First Look at the Nike Alphafly 3
The shoe that changed the running landscape, the Alphafly is back, the original max stack racer, and the breaker of records, faster than ever and already smashing the world marathon record, the 3rd iteration is the hottest launch of the year.
When held up to the light, the changes on this version of the Alphafly seem relatively minor, but the gains seem to be massive, huge records are dropping and elite athletes are doing things most thought impossible for at least another generation, so let’s take a dive into the shoe that is creating history already.
Foot type: Neutral
Weight: 218g (Men’s) 174g (Women’s)
Stack height: N/A
Heel drop: 8mm
Best for: Smashing your PB over marathon/long distances
Its is perhaps not too much of an exaggeration to say that since its launch in July 2020, the story of the Alphafly is the story of modern-day racing.
Created for Eliud Kipchoge’s second, successful attempt to run the first marathon under 2hours, the Alphafly was the first “max stack” shoe. After its success rules had to be updated, but it was deemed legal, and ever since shoes have been racing to catch up.
With a carbon plate, Air Zoom pods and that high stack of ZoomX foam, it delivers levels of speed and cushioning that has made it a favourite for race day for everyone from local heroes to elite athletes.
From the stats and the tech info, it is not immediately clear where the big change is from the Alphafly 2 to the new 3, they both feature all the hallmarks of the series. A full-length carbon fibre plate? Check. Max Stack ZoomX foam? Check. Dual Air Zoom units? Check.
However as soon as you look at the shoe, one thing immediately stands out, it’s lost the partially separated heel. With a smooth, solid piece of foam running from toe to heel, the Alphafly has lost its signature look.
It gives a great new, sleek look, and now completely encapsulates the Air Zoom units, which, alongside reinforced foam beneath the pods should help provide a more durable finish to this key area of the shoe.
Nike are also claiming it gives a smoother transition from landing to take off, which begs the question, why did they change it up in the first place?
Other, more subtle changes to the build include a slightly wider plate for increased stability, and an even lower overall weight.
The upper is all new, with an Atomknit material that gives improved multi-directional hold, as well as enhanced breathability, an integrated tongue with padding to alleviate pressure, and notched laces for a more secure knot.
The times speak for themselves, these are the shoes that shaved over 30 seconds off the marathon world record in men’s and set the second fastest time in history for women.
It could be that modern training methods are helping of course, but when you see the records tumbling as they are, the shoes must take some of the credit. While the Alphafly is not the only shoe out there smashing records, it is the most anticipated for a reason, expect records to keep tumbling, whether it is at your local 10k, or on the worldwide stage.
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