I should preface this review with a brief story. I originally wanted to write a review the day I got my pair of Lunar Controls. From the moment I opened the box I knew I was going to be experiencing something new in the golf world. I was excited, and anxious. I took pictures on my phone and emailed them to my parents and girlfriend. They didn’t get why I was so thrilled, but I knew. I posted it to the twitterverse, excited that I could be one of the first to share my thoughts with fellow golfers. But there were two important things that occurred when my shoes arrived from Nike Golf, and perhaps one had a significant and necessary impact on the other. It was a cold, blustery winter when my shoes came. There was still snow on the ground and it seemed like winter would never end. I had no golf trips planned, and I had just returned from a week of playing golf in Tucson the month before. Sitting inside my apartment, looking at New York City, with not an outdoor driving range open made me realize something – I was going to write the most detailed review I could, testing these Lunar Controls out in a variety of conditions and temperatures and making sure that it was different from any review out there. I didn’t give myself a deadline, and I figured I would know when the time was right. In the months of testing, a number of reviews came out, some were great and detailed, others were short and to the point, but one thing was common between all of them. They all looked unworn.
So here I am now, in June with more than 20 rounds under my belt. These Lunar Controls have been with me from Florida up to New York, in the snow, rain, and heat and I’m ready to write my review.
I thought I would begin with the obvious, and perhaps the most important. By now you’ve seen a number of Lunar Controls, between the four original models (White/Metallic Pewter/Black, Black/Black/Metallic Silver, White/Volt/Black/Metallic Silver, and White/Varsity Red/Black), and the limited edition Major editions, you’ve seen that the Lunar Control was the first golf shoe to incorporate Nike’s Flywire technology. As a quick refresher to the technology, Flywire is a very strong thread that is both used to minimize weight and maximize support. For the ultra technical, it’s called Vectran, and it’s super thin, super strong, and first originated in other scientific uses outside of apparel. Nike first introduced Flywire in running technology to give support on the inside and outside of the foot but keep shoes super light to increase speed. After incorporating the technology into basketball, it finally made its way into the golf line. The result of the Flywire, mixed with the TPU saddle, is a 50% weight reduction as well as full waterproof functionality. If you rub your fingers alongside the saddle, you’ll be able to feel the wires embedded in there. In my experience, I have not seen a better saddle. It’s like taking a bunch of light straps and securing your foot to the base. Nike has built that capability into the shoe and managed to reduce weight – it’s really impressive.
The other technology they’ve incorporated is the Lunarlon base. Lunarlon has been used in running shoes as well, including my favorite running shoe from 2010, the LunarElite+2. In comparison to the latest golf shoes I’ve been using and their support, I have not seen much of a difference however. Up until now, I thought the 2008 SP-8 TW would be the most comfortable golf shoe I ever wore, and that used a caged Air Unit. So did the Zoom Elite which I loved. When I moved onto the Zoom Trophy, which used a Zoom Unit, I also thought it was comfortable. The Lunarlon insofar maintains the comfort, but it doesn’t appear to be much softer. I think the real benefit is that it is probably lighter than previous bases.
What is a big improvement to me however, is the new sole. I don’t know if there’s an actual name for it, but what I found to be noticeably different was that when wearing the Lunar Control I had more stability and I could really plant my weight and shift weight with ease. It was like sticking to the ground and then quickly moving off like a sprinter. I wondered why this occurred and then pulled out my old shoes. I compared the bottom to the Zoom Trophy and the original Zoom Elite. I noticed that the Lunar Control replaced the black square edged base spikes with rounded, rubbery spikes. They also seemed longer. I think it really helped in feeling close to the ground. Nike has definitely made a big improvement with this seemingly small change. And maybe the Lunarlon in the heel allowed me to feel the difference. Here’s a comparison of the two:
Lastly, the other important trait that often gets overlooked in reviews is that the shoe is waterproof. I was skeptical of wearing these at a rainy round at Royce Brook Golf Club in Hillsborough, NJ in fear of damaging them, but they really are waterproof. I really don’t know what else to say about it. The upper, while fully leather, is made of Sadessa waterproof leather. Now I don’t know how they did it, but it literally repels water and there is a 2-year warranty for it.
The performance shoe is really what set the Lunar Control apart from its competitors. The stability it provides when swinging can truly be a benefit to your golf game. When I take my back swing, I load up weight on my back (right) foot and turn around it. Therefore, I want to feel planted into the ground.
But the good thing is that the shoe allows you to release quickly as well. The inertia generated by my swing transfers weight to my entire left side and really kept me on balance in my follow through.
Also, as I mentioned before I really wanted to give these shoes a true test. So, while a little embarrassing, I ran 50 yard dashes in these shoes to try out how comfortable and “athletic” they were. The goal was to see if the athletic feel of the Lunar Control and its take on a classic saddle shoe meshed well. And I can firmly say that if you wanted to run the course in these shoes you could and it would feel nearly as natural as your running sneakers. Here’s the picture to show that I actually ran sprints. And yes, I was carrying my Vr wedge with me.
Fit and Look
Nike’s golf shoes, for some reason, have always fit a half size smaller than their normal shoes. And I think this is true for the Lunar Control. As for fit, well, there is no breaking-in phase for this shoe. The new sockliner is something that they have incorporated in their higher end shoes for some time and it is definitely comfortable. I walked 9 holes in 95 degree heat at Fort Lauderdale Country Club in these and had no trouble at all. And that was only my second round in them. I also wore these the first time I broke 80.
One thing to consider though, is that on the white/volt version the black saddle extends through the laces area. The reason I am bring this up is because sometimes when I look down at putts I don’t want to be distracted by anything but my putter and my ball. The black sometimes caught my eye. Maybe it was because I have been wearing all white shoes for a while, but it did make me think. I’ve compared the top view of my Zoom Trophy to my Lunar Control to help demonstrate what I mean. Fortunately, if this is an issue for you, the other two white versions of the Lunar Control do not have the black color in the lace area.
As for overall look, there’s a reason why nearly all of Nike’s Athletes wear the Lunar Control on Tour. It’s stylish and comfortable and looks great with a number of outfits. For me personally, as I turn 30, I am walking along the line of young and sporty, and classic and not too flashy. The Lunar Control hit that middle area for me, especially with its neon color, which is on bottom of the shoe, as well as on the flywire and on a small swoosh on the tongue. I think for my dad, he would be fine in the all black or the white/grey version. Although when I showed him my volt version, he did ask if they were for him!
I can stand by this conclusion and this recommendation because I have tested the Lunar Control in more conditions than any published review out there. I got them wet, muddy, and put them through heat and cold. I walked and ran in them. And my conclusion is that the Lunar Control dethroned my SP-8 TW golf shoes as the best looking, best performing, and most comfortable I have ever worn. I’ve been through a number of golf shoes in between, and I am happy to say that this is the one.
Stats: The Shoe
Model: Nike Lunar Control
Color: 171 White/Metallic Silver-Volt-Black
Stats: The Tester
Name: NGN Alan
Rounds in Lunar Control: 11
Equipment: Nike Vr Wedge 58.06
Location: Jersey City, NJ
Photographer: Jen Savage
Editor’s note: The product reviewed above was supplied by the manufacturer to the reviewer/author free of charge for reviewing purposes only. The reviewer/author was not paid for this review, and the opinions expressed in the review are strictly those of the reviewer/author.