Nike Alphafly 2 vs Vaporfly 3 comparison guide

Alphafly 2 vs Vaporfly 3

Nike Alphafly Next% 2 Nike Vaporfly Next% 3
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PLEASE NOTE: I paid for the Nike Alphafly 2 and Nike Vaporlfy 3 trainers myself and was not gifted these trainers or paid by Nike to give a honest review. This page contains affiliate links. Making a purchase via our affiliate link means we may receive a small share of the sale.

In the battle of Nike's super shoes, which one of Nike's latest trainers comes out on top for racing?

In this comparison guide, we take a look at the Alphafly 2 vs Vaporfly 3 shoes to see which super shoes provide the ultimate racer’s experience.

What Is The Difference Between The Alphafly 2 and Vaporfly 3?

The Heel Difference

nike alphafly 2 vs vaporfly 3 heel

With the Alphafly 2, you’ve got a useful heel loop that helps you get the trainer on without having to huff and puff. The Vaporfly 3 doesn’t come with this feature, which you may find to be a bit of a disadvantage if need that accessibility feature.

Both trainers have good cushioning but the Alphafly 2 seems to level up on the cushioning, offering support across the whole base of the foot, as well as around the Achilles.

A similar feature is a squared-off foam on the heel that both have, a new look for the Vaporfly line of trainers.

Uppers Difference

nike alphafly 2 vs vaporfly 3 uppers

The Alphafly 2 is made out of a material called AtomKnit 2.0 and the Vaporfly 3 has been made from specifically selected Flyknit yarns.

Both are breathable, adding comfort for those who may suffer from athlete’s foot or just prefer a more breathable trainer when running.

While both offer great breathability, you will probably notice that the AtomKnit used for the Alphafly is a little more durable in that it keeps its shape a lot better. The VaporWeave used in the VaporFly 3 is a lot more flexible and lighter. You may find that this material is more prone to ripping though.

Alphafly 2 offers an all-in-one padded tongue which may contribute to the reason why it’s harder to get on, however, that heel hoop does help with that. As opposed to the Vaporfly 3 which has a light padding on the tongue in order to help reduce that lace pressure that’s common for runners, at the top of the foot.

Vaporfly 3 has a more traditional tongue on the trainer than the Alphafly 2, which may sway those looking for something that they’re used to in trainer designs.

Both offer a soft but notched lace which is useful for ease of use and less fuss when running.

Outsole Difference

nike alphafly 2 vs vaporfly 3 outsole

When it comes to the outsole differences, the Alphafly 2 offers a thin rubber outsole. This helps with delivering great traction and the outsole is a wider size to help allow more cushioning for the foot itself. The additional foam it provides delivers more bounce while running but helps to balance the transition between heel and forefoot, more effectively.

With the Vaporfly 3, you’ve got a thin outsole rubber that has been updated slightly since the Vaporfly 2. The rubber actually uses less material without having to compromise on its durability while running. That lack of material helps reduce the weight of the outsole and the thickness. It provides an equally smooth transition as the Alphafly does.

The Vaporfly 3 has a new waffle outsole pattern and with its multi-surface traction feature, it makes for a handy trainer when running in all weather conditions.

When comparing the two, both the outsoles are very similar in their design, appearance and performance. There’s very little difference in this part of the trainer.

The Midsole Difference

nike alphafly 2 vs vaporfly 3 midsole inside

nike alphafly 2 vs vaporfly 3 midsole outside

When trying out the Alphafly 2, you notice that the midsoles contain a full-length carbon plate and the ZoomX foam. This trainer also has two visible forefronts Zoom Air pods that help to absorb as much impact from the ground as possible. That helps reduce the impact on the foot, ankle and the rest of the body during short and long-distance runs.

The midsole of the Vaporfly 3 bulges out by the heel. This is a purposeful design that helps to reduce the weight on the inside of the foot. Just like the Alphafly, it’s a design that helps with stability and provides a more comfortable ride.

Alphafly 2 provides more of the balanced midsole, which you may find is more noticeable when it comes to the comfort of the trainer. With more impact absorption, it may be a trainer that is more beneficial for those who are heavy-footed.

The Weight Difference

nike alphafly 2 vs vaporfly 3 weight

For a size 9 Alphafly 2 and Vaporfly 3, you’ve got a considerable difference between the two. With the Alphafly 2, it weighs 252 grams and the Vaporfly comes in at around 194g.

The benefit of the Vaporfly 3’s new design is that they’ve greatly reduced both the midsole and outsole points of the trainer. This has helped lighten the load on the trainer without having to compromise on quality or performance.

While the weight varies, you might not really feel such a marginal difference. However, if you’re quite susceptible to the weight around your ankles, you may find that the Vaporfly 3 is the more appropriate choice. However, with the Alphafly 2, you may like the heaviness that it provides when it comes to running.

The Stack Difference

Both the Alphafly 2 and Vaporfly 3 have an 8mm stack height, so there’s no difference in the trainers here.

Nike Alphafly Next% 2 Nike Vaporfly Next% 3
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How Long Do They Last?

I have kept both the Alphafly 2 and the Vaporfly 3 for purely racing, so I have limited miles in them. 

From past experience, both of these trainers will last a lot longer than other internet reviews will tell, as long as you use them for what they are designed for, and that is racing. 

Are They Difficult To Get On?

The Alphafly 2 got a bit of bad rep when it was first launched for being hard to get on, but once you have worn them a few times they are easy to get on. 

The Vaporlfy 3 are easy to get on without problems and are similar to previous versions. 

Is The Price Worth It?

When it comes to trainers in general, these are certainly at a higher price point than most would consider. However, quality and durability are well worth the money spent on these trainers.

With the Alphafly 2 coming in more expensive, this is expected. It offers slightly more across the board and therefore is justified in its price of £279.95. 

There’s not much difference in price though as the Vaporfly 3 is slightly cheaper at £234.95.


  • Both are exceptional race day shoes
  • The Alphafly is probably better suited to longer distances and Vaporfly suited to shorter distances, but this is personal preference.
  • Both in the top end of price point.  

With the Alphafly 2, it’s a stable trainer that provides both comfort and long-lasting performance. You get a lot more response with the Alphafly 2 when it comes to the cushioning and durability of the trainer itself.

The Vaporfly 3 offers its own benefits, from the lighter weight load in general to the more breathable fabrics used in the trainer. However, when it comes to choosing between the two, it does seem as though the Alphafly 2 checks off a lot more features. From its heel hoop to the quality absorption and slightly longer shelf-life. 

When it comes down to personal preference, you may find yourself opting for one over the other. Whether that’s a preference for weight to getting more durability and longer-lasting performance. 

It’s worth trying them both in-store or at home to get a real feel for them both. That way, you can make the best decision for your feet and for the purpose of the trainers themselves.

Where To Buy

The prototype version sold out in minutes but Nike has recently starting releasing new colour ways including a lovely bright pink. 

Nike Alphafly Next% 2 Nike Vaporfly Next% 3
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If you have any questions you would like to ask about the Nike Alphafly 2 or Nike Vaporfly 3, please ask below in the comments.


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