{09.10.13} Profiles & Features

    This sole is 30% lighter than Nike's traditional outsole.
Behind the Seams

The Lunarlon Sole

$248 by
Cole Haan

Flyknit One,
$160 by

Arguably one of Nike's greatest innovations of the past few years came with the introduction of their Lunarlon sole in 2008. Think the name sounds spacey? It should. Developed at Nike's sports research lab with NASA designers and drawing from the sensation of walking on the moon, the featherweight sole uses its cushioning to help propel the wearer, resulting in an experience that's bouncy yet stable. Designed to cover from the tip of the toe down to the heel, the shock-absorbing foam encompassing the midsole utilizes a memory-effect, which rebounds the compressing foot and pushes the stride forward. This is all to help keep fatigue at bay. And it works. In fact, the sole's proved so successful with athletes and civilians alike, it's now be found in more than a dozen sneakers including the popular new Flyknit range of lightweight kicks.

Cole Haan LunarGrand combat boots
(out this November)


Free Hyperfeel,
$175 by Nike

One of the first shoes equipped with the space-aged sole came in the form of the LunarRacer, with a specific design for the '08 Beijing Olympics. Of course, like many of Nike's products, the revolutionary athletic technology eventually makes its way to more casual settings. When Cole Haan released its LunarGrand Wingtip in 2012, the shoes were unlike anything on the market. They paired a casual-yet-modern appearance with a comfortable, lightweight feel and quickly became one of the brand's best selling styles. The collection grew to include oxfords and chukkas in a range of leathers and this fall, brings some smart military-inspired boots—continuing the Lunarlon's combination of art and science.

- Gregory Babcock








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