Model: Air Zoom Alphafly Next “Nature”
Release Date: TBC
What We’re Saying: When Nike unveiled its Air Zoom Alphafly Next Nature on September 13 and dubbed it the brand’s “most sustainably-minded performance shoe yet,” it was hard not to be intrigued. Sustainability efforts have largely been focused on the lifestyle side of sneaker culture, with some rare exceptions. So a pure performance beast, such as the Alphafly Next, arriving in a more environmentally-conscious version was interesting.
Add to that the fact that there’s still a lot of greenwashing in our industry and it’s increasingly hard to quantify just how “sustainable” a sneaker is without blindly taking a brand’s word for it. So we asked Nike for a chance to dig deeper, and the Swoosh happily obliged.
The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next “Nature” is the brand’s premier running shoe, but it features a range of material differences that make it more environmentally conscious. While Nike was unable to provide benchmarks and statistics for its regular line of performance running shoes, making it hard to accurately compare just how much “better” the Air Zoom Alphafly Next “Nature” is, the Swoosh did provide a detailed breakdown of the materials and processes used in the production of the sneaker. These are outlined below.
What circular design principles were used?
In the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next “Nature” specifically, the Flyknit was made using water bottles diverted from landfills. Repurposed waste from Nike’s factories were used in the midsole, plate, and Air units.
How much material by weight is recycled?
The Air Zoom Alphafly Next “Nature” features at least 50 percent recycled materials by weight. This is the highest recycled content of any Nike performance shoe, although it’s unclear by how much.
What about the sole?
The Flyplate in the sole is made with at least 50 percent recycled carbon fiber. The midsole uses at least 70 percent recycled foam, while the upper is made using at least 45 percent recycled yarn. The process of making the upper apparently reduces waste by 60 percent as opposed to traditional footwear upper fabrications, which Nike defines as: “Traditionally, shoe uppers are made from multiple materials that are cut and sewn together with the scraps and leftover materials going to waste.”
Where is the recycled material sourced from?
The ZoomX Foam is made partially with scraps from Nike factories, making it pre-consumer recycled. Thee Flyknit yarn that is made partially from recycled water bottles is post-consumer recycled.
Find out more about the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next “Nature” here.