This is not your ordinary sports shoe. Last year, in Vienna’s Prater amusement park on a beautiful October day, Eliud Kipchoge broke the mythic two-hour barrier, completing a marathon in one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds. On his feet, Kipchoge wore a prototype Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%. The shoe elicited so much controversy that the sport’s governing body World Athletics, decreed that moving forward, athletes could only don shoes that had been available to the public for at least four months.
Well, Nike has now made the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% available to the public. The shoe features three critical components that helped Kipchoge to run at that record pace – a full-length carbon fibre plate, Nike ZoomX Cushioning, and the Nike Zoom Air pods.
The carbon fibre plate increases stability and stiffness in the forefoot to help with propulsion. the ZoomX cushioning minimises energy loss, and the Zoom Air pods (not to be confused with the Apple wireless earpieces) return energy with each foot strike.
“The groundbreaking research that led to the original Vaporfly unlocked an entirely new way of thinking about marathon shoes,” says Carrie Dimoff, an elite marathoner and member of Nike’s Advanced Innovation Team. “Once we understood the plate and foam as a system, we started thinking about ways to make the system even more effective. That’s when we struck upon the idea of adding Nike Air to store and return even more of a runner’s energy and provide even more cushioning.”
The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% is available for purchase on Nike’s website on June 2 with a recommended retail price of S$399. There are only limited pairs available, so if you’re a serious runner, mark your calendars and get your mouse ready to do some serious Kipchoge-esque clicking.