In the annals of marathon history, September 2019 stands as a pivotal moment. Eliud Kipchoge, a Nike athlete, etched his name in the records by shattering the two-hour marathon barrier, an achievement previously thought insurmountable. His feat, powered by a groundbreaking prototype, the Nike Alphafly NEXT%, not only inspired but also signaled a seismic shift in marathon footwear technology.
Fast forward five years, and the Nike Alphafly remains the gold standard for athletes aiming to transcend boundaries in marathon racing.
Enter the Nike Alphafly 3, heralding a new era in Nike’s unwavering commitment to innovation for runners of all calibers. Representing the lightest and most rigorously tested iteration of the Alphafly line, it stands validated by elite marathoners, boasting Nike Air Zoom technology to empower athletes to break through marathon barriers, regardless of their pace.
Nike’s Air technology has long epitomized the brand’s culture of innovation. The Alphafly 3 continues this tradition, pushing the limits of Air’s capabilities, tailored precisely to the needs of specific sports and athletes.
The initial version of what evolved into the Nike Alphafly 3 made its debut in the spring of 2023, gracing the feet of world-renowned marathoners during the shoe’s official World Athletics development phase. The results spoke volumes: Kelvin Kiptum set a new marathon world record in Chicago with a remarkable time of 2:00:35. Sifan Hissan triumphed in London and later recorded the second-fastest women’s marathon time in Chicago. Meanwhile, Eliud Kipchoge added another milestone to his illustrious career with a fifth record-setting victory in the Berlin Marathon.
The Nike footwear team embarked on refining the Alphafly’s core, striving to meet the demands of both elite and everyday marathoners while preserving the beloved attributes of the shoe. Their mission? To optimize stability, comfort, and the propulsive ride crucial for traversing 26.2 miles in a featherlight design.
Noteworthy updates include
Enhanced Transition: The Alphafly 3 boasts the revered high-stack ZoomX foam midsole, providing enduring lightweight cushioning across miles. A groundbreaking change arrives as the shoe unites the heel and forefoot with a continuous bottom, ensuring a seamless heel-to-toe transition for runners of varying foot-strike patterns. A newly introduced lightweight Fast Shot outsole guarantees optimal traction and grip.
Energy Return and Propulsion: Dual Nike Air Zoom units in the forefoot not only cushion against road impact but also channel energy back to the runner, propelling each subsequent step. The widened full-length carbon fiber Flyplate amplifies the ride’s stability and propulsion.
Comfort and Containment: Feedback from an extensive female testing pool significantly influenced Alphafly’s comfort enhancements. A revamped last improves arch comfort and reduces friction across the foot, complemented by a new molded sock liner supporting the lower-profile arch. The novel Atomknit 3.0 upper prioritizes improved containment, breathability, and midfoot support within a lightweight, breathable structure. Added cushioning in the heel and lower Achilles comes courtesy of the redesigned Lofted Flyknit heel pods. Furthermore, the reworked lacing system integrates with the Atomknit upper, ensuring a softer fit atop the foot.
The debut of the Nike Alphafly 3 arrives in the iconic “Prototype” colorway, paying homage to Nike’s athlete-focused development process. Sporting an all-white silhouette accented with bursts of color highlighting the forefoot’s dual Air Zoom units, the shoe displays an athlete wear-test number (20820-4) on the lateral midsole and “V62” on the Atomknit upper, symbolizing the numerous upper iterations.
Scheduled for release on January 4, 2024, the “Prototype” colorway of the Nike Alphafly 3 will be available at nike.com, the Nike app, with additional colorways following suit.