Nike Lunarlite Speed 2 Women's Tennis Shoe Review
With the first generation of the Lunarlite Speed series, Nike pushed the envelope with a lightweight design and bold cosmetics. When we reviewed the shoe in 2009 it scored well in all the performance categories, but a narrow toe box affected the score when it came to comfort.
Now, in 2010, Nike has released the Lunarlite Speed 2. It has the same cushioning and support systems seen in the previous shoe: full length Lunarlite foam and Flywire. The cosmetics are again bold as well, with Nike bringing in exciting colors and an asymmetric lacing system.
What's new, though, is a more accommodating fit in the toe box. We sent out our team of playtesters to see how this new fit worked for them. Here's what they had to say after a month of testing on hard courts.
Comfort - Score: 3.7
With the second generation of the Lunarlite Speed, Nike opened up the toe box to accommodate more foot types. This was not lost on our playtest team. Kimber said, "The previous version was very narrow and constricting through the body of the shoe, which made wearing them for any length of time uncomfortable. The updated version of the Nike Lunarlite Speed fit my foot more comfortably. The toe box was more generous. At the outset my feet had more room to move. The midsole was minimal, yet substantial enough to give padding and cushioning throughout match play. The shoe was very flexible and molded easily to my feet. Unfortunately, the back of the shoe hits my Achilles in the wrong spot. Wearing extra padded socks still didnŐt solve the problem for me."
Tiffani said, "I am so happy that this version of the Lunarlite Speed has a wider toebox. The first generation of the shoe was way too narrow for me to wear period, let alone dream of wearing on the court, which was too bad because I absolutely loved the styles. The Lunarlite Speed 2 took about a week of break-in time for me to feel the full comfort. I really enjoy a shoe that hugs my foot, and this certainly does. It's still a little narrow for my wide foot, but it wasn't uncomfortable. The ride is low, but I still find plenty of cushioning for matches, though not for wearing all day. My only complaint is that the area around the top two eyelets was stiff and poked at my foot just below the ankle. I had to loosen up the lacing a little more than I would've liked."
As the name suggests, the shoe features Nike's Lunarlite foam cushioning throughout. Hayley found it comfortable. She said, "This shoe offered the perfect amount of cushioning for me. The Lunarlite technology offered superb, long lasting comfort. The last pair of comfortable shoes I tested was not resilient enough for me; while the cushioning was initially a great factor, the product broke down over time. The Lunarlite Speed 2 is still as comfortable as it was the first day I slipped it on."
Eileen, disagreed, saying, "The fit was fine, but I like more cushioning in the midsole. The minimal cushioning made the shoe feel hard and flat. For me personally, the cushioning is very important, allowing me to play for hours at a time and not have my feet hurt."
Linda said, "These shoes were very comfortable from the very first moment on my feet. The upper is very soft, and there is ample arch support. There were no hot spots on the shoe that created any discomfort from rubbing or stiffness."
Ventilation - Score: 3.6
On the surface, the Lunarlite Speed 2 doesn't have a lot of ventilation features. However, our team didn't find heat to be much of an issue. Eileen said, "The ventilation was adequate. It was one of the better features of this shoe."
Surprised by the performance, Tiffani said, "The shoe performed better in this category than I had expected at the start of the playtest. The tongue is mesh, but other than that the shoe didn't appear to have many ventilation features. The Lunarlite Speed 2s run a little warm, but it was nothing to worry about for me."
Linda said, "It has been chilly out, so good ventilation has not been necessary or noticeable."
Hayley wanted more ventilation. She said, "These shoes ran a little bit hot for me. I chose to wear two pairs of socks, which could explain it. Nonetheless, they seemed to lack ventilation. This discomfort was mild, though, and most likely could have been avoided by only wearing one pair of socks."
Kimber said, "The mesh tongue helps with the ventilation, but overall the shoe was a little hot. There were some perforations on the top of the shoe, but when the matches were long breathability was an issue."
Arch Support - Score: 4.0
The arch support of the Lunarlite Speed 2 worked for the majority of our testing team. Though listed as low to medium on the web site, Linda found it fit her higher arches. She said, "I have high arches, but felt well supported. I also have a narrow foot, and this shoe was a good fit. With nothing pinching, I found good support and sizing all around."
Kimber agreed, saying, "The arch support was just right for my medium height arches. I didn't notice the arch when I was playing, which is a good indication that the fit was just fine."
Also with medium height arches, Hayley said, "The arch support on this shoe was perfect for me. It never felt like I needed more or less support. I really felt like this shoe was designed specifically with my foot in mind."
Eileen, though, was left wanting more, saying, "For me the arch was too low. It made the overall fit feel flat and low to the court."
Tiffani was on the opposite side of the spectrum. She said, "The arch support felt substantial to me, and with my low arches seemed too high. Because the added support was making my feet ache, I switched to after-market insoles."
Foot Support/Stability - Score: 4.0
The Flywire system and TPU Fit Frame provide the support for this lightweight performance shoe. Tiffani felt the glove-like fit on her foot was key. She said, "This shoe is extremely lightweight, but it holds its own when it comes to stability. The uppers hug my feet so there is absolutely no slack within the shoe, and the shoe moves with my foot. When the uppers of a shoe are too soft, or can't be cinched down, there is too much movement in the shoe and I feel like I lose some speed. That's not the case with the Lunarlite Speed 2. I can do whatever I need to do to get to the next ball and know I won't slip. It's an awesome feeling and major confidence booster."
Kimber noted improvements over the first Lunarlite Speed. "The widening of the toe box gave the shoe stability," said Kimber. "I was confident when coming in on serve and split stepping. Running for the short shot was not a problem, either. My foot was not sliding around and my toes did not jam into the top of the shoe."
Eileen said, "I found great foot stability. There was no slipping or sliding around within the shoe during play. The support around my ankles was also secure, and I did not feel like my ankles would roll over at any time."
Linda wished for added stability. She said, "These shoes are narrow, and comfortable, but the heel base is also narrow, so I did not feel super stable. However, the shoe never rolled or fell short during play. The soft uppers provided above average comfort, however, this softness allowed more movement during lateral changes in direction."
Hayley agreed, "I was disappointed with the performance in this category. Without the narrow fit of the original Lunarlite Speed I felt like I was forced to tighten the shoe down with the laces, making the support system ineffective. I laced the shoe so tightly that I experienced gapping in the heel. I really think the shoe could have used a touch more lateral support or a wider heel base."
Sole Durability - Score: 4.2
The XDR outsole is Nike's most durable rubber compound. The testers were pleased with how it was standing up to hard court use. Hayley said, "This shoe was incredibly durable for me. I did not experience excessive wear on the outsole."
Eileen agreed, "The sole held up very well during the play test. I saw even wear throughout the sole."
Linda didn't see much wear, either. She said, "I have not worn the shoe out in any particular way. Overall, it is wearing well and is very comfortable."
The durability was on par with other shoes Kimber has worn. She said, "The Lunarlite Speed 2s are lighter weight, so durability can be an issue. I wear out my shoes under the big toe. The tread began to wear in this area of the shoe after several matches. I am hard on shoes, so the wear is comparable to most shoes that I have worn. Later in the match my toe begins to drag so I worry about the durability of the top of the shoe. The stitching seems vulnerable to wear."
Tiffani got what she expected durability wise. She said, "The durability is similar to other Nike shoes I've worn that are designed for speed. As is typical, I saw wear in the forefoot area and the tread began to wear down after about 10 hours."
Toe Durability - Score: 4.0
The DragOn X material held up well for our toe-dragging playtesters. Eileen said, "Again, one of the better features of this shoe, there was no excessive wear in the toe front where I drag my shoes."
Tiffani was also pleased, saying, "This is a vast improvement over the last lightweight Nike shoe I wore, the Air Zoom Mystify III. The Lunarlite Speed 2 has DragOn X on the toe bumper and medial side, and for me, this is a welcome addition, though I wish it extended a bit farther on the lateral side. Still, a thumbs up from me."
Traction - Score: 4.3
Our testers had no problems gripping the hard courts in the Lunarlite Speed 2. Kimber said, "The tread pattern is varied, so you can get a good grip on the court. I was confident that I would hold firm when moving forward and side-to-side."
Agreeing, Hayley said, "This shoe was perfect in terms of traction. I did not experience any problems with quick starts or stops. The shoes made me feel very comfortable with my footwork on the court."
Tiffani felt confident in her footwork, saying, "Traction is key with a speed-oriented design, and the Lunarlite Speed 2 was excellent in this category. I only had one slight slip, and that was on the line of a court that was a little slick to begin with. I was always confident that I was going to get to the ball, and I like to think I'm a good scrambler."
Eileen said, "The traction was adequate, but I was not comfortable with my movement because of the hard feel. With the low-profile cushioning in the midsole, the shoe had a stiff, hard feel for me on the court."
Linda liked the traction, but like Eileen, wasn't fully confident. She said, "The sole had good traction, but the soft upper and narrow profile left me feeling a little less confident than what I am used to. When changing directions, the uppers would give, creating less stability on the shoe. Forward and backward directional change was more stable with less give."
Weight - Score: 4.6
As one of the lightest shoes at Tennis Warehouse, the Lunarlite Speed 2 received nothing but praise in this category. Tiffani said, "This shoe is a great blend of light weight and streamlined design. Some shoes might feel light but have an awkwardly clunky fit. I love how this shoe molds to my feet, so I can always just pick up and run in any direction."
Kimber concurred, saying, "These shoes are extremely light and easy to maneuver in. These shoes did not feel heavy on my feet and helped me stay fresher longer."
Linda said, "This shoe is very light weight and very comfortable."
Lightweight translated into comfort for Hayley. She said, "I love the weight of these shoes. They felt light at every point of play. In fact, these shoes are so light, I did not mind wearing them off the court as well. I really felt like the weight, paired with the low ride, made for the ultimate speed shoe."
Eileen said, "Great weight. The shoe was light with plenty of support."
Overall - Score: 4.0
The Lunarlite Speed 2 delivered when it came to lightweight performance. Our team was pleased in all performance categories. There was good support and traction, and decent durability. Comfort, though, again drew mixed reviews. Some of the testers found the cushioning to be more than sufficient, but others felt the ride was too low to the court. With a wider fit, more of our testers were able to try this shoe. Overall, the Lunarlite Speed 2 will appeal to players who, come match day, crave a super low ride and glove-like feel in a super lightweight package.
Kimber "I liked the weight of these shoes. The roomy toe box gave me good stability and maneuverability. The clean and traditional cosmetics made them very wearable."
Eileen "The narrow fit felt good for my narrow foot. The weight and stability were the stronger features of this shoe."
Hayley "I liked just about everything about these shoes. I loved wearing them the entire playtest and will probably continue to wear them going forward. I really liked the asymmetrical lacing system. At first glance, I thought this would be an annoying quality, but after playing with them, I felt like this offered additional comfort and security."
Linda "I liked several things about these shoes. First of all they are very light and comfortable. Secondly, they have a small profile."
Tiffani "I was most pleased with the more accommodating fit in the forefoot, yet the shoe still had a streamlined feel on my foot. Cosmetics are nice as well, and I can't wait to see more colors added to the line-up."
Kimber "My playing time was always limited while wearing these shoes because the high back hurt my Achilles. The heel collar is not very padded, which added to the problem for me. My feet had a tendency to feel hot because there is not a lot of mesh on the outside of the shoe."
Eileen "Definitely the lack of cushioning. I also felt like the arch was low for my foot. My feet, ankles and legs really felt tired, and they ached at the end of playing."
Hayley "The only negative was the width of these shoes. The first Lunarlite Speed was narrower in the toe box and fit my foot better. This second generation is not as narrow. If it were a little bit narrower, I would have been able to wear only one pair of socks. Also, with a more narrow fit I would not have had to tie the shoes so tightly."
Linda "I am more comfortable in shoes with a wider toe and heel base, offering more stability and traction. Also, the soft uppers allowed the shoe more give and less stability."
Tiffani "The top of the lacing system was a little too stiff and hit in the wrong part of my foot, just below the ankle. It caused some discomfort if I tied the shoes too tightly."
Compared to other shoes or brands
Kimber "The Lunarlite Speed 2's sleek and glove like fit is a defining feature. Not many shoes that I have worn are as lightweight. Over time, I foresee durability issues. The Wilson Tour Vision had more cushioning and higher comfort value for me."
Eileen "I prefer the added cushioning the adidas Barricade V offers. This shoe is also very snug on my narrow foot, but I think I prefer a little more room throughout the shoe for a little bit more comfort."
Hayley "I definitely prefer this shoe to others I have tested. I feel like this shoe offers a speed oriented and snug fit. I love the cosmetics of this shoe, especially the clean profile. This shoe is pretty much my favorite tennis shoe this year."
Linda "My favorite shoe is still the adidas Barricade II. I prefer a more stable shoe with a wider toe and heel base. This shoe is easy to wear, soft and comfortable."
Tiffani "I think the obvious comparison is the original Lunarlite Speed, but it's also similar to the Nike Mystify line or even the adidas Divine or Ivy. Compared with the first Lunarlite Speed, this is much easier to wear for those who don't have narrow feet. I find the Lunarlite Speed 2 has more of a glove-like fit and better toe durability than the Mystify or adidas shoes, though the adidas shoes provide more ventilation."
- Improved comfort
|Nike Lunarlite Speed 2 Scores|
|Overall Sole Durability||4.2|
Playtester Foot Types:
Kimber - Medium width/Medium arch
Eileen - Narrow width / Medium arch
Hayley - Narrow width / Medium arch
Linda - Narrow width/High arch
Tiffani - Wide width / Low arch
Review date: April 2010. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
All content copyright 2010 Tennis Warehouse.