After avoiding a possible ban for working too well, Nike's record-breaking marathon sneaker just got even better. Today, Nike unveils the revamped Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%, which will be worn at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. World Athletics has announced a moratorium on new high-tech shoes, but it seems that Nike swooped in just in time to avoid it.
Even more cushion — While it's predecessor packed an already-insane 37mm stack of cushion on the heel, the Zoom Alphafly Next% ramps it up to 45mm. In the front, Two new Air Zoom pods sit side-by-side to harness the runner's energy and minimize energy loss. A new carbon fiber plate atop the midsole has also been tweaked to become stiffer as it provides stability. All together, these technologies reduce the load on ankle joints.
Ready for the Tokyo heat — Per requests from its runners, the new Flyknit Atomknit upper will maximize breathability and decrease sweat absorption. It's snug fit for racing was put together by stretching the material onto the shoe and being steamed into place.
Previous specs — Nike hasn't released figures for the Zoom Alphafly Next%, but the previous version absorbed 93 percent less water than Nike's other Flyknit material. Its thicc midsole also returned 85 percent of its energy to the wearer, which is why it's been on the feet of multiple record breakers.
Both the men's and women's current record holders wore the ZoomX Vaporfly Next%, as well as 31 of those in 36 possible podium positions for last year's six major marathons.
Wear what the winners wear — The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% will go on sale to Nike members this month, with a wider release slated for the spring. Expect a price tag around $250, which is simply the price of the world's best marathon shoe.