Earlier this month, British rapper Tinie Tempah stepped out in what was then a yet-unseen pair of Nikes, and people took notice. Not long after, the Swoosh revealed that it was one of its newest performance-based lifestyle sneakers: the Nike LunarCharge. It was a fairly quiet announcement considering how good the shoe looks, because despite not having its own full-blown advertising campaign, the LunarCharge was an instant hit.
Many consider it to be Nike’s response to the adidas Tubular, the model that lead the charge for the Three Stripes two years ago. Since the Tubular first came out, adidas has done well for itself among the fashion crowd; but now, it’s looking like Nike is back with a vengeance.
At first glance, the LunarCharge’s resemblance to the Tubular (and also, uncannily, the Y-3 Qasa) leaps out at you. But because it incorporates a lot of signature Nike design elements, you can’t quite so easily call it a rip-off.
In fact, the LunarCharge takes from at least five other classics from the Swoosh: a neoprene upper inspired by 1988 Air Flow; plastic eyestays from the Air Max 90 (although honestly, these are incredibly Qasa-like—but then again, there’s nothing to say that the Qasa wasn’t inspired by the Air Max 90 in the first place); the internal bootie of the Air Presto from 2000; and the design construction of the 1990 Air Current. Lastly, it places all of these on top of a sole that’s based on the LunarEpic, one of Nike’s flagship releases of 2016.
But just looking at the LunarCharge, you wouldn’t figure it to be just another mash-up sneaker or a Fusion model. Because of its contemporary silhouette and its well-tempered combination of elements, the LunarCharge is much more than the sum of its parts. It’s a fresh new model that continues what the Roshe Run started, along the line of thick, round-soled, runner-like lifestyle sneakers that have become the prevailing aesthetic over the past few years. If Nike plays its cards right and comes up with the right colorways, there’s no reason that the LunarCharge can’t become the next big thing.
There’s no word just yet on when these will be dropping locally, but the first colorway released in the States last November 18, and the all-black colorway is set to release there on December 3. They’ve been going for $120 to $125 retail, so local prices should be thereabouts in Pesos.