Written by

Brandon Law

Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
The Alphafly Next Nature is a super shoe partially made with recycled materials; the Alphafly Next% is a super shoe built to be light and fast. Here we'll be comparing these two super shoes.

The Nike Alphafly Next Nature has the same design as the original Alphafly but has a focus on sustainability and being eco-friendly. It has a full-length carbon plate, ZoomX foam and Zoom Air units. It costs $300.

The Nike Alphafly Next% 2 is the second version of one of the fastest super shoes in the world. It's the only shoe that has broken the 2 hour marathon distance when it was worn by Eliud Kipchoge. Its focus is on being light with a minimal upper and a single-density midsole. It costs $275.

Similarity and differences: Air Zoom Alphafly Next Nature vs Zoom Alphafly Next% 2

Air Zoom Alphafly Next Nature

Zoom Alphafly Next% 2

Brand
Shoe type
Expert score
Expert score
8/10
Expert score
7/10
Weight
9.20 oz
8.00 oz
Heel Drop
4 mm
8 mm
Verdict
The Air Zoom Alphafly Next Nature is a fast and natural-feeling super shoe which has exceptional versatility but comes with a hefty price tag. This Nature version of the Alphafly is partly made with recycled material. It has a firmer midsole so it has a faster ride but its upper is more relaxed so it has a lower level of foot lockdown.
The Nike Alphafly Next% 2 is a super shoe which was designed for narrow-footed runners and runners with high arches because it has a very narrow midfoot. It’s best suited to short, fast-paced workouts rather than long runs because of its firmer ride and prominent arch. This version has been updated with a new, snugger Atomknit 2 upper, a more durable, flatter outsole and a wider, more stable midsole.
Recommended for
Racing, speedwork, long distance racing
Racing, speedwork
Cushioning type
balanced
responsive/balanced
Cushioning amount
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
Flexibility
rigid
rigid
Stability
some stability
some stability
Sizing
true to size
true to size
Retail price
US$300.00
US$275.00

Sole unit: Air Zoom Alphafly Next Nature vs Zoom Alphafly Next% 2

The midsole of the Alphafly Next Nature is made of scraps of leftover ZoomX foam which is compressed and glued together. The midsole of the Alphafly Nature gives it a softer ride than the Alphafly Next% and also makes it heavier.

The Alphafly Next% 2’s midsole is made of brand new ZoomX foam which is firmer and less squishy than that of the Nature version. The Alphafly Next% 2 feels less cushioned and less bouncy than the original version.

The Alphafly Next% 2 is better for faster paces because it has a firmer ride whereas the Alphafly Next Nature is better for slower paces.

Stability is better in the Alphafly Next% 2 because it has less lean bias and is a more stable platform compared to the Alphafly Next Nature.

Both super shoes have giant Zoom Air units in the forefoot which provide extra pop on toe-off. The faster you run, the more the air units compress and propel you forward.

There are full-length carbon plates in both shoes but the one in the Nature version is made of 80% recycled carbon fibre. Both carbon plates are extremely stiff and assist in making the rocker more effective.

The outsole of the Alphafly Next% 2 is flatter and has more rubber than the Next Nature version. It has smoother transitions and a higher level of durability.

Durability is good so the Alphafly Next Nature and Next% can both be used for training as well as racing.

Upper unit: Air Zoom Alphafly Next Nature vs Zoom Alphafly Next% 2

The upper of the Alphafly Next Nature consists of Flyknit and Flyprint which is made from leftover airbag waste. It has a bootie construction with a thicker, warmer upper than the original Alphafly. It fits true to size and doesn’t come in a wide version.

The Alphafly Next% 2 has an Atomknit 2.0 upper which is extremely porous and breathable. It has worse foot lockdown than the Nature version and it fits true to size. It has a narrow midfoot like the Nature version and also doesn’t come in a wide.

Which one to buy: Air Zoom Alphafly Next Nature vs Zoom Alphafly Next% 2

If you’re looking for a racing shoe with a softer ride and if price isn’t an issue, get the Alphafly Next Nature. It has a highly cushioned ride, propulsive Zoom Air units and is also eco-friendly. The Alphafly Next Nature has a less stable ride than the Alphafly Next% 2 and it has a more relaxed upper.

If you’re looking for a light racing shoe which is super breathable, the Alphafly Next% 2 is the better option. It has a firmer ride than the Nature version and it has a lower level of foot lockdown. The Alphafly Next% 2 is cheaper than the Nature version and much lighter.

This expert review is written by

Brandon Law

Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
Brandon is a South African who lives and trains in Malaysia. He is a marathon runner who eats, sleeps and dreams running shoes. While most people wear shoes to run, he runs to wear shoes.