Sometimes footwear heresy can work.
We understand why people love the Nike
Epic — in our eyes it's probably the best Nike running shoe from the first half of the 1980s and - alongside the `ZX 500 and NB 1300 - proof that shoe browsing in 1985 was more fun than it is now and the point where the running shoe shape was perfected and never bettered.
The Epic's Air Wedge, heel counter and those perforations over that Scotchlite underlay made it the top tier release in the Nike catalogue and while "epic" might be misused by banter boys to describe a messy Saturday night at a provincial theme pub these days, you can't deny that this shoe was an appropriately named release — subtle but deep in its details. It's big in the Netherlands too because of those looks and the braggadocios price tag. The recent re-release was excellent (it got a retro a few years prior too) but we whined about the yellow sole. If the yellowing VNTG effect wasn't to your taste, how about bright blue foam? Hybrid haters should probably look away.
The Epic debuted when Phylon was state-of-the-art, but Lunarlon's 2008 expansion and improvement of that innovation is pleasantly at odds with the aesthetic of 27 years ago. That's what makes the Nike Epic Vintage Lunar a gloriously dumb shoe. Tom Sachs' Escape meets Free for the Mars project was fun and this maintains that madness. Uniting a classic-looking colourway (which looks like a recent Epic rerelease) with the Dynamic Support Lunarlon sole we first saw on the Lunarglide, it twins subtle looks with a chunky contrasting blue sole — it looks like somebody went back in a time machine and messed with the lineage of shoe design. Against all odds, we're into it.
And if you're wondering why we lambasted the 360 soles on everything and the Terra ACG with the stitched sole, but like these, it's because these actually look fun, uniting two running eras with a puritan-baiting glee. They're dopey but they're not awkward. Plus you can get an excellent Epic retro at the moment, whereas the Terra ACG was only available in that nasty Long Ball form. The upper's extra width kills the Epic shape a tad and they looked abysmal straight out the box until we put our feet in a pair. Epics without the heel counter are disorientating, but the sole's a serious distraction from that absence. These are love-it-or hate-it shoes and they drop in the Crooked Tongues store in the next week or so…