Nike Lunar Gato 2 Review
The Lunar Gato 2 is all about comfort. Combining extremely soft goat leather and Hyperfuse to make up the upper, along with Lunarlon foam cushioning to make for one of the most comfortable indoor soccer shoes that I’ve personally ever worn. From right out of the box the shoes are very comfortable, making for a shoe that requires very little break-in time. The goat leather upper provides a pillow-like softness against the foot while also maintaining a very flexible feel. When you pull the laces tight, you’ll find that the thin Hyperfuse section through the mid-foot provides some solid lock-down without feeling too restrictive. My one complaint regarding the comfort of the boot would be the mesh tongue. The tongue itself is nicely padded, but because the padding is so soft, it doesn’t provide much protection for your foot when pulling the laces tight, so if you tend to tie your shoes really tight, you may run into some minor issues with lace-bite.
Other comfort elements include a combination mesh and suede heel liner, providing a secure yet cushioned feel against the back of your foot. The Lunarlon outsole provides above average cushioning for an indoor soccer/futsal shoe, while still maintaining a low-profile. You’ll find that the back half of the shoe is by far the most cushioned, while the forefoot area of the sole is much less cushioned. The Lunarlon outsole provides a great mixture of cushion and responsive when running, which is hard to find from most indoor soccer shoes. The insole is also fully removable, providing great step-in comfort, as well as giving you the option to swap it out for something else if you choose to do so.
Like any natural leather shoe, there is some break-in time required before the boot starts to stretch and form to your feet. With that being, I had no issues at all with discomfort throughout the break-in process, and for the most part, I would say that the Lunar Gato 2 is pretty much ready to go from right out of the box. The goat leather spans the majority of the upper, covering the entire forefoot and instep of the shoe. It’s one of the softest leather uppers that I’ve personally ever worn, providing not only a comfortable feel, but also a quality fit. You’ll find that the upper features a unique cross stitch pattern, that not only gives the shoe a unique look, but also helps to prevent the upper from over-stretching. The Lunar Gato 2 will stretch to fit nearly any foot shape, providing that custom feel after only a few hours of wear-time.
In terms of sizing, the Lunar Gato 2 runs the same as the previous Lunar Gato. Normally I wear a size 9US in most Nike models, but for the Lunar Gato 2, I had to go up half a size to a 9.5US. I know that some might be skeptical to go up half a size in a leather boot, but the Lunar Gato 2 does run a little short, so going up half a size is recommended for the best possible fit.
The Lunar Gato 2 is actually pretty lightweight considering the amount of cushioning that it provides. Weighing in at 8.6oz, the Lunar Gato 2 is lighter than your average indoor shoe, and is probably more comfortable too, what more could you ask for? If you’re looking for a lightweight shoe without sacrificing comfort or cushioning, than the Lunar Gato 2 is one of very few options that meet this criteria.
The Lunar Gato 2 features an all-new traction pattern. The sole is made from a fairly soft rubber, with varying patterns throughout. Through the heel and medial side of the forefoot, you’ll find a very intricate traction pattern, designed to allow the rubber to flex and move for optimal traction. The lateral side of the forefoot features a dimpled pattern, and is also translucent in color, while the rest of the rubber outsole is solid. On clean to slightly dusty indoor courts, I found the traction to be fantastic. Since the rubber is so soft and flexible, there really isn’t much in the way of break-in time, and the shoe will grip the floor really well from right out of the box. On outdoor courts or concrete, I found the traction pattern to perform equally as well, but since the rubber is on the softer side, it will wear away a little quicker than you might like. With that being said, any indoor soccer shoe isn’t going to last as long on concrete as it would on an indoor court. Overall, the Lunar Gato 2 grips pretty much any flat surface extremely well, and will not let you down.
Everyone got excited when they heard that the Lunar Gato 2 was going to be made from Goat leather. For the most part, you just don’t see it that often, especially from a big company like Nike, and I have to say that I was thoroughly impressed by the overall quality. The goat leather upper has really nice thickness to it, providing a nice cushioned touch on the ball, but at the same time is extremely soft and pliable, giving the shoe a very natural feel. It’s very difficult to find a quality leather indoor soccer shoe, but the Lunar Gato 2 changes that.
One of the major improvements coming from the original Lunar Gato to the Lunar Gato 2 is not only the quality of the leather, but also the amount of leather on the upper. The entire forefoot, toe box and instep is crafted from super high quality goat leather, providing an incredibly soft touch on the ball. If you’re a fan of leather soccer shoes, than the Lunar Gato 2 is the shoe for you. The Lunar Gato 2 is a great example of how simple, high quality leather can provide an absolutely amazing feel for the ball.
At the toe and forefoot area, you’ll notice some extra texturing to the surface of the upper. This sand paper like texturing not only gives the shoe some additional grip on the ball, but also helps with durability in the main wear zone of the upper. The thin Hyperfuse on the outside of the boot is far enough back on the foot to where it will rarely make contact with the ball, but should you use that part of the foot, the touch is still pretty good. If I had to make one complaint regarding the touch, it would have to be the tongue. While it isn’t that bad, it just doesn’t match the quality of the goat leather upper when it comes to ball feel. I personally would have preferred a full leather tongue, but I guess we have to have something to look forward to on the next model.
Striking the ball is pretty straight forward with the Lunar Gato 2. The no nonsense goat leather upper doesn’t really provide much in the way of additional grip on the ball, so the feel when taking a strike shouldn’t be anything that you wouldn’t expect. If you’re a fan of soft leather uppers, than you’ll enjoy striking the ball in the Lunar Gato 2.
I didn’t have any serious issues with the durability of the Lunar Gato 2. As mentioned earlier, you may run into some issues with premature wear on the rubber outsole should you regularly use the shoes on concrete, but if you stick to indoor courts and other smooth surfaces, you shouldn’t have any issues at all. I did have some minor issues with the color of the leather wearing away on the surface of the upper, but this is merely a cosmetic problem and will not impact the longevity of the boot. The issue the color could also be attributed to the particular colorway that I wore for testing, which was the launch Blue, and something that might not be an issue with future colorways.
As an indoor soccer shoe, the Lunar Gato 2 is well made and uses very high quality materials. This is a shoe that I can see lasting at least a single season’s worth of play, and is well worth the price of admission. Keep in mind that the Lunar Gato 2 features a natural leather upper, so some maintenance is required to ensure that the leather remains in optimal condition.
The FC247 line from Nike has a lot to offer, especially the Lunar Gato 2 model. The extremely soft goat leather upper alone makes this a shoe worth trying, but with other unique elements like Hyperfuse and a Lunarlon cushioning system, the Lunar Gato 2 is easily one of, if not the best leather indoor soccer shoe currently on the market. If you’re looking for a leather indoor boot that offers great comfort, a cushioned yet lightweight feel and an incredibly soft leather upper, than I would strongly recommend checking out the Lunar Gato 2.