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Nike Lunar Ballistec Shoe Review


Shoe Weights

Shoe Size Shoe Weight
5.5 10.0 oz / 283 gr
6 10.0 oz / 283 gr
6.5 10.3 oz / 289 gr
7 10.5 oz / 298 gr
7.5 10.7 oz / 301 gr
8 11.1 oz / 315 gr
8.5 11.3 oz / 320 gr
9 12.0 oz / 340 gr
9.5 12.2 oz / 346 gr
10 12.5 oz / 354 gr
10.5 12.6 oz / 357 gr
11 13.0 oz / 369 gr
11.5 13.1 oz / 374 gr
12 13.9 oz / 394 gr 

The Nike Lunar Ballistec first hit the courts at the Australian Open in early 2014, replacing the Court Ballistec that served the King of Clay so well for years. Nadal didn’t initially stick with the shoe, however, citing that the extreme heat in Australia was having an effect on the upper and causing his feet to slide excessively. He eventually transitioned to the new model but given the history I was very curious to see how the LB stood up to the Houston heat and humidity. Here’s what I found:

I did not have high expectations for the flexibility of this shoe either given that the upper was so rigid initially, but the shoe was actually very flexible. I did, however, expect it to be highly durable given how physical of a player Rafa is, and in that respect the shoe performed as predicted – I don’t foresee needing to use the warranty. The weight did distract me some during play but, again, I imagine that my body would make the adjustment the more I played in them. The tread does not run the length of the shoe but is concentrated in the ball and heel where you really need it, so I never felt like I lost contact or traction and easily made quick stops and moves.

I’m usually a mesh-upper kind of girl specifically because mesh is more breathable so I did not have high expectations for the synthetic leather upper, fearing I’d be sliding in my own sweat before the end of my first set. I found the shoe to be much more breathable than I expected, though still not as well ventilated as one with a mesh upper. In the 5 hours that I played I never once experienced slippage or overheating. I (ashamedly) was not wearing high performance socks, so have to give full credit to the shoe’s perforations for moisture management.

The shoe was a bit heavier than what I normally wear, presumably because of the materials used, though I imagine my body would adapt to the weight quickly if I wore these regularly. The synthetic material was stiffer straight out of the box than the mesh upper of a shoe like the Zoom Vapor 9.5, but with that rigidity also came a feeling of stability. The “flywire technology” sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it’s really just a soft skeleton for the shoe’s upper that you can barely feel on the interior. So between the material and technology my foot did feel stable – which made it surprising to me that Nadal’s foot could slide around. As far as the cushioning, this shoe is fantastic and I like how the extra padding in the tongue helps to “lock” your foot into place without any uncomfortable rubbing. The heel – which is not made of synthetic leather – was also very sturdy, so is great for those of us who are prone to ankle rolling.

All in all I found the shoe to be constructed very well with superior stability. I would highly recommend this shoe for competitive players and feel confident saying that it can withstand intense play for long periods of time.

By: Tiffany Thor