Very interesting insight but it makes a lot of sense regarding the Lunar material. I actually ran in my Lunarglide 3s today and it felt exactly as you described: like running in sand. The lack of spring/bounce almost felt like energy just dies as you take each stride. My time was significantly worse than in the Racers despite running a more favorable course today. The only concern I do have with running without that added cushioning is what kind of wear it might put on joints vs a more cushioned Lunar shoe.
I'm noticing that my initial review is worded in a way that might have a negative connotation. Quite the opposite, it feels like Lunar has reached a point where it is a definite and preferred cushioning platform in the Nike lineup. I'm pretty shocked about the mileage you have put on those Eclipses tho as I've found that the Lunarglides I'm running with now are pretty much shot in terms of overall performance at about 400 miles compared to when I first got them. The cushioning properties still seem to work decently enough, but there is definitely less spring in shoes. My buddy just got the latest Eclipses so I'm interested in what he thinks of them vs his 600 mile Lunarglides.
There is a part of me that feels that maybe that is what the Lunar platform is supposed to do: give fantastic cushioning at the cost of responsiveness/overall performance. In the end, I'm still doing the rotation thing between different shoes but I found myself missing the Racer's responsiveness today. If the only difference in cushioning for the Racers vs the Trainers is the heel zoom, then I'm with IYE2 as I'm also a midfoot striker: No reason to go with the trainers unless there is a durability issue with the shoe be it with the outsole or the upper. As a platform, the Flyknit Racer may be my flat out favorite so far. My only concern is long term wear and tear on joints etc. due to the firmness of the ride. Then again, that might just be my paranoia. =P
I'm shocked as well! Eclipses were godsent!
For the most part, I'd agree with the compromise of responsiveness for cushioning with the lastest Lunars. IMO, the most responsive/most springy Lunar was the original LunarTrainers. It was a sad day when I could no longer feel that bounce in my stride in the LTs . Overall, Lunars just work well for me. I'm a supinator with a forefoot strike and pretty high arches if that matters.
My concerns with running in Flyknits are how long they'll last with the Zoom tooling and the strength of the FlyKnit material. I tend to run pretty aggressively and on trails, and overtime, I get tiny tears on the mesh uppers on most of my shoes, so I'm wondering how the FlyKnit upper will hold up in these types of terrains/situations. It'd be a real shame if a single tear could cause the upper/section to rip further, which could, possibly, jeopardize the whole shoe.
Edited by ILLustRAYt - 8/3/12 at 12:55am