Nike LunarENDOR QS Snowboard Boots Review
Well I hope you made the 'Nice' list this year... The Fowndry certainly seems to, 'cos Santy Claws saw fit to drop a pair of Nike's new limited edition LunarENDOR QS snowboard boots down the chimney. If you haven't seen them before, the QS (QuickStrike) boot is a variation on their standard, high-end LunarENDOR boot BUT tricked out with 30 super-bright LEDs in the shape of the famous SWOOSH - one on each boot - and a custom Canyon Grey/Blue and Hero-Volt-Black paint job.
The boot itself is is one of the most technologically advanced snowboard boots available and designed for intermediate to expert boarders: it features Nike Lunarlon foam (developed for their high-end running shoes) to provide a softer, more responsive ride and improve posture; a customizable flex line system to give you three levels of stiffness via interchangeable 'power inlays' and a 3-D moulded upper in synthetic leather, incorporating a Nike Flywire inner lacing system and external zonal lace lock, to further enhance fit. Finally, the LunarENDOR’s liner and shell are reinforced with Strobel Technology that attracts and stores heat. They certainly are very well made and extremely comfortable straight out of the box and although I've not yet had a chance to use them in anger, reviews of the regular LunarENDOR are glowing ('scuse pun).
Speaking of which... the LEDs themselves are powered by a removable Lithium Ion battery, which tucks neatly into the neck of the boot when riding. And rather smartly, Nike have included a universal charger (EU / USA / AUS), allowing you to easily top up the batteries without the need for a travel adaptor. Although because they are also connectable by USB, you could use a laptop if you prefer. The ON/OFF switch is conveniently incorporated into the exterior shell and blinks to show the boots are charging. The instructions recommend an 8 hour charge for 4 hours of illumination - confirmed - but the first charge I gave them only took about 5 hours... and they are really bright!. You are certain to get plenty of comments - and let's be honest, probably some less than complimentary hand gestures - when you switch these bad boys on.
I'm seriously looking forward to putting the ENDORs through their paces; the only slight downer was the first pair received had to be returned, as one of the boots was faulty and wouldn't charge. They come with a 2 year warranty though, so should the lights go out on Broadway, Nike will hopefully repair/replace them. Yippee Ki-Yay!
Took the boots to Ischgl in Austria for a week. Supremely comfortable, although could never quite tension the laces enough with the Nike Flywire system. The glowing Swooshes seemed to be particularly admired at the Schatsi Bar during the daily Apres-Ski. However, within 4 days one of the sets of LEDs failed. That's the second pair where one of the boots has malfunctioned. Guess the implementation of the technology is new but still... Not good.