Last year, Nike athlete, Eliud Kipchoge ran the first ever sub-two hour marathon, in a prototype of the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%. Although the marathon doesn’t stand as the new world record, because of Kipchoge’s use of professional pacesetters and because the race was not ran under open marathon conditions, the news of a sub-two hour marathon went viral as many critics thought it wasn’t humanly possible. As a reusult the conversation very quickly turned to the shoes Kipchoge wore, that were what we now know as the Nike Alphafly Next%.
Since then, many other runners have ran incredible times in versions of the Nike Alphafly Next%, to the point where there have been concerns it is a form of “mechanical doping.” The shoe’s upper is made of a material Nike has named AtomKnit, which is a lighter version of Nike’s FlyKnit, but the interesting part of the shoe is its mid sole. It’s comprised mostly of ZoomX foam, Nike’s latest foam that gives the greatest energy return, and there are two Zoom Air pods at the front of the shoe to reduce energy loss when you lift off of the ground. Lastly, a carbon fiber plate lies under the foot, that snaps back into place after every bend. With all of this taken into account, its no wonder that the shoe was banned from all competitions, as it did not fall into the new guidelines the World Athletics Council have set out.
Luckily for us, it looks like the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% has been altered slightly so that it in keeps with the new guidelines, and Nike looks to be rolling it out soon for the everyday runner. So if you want to get quicker times, look out for the Nike Alphafly Next%’s release later this year, but be warned, they aren’t going to be cheap.