Labelled as ‘The Next Generation of Fast’, we’re excited to announce the upcoming launch of the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% at Footpatrol.
Having first been teased back in 2019 when Eliud Kipchoge took a prototype version and ran a marathon in under the holy grail time of 2 hours, everyones eyes were on his feet and what had taken him past this barrier.
Fast forwarding to mid 2020 and the world was introduced to the Alphafly NEXT%. Now with their second iteration ready to launch, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on them and see what they were all about.
Being Nikes premier racing shoe, the Alphafly has got technology and innovation in every part you look at. Building on the Vaporfly NEXT%, the Alphafly is packed with additional ZoomX foam within the heel that gives it its unique stance and greater stack height. If that wasn’t enough, in an effort to not only break but shatter those PB’s, within the forefoot is two visible and ultra-responsive Zoom Air pods that manage to deliver even more energy return than previous generations.
To celebrate this upcoming launch, we once again teamed up with the guys over at Your Friendly Running Club and invited down members Oliver and Sam for a catch up and to check out this latest innovation from Nike.
Stay tuned for more information!
Footpatrol: Guys thank you for being here, hope you have been warming up for this weekend’s run! How have you been?
ST: Feeling good. I had a minor foot injury during the middle of summer which put me out for 5 weeks, but have been back on the road again the past month and building up my training again.
OH: Good… Getting back into the swing of things post lockdown life trying to add a sense of normality back into my routine and new ways of working. In terms of running, it’s been an opportunity to build those miles back up in preparation for this year’s Virtual London Marathon.
FP: Now, the main thing we’re really here for is to discuss the upcoming AlphaFly NXT% that’s launching here at Footpatrol this weekend. Being the second iteration of the Alphafly, have you guys managed to try this model out yet? From what I’ve read, the running benefits the wearer gets are insane!
ST: I haven’t had a chance to get my hands on the AlphaFly yet as it sold out so quick when it initially came out in the UK and the resell value is through the roof. For the past year I have been running in the Nike Vapourfly NEXT% which I really love, so I expect the performance of the Alphafly to be even greater. From what I have read online and heard from friends who have already tried them out. The main benefits seem to be the two huge forefoot Zoom Air bags that sit beneath the carbon fiber plate and a layer of ZoomX, which really helps for the longer runs. The stack height variance seems much bigger on the Alphafly and I’ve heard people say you feel higher off the ground.
OH: Thanks to my flatfeet and the fact I find myself suffering with overpronation, I’ve had quite the midsole action and tested multiple carbon plated runners but the one I’ve been a long time advocate of has to be the NEXT%’s. When the Alphafly’s were introduced, I was personally super excited to get my hands on them to witness that next step. With that overpronation, I’m hoping and looking forward to testing the extra stability qualities that come with the Alphafly.
FP: Having joined both of you previously on runs, I’ve noticed the Nike Vaporfly NEXT% is often on your feet, how do you feel the new technology in the Alphafly NEXT% compares to that of the Vaporfly NEXT%?
ST: After trying out the shoes for the first time on the photoshoot I can definitely say there is a huge difference in the feel of the shoes. Despite looking much bigger, the Alphafly is surprisingly light. I love the atomknit upper and the lacing system with webbed laces make sure they stay super snug on the feet. You can really feel the extra foam in the sole too, it’s like running on clouds. The colour is obviously amazing too and other features like the exposed carbon plate is a nice touch too as this was a hidden technology in the Vaporfly. Looking forward to trying them out on a long run over the weekend to see how they really perform when hitting the longer miles.
OH: I’ve got an image in my head of these Mr Gadget type robotic trampoline legs, do you know what I mean?
FP: We definitely don’t have a clue what you’re referring too…
OH: Well these feel like how I’d imagine that would feel, basically, whatever you can think of that’s bouncier than a trampoline, this is that…
FP: Since its introduction, the NEXT% range has made a huge mark in the running industry in both on and off the race track. How do you guys think this has impacted wearers and athletes?
ST: For me personally as an ametuer runner, I’ve found a lot of benefits from wearing the NEXT% such as energy saving, less pain in the legs, and better recovery. They’ve performed particularly well on race days too.
While the shoes have avoided being banned from competitive events (so far), it’s clear to see that Nike is truly innovating above and beyond when it comes to running shoes. Afterall, the Alphafly is the sneaker that Eliud Kipchoge broke the 2 hour marathon barrier in.
OH: That’s a difficult one to answer as I felt most studies displayed it’s maximum benefits for athletes during race day or a long run. However, for us keen, ametuer runners I truly believe there are some benefits you’ll notice, for example, the energy saving that comes with these trainers is next level that even on a shorter run you’ll still notice the difference in the different effort levels that will go through your legs. Maybe it’s a placebo but i know i cant hit my threshold if I’m not wearing these.
FP: Having touched briefly on Your Friendly Running Club on the Vaporfly NEXT% Ekiden launch, can you tell us a little bit more about the club and why you decided to start it? It’s become quite the club in East London.
ST: YFRC has always been a community based club that was started with the intention of bringing like minded runners together to get out and enjoy an easy 10K before 10am on a saturday morning. The club was originally started on IG when Ollie sent out a message on his stories about starting the run club so it has been great to have people from digital network connect IRL. Over the past 18 months the club has grown from 5 guys to about 20 regular guys and girls of all running levels. We like to keep the club open and be more about getting people involved rather than achieving competitive times.
OH: I think there are a lot of established clubs out there that are super well structured in their approaches and how they work… For us, although I wouldn’t say we were as well organised, our approach tries to be a lot more relaxed. Whether this is the structure of runs a week or in the way we run. We aim to be easy going with a core membership that welcomes people to come and go when they are available. Everyones got a full time day job, everyone’s relaxed about their approaches and its overall, welcoming. The only rule we have is that the last person to arrive to the run, buys the first persons coffee…
FP: Are there any noticeable benefits to running as part of a club, with your friends as opposed to going solo?
ST: For sure, there are plenty of benefits for joining a running club. I’ve noticed that by joining a club and surrounding yourself with experienced, enthusiastic people, I’ve been more likely to run long-term, instead of depending solely on my own motivation. Over the past 18 months, it’s been amazing to see the progression of everyone from where they started to where they are at now. When you’re training by yourself, it’s easy to get in a rut of the same routes at the same old pace – inevitably your running progress will plateau unless you change it up a bit. At YFRC we try to keep the routes and activities varied so it keeps everyone motivated. We’ve taken part in Park Runs and tournament events like Track Mafia, so that it adds a little bit of competition into the mix and people can really see their progression. One of the best parts of all though is developing new friendships with other members of the crew. We often have new members join who have just moved to London as running clubs are a fantastic way to meet new people and likeminded runners can train with, outside of club sessions, which can be particularly useful on those dark winter nights!
OH: I say this quite a lot and it’s definitely something i’ve realised recently since Covid-19. Last year, I started to take things a lot more serious and began going solo on runs but since Covid-19, it’s been a breath of fresh air to get the crew back together… at a distance of course and just enjoy running with others.. Everyone is there to train together, to help and encourage everyone to break their own personal goals so everyone is a part of your journey as you are theirs. It’s motivational gold!
FP: Aside from the obvious physical benefits that comes with running, we wanted to look at the more mental health benefits you can gain, how has this side of running benefitted you?
ST: Running has always had huge benefits for my mental health. For my job I often spend a lot of time on the computer or phone so running is a great way for me to disconnect and have time offline as I leave my phone at home. I like to run first thing in the morning too as it gets me energised and motivated before I start work.
OH: It’s a massive benefit to me personally, I’m not someone that can sit still for too long so the fact you can keep moving and keep my brain active whilst keeping fit is a massive plus. Being someone that can often over think things and think too deeply about certain situations, running allows me to flick a switch and switch off and focus on nothing but the run. Running is also that part of my life where it adds a sense of structure or routine to those quieter moments.
With the crazy year that has been 2020, how have you managed to keep motivated, has running felt like a chore or has it kept you going? How else have you been spending your time?
ST: running was an essential part of my routine during lockdown. As I mentioned before I run in the morning as a way to get me motivated for the day, so keeping that element to my routine was really important when we were confined to our homes. I used to go to the gym alongside my running so I also figured out some body weight exercises to keep my overall strength up.
Aside from running, I’ve been making the most of Britain with lots of staycation trips around the UK. Lots of beach days and cycle rides out of london and into the countryside.
OH: Running… cycling… lying down horizontally playing warzone, getting out running has never felt so much of a luxury so it definitely hasn’t felt like a chore, infact it’s been my release these past few months. The ability to keep changing routes, changing the sights I see allows me to interact with and take in new parts of London that I may have missed previously giving me a greater love for the place I call home.
FP: Well guys, thanks for taking part and we look forward to seeing more from you soon!