Nike Reviews

Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% Review



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SCORE: 9/10                                    

Weight: 7.40z

Heel Drop: 4mm (Heel 39mm & Forefoot 35mm)

Shoe Type: Max-cushioned Marathon race


  • Superbly cushioned midsole.
  • Very accommodating up and fits true to size.
  • Superb foot lockdown
  • Excellent breathable upper
  • Explosive propulsion offered by Zoom Air pods
  • Wide forefoot flaring out offers great stability and smooth transition.


  • It is expensive
  • It is not as light as Vaporfly Next%
  • The Atomknit upper is very light and not so well cushioned as the Flyknit upper of other models.


Nike Alphafly Next% Instant Impression

The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% is a very advanced racing shoe that targets elite marathon athletes. For leading the way in shoe technology, Nike settled for the Greek word “alpha,” which means something first or a description of something strong and powerful.

Note that ever since Nike introduced the Vaporfly 4% and Vaporfly Next%, its competitors have been playing catch up and are struggling to construct marathon shoes that can directly compete with the Vaporfly in both propulsion and cushioning.

 Be reminded that the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% was a running shoe that dominated the 2019 marathon competitions. Apparently, the Alphafly has already pushed the bar much higher than anticipated.

The Nike Alphafly Next% is an exact version of the prototype that Kipchoge wore when he broke the marathon world record of 1:59:40 in Vienna during the first-ever sub 2 marathon, ineos159 challenge in October 2019. Eliud Kipchoge was not the only one wearing the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly. His team of 41 world’s top runners also wore this brand. 

Experts infer that the Alphafly Next% boosts the running economy by 4%. Hence, it reduces the amount of energy a runner has to put in at a certain speed. Thus, it is more efficient than other top running shoes. For this reason, individuals in the athletic industry have argued that the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next Percent offers an unfair advantage to some athletes over others.

Interestingly, Nike is recording high demand for the Nike Alphafly. Hence, it comes on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% Sole Component


Watching Eliud Kipchoge run in Vienna and the 2020 London Marathon, we all saw how easy his foot strikes were. There was no element of strain, and astonishingly, there was just a small evidence of tiredness. It looked magical, and one can easily conclude that the magical Nike Zoom Alphafly Next% significantly played the role of running booster for the legendary athlete.

The Nike Alphafly may look clunky, but that is not the case. It derives much of its stability from the wide midfoot. The midfoot is wider than both Vaporfly Next% and Vaporfly 4 percent. 

The sole is highly staked at 39.5mm, just within the 40mm recommended by the World Athletics.

The design of the outsole portrays the engineering prowess of the Nike engineers. The heel has 2 lateral thick ZoomX foam that retreats underneath the highly staked rubber forefoot. The beefed-up heel foam declines towards the forefoot zone, leaving the midfoot zone with no rubber flesh. This space in the midfoot enhances stability at the forefoot and rearfoot.

air zoom alphafly OUTSOLE N

At the bottom of the outsole is an open hole that reveals the carbon plate known as Flyplate. The hole's function is to allow the surrounding form to squeeze, thus making the landing to be softer. The Flyplate is very stiff to increase propulsion.

The Flyplate at the bottom and the ZoomX Air pods at the forefoot zones work concurrently to increase propulsion. It all starts with the squishy ZoomX air pods compressing downwards during landing. The landing pressure compresses the ZoomX against the hard Flyplate. When making the foot strike, the flyplate springs back during release time, thus thrusting the foot forward. Interestingly, the designers have ensured that Flyplate plays such a magnificent role when picking up the pace.

The harder you strike at a high pace, the more the Zoom Air pods squeeze against the flyplate to give a stronger rebound.

I have not been surprised by the performance of Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%. It is well cushioned and very responsive. However, at high speed, you may hardly feel the ground. The reason is the 9.8mm cushion stake combined with the unusual rebound.

With the carbon rubber on the outsole, traction is good but just a little bit slippery on a wet surface.


The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% Upper Component



 The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% has an Atomknit upper. It is more breathable, much lighter, and harder than the Flyknit. The upper is extremely comfortable and accommodating. The toe box is deep and wide to accommodate the natural spreading of the foot fingers.

The collar extends high, and with the last two eyelets, you can do heel lock lacing to enhance foot lockdown. Nevertheless, you are guaranteed a snug fit.
Also, because of the very thin and less cushioned Atomknit, try to wear considerably thick socks to enhance comfort.





The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% is addictive, more so if you are into tempo runs. It is extremely comfortable to run in them.

With the carbon Flyplate, the propulsion rate is extremely high that you may be tempted to register for a professional racing or marathon competition.
Though I can use Nike Zoom Alphafly for a short marathon, the fact is that this is an elite's running shoe. It exudes advanced technology that sets it apart from other Nike models and other brands.

I must acknowledge that it is comfortable and efficient, but not all athletes like the Alphafly. The legendary Ethiopian athlete, Kenenisa Bekele, was quoted by the Guardian that it is not easy to adapt to Alphafly Next%, particularly when doing speedy workouts.

"Many times, I got injuries like muscle stretch because of the instability and the forefoot. It is really unshaped and soft. The muscle struggles to adjust to the leg movement," Bekele.

Bekele's sentiments are quite true because the raised forefoot and heels leave the midfoot hanging. Besides, it is very springy and too soft to a point you hardly feel the ground; thus, you confuse the muscle memory.

However, Bekele's opinions don't matter to someone used to running in Nike Alphafly Next Percent. The fact is that this is a ground-breaking running shoe that is worth the big price tag that has been placed on it.


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Author of this article is a profeshional athlete


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