When Eliud Kipchoge ran a marathon in 1:59:40 in 2019, he did so in a prototype of the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%. This extraordinary achievement in Vienna, Austria was years in the making, a culmination of a collaboration between Eliud and Nike, beginning with Eliud’s effort to break the two-hour marathon barrier in 2017.
Eliud’s feat has inspired some of the world’s fastest runners to test their own limits and break their own records, and now the shoe that he wore on that chilly October morning in Vienna is available to you.
Nike’s premiere racing shoe is loaded with new technology and innovation that includes two ultra-responsive Zoom Air pods in the forefoot and additional ZoomX foam in the heel. It’s a racing shoe made to shatter records and PRs, whether you’re looking finish a marathon in two, three, four, or five hours.
Two streamlined Zoom Air pods in the forefoot deliver even more energy return than just the ZoomX foam that is in the Vaporfly NEXT%. ZoomX foam is unique in two ways: It’s incredibly responsive and lightweight. The Alphafly NEXT% has more foam than the Vaporfly NEXT%, providing additional impact protection and cushion.
Working in tandem with the ZoomX foam and the Zoom Air pods, is a full-length carbon fiber plate that delivers a snappy sensation with each stride. For the Vaporfly NEXT%, we used a single thickness of carbon fiber for all of the sizes. But for the Alphafly NEXT%, the thickness was scaled for the size of each shoe – the plate is more flexible in smaller sizes and gets stiffer as the size of the shoe increases.
During testing, the Nike Innovation team discovered that with the additional foam and the two Zoom Air pods underfoot, the overall weight of this shoe increased. To shave off some ounces, the Nike Innovation team developed a new Flyknit upper called AtomKnit. Flyknit fabric is steamed and stretched, delivering a lightweight, contoured fit with minimal water absorption and enhanced breathability.
Over the course of two years, our Nike Sports Research Lab team traveled to the Kaptagat Training Camp in Kenya to test the Alphafly NEXT% with some of the world’s elite distance runners, including Eliud Kipchoge, and hear their first-hand experiences of running in them.
The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% is a pinnacle expression of running footwear designed to help athletes break barriers. Combining Nike ZoomX cushioning with Nike Zoom Air pods in the forefoot and a full-length carbon fiber plate, the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% is engineered to the specifications of world-class runners as they challenge records and move the needle of human potential forward. The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% is available in black, lime blast and valerian blue for members beginning June 2, with full retail availability beginning July 2.