Do you go for speed or comfort? In this guide we compare the Nike Alphafly 2 to the Nike Vaporfly 2.
What Is The Difference Between Alphafly 2 And Vaporfly 2?
The Heel Difference
The Alphafly 2 has a nice heel loop, which you need to help you get the trainer on, whereas the Vaporfly 2 does not have a heel loop.
Both trainers are well padded around the Achilles for extra comfort and to stop blistering.
The main difference is the ZoomX foam on the heel of the Alphafly 2 is squared off. It will be interesting to see when the Vaporfly is updated again, whether it goes with this new look squared off ZoomX design or sticks with its pointy heel.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure you undo your laces after racing and take your trainers off properly like your mum taught you, rather than using your heel to slip off the trainer! Quite a few people have noted how the ZoomX can be fragile on the heel.
The Alphafly 2 upper is made from what Nike call AtomKnit 2.0 material, and the Vaporfly 2 is made from VaporWeave material.
Both materials are equally breathable, but the Atomknit feels a bit stiffer but keeps its shape better, where as the VaporWeave feels a bit softer and lighter. The Atomknit would probably be more durable and less likely to rip though.
The Alphafly 2 has a nice all-in-one padded tongue, one of the reasons it is slightly harder to get on, but does keep the top of your foot comfortable as you rack up those miles. In contrast, the Vaporfly 2 has the traditional tongue you find in most trainers, also made from the VaporWeave material and you do have to fiddle around with it sometimes to get the tongue to sit right.
Both the Alphalfy 2 and Vaporfly 2 have the same lockable speed laces.
The outsole of the Alphafly 2 is much wider, and you can also visibly see the full-length carbon plate.
On my UK size 9, The Alphafly 2 is 12cm at the widest part on the forefoot, whereas the Vaporlyfly 2 is only 10.5cm at the widest part.
In the heel, the Alphalfy 2 is 10cm at the widest part, and the Vaporlfy 2 is only 7.5cm.
Both trainers have a relatively thin rubber outsole on the forefoot, but both are equally grippy in dry conditions.
The Alphafly 2 has more significant, extended, thin rubber grips in the heels than the Vaporlfy 2. The ZoomX has been raised in the Alphafly 2, probably to try and prevent it from wearing, so I think this will make the outsole more durable than the Vaporfly 2.
The Midsole Difference
Whilst both the Alphafly 2 and Vaporfly 2 midsoles contain a full-length carbon plate and the award winning ZoomX foam, the main difference in the midsole is the Alphafly 2 has two visible forefoot Zoom Air pods, which Nike have now put a small layer of ZoomX foam underneath to absorb even more impact from the ground.
The other main difference is the amount of ZoomX foam in the midsoles.
The Alphalfy 2 height in the heel is a massive 55cm compared to the Vaporfly 2, which only has 40cm. Same in the forefoot, the Alphafly 2 height is 40cm including the airpods, whilst the Vaporfly 2 is only 30cm in height.
The Weight Difference
My UK size 9 Vaporfly 2 weighs 212 grams and the Alphafly 2 weighs 251 grams.
That is a difference of of 38 grams, which, does sound a lot but to put this into perspective, a Maurten caffeine gel weighs 43 grams, so it is essentially the weight of carrying in a energy in your pocket.
Will you feel a difference in the weight? You can feel a marginal difference but I think the extra cushioning from the Alphafly 2 is worth the extra weight.
The Stack Difference
Both The Nike Alphafly 2 and Vaporfly 2 have a 8mm stack height.
- The Vaporfly 2 feels more aggressive and built for speed rather than the comfort of the Alphafly 2.
- The Alphafly 2 feels more stable due to width of the shoe than the Vaporfly 2, but not as good for cornering.
- The Alphafly 2 has more cushioning than the Vaporfly 2 and is more responsive.
- The Alphafly 2 is more harder wearing and durable than the Vaporfly 2.
- The Vaporfly 2 is 43g lighter than the Alphafly 2.
In conclusion, both are Nikes leading super shoes and probably both leading the race for dominating the super shoe market.
It will come down to personal preference as to whether you prefer the aggressive speedy nature of the Vaporfly 2 or the comfort of the Alphafly 2.
I prefer the Alphafly 2, which is now my race day shoe of choice from 5K to half marathon. They feel so comfortable and responsive, and I seem to recover quicker the next day.
I like the Vaporfly 2 shoes, and I feel fast in them, but they leave my Achilles and lower calves feeling quite tight for a couple of days afterwards.
Where To Buy
You can buy the Alphalfy 2 from any of the following stores.
You can buy the Vaporfly 2 from any of the following stores.