After a disapointing second iteration, the Nike Alphafly 3 looks like it is bringing the magic back to the Swoosh.
Nike Alphafly 3 – The edge of technology
From its first official appearance on the feet of Eliud Kipchoge in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge, to Kelvin Kiptum’s world record breaking Chicago run in October in the Alphafly 3, the shoe has turned heads, caused debate and discussion. How has it changed for its third iteration?
Weight in Asics’ sample size: 205g (7.2 oz)
Stack height: 39mm heel and 34mm forefoot for a 5mm drop
Alphafly 3 – New Look, Same Tech?
From the off, the biggest change in the Alphafly 3 is the midsole. Up front, the two huge Zoom Air pods are encased in a much larger chunk of ZoomX foam. As we all know by now, the magic lies here. ZoomX returns huge amounts of energy to runners which keeps you feeling fresher later in your race. This magic was clearly demonstrated by Kiptum in Chicago when he casually threw down one of the fastest miles ever run in a marathon which so happened to be his tewnty-second of the run.
The changes to the midsole continue towards the heel of the Alphafly 3. Here, we find that the ZoomX foam has been contoured and narrowed even more than before. Looking at the rubber pattern on the outsole of the Alphafly 3, we see more that this is not a shoe aimed at heel strikers. The two large orange pads (of the Proto colour) highlight the size and position of the Zoom Air pods. While the heel has two very minimalist pads to protect the fragile foam.
We still see the cutaways in the mid and forefoot which allow the FlyPlate to be seen clearly by the people you are leaving in your wake. In fact, these cutaways are even longer than before (presumably to save even more weight). The grip on the rubber has moved from contour lines to a more waffle like pattern to ensure that your power is transferred through the road more effectively.
Atomknit – Breathable!
The upper material looks to be almost identical to the second iteration of the Alphafly. It’s not going to offer much protection from puddles but it will allow your feet to remain cool when you are pushing the pace through the final stages of the race.
Whilst the material looks the same, the lacing system has had a redesign. Whilst still featuring the grandma’s sewing box style laces which hold very firm, gone are the lace loops of the 2 and replaced with fabric loops.
The heel retains the foam padding to add to lockdown and reduce heel slippage while putting power through the FlyPlate.
Overall, we know the shoe is fast. In fact, it is the fastest in the world. Whether this translates to us mere mortals, we can find out on January 4th 2024 when they are released to the public.
See more of the NIke 2024 collection here.