Nike has finally pulled back the red curtain to reveal its new, elite runner, the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%, as well as two additional running/track and field models for the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%
Nike’s Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% features the addition of two Nike Air Zoom pods in the forefoot, adding extra cushioning designed for impact protection and performance. The pods exposed design allows them the freedom to expand in all directions and maximize their responsiveness.
The Air Zoom pods are paired with a Nike Flyknit Atomknit Upper, designed specifically for racing to maximize breathability. The new Flyknit Atomknit ensures a contoured fit with more support and less stretch than conventional Flyknit.
Nike’s signature carbon fiber plate is tweaked from previous models to ensure stability and stiffness in the forefoot, working in tandem with the maximalist stack height (Runner’s World reports that a men’s size 8.5 is 39.5 millimeters) to provide a feeling of propulsion with each step.
In February 2020, the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% will become available to Nike members, with wider distribution later in the spring.
Even before its official unveiling, the shoe has been marred by controversy after the Eliud Kipchoge-fronted Breaking2 initiative, for which Nike sought to break the sub-two hour marathon record. After Kipchoge completed a 1:59:40 marathon under unofficial conditions (he ran with a group of rotating pacemakers), World Athletics announced an investigation into whether or not Nike’s new technology provided an unfair advantage to athletes, with the conclusion that they constitute fair use.
Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT%
What Nike calls a “daily training” takedown of the Alphafly above, the Tempo trainer addresses the needs of higher mileage and more rigorous daily use. Specially tuned for training, the Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% features many of the same innovations as the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%, including a more flexible composite plate, forefoot and midfoot ZoomX foam, React foam in the heel, Nike’s new Air Zoom Pods, and a special Flyknit upper with a built-in fit band to offer additional containment.
The Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% is priced at $200 and will be available at Nike.com in the fall.
Nike Zoom Viperfly
The new Viperfly track spike has been fine-tuned for the 100m event. Featuring many components from the Alphafly NEXT% elite runner, the Viperfly boasts a built-in Nike Air Zoom bag, carbon fiber plate, and Atomknit upper.
According the Nike, the brand’s footwear design team started from scratch for 2020, examining their spike design ethos from a fresh perspective.