Running in the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% 2 was both a familiar and surprisingly new experience. Nike’s latest high-pile carbon runners deliver the bouncy, propulsive ride so familiar, but thanks to updates – added foam under the Zoom Air pods, new upper – they handle differently than their predecessor.
Not trying to spoil the review too soon, but I have to say the Alphafly 2 are the best Nike running shoes for people who take marathon running seriously. Sure, they’re not as versatile as the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 daily trainer or as snappy as the Nike ZoomX Streakfly, but for something longer/faster the Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% 2 are your best bet. , especially if you are a Nike fan.
The high price tag might deter some runners from buying these shoes, but it’s worth mentioning that they’re not for everyone. Some runners might struggle to harness the power of the high-stack midsole, especially beginners; they might be better off getting more stable shoes. Read my Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%2 to find out if you should get a pair (or not).
Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% 2 review: price and availability
The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% 2 was announced on June 15, 2022 and is available to buy now (in limited quantities) direct from United States (opens in a new tab), United Kingdom (opens in a new tab) and Nike UK (opens in a new tab) for an RRP of $275/£270/AU$370. The shoes are also available for purchase through third-party retailers such as Sportsshoes.com (opens in a new tab).
[Take a look at our Nike discount codes page for ways to save on your order.]
Thanks to the new version, the original Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% can be purchased cheaper at third-party retailers. For example, the Women’s Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% is just £182 at Pro:Direct Running (opens in a new tab) right now down £260. In the United States, the Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% Flyknit is currently on offer and sold for $204.97 (opens in a new tab) (down $275).
Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% 2 review: what’s new?
The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% 2 introduced some fundamental changes from its predecessor. The stack height remained the same under the heel (just below the “legal” 40mm travel limit), but the Alphafly 2 has an 8mm steeper drop (32mm under the fore- foot) compared to the 4mm drop of the OG Alphafly (36mm foam under the forefoot).
Even more interesting, additional foam has been added under the Zoom Air pods (located under the balls of the feet, so much in the forefoot area), but even with that the shoes have a higher heel-to-toe drop than before. The heel area has also been redesigned and the platform is now wider to provide more stability.
Finally, the Alpgafly 2 features the all-new Atomknit 2.0 upper, designed for “containment in the forefoot, breathability above the toes, and comfortable cushioning under the laces,” says Nike.
The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% 2 weighs 269 grams (Men’s UK 10/US 11).
Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% 2 review: Fit
Walking comfort is decent, not plush, but definitely in line with what you expect from running shoes. The new upper is snug and designed to hold your foot securely, not for softness. If you are looking for softness, I recommend the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v12 or the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 24.
There are two tabs to help you put the shoes on more easily, and once you understand how to use them, putting on and taking off the shoes will become much easier. The upper is snug in a way you’d expect from running-only shoes. foot support is excellent, and despite the synthetic upper, there are no signs of chafing or discomfort even in hot weather. The integrated tongue also reduces friction under the lace cage.
Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% 2 review: Running performance
The drop increased, strangely, but the stack height did not increase (this is not possible, otherwise it would be “illegal” to use it in races). Even weirder, there is more foam under the air zoom units – how can the drop be any higher!?
The structure of the foam is similar and there is also a lot of rebound. You would think that the midsole of the towing part will be felt underfoot – it really isn’t. The combination of ZoomX foam, Air Zoom units and carbon plate continue to return energy mile after mile after mile.
It truly is as if you could run with the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% 2 forever without your legs getting tired. All that foam underfoot, combined with the propulsive power of the carbon plate, provides a superb long-distance running experience.
One thing I couldn’t get over was how thick the shoes felt and how light they were. The shoes are heavier (269g) than the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2 (228g), ASICS METASPEED EDGE+ (231g) and even the Adidas Adios Pro 3 (244g), but the Alphafly 2 is fair so many bigger than these.
It could have something to do with the extra foam under the Air Zoom units – it makes the shoes feel more fluid, further enhancing the feeling that the shoes weigh less. Incredible engineering from the designers at Nike.
Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% 2 review: Verdict
Are the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% 2 worth the hype?
The truth is that Nike shoes will always be in style, and so will “great shoes” – the Nike Alphafly 2 is both things. Not only that, but it’s also pretty good, which makes it all the more appealing to anyone with an interest in shoes, runners, and sneakerheads alike.
Are these shoes better than the Vaporfly NEXT% 2, EDGE+ or the Adios Pro 3? Yes and no. The Nike Alphafly 2 is a great shoe, but so is the OG Alphafly and even the OG Vaporfly. If you’re a fast runner looking for marginal gains, you’ll need the Alphafly 2 to bust your PBs. For slower runners, there are plenty of alternatives that will help you move faster and are also available to buy now for less.
In any case, I recommend that you seriously think about it, whether you need the shoes or not. They’re far from cheap, and spending that much money on shoes that should only be used for race and tempo sessions (to preserve foam when you’re in peak performance mode) is a big ask. from people who only run recreationally.
If you have the money, go for it, and go faster for longer than ever.
Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% 2 review:
The Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3 are carbon-enhanced running shoes of the best kind; the extra foam under the forefoot and the shape of the rocker help you move forward easily over long distances. However, the toe box is a bit narrow and the distinct foam sections may affect the gait cycle of some athletes (especially those who are supinated). They are, however, slightly cheaper than the Nike Alphafly 2.
ASICS has done the impossible and made the METASPEED EDGE+ even better than its predecessor. There’s more foam underfoot to help fuel you through any run or workout, no matter the distance. The engineered mesh upper is more comfortable and even the laces have been modified to optimize performance. These shoes are more stable than the Alphafly 2 and are a great choice for half marathons.