Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% 2 Review: These Shoes Made My Workouts Faster And A Lot Less Terrible

And he did. I have definitely seen an improvement in my performance in my running wearing these shoes, speaking of both speed and effort. For example, during my one-mile pickup on my first run, I logged one of my fastest miles in a year – and felt fresh enough afterwards to follow up with two more pickups (well than shorter). Basically, I was hitting really fast paces for myself, without feeling like I was at my peak. (Of course, there’s always the unquantifiable psychological effect that may be at play here too: I knew those shoes were supposed to help me run faster and easier, so maybe it also unknowingly pushed me?)

how my body felt

During the race, I felt pretty damn good. I’ve recently been bothered by shin pain, especially during intervals or elevation changes, but it didn’t feel as offensive to me when I was wearing the Alphafly Next %2. The cushioning in the shoes really reduced the pounding with every step, especially when I was going fast.

As for after my races? Because my runs were harder than normal in these shoes, I expected some aches and pains the next day. And while I did experience some soreness and tightness, it seemed to be mostly concentrated in my hips and quadriceps, not in the lower shin/ankle area, where I tend to feel a lot of my training harder. . So performance metrics aside, I think this could make a good shoe for longer training when you’re training for a longer run and need to protect against the effects of too much impact.

In fact, that’s probably the second biggest benefit for me: these shoes can help you go long or go hard, without a lot of the aches and pains that come with it.

Versatility

If you’re looking for a shoe that’ll take you on the roads from the gym to the trails, this isn’t the one: it’s road running – probably more accurately, road-races-shoe, and a hell of a good one too. But it just doesn’t have the shape or stability to allow you to do other workouts effectively. I tried a few bodyweight squats just for the kicks, and felt like I was squatting from a platform, which, well, makes sense when you think about the heel stack .

I also think there are some types of running that are better suited for this shoe than others. For example, I probably wouldn’t take them on an easy recovery run. I noticed that the super slow steps didn’t feel as natural as my faster steps – the shoes were actually a little clunky. Once your rhythm warms up, however, the whole process becomes so, so fluid.

I would also be cautious of taking them on trails where you need to change direction quickly, like cornering, or where you have to climb and descend on lots of curbs. The shoes seem slightly unstable with more dynamic movement, and there were a few times where I almost landed weirdly when coming or going off a curb. Finally, I’d stick to the roads for these: there’s a fairly smooth, non-technical trail that I run on frequently, but the mile I did on it in these shoes didn’t feel as good as it did on the road, and I don’t think the sole would be durable enough to handle a lot of time in rough, rocky terrain.

The essential

There’s really a lot to like about these great shoes: they make your tough runs easier and give your legs the boost they need to take quick steps without stressing your lower body. Plus, they’re just plain fun. I’ve only taken them out for everyday runs so far, but I’m already looking forward to signing up for my next run so I can wear them next. Can I hit a PR? I think it’s certainly very possible.

But I think it could be very easy to let your body get conditioned to the benefits of this type of shoe, however – if you have a hard workout on the schedule these will be the ones you will get want to to achieve, especially if you have certain rhythms or moments to achieve. I feel like it’s best to use them sparingly, both for durability concerns and because you don’t want to be conditioned to a bouncy, springy ride like your new normal. So, I’ll definitely keep looking for them, but I’ll also be very conscious to keep non-super shoes in my regular rotation.

If you’re looking for an everyday running shoe, this isn’t it. But what if you’re a goal-oriented runner looking for a shoe that can help you elevate your game, take it to the next level, and feel great while getting there? Then put them on and take them for a spin.

Darryl A. Chapin