October 05, 2020 4 min read

When it comes to athletics, Nike is one of the most well-known and dominant forces in the industry. They’ve played a huge role in reinvigorating public interest in running in recent years, largely due to their famous ‘Breaking 2’ project where they worked with world-renowned athletes towards breaking the “impossible” 2-hour marathon barrier. Spoiler: Eliud Kipchoge succeeded in 2019!

Nike continues to change the world of running with their collection of innovative shoes, which are constantly evolving to help athletes run faster and more comfortably than ever before. Inspired by research, history and groundbreaking design, in addition to the Vaporfly the Next% collection includes two recently released shoes: the Air Zoom Tempo Next% and the Alphafly Next%. The team at BlackToe Running has had the chance to test-drive them both. Let’s take a look at their thoughts on the tech, comfort and best-usage behind the newest Next% shoes!

Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next%

The Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next% (due to launch October 1st, 2020) borrowed some of the best technology from three of Nike’s most popular running shoes, the Zoom Fly, the Pegasus Turbo and the Alphafly. It combines some of their best elements to create this brand new, versatile trainer! As the Turbo and Zoom Fly become phased out of the Nike lineup, the Tempo Next% is designed to replace them both, and is suitable for a wide variety of workouts and runs.

So what’s new in the Tempo Next%? First, you’ll find a mixture of ZoomX and React foam, similar to the Turbo, which has been proven to provide fantastic cushioning and impressive durability in a lightweight package. Next, Nike added a flexible composite-nylon plate, building off the success of the first-generation Zoom Fly, to deliver a snappy, responsive ride. Finally, you'll see Nike's signature Air Zoom Pod in the forefoot - yes, it's the same air unit that's in the famous Nike Alphafly! The pod provides extra cushioning and maximum spring in every step.

(Photo by Andre Morgan @dre.run)

In order to make this trainer even better suited for a wide range of runs and weather conditions, Nike finished the Tempo Next% with a durable rubber outsole for excellent traction, and a sturdy Flyknit upper to support your feet and ankles as you cruise. This shoe was originally called the “Pegasus Turbo Next%” in honour of its predecessor, but was renamed the “Tempo Next%” to properly convey just how unique and versatile this running shoe truly is.

Fun Fact: currently, the Tempo Next% is not considered “street legal” for competitive road racing due to its 40mm+ stack height. This doesn’t typically concern the average runner, but it means that elites must use the Nike Alphafly (which measures a sneaky 39mm stack) as their race-day kicks - though we can think of a far worse fate than being forced to run a marathon in the world's fastest shoe!

Nike Alphafly Next%

Max speed, max impact absorption and max propulsion! The Alphafly Next% is Nike’s big-league marathon racer, and features three main components that make it the hero of Nike’s Next% lineup:

  • A thick stack of ultra-lightweight ZoomX foam, which delivers some of the best energy return of any foam on the market, not to mention incredibly plush comfort over long distances.
  • The rigid, full-length carbon fibre plate, which provides incredible forward propulsion.
  • Two redesigned Air Zoom Pods in the forefoot, which creates a whole new level of springiness - and also happens to look pretty damn cool!

The Alphafly also boasts the newest version of Flyknit, called Atomknit, which is a breathable, contoured upper that minimizes water absorption and is as light as air. The Alphafly is listed as having a 4mm drop, but it typically performs like a higher-drop shoe (more like 8-10mm) due to the compressive nature of ZoomX foam in the midsole. It can respond to your stride, speed and even your weight, making it one of the most advanced running shoes in history.

The Alphafly Next% is what Eliud Kipchoge was wearing when he famously broke the 2-hour marathon barrier, and most people, from elite athletes to average runners, have experienced some form of improved results when racing in a pair of these shoes! It should be noted that this running shoe was specifically designed to be your race-day companion, so our team does not generally recommend consistent use of the Alphafly as an everyday trainer.

Shop Nike’s Most Popular Running Shoes at BlackToe Running

As one of the only independent retailers in all of Ontario to carry Nike’s most popular and exclusive running shoes, BlackToe Running is where Toronto goes to shop for Nikes - especially on launch day! Be sure to check out our online inventory often, as we’re constantly updating our current stock of popular Nikes, including the Tempo Next%, Alphafly, Vaporfly, Infinity React, Pegasus and many more. Not sure which shoe is for you? Let our friendly staff walk you through a personalized shoe-fitting and consultation, where we’ll make sure you walk (or, well, run!) away in the perfect new pair of running shoes. Schedule a free virtual assessment online, visit us at our Bathurst Street store, or contact us to learn more!

The Nike Training Shoe Lineup at a Glance


SHOE WEIGHT DROP CUSHION TECH & FEATURES USE IT FOR PRICE
Tempo Next% 225g 10mm ZoomX + React Foam Nylon plate, plus visible Zoom Air Pod Speed, tempo, easy runs - a versatile daily trainer $260
Alphafly Next% 210g 4mm ZoomX Foam Full-length carbon fibre plate, plus 2 visible Zoom Air Pods Race day and race-pace prep $365
Vaporfly Next% 200g 8mm ZoomX Foam Full-length carbon fibre plate Race day, occasional speed and tempo work $330
React Infinity Run 290g 8mm React foam Durable rubber outsole, stable base, premium arch support Easy, recovery and longer efforts $215

 

Sarah Strehler
Sarah Strehler


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