Nike Alphafly Next% 2 Shoe Review

Nike Alphafly Next% 2 Shoe Review

To be honest, the Nike Alphafly Next% 2 has too many names:

  • Nike Next 2
  • Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next 2
  • Nike Alphafly 2

I don’t know; Nike doesn’t need all those describing features for one shoe. Maybe it does at $275 and the most sought-after shoe on the internet.  It’s not been a secret in the last few years I haven’t run well, and in fact, I’ve gotten injured a few times shortly after running hard in carbon-plated shoes. Yet, for some reason, I still wanted to try the Alphafly Next% 2. So far, it’s so good, but I haven’t raced long in it yet. I don’t know if I honestly will either. Si if you think you are alone in carbon plated shoes “not working for you”, you aren’t. There have been cases of injury in both the Achilles and hamstring but no one talks much about it.

The Alphafly Next% 2 is a type of shoe you’ve already decided on before reading my review. You’re either going to buy it, or you’re not. By wearing them, there is no exact amount of seconds you’ll drop in your marathon, and the shoe alone won’t put you in better shape. But it’s the fastest carbon plated shoe on the market.

What are the pros of the Nike Alphafly Next% 2?

  • Fast
  • Recover faster
  • Comfortable over longer distances
  • Heavier than the original Alphafly

What are the cons of the Nike Alphafly Next% 2?

  • Expensive
  • Terrible on sharp turns
  • Not the best for inclement weather

Nike Alphafly Next% 2 Shoe Review

Nike Alphafly Next% 2 Introduction:

The Alphafly Next% 2 became available in limited quantities on Nike dot com starting June 14th. If you are looking for a pair, many local running stores began selling them on July 14th. I know at the time of writing, had a few on their website.

Nike Alphafly Next% 2 Quick Stats:

Heel to Toe Drop: 8 mm (increased from 4 mm)

Weight: 8.5 oz

Price: $275

Nike Alphafly Next% 2 Shoe Review

Nike Alphafly Next% 2 Fit:

The Alphafly Next% 2 is similar to the original Alphafly, but there are several updates and changes. The Alphafly Next% 2 uses the “Atomknit 2.0” for the fit. It has more structure and support around the heel. The upper also loses an overlay over the toes, which makes it feel less restrictive and slightly better for wider feet. Is the Alphafly great for wide feet? No, and if you have any sort of width you’re probably going to go up a half to a full size.

The Nike Alphafly Next% 2 is not an easy shoe to put on. You’ll probably feel like you got the wrong size because it fits so tight. I typically wear a size 10-11 in running shoes and found the unisex (men’s) size 9.5 or women’s size 11 to be best. Once it’s actually on, it’s comfortable but it feels like a workout just getting the shoe on.

Nike Alphafly Next% 2 Shoe Review

Nike Alphafly Next% 2 Ride:

The most significant update to the Alphafly Next% 2 comes in the midsole. This might alarm people because the midsole is where the “magic happens.” It’s still made up of Nike’s PEBA ZoomX foam and 2 Air Zoom Pods plus a full-length carbon plate. The update now is there is ZoomX foam under the Air Zoom Pods. This provides more energy return and comfort under the forefoot of the shoe. It also helps make the heel-to-toe transition smoother.

You’ll notice the Nike Alphafly Next% 2 is also wider in the heel, which does help improve stability. Is the Nike Alphafly Next% 2 a stable shoe? No. It’s one of the worst if you are judging on stability, but it’s slightly more stable than the original version.

The outsole of the Alphafly Next% 2 has been changed slightly. The rubber pattern uses a thinner material which reduces the weight. Bit wait, the Alphafly Next% 2 is heavier? The extra weight of the Alphafly Next% 2 omes from the extra foam under the Air Zoom Pods. There is also a more substantial cutout of the carbon plate. You don’t feel the weight as much for races, but the shoe will feel clunky on easy runs.

The heel-to-toe drop has been changed from 4 mm back up to 8 mm. This is one of the most significant changes to the shoe, yet it has been glossed over by many. This heavily changes how people respond to the Nike Alphafly Next% 2. There is no best drop in a running shoe, but changing it changes how your body responds in a shoe.

Durability and Traction: Durability and traction are not strong suits of the Nike Alphafly Next% 2 or any racing shoe, really. The Alphafly Next% 2 struggles with sharp turns. I’ve noticed in races, it always takes runners using some form of the Alphafly/Vaporfly at least 1-2 seconds more to take a turn. Regarding inclement weather, this heavy shoe gets heavier and bulkier on rainy days. You won’t slide around as much, but the more it rains, the harder it becomes to pick up your feet.

Nike Alphafly Next% 2 Shoe Review

Carbon plated shoes are not designed to last hundreds of miles, and the Nike Alphafly Next% 2 is no different. You’ll probably get about 100 of true life out of it. Can you run after 100 miles? Of course, but your shoe isn’t going to have the same technology left as it did at 50 miles.

I’ve run only fast runs and workouts in the Alphafly Next% 2. Why am I going to waste mileage on easy runs? (Also, you shouldn’t either). It feels far more bouncy than the original version, something I didn’t think was possible. If you are looking for the fastest marathon racing shoe, the Alphafly Next% 2 is it. During a 40X1 minute hard/easy workout, it felt effortless to run the secured portions. The Nike Alphafly Next% 2 felt bulky and unpleasant regarding the easy parts. It’s not designed to run easy. But it does feel fast and more bouncy than the original version.

Nike Alphafly Next% 2 Shoe Review

Nike Alphafly Next% 2 Conclusion:

Is the Nike Alphafly Next% 2 “worth it”? It’s not going to magically make you in shape when you’re not.  Like training, eating well, and sleeping, it’s a piece of the puzzle that can help. In the right conditions, it’s a great shoe, but on a course with a ton of turns or bad weather, there are far cheaper and better shoes. Of course, the Alphafly Next% 2 is one of the most expensive running shoes.

Is the Alphafly Next% 2 way better than the original? Not really. It does feel slightly different, but I wouldn’t say it’s a “huge update.” If you can get the original Alphafly for “super cheap” (whatever that means), I would probably get the original and save some money.

Finally if you don’t know: Which is Better: The Nike Alphafly Next% or the Nike Vaporfly Next%? You can read about that

My Current Shoe Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Brooks AuroraDiadora Mythos Blushield VoloNew Balance 1080 v11Saucony Triumph 19Brooks Launch 9

Speed Work: Nike Alphafly Next% 2, 361 Flame, Nike Tempo Next%, Reebok Float Ride Run fast ProNike ZoomX Streakfly, Reebok Floatride Energy X

Long Runs: Saucony Freedom 4Hoka Clifton Edge,  Under Armour Sonic HOVR 3

Trail Running/Hiking: Saucony Peregrine 12Hoka Torrent 2Hoka Zinal ShoeSpeedland SL: PDXNorth Face Flight VECTIV

Races: Nike ZoomX Streakfly, Asics Metaspeed Sky, Hoka One One Rocket X, adidas Adizero Pro, New Balance Fuelcell 5280Nike Next%,  Saucony Endorphin Pro 2Reebok Run fast Pro 

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Are you looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths of running shoes.

Questions for you:

Have you tried the Nike Alphafly Next% 2?

What is your favorite racing shoe? 


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