In recent months, few shoes have made as big of an impression with expert testers as the new, improved Nike LunarElite+ 2. It was released in January 2011 after Nike made substantial upgrades to the original incarnation of this shoe. At weights of 9.8 ounces for the men's shoe and just 8.2 ounces for the women's version, the LunarElite+ 2 offers more comfort, stability and flexibility than its predecessor, experts say. The shoe's upper section features a mesh overlay, which allows for maximum comfort and breathability. Nike's "flywire" technology helps secure the foot in place and gives the shoe a snug fit. In addition, its minimal weight and low-to-the-ground profile make it ideal for performance training and speedwork. Experts say that runners wanting to increase their efficiency should look no further than the Nike LunarElite+ 2. It's recommended for those with mild to moderate overpronation; those who feel they need more stability may want to consider the slightly heavier Brooks Ravenna 2 (Est. $100).
The Nike LunarElite+ 2 earns high praise from several top fitness publications. Women's Running Magazine names the shoe an Editor's Choice in their Spring 2011 Shoe Review. Shape and Fitness magazines do the same. Runner's World Magazine says the new lighter, more stable incarnation of the LunarElite+ make it their favorite update of Spring 2011.
1. Runner's World
Runner's World consistently provides the most complete and credible reviews of running shoes. In their recent annual roundup of the best models, Warren Greene and Martyn Shorten select 20 shoes for evaluation. The Nike LunarElite+ 2 earns praise as the Best Update. The new rendition of the shoe is both lighter and offers more stability, editors say.
Review: Spring 2011 Running Shoe Guide, Warren Greene, Martyn Shorten, March 2011
2. Women's Running Magazine
Sixteen wear-tested winners are picked in this Spring 2011 shoe review from Women's Running Magazine. Each model is tested by several runners, and the Nike LunarElite+ 2 earns an Editor's Choice distinction. Made for efficiency running, this shoe still provides adequate cushioning and support.
Review: Spring 2011 Shoe Review, Jessica Sebor, Spring 2011
3. Fitness Magazine
In this Spring 2011 guide to the best women's running shoes, Fitness magazine's Lindsey Emery reports on testers' top picks (four winners and four runners-up). Unfortunately, it's unclear how many testers try each shoe and how many models in total are evaluated. Still, the Nike LunarElite+ 2 earns the award for Best Mild Stability Running Shoes. Editors and testers say the shoe is lightweight but gives just the right amount of stability.
Review: Spring 2011 Sneaker Guide: The Best Running Shoes, Lindsey Emery, April 2011
Based on a variety of categories such as Best Walking Shoes and Best Shoes for Fitness Classes, 13 shoes are selected in Shape magazine's most recent annual guide to women's athletic shoes. The Nike LunarElite+ 2 earns the prize for Best Running Shoes for Speed. Testers say the "snug but not-too-tight" shoe provides stability and balance for mild overpronators so they can concentrate on speed.
Review: Shape's Shoe Guide 2011: Find the Best Athletic Shoes, Sarah Bowen Shea, March 2011
ActiveGearReview.com provides more than 100 reviews of popular road-running shoes. Comments are relatively brief and it's unclear how the shoes are evaluated, although correspondence with the site indicates the shoes are wear-tested. The Nike LunarElite+ 2 receives a brief but positive review. Alex R. says testers are pleased, calling it a "great training shoe offering flexibility, breathability and comfort."
Review: Nike LunarElite+ 2 Review, Alex R., Jan. 13, 2011