shoes needed only a minimal break-in. I was playing in them comfortably after the first hour, and the comfort only improved from there. This update offered a firmer ride than the original Lunar Ballistec. The outsole material felt much harder, and I think that has made them feel less pillowy. As the test wore on I got used to the firmer ride underfoot and I enjoyed the soft feel of the uppers. The ventilation was not great, but the fit was roomy enough that my feet didn't feel suffocated. The roomy fit held my feet just well enough to prevent my feet from sliding around and rubbing inside the shoes. My arches were also supported just enough. The midfoot shank provided just enough rigidity to protect my feet."

Marco also found the fit to be a little roomy in the front of the shoes, He stated, "These shoes had ample cushioning throughout the heel and the midfoot. I found the forefoot to be very roomy, particularly above my feet. The shoes didn't quite cinch enough to hug this part of my feet, and it felt as though there wasn't as much padding in this part of the shoes. My feet did run hot in these shoes, especially at the start of the playtest, but as the shoes loosened up a bit they were more breathable."

Sebastian had only good things to report, saying, "I really enjoyed the overall comfort and feel during my entire playtest. Right out of the box I noticed plush cushioning and a speedy feel, which held constant throughout my entire time wearing these shoes. In terms of cushioning and comfort, these shoes definitely exceeded my expectations."

Foot Support/Stability - Score: 3.9

Although these weren't the most stable shoes our playtesters have tried, there was enough support and stability to feel very secure on court. The Lunar Ballistec 1.5's fit did come into play for Chris, who said, "The fit of these shoes was a tad roomy and allowed my feet to slide around a little inside. On the plus side, I didn't slide enough to get any blisters during any of my hour-long testing sessions. I think if I were playing tournaments with longer matches and multiple matches a day then I'd have issues. On the stability front, the shoes resisted twisting well, and I felt pretty secure in that regard."

The Lunar Ballistec 1.5s worked better for Marco after he inserted his orthotics. He explained, "These shoes flexed pretty far back, which caused my arches to ache after long periods on court. To combat this I inserted my orthotics, which helped give me a bit more stability in this area. The extra room above my toes kept them from getting locked down, which didn't cause any support issues but did take a bit of getting used to."

Andy found stability, but he didn't get the support he likes from the Lunar Ballistec 1.5s. He said, "I found these shoes to be plenty stable, and they provided plenty of rigidity and protection for every kind of movement. I never felt in danger of rolling an ankle or not having enough stiffness to recover from a quick lateral cut. However, I didn't feel that the shoes supported my feet all that well, meaning they didn't really move WITH my feet. It just felt like my feet were riding inside the shoes instead of the shoes molding naturally to my movement. I didn't get the kind of arch or midfoot support that I usually like from my shoes."

Sebastian was left wanting a little more stability from these shoes. He said, "Foot support and stability were good, but not spectacular. I did enjoy some light support all around my feet, although it still wasn't quite enough for me. I wanted a more supportive feel, especially on the lateral sides of the shoes, and an even more secure fit overall."

Overall Sole Durability - Score: 3.7 / Toe Durablity - Score: 4.3

Our playtesters didn't have any issue with how the Nike Lunar Ballistec 1.5s looked after having put them through extensive wear and tear. Marco was really surprised at how good the toe guards looked after plenty of competitive match play and the toe dragging that comes with it. He said, "I wore these shoes extensively and didn't notice a whole lot of damage to the outsoles. The front bumper guards did a great job of not piercing, and they showed very minor wear after plenty of dragging on my backhand slice. The rubber felt fairly firm, which helped keep the durability of these shoes on par with other six-month guaranteed shoes."

Known for his hard and aggressive movement on court, Sebastian was ecstatic with how well his shoes held up. He noted, "Sole and toe durability were exceptional. Even after more than 20 hours of playing, there was hardly any wear on the toe areas or the outsoles of the Lunar Ballistec 1.5s."

Having burned through the previous model of this shoe in a matter of days, Chris was very pleased with how this update held up. He offered, "The durability was vastly improved in this updated version of the shoes. In the originals I would wear through the outsole of my right shoe under my big toe in about a week and a half. The outsole of the 1.5s is still going strong in that spot and the rest of the outsoles are holding up well, too. The toes bumpers are also holding up much better than the previous version. For me, the overall durability was the most impressive aspect of version 1.5."

Having a slightly different experience, Andy noted how his pair of shoes didn't hold up to his liking. He explained, "After about 20 hours on court the tread pattern underneath my big toes is showing significant balding. Although the upper material looks thick in the areas where you need the most durability, it wore quickly and did not hold up well. Like the previous version, as well as the Vapor 9.5 Tour, the 1.5s offer below average durability for a premium performance tennis shoe."

Traction - Score: 3.3

All of our playtesters noticed that the traction on these shoes was a little bit slick. While the traction improved over time for some of our playtesters, others were left wanting more grip on court. Chris noted, "While durability was noticeably up, traction was noticeably down. I was sliding in these way more than I did in the originals. The outsole material felt harder and slicker when I was coming to a stop. I soon got used to sliding into and out of shots. Getting going was another issue, and there were times when a slip definitely cost me a step in getting to my next shot. When making an aggressive change of directions I had to allow for some sliding and accept that as part of my getting to the next ball."

Andy struggled to get a consistent response from this shoe, saying, "The traction was just a little bit off for me. I didn't feel that I got a consistent response; the shoes would grab when I wanted them to give and would give when I wanted them to stick. It was a strange feeling, but when going for an aggressive hard court slide I never knew when the shoes would latch onto the court and bring me to a stop. I also thought the traction got worse the more the outsole wore down."

Marco would have liked a bit more grip when he needed it most. He said, "At the beginning of the playtest these shoes played a bit slick, and while they felt more slick than other shoes I've tested, there was enough traction for it not to be a big issue. Players who slide on hard courts will be able to do so with ease in these shoes."

Sebastian needed a bit of break-in time to get the right amount of traction. He mentioned, "Even though it took a few hours of play to get the ideal amount of traction, I really did enjoy it once the hard court smoothed out the shoes' outsoles. The shoes supported me in my aggressive lateral movements, and even sliding into my shots was never a problem. However, it did take a bit of time to break in the slightly sticky outsoles."

Weight - Score: 4.2

The majority of our playtesters liked the way the Nike Lunar Ballistec 1.5s felt on their feet. Chris was one of them, saying, "I liked the feel of these shoes on my feet and I never felt too weighed down. Considering the improved durability, I would say the shoes performed very well for their weight."

Like Chris, Marco was happy with the balance of weight and durability. He stated, "These shoes played at a great weight and were not sluggish or heavy at all. For the level of durability they have, they felt pretty nimble out on court and weren't too bulky."

One of the most important factors in shoes for Sebastian is their weight, and he liked how his Lunar Ballistec 1.5s played. He said, "I never felt the weight to be an issue. I always felt fast and speedy throughout my playtest despite their 14.2 ounces weight. Not having to think about my shoes is always a good thing for me on a tennis court, and that was the case when wearing the Lunar Ballistec 1.5s. It never felt like these shoes were too heavy for me, even after several hours on court."

On the flip side, Andy said, "Even though these shoes are fairly light weight they still felt like substantial shoes on my feet. They definitely didn't feel as light and fast as some of the other premium lightweight shoes on the market even though their weight would indicate they belong in the same category. The design just felt a little clunky and cumbersome at times."

Overall - Score: 4.0

Likes

Chris - "I liked the comfortable ride, the style and the improved durability."

Marco - "The Nike Lunar Ballistec 1.5s have good durability for their listed weight, and they played comfortably."

Sebastian - "I loved the overall comfort, the plush cushioning and the low-to-ground, fast feel."

Andy - "They have plush padding in the upper that wraps over the feet. I also liked the stability these shoes offered."

Dislikes

Chris - "The outsoles were not grippy enough."

Marco - "They ran a bit too hot and didn't cinch around my forefoot."

Sebastian - "I would have liked a little bit more support and stability along the lateral sides of the shoes."

Andy - "The Lunar Ballistec 1.5s have below average breathability, support and durability. These shoes also feel and play heavier than their weight."

Comparing the shoe to others they've tried, our testers said:

Chris - "Although minor on the surface, the updates to the Lunar Ballistec had noticeable results on court. The ride was firmer, the outsoles lasted longer and the traction was not nearly as impressive. Other shoes that compete with the Nike Lunar Ballistec 1.5 include the Asics Gel Resolution 6, adidas Barricade 2015 and Nike Zoom Vapor Tour 9.5 - and I have to say I would chose any of those over the Nike Lunar Ballistec 1.5s."

Marco - "The arch flexed in a similar location to the Lotto Stratosphere, but the Stratosphere held my forefoot in position a little tighter, which helped. The durability of the Lunar Ballistec 1.5 was comparable to the Gel Resolution 6 for me."

Sebastian - "I haven't worn any previous Lunar Ballistec shoes, but I would rank this version right in between the Nike Zoom Vapor Tour 9.5 and the Zoom Cage 2. The Lunar Ballistec is lighter and faster than the Zoom Cage 2, but still not quite as speed-oriented as the Vapor 9.5 Tour. I also think that the Asics Gel Solution Speed 2 feels somewhat similar to the Lunar Ballistec 1.5. However, the Lunar Ballistec 1.5 is not quite as stable and supportive as its Asics counterpart."

Andy - "The Lunar Ballistec 1.5 felt very similar to the original Lunar Ballistec, and even though Nike stuck a mesh window into the side of the 1.5 I don't think it helped the ventilation issue all that much. The Lunar Ballistec 1.5 belong in the same class as the Asics Gel Resolution 6 and adidas Barricade 2015, but both of those shoes are more supportive and durable."

Scores

(Scores are determined by averaging individual play test scores)

Chris' Scores
Overall Comfort4Overall Sole Durability4.3
Ventilation2.8Toe Durability4.3
Arch Support4Traction2.9
Foot support/Stability4Weight4.6
Overall4
Andy's Scores
Overall Comfort4.3Overall Sole Durability2
Ventilation2.5Toe Durability4
Arch Support2Traction3
Foot support/Stability3.8Weight3.8
Overall3.8
Marco's Scores
Overall Comfort4Overall Sole Durability4.3
Ventilation3Toe Durability4.6
Arch Support3.4Traction3.3
Foot support/Stability4Weight4.2
Overall4
Sebastian's Scores
Overall Comfort4.4Overall Sole Durability4.3
Ventilation3.8Toe Durability4.3
Arch Support4Traction4.1
Foot support/Stability3.7Weight4.2
Overall4.1

Playtester Foot Types

Chris - Narrow width / Medium arch

Andy - Medium width / Medium arch

Marco - Medium width / Medium arch

Sebastian - Medium width / Medium arch