When it comes to supremely high-tech running shoes, there’s often a barrier to entry. You’ve got to crank out sub-six-minute miles (sometimes even faster) to truly reap the benefits of the innovations. You’ve also gotta shell out a good amount of cash. And, given the short shelf life of some elite performance running shoes, it can seem like an exorbitant splurge for the sake of shaving off milliseconds. But if running is your saving grace during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and you’ve got a virtual marathon on the horizon, then the sleek Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% is a no-brainer come race day. But you should also have the brand’s newest drop—the Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT%—on your radar. Here’s why.
What It Is
Consider the Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% the Alphafly’s training partner. You get all the benefits of that race-day performance shoe, only toned down a bit as to be more suitable for everyday training. There’s a more durable outsole for added longevity, and a more solid base for greater security during the heel-to-toe roll. Nike’s combined ZoomX Foam and React Foam in the heel for greater shock absorption if you happen to be a heel striker, so you won’t feel the shoe tip or lose any momentum. It sports the same type and number of Air Zoom Pods for marked energy return, however there’s a softer carbon fiber plate. It’s not as propulsive as the Alphafly; instead it moderates the air bags and creates a smooth transition. Don these on quick 5K shakeout runs, logging longer efforts, and, as the name suggests, tempo runs.
Why We Like It
The beautiful thing about their construction is they deliver a boost of energy, whether you’re feeling sluggish at sunrise or sunset, or just running on fatigued legs. Your joints don’t feel beat up traversing a variety of surfaces. You get that protection and the effortless feel. Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re zooming along at a lower perceived rate of exertion? And while the Flyknit upper is mostly the same as the Alphafly’s—breathable and weather-proof—there’s an interior fit band built into the shoe to lend greater lockdown and containment. And if you’re tired of seeing flashes of volt green on runners, you’ll appreciate the new colorway—a white FlyKnit upper with hyper violet and flash crimson gradients splashed along the midsole.