Nothing sinks a winter run faster than striking down on an ice-cold puddle of slush. Short of heading to the treadmill, however, the occasional soaker is hard to avoid. Enter the Nike Lunarglide+ 3 Shield ($149.95), billed as the brand's best shoe for winter running. Its main selling points: reflective panels for better visibility during dark runs and a water-resistant mesh upper. (In terms of aesthetics, the Lunarglide – available in various silver-neon colour schemes – looks pretty spiffy, too.)
Does it deliver? Let's just say I wouldn't bet my life on this shoe in terms of improving nighttime visibility. After several evening outings, during which I became increasingly obsessed with my feet, I can say that the Lunarglide does not make me any more conspicuous to oncoming traffic than a regular running shoe.
The real measure of its worth, however, lies in its water resistance. While Toronto has experienced a relatively dry winter, a recent snowfall and subsequent meltdown provided the perfect testing ground. I decided to run two identical, puddle-strewn loops: the first in the Lunarglide, the second in a pair of Asics GT 2160s, a model I've been faithful to for years.
I set off, seeking out every body of water in my path. Four kilometres and approximately 15 puddles later, the shoes (and thus my feet) remained completely dry.
Next up, my Asics. I immediately noticed a difference in cushioning. The Lunarglide provides lightweight support for mild to moderate overpronators, while the GT 2160 offers a slightly more structured, cushier, and – in my opinion – preferable ride. But as soon as I hit the first puddle, I began to reconsider our long-standing relationship. My shoes and socks were soaked, a situation that only proceeded to get worse. Back at home after this incredibly soggy excursion, I found myself, well, over the moon about the Lunarglide's H20-repelling properties.
While waterproofing can wear down over time, Nike maintains the shoe will remain resistant for its lifespan (600 to 800 kilometres). I've started using the Lunarglide exclusively, though I plan on going back to my Asics come summer. Hopefully they'll have dried out by then.
Special to The Globe and Mail