alphafly vs alphafly 2

Alphafly 1 Vs Alphafly 2

Nike Alphafly Next% 1 Nike Alphaflay Next% 2
nike alphafly 1
nike alphafly 2
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Nike recently released the 2nd version of the award-winning Nike Alphafly race day trainers.

Although there were a few photos on Instagram, I think this release caught a few people off guard as most people guessed they would be released in September or October 2022.

Nike Alphafly's have become my favourite race day shoe, and I managed to get my hands on the limited edition Proto version 2 to test out the difference.

I had a fresh pair of version 1 Alphaflys in the cupboard I had bought in the sale last year, so it seemed a perfect opportunity to compare them as neither had been used, rather than comparing against a Alphafly that had 300 miles already in them. 

What Is The Difference Between Version 1 and Version 2?

The Heel Difference

nike alphafly 2 heel difference

Compared to version 1, version 2 has a bigger heel loop to help you get your trainers on, and as others have reported, version 2 is a lot harder to get on.

Inside the heel, version 2 has more padding for extra comfort and to improve the prevention of blistering. I would not say it is particularly noticeable, but I never had a problem with version 1 either.

The ZoomX foam on the heel is squared off in version 2 and you need to make sure you undo your laces and take the shoe off properly, because I think if you use your heel to slip them off your more likely to break the ZoomX on the back. 

At this point I am unsure of the reason for squaring off the ZoomX on the back. 

Uppers Difference

nike alphafly uppers difference

The most significant difference for me was that the tongue is more cushioned and more comfortable running in. Not that it was a problem in version 1, it just feels like it has been thought about and upgraded from athlete feedback.

The Atomknit has been upgraded and is probably a little thicker around the toe box area, but I do not think anyone will feel the difference. It just adds a little more robustness to stop holes from appearing.

The loop on the tongue is also more prominent in version 2 to version 1, but again this comes back to what people have reported getting the shoe on.

The laces are the same, but the rather than having two holes like in version 1 that the laces go through, the laces in version 2 go through a plastic loop instead, which I think gives you a better lockdown and possibly adds to the difficulty of getting them on as there is less flexibility with the lace structure.

Outsole Difference

nike alphalfy sole difference

There is probably more of a upgrade on the outsole on version 2 to version 1. 

The Nike Flyplate is more visible on version 2 and has a triangle cut out with a Nike logo now visible on the Flyplate. 

The rubber grip on the forefoot on version 2 is probably 1mm thinner and has holes in it, which probably reduces the weight rather than add more grip. 

The white rubber grip on the heel on version 2 feels more durable and protective compared to version 1 to me. 

The bigger difference however, is that in version 2, the forefoot and heel is now 1cm wider than version 1, which adds more stability to your run. 

The Midsole Difference

nike alphafly midsole difference
nike alphafly midsole difference

There is 2 main differences with version 2 with a pimple effect on the ZoomX foam and a very small layer of ZoomX underneath the air pods. 

The ZoomX does feel slightly firmer than version 1 and whether this is a durability thing, cost saving or a performance upgrade I am not sure. 

The slither of ZoomX under the air pod probably makes the run a little smoother but as others have stated, this could also be to protect the air pods, reducing the chances of the air pods from bursting. 

The Weight Difference

nike alphafly 2 weight difference

I am UK size 9 and version 1 weighs 232 grams and version 2 weighs 251 grams. 

To put this into perspective, I weighed a Maurten caffeine gel and this weighs 43 grams, so it is essentially the weight of less than half a energy gel, that many of us carry on our runs. 

Whilst 19g sounds a lot of increase, I could not feel the difference in weight whilst running and unless you are a top end performer I doubt anyone else will. 

Will it make a difference in the later stages of your races? I doubt it. 

The Stack Difference

The Nike Alphafly version 2 has a 8mm drop unlike version 1, which has a 4mm drop, which is another possibility as to why people are reporting it is a slightly firmer ride. 

How Long Do They Last?

It is too early to tell how long they will last and as I am only planning to use them in races, it might be a while before I can report on this.

Personally, I never had a problem with version 1, unlike others who reported the outsole breaking and bubbles bursting. I have recently started using my version 1 of alphaflys for my Sunday easy run on the road and have probably got 300 miles out of them, and they're still going strong.

However, I don't think as runners, we help ourselves. I have seen people run the 1st race of the XC season and trail races in their Nike Alphaflys, and we need to remember they were designed and built for running on smooth road surfaces.

I still think if you only use them for what they were designed for, which is pure racing on smooth tarmac roads, you will not have a problem with the durability.

However, the addiction to running faster means we expect more from our trainers than just running in the perfect conditions they were designed for.

Are They Difficult To Get On?

I genuinely thought people were taking the mickey when I saw people reviewing them on YouTube saying they were difficult to get on, but the first time I tried mine on I was surprised how restrictive they were and you do need to use the loops on the tongue and heel to get them on. 

Is it impossible to get on? No!

Will it take a little getting used and get easier going forward? Yes!

I think it does help improve the lockdown of the trainer though. 

Is The £275 Price Worth It?

If your budget does not stretch that far or you are dipping your toes in the water with your first pair of super shoes, your be better off getting version 1 in the sale at roughly just under £200, but if money is not an issue version 2 is marginally better and although it is too early to tell, I think version 2 will be more durable than the 1st version, giving you better value for money on a trainer that is £275.

Conclusion

  • Slightly firmer ride, but the bigger 8mm stack difference feels like your propelled more, abit like the vaporfly
  • Harder to get on, but gives you a better lockdown. 
  • Small layer of ZoomX underneath the air pods, which probably improves durability rather than performance. 
  • Wider in the toe box and heel, but improves the stability. 
  • More cushioning in the heel and the tongue and improves the feel and comfort of the shoe. 
  • 19g increase in weight, but the improvements justify this. 

In simple terms, If you love version 1, your love version 2!

Although it feels like version 2 is marginally better, I can't help but think the improvements have been made for the masses and durability, so there are fewer returns and, in turn, making more money than for peak performance.

I do not begrudge Nike this, the whole purpose of business is to make money and keep your customers happy with their purchases. 

Where To Buy

The prototype version has sold out and the only place your get it is on websites like Ebay, Facebook marketplace and Stock X where collectors will happily sell you a pair for the same price as a new car!

However, when the new colour ways have now been released and you can buy them from Nike.

The 1st version is a little harder to get holder of now but Nike do still sell them.  

Nike Alphafly Next% 1 Nike Alphaflay Next% 2
nike alphafly 1
nike alphafly 2
Buy From Nike
Buy From Nike

Questions

If you have any questions you would like to ask about the Nike Alphafly 1 or Nike Alphafly 2, please ask below in the comments.

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2 comments

Hi Eric, yes I would recommend them to anyone, don’t let your weight put you off, I was around your weight when I started wearing Alphalfy 1’s. Although meant for race day, I use them alot for intervals and long runs too. They are brilliant at protecting your legs and absorbing the impact. Another great shoe for training in that I use alot, as it has lots of cushioning is the Nike Invincible’s.

Dan

Hello, I know this is specific, but you sound like you may have the expertise. Would you recommend the Alphafly 1 for an overweight runner, or another shoe entirely? I am 5’ 9” and 280 lbs, who is just returning to jogging and hoping for the best support. I would be so appreciative of any advice. Thank you.

Eric Capenhurst

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