Nike Flashrun & Flash Pack Review
Earlier this month we put on the Nike Lunarglide Shield 5.0s and the Nike Allover Flash Jacket to take part in their Flashrun. The Flashrun took place in central London with some other runners and Nike sponsored professional athletes, so it wasn’t a short jaunt around the capitol. This #Flashun initiative is still on the go, so whip out your phone, get the Nike+ Running App (iOS or Droid), like Nike+ Running on Facebook and join in by sharing photos and experiences of night runs. Our main focus was testing the gear though, mainly the Nike Lunarglide Shield 5.0s and the Allover Flash Jacket.
We’d already given the Free’s a thorough once over, but this time we were out in a set of Lunarglide Shield 5.0s and giving them the full on urban test, weaving in between pedestrians, crossing roads, running through tunnels – the whole shebang. They can take a bit of time to break in if you are not used to running in shoes built in this way. Specifically, they are designed with pure running comfort and stability in mind. With their Lunarlite sole, they adapt to your running style so that you shouldn’t have to worry when picking your shoes. In fact, everything about them screams comfort, from the incredibly soft strike when you run, with very little shock reverberating up the leg (normally I use soborthane inners for protection), to the soft uppers which seem impossible to rub or blister.
The Lunarglide 5.0s had good airflow around the foot as well, and when it was raining, we felt they remained suitably dry and the fleece collar kept it fitting well comfortably. Of particular note in the shoes construction is the lacing and the connection to the flywire support system. At first glance, they appear only connected on the upper and bottom eyelets to the laces, but it is clear that the system is hooked around each one, so when you lace the shoe up evenly, there are no areas of undue pressure and your foot is locked in. This helps prevent blisters, but also means those who don’t wear socks (madness) will find them a blessing. One of the overriding impacts that the shoes make is that they are blending the quality and style expected of Nike, with the gradual improvement from the Lunarglide 4.0 model, some of these changes though aren’t immediately noticeable.
Their reflective qualities were far more obvious however. When out on the busy streets of central London, particularly in lower light situations, the Nike Swoosh became a very visible and dominant image flashing past pedestrians. However, as good as these shoes might be for visibility, the problem is that they are shoes – only your soles. We are also not entirely convinced by the reflective animal print under the mesh (design or reflection). That’s the biggest downside we could think of, even the price tag of £95 is incredibly reasonable. However, when it does come down to being visible, that’s where the Nike Allover Flash Jacket steps up.
Running around London is hazardous for so many reasons, but staying seen is absolutely vital. The number of casualties and deaths caused by drivers to runners has been rising over the past decade, so staying safe and visible couldn’t be more important. The Nike Allover Flash Jacket certainly looks to keep you safe by making sure that, in these winter months, any car with its headlights on will be able to pick you out at a significant distance. This is achieved with futuristic sounding glass-beaded exterior providing 360 degrees of 400-candle power reflectivity… What the hell does that mean? Just check out the pictures here to see how visible you are in low light situations, they speak for themselves really!
The Nike Allover Flash Jacket is excellently made as well. Aside from being very comfortable and made with this wonderfabic that is stretchy and sweat-wicking, it also carries the Nike ‘storm-fit’ label. This means that the Allover Flash Jacket should hold up in the worst wet, cold and windy weather conditions. We took it out one evening for a quick 5k in the London rain and, for the sake of it, yesterday in the mists. We stood out and stayed dry (excluding the sweat). Speaking of sweat, Nike have responded to advice regarding their previous jackets, and now the Allover Flash Jacket doesn’t even have stitched seems, but rather bonded seems which hold together very well and make the jacket lighter. A problem we found with this was sweat would somehow seep through outwards and affect the reflective coating.
The jacket is breathable and has plenty of ventilation holes on the chest, back and underarms. We did find that there was a funny pattern of moisture that had seeped through when running in the mist, but maybe that is a one-off? Otherwise we can say we stayed dry and very warm – the hood being particularly effective, although was quite noisy and could foreseeable cause some chaffing. The draw-strings around the bottom of the jacket help to ensure you get that perfect fit too. However the jacket’s little things make it just that bit better. The zip has anchors at the top and the bottom to prevent slipping, the pockets zip up and lock, with mesh pockets inside for you phone (Note, as usual these seem to only be designed for apple products – classic Nike). Indeed, the right inside pocket has a hole on the inside to feed you headphones through. The biggest downside to all of this? The cost. It retails at £320. However, if you are serious about running, run a lot in the evenings and can’t avoid the dark at winter, this is absolutely a no brainer!