mens nike blue and white running shoe | What are the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% 2 like to run in?

The latest version of Nike's premium running shoe, the Alphafly NEXT% 2 is now available

nike alphafly next 2
Ben Hobson
  • WEIGHT: UK W5.5 198g / UK M9 249g
  • DROP: 8mm
  • TYPE: Road / Race
  • PRICE: £274.99

    The shoes that Eliud Kipchoge wore to break the sub-2 hour marathon have received a lot of attention since 2020 and the latest version, the Nike Alphafly NEXT% 2, is no different.

    Launched in a 'Proto' colourway, the latest version has had a bit of an overhaul. It’s now an 8mm drop now from heel-to-toe (version one was 4mm) and this is probably the most significant development as it places the foot in a slightly more 'toed off' or leaning forward position in the shoe.

    Another big change is that Nike have widened the heel of the Alphafly. Speaking to Elliott Heath, a Nike Running Footwear Product Manager, this widening was done to "improve the overall stability of the shoe", a move to make the shoe more universally useable by a wider sweep of runners, rather than elite and fast amateurs.

    The Atom-Knit upper has been re-worked to maximise on fit make structural improvements to how the upper wraps the foot and improve breathability.

    Another small change that took a lot of development according to Heath is the addition of a slither of ZoomX foam that sits sandwiched between the airpod and the outer, "We also had hurdles with this new little piece of Zoom X that comes underneath the airpods and that allows for a little bit more energy return and a little bit smoother transition. That was something that we had to test many different rounds for".

    Running in the Alphafly 2

    Out on the run, they’re fast. There is A LOT going on when you run in these shoes, but the 8mm drop feels more forgiving over longer distances and there is no denying that the carbon plate/pod combo really does aid propulsion.

    There is a tipping point with these shoes where the benefits are negligible at slower paces and then become wholly apparent as you speed up; if you plod along they feel somewhat cumbersome and even noisy, but whenever your relevant speed picks up, the shoe gets to work and all the component parts come together to deliver that heralded increase in pace.

    Fit wise, the shoe is true to size and comfortable, but comfortable like a racing seat in a Formula 1 car is probably comfortable; they're designed with a purpose and it's not a leisurely bimble about.

    The footbed is quite contoured and felt a little narrow in the instep. There is also quite an abrupt transition down into the footbed under the ball of the foot, but these are only noticeable when stood about and not on the move and didn’t cause any major issues or rubbing, but worth noting if you have wider feet.

    If you’re chasing PBs at the pinnacle of your running fitness, then yes, these are probably for you, but if you’re after something to help you get around 26.2 miles with some added propulsion that leaves you change for an ice cream at the end, maybe not.

    Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
    More From Running Shoes