Nikes Fast Pack Explained

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With an abundance of choice in the running shoe market, it is perhaps harder than ever to find the perfect shoe to match your individual needs. If you read the marketing material of any running shoe, from any brand, chances are you’ll encounter buzz words like lightweight, responsive and supportive. 

In this article, we’ll be diving deep into the Nike Fast Pack collection to decipher exactly where each shoe fits in your running shoe rotation from the practically vintage Pegasus to the revolutionary, record breaking Alphafly.


Let’s get stuck in! 

nike fast pack explained
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Air Zoom Alphafly Next Percent 2

Price: £270

Weight: 227g (Men's US 9)

Stack height: 39mm – 35mm

Heel drop: 4mm

Midsole composition: ZoomX foam, 2 Air Zoom Pods 

Plate: Full length carbon fibre flyplate

Purpose: Long distance road racing, more specifically the full marathon

A race day behemoth and first shoe of its kind upon initial release in 2019, the Alphafly Next% 2 features a barely legal stack of ZoomX foam in the midsole alongside Air Zoom Pods in the forefoot, making it the most instantly recognisable running shoes of all time. Put simply, the Alphafly represents the pinnacle of Nike’s long distance road racing technology, tested and verified by the great Eliud Kipchoge. 

Despite no official lab data being released by Nike themselves, numerous third party studies have vouched for the tremendous running efficiency gains of the Alphafly, solidifying its spot at the top of the food chain for long distance road racing.

nike fast pack explained
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ZoomX Vaporfly Next Percent 2

Price: £225

Weight: 196g (Men's US 9) 

Stack height: 39mm – 31mm

Heel drop: 8mm

Midsole composition: ZoomX foam

Plate: Full length carbon plate

Targeted activity: Any distance on the road from 5k to the full marathon

 

Another truly iconic road racing legend, with added versatility. The Vaporfly is the original super shoe that started it all. The Vaporfly is by far the most highly represented shoe on road race start lines from the world’s elite, to keen recreational runners. 

The additional versatility over the Alphafly comes down to several factors, namely the lighter construction and most obviously, the lack of Air Zoom pods in the forefoot which supplies a slightly more aggressive and direct underfoot experience. 

These days, some runners may want that little extra cushioning and protection the Alphafly provides from the half marathon and up, but the Vaporfly still remains the consensus pick for many looking to smash their PBs. 

nike fast pack explained
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Zoom Fly 5

Price: £145

Weight: 286g

Stack height: 41mm – 33mm (Too high to be legally used in some races)

Heel drop: 8mm

Midsole composition: ZoomX

Plate: Full length, articulated carbon fibre plate

Targeted activity: Daily mileage, long runs

A once famed and highly regarded silo within Nikes wheelhouse of fast training shoes, the Zoom Fly series has not been without its criticisms with its weight trending in the wrong direction since the dramatic updates featured on the Zoom Fly 3. 

Now in it’s 5th iteration, the Zoom Fly does finally get the ZoomX treatment, accompanied by SR02 carrier foam for added integrity and durability. Now there’s no doubt about it, the Zoom Fly 5 is a chunky, somewhat heavyweight option by today’s standards but for long runs on tired legs, tempo work and for those days where you’re itching for the added efficiency a carbon plate provides, it’s still a solid option. 

nike fast pack explained
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ZoomX Streakfly

Price: £135

Weight: 170g

Stack height: 32mm – 26mm

Heel drop: 6mm

Midsole composition: ZoomX

Plate: Pebax midfoot shank
Targeted activity: Short distance road races from 5k-10k and speed sessions

A stripped back and stupendously lightweight shoe, the Streakfly quickly became one of the most hyped running shoe releases of recent times when images first began to leak. Symbolising a new breed of super shoe specifically catered to shorter road races from 5k-10k.

With a more modest stack height, partial midfoot pebax shank in the midfoot to provide a little integrity without the rigidity of full-length carbon fibre, and an impossibly lightweight upper, the Streakfly is a shoe that wants to go fast.

Although many will still be reaching for the Vaporfly for 5k and 10k races, the Streakfly is more than capable of going the distance and performs exceptionally well for shorter sessions on the road or track.

nike fast pack explained
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Air Zoom Pegasus 39

Price: £110

Weight: 269g (Men's US 9)

Stack height: 28mm – 18mm

Heel drop: 10mm

Midsole composition: React foam with forefoot and heel Zoom Air units

Targeted activity: The ultimate daily trainer

Nearly 4 decades old, dubbed the Workhorse With Wings and still THE go to daily trainer. 

The Pegasus is a storied franchise and after a rocky few years, the Pegasus 39 may be the best yet. With a comfortable yet breathable upper, full React foam midsole providing a safe and assured ride, dual Zoom Air bags in the forefoot for a little extra pop and enough rubber outsole coverage to last hundreds of miles, the Peg 39 is everything you need a daily trainer to be. 

Of course, in an ideal world we’d always recommend a varied shoe rotation to cover your weekly training but out of all the shoes in the Fast Pack, if you could only choose one shoe to do it all, it couldn’t be anything but the Pegasus. 

The only shoe in this range that uses Nike’s heavier, and more durable React foam for the entire midsole, it can soak up mile after mile of pavement crunching. The addition of two Zoom Air units gives it that extra pop that lifts it above the normal range, and into this Fast pack, it’s a shoe that you can train for, and race, a marathon all in one shoe.

Frequently ask questions

What are the Best Nike Running Shoes?

Over a full marathon distance, it’s hard to look beyond the Alphafly, but the Vaporfly may feel better over a half marathon and the Streakfly for a 5k. For one shoe to do it all, the Pegasus is a must have, while the Zoom Fly is an excellent carbon plated fast training shoe. Each have their niche and are outstanding at their job.

 

Where can I buy Nike Running shoes?

Here at Pro:DirectRunning we offer a full range of Nike running shoes, including everyday runners and kids shoes, as well as the fast pack seen above.

 

Where can I buy Nike Clothing?

Our range of Nike clothing includes top of the line lightweight race day spec gear, alongside more casual running apparel with that undeniable style and iconic swoosh that Nike bring to all their products.

 

Does Nike Air make you run faster?

Combining a pressurised air pocket with tightly stretched fibres, the Zoom Air unit can reduce stress on muscles, joints, and tendons, and offer an explosive feel on take-off for a more efficient stride.

 

What is the best Nike running shoe for a 5k?
With the Vapofly marketed as a racing shoe for 5k to a full marathon, and the Streakfly at 5k to 10k, you will need to make a personal choice on what suits you best. The Streakfly is stripped back, lower to the ground, lighter and more flexible, while the Vaporfly offers more cushioning, and a carbon plate for increased rigidity. Whichever you choose, expect incredible speed that lets you aim for a new PB.

 

How Many miles can you run in Nike ZoomX Vaporfly?
The durability of that lightweight and incredibly responsive ZoomX foam is the main factor stopping you use your Vaporflys, as eventually, like all foams it stops springing back with the same responsive snap from day one. That said you should be able to get 250 – 300 miles out of a pair of these shoes, that are perhaps best kept for race day.


Are Nike Alphafly good for 5k?

As you will have seen elsewhere in this article, the Alphafly is marketed as a long-distance racer, specifically targeting the marathon distance, while both the Vaporfly and Streakfly are targeted at the 5k distance. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t run a 5k successfully in the Alphafly, but you might not get the best out of the technology, power, and efficiency gain over the shorter distance.

So, there it, the Fast Pack explained, for more shoes, including the recent Nike Pegasus Turbo Next Nature you can check the entire Nike range here

 

*Nike rarely release official weight and stack heights, figures used are the consensus.

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Ray Barlow

Having suffered from Chronic Fatigue for over a decade, I am a recent convert to the joys of running. Although every run steals a lot of energy, the mental health and fitness benefits more than make up for it. My runs are mainly across the back of the nearby beaches, dodging between the tourists. When not geeking out over the latest running tech, you can find me trying new gins, making gins, or boring anyone within earshot about gin.
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Nikes Fast Pack Explained

Find Your Fast

Shop the full Nike Fast Pack collection now!

Shop Now