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Nike Alphafly 3 Review: Back in Business
By Andrea Myers, Matthew Klein, & David Salas

The original Nike Alphafly hit the market with a bang. The Sub2 marathon project was essentially a massive advertising campaign around it, with the original Vaporfly just missing and the Alphafly managing to finally get under the mark (Ok, really it was Kipchoge that did that, not the shoes). Regardless of advertising campaigns, it was a shoe that clearly broke the mold that only a few, if any, companies have been able to get a product out that is even remotely close to (even to this day). Version two was a fangless version of the original, featuring a less aggressive, heavier and more public-friendly ride that did not have the same magic. The Alphafly 3 clearly makes up for that, coming in lighter than the original, more aggressive and faster. Those who were frustrated with version two should know the newest version is worth the wait and takes back the top spot as one of the ultimate distance racing shoes.

Editor's note: Is it Alphafly Next% 3? Alphafly ZoomX Next% 3? We're not going to worry about it. In fact, #ShorterNamesforShoes is our new 2024 campaign. Join the revolution!

Nike Alphafly 3
Price: $284.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 7.0 oz, 198g (men's size 9), 6.1oz, 174g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 40mm/32mm
Drop: 8mm
Classification: Super Racing Shoe 




RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

Matt: The Nike Alphafly 3 is an elite-level, super-racing shoe for those who want a shoe with maximum performance over almost any distance. It is a true successor to the first Alphafly except that it comes out as a shoe that is only meant for faster running and racing. The aggressive ride is incredibly bouncy in the heel with slight firmness and an aggressive push through the forefoot thanks to the large zoom air pods. The weight is incredibly light for a maximal shoe, making it versatile for some even into the 5k distances. It is meant as a marathon racer and those needing some mild guidance will find a surprising amount to offset the soft and responsive ZoomX foam. The upper is low volume with a little width in the forefoot and a snug midfoot/heel. It does require some patience to get an optimal fit but is incredibly light like the rest of the shoe. Once you learn how to use this shoe, it provides a fast ride over a variety of race distances as long as you are pushing the pace.

Andrea:
The Nike Alphafly 3 is the latest version of Nike's flagship marathon racing shoe. It is much more similar in ride and feel to the original Alphafly as compared to v2, but with an updated midsole and plate that makes it feel nearly as aggressive and tuned for faster paces as v1. The major differences in v3 are a full length layer of ZoomX that encapsulates the forefoot Air Zoom Units, a wider carbon plate and base, and a significant weight savings of 0.9oz from v2 and 0.4oz from v1. While I was not a fan of the relatively heavy, somewhat clunky feeling v2, v1 has been a favorite of mine for 5k-half marathon distances, so I was very curious how v3 would perform. For me, v3 remains a shoe that performs best for me at faster paces due to its aggressive ride and stiff plate.

David: 
The Nike Alphafly 3 is the newest iteration of the famed super shoe that Eliud Kipchoge has been consistently wearing the last few years. We have also seen it on the feet of Kelvin Kiptum's world record and Sifan Hassan on multiple world athletic Majors. The shoe changes up the design from previous versions by making a continuous one piece platform, switching up the outsole, and playing with the geometry some. Though it is seen mostly in the marathon, this shoe is still ready to tackle nearly any road racing distance (or distance track event).    

SIMILAR SHOES
: Nike Alphafly Next% 1, Saucony Endorphin Elite
PAST MODEL: Nike Alphafly Next% 2




FIT

Matt: The Nike Alphafly 3 fits me true to size if a tiny bit short in my normal US men's size 10. The upper is made of an incredibly light see-through mesh. The only reinforcements sit at the toe guard and around the heel. The fit is low-volume with a slightly wider forefoot and a snug midfoot/heel. The forefoot initially fits short due to the toe guard but does break in with 10-15 miles. I would not race out of the box in this shoe to give the upper some time to break in as I had some mild blistering at the end of my toes the first two runs. Once it does break in this is fine. There is just enough room in the forefoot with a little extra like the prior versions. The mesh does not stretch a ton and stays secure so those with medium width feet will probably do best. The midfoot is more narrow/snug, which is helpful from a security standpoint.

Getting the shoe on can be a little difficult due to the snugness here. The tongue is integrated with the upper. There are no areas of reinforcement in the midfoot and I found it challenging to get a secure fit initially. You cannot tie the laces too tight or the tongue bunches/the laces can pinch on the top of your foot. It took some time to get a perfect fit, so be ready to do some finagling. The heel fits snug with a low, somewhat flexible heel counter. There is additional padding at the heel collar that helps secure the foot. Fortunately, I did not have to lace lock the shoe as there is no extra lace to do so. Against bare skin, the mesh is quite scratching so I would highly suggest at least thin socks for foot protection. Security-wise, the heel is fine but the midfoot is a little tricky. I honestly had to trust the shoe would hold on and as long as I run in mostly straight lines I have been fine. This would not be the shoe I would use for a course with a ton of turns. Overall, the upper is extremely light and takes some getting used to, but eventually it disappears once you get used to it.

Andrea:
The Nike Alphafly 3 fits slightly short in my usual women's 9.5. If I were buying this shoe, I would definitely go up 1/2 size. I have gotten mildly bruised big toenails from each of my runs in this shoe. I have a women's 9.5 in v1 and v3 fits shorter and is lower volume in the toe box. The midfoot fits slightly narrow and the medial arch support in the sockliner extends up higher than normal, acting as a sidewall in that area. I did experience some discomfort/awareness of the arch support, but not enough to affect my performance. The heel is normal width to slightly narrow. The fit is very much a racing fit and similar to v1 in that I did not need to tighten the laces much to secure my foot in the shoe. The Atomknit 3.0 upper is one piece, including the tongue, and has some structure thanks to the thicker knit areas on the dorsum of the foot (the tongue portion) and in the rearfoot. It is very breathable and see through, but my feet did not get cold while running in 20F weather. The laces are similar to the textured laces of v1 and v2, and I found them to be slightly short (which may be due to the fact that I should be 1/2 size up). The heel counter has a semi-rigid inferior half and a flexible superior half, with a small amount of padding internally.

Due to the snug fit of the shoe, it is easy to achieve lockdown and I did not experience any heel slippage. The Atomknit is a little scratchy internally, so I do not think this would be a comfortable shoe to run sockless in. Overall, this is a well-fitting shoe, but those who are on the edge of sizes may want to go 1/2 size up. For comparison, I wear a 9.5 in Vaporfly 3, a 10 in Vaporfly 2, and a 9.5 in Alphafly 1.

David:
The Alphafly 3 fit true to size in my Men's 9.5. The length was a tiny bit long but the lockdown held my foot well and prevented any translation or slippage. The shoe uses a newer version of Atomknit aimed at holding its integrity with more multidirectional elements. I would say this does come across. It holds its structure well and I was able to make turns (even faster ones on the track) without much issue. The upper is one piece and integrated with the lacing system. The shoe does have a performance fit and is snug with lower volume throughout the midfoot. The width of the heel and midfoot are normal for racing shoes with a slightly wide forefoot. The volume may be low through the midfoot but is relatively generous through the forefoot. There is certainly room for swelling accommodation. From a comfort standpoint the upper does a decent job, given that its on the thinner end of materials. You can definitely feel pressure from the laces but it does not bit to the point where I would be writing about it. The heel lockdown is good and integrated really well with a shallow semi rigid heel counter. The heel counter is embedded in an even larger bucket of ZoomX and does give you a good holding sensation around the heel. Compared to previous Alphafly's the heel collar is more forgiving with getting your shoes on. In the first and second version it would actually take me some time to get my shoes on, though I seem to be able to get in and out a little easier with the third version. 





PERFORMANCE

Matt: The Nike Alphafly 3 is an aggressive distance super shoe designed specifically for racing and running fast. It is fairly awkward to run slower paces in this shoe given the amount of bounce the midsole provides and only feels natural when running fast or at least at moderate paces. This is not a shoe meant for running slow or at slower paces. The large amount of ZoomX in the heel provides a soft bounce while the large forefoot Zoom units and ZoomX provide a slightly firmer, aggressively bouncy forward push. The 8mm drop feels like 6-8mm depending on where you land but feels like it helps tip you forward (compared to the low drop in the Alphafly 1 that I felt like I sometimes got stuck in). The hollowed out central grooves and hollowed on midfoot dramatically drops the weight and helps the Alphafly 3 come in at an incredible 7 oz / 198 g  (men's size 9). This is now the lightest of all super shoes outside of the Vaporfly series.

The transitions of the Alphafly 3 are fast when moving at quicker speeds. The large heel bevel and soft ZoomX make for an easy transition at heel strike. The midfoot transition through the forefoot is fast thanks to the compression and expansion of the zoom units and the forefoot rocker. There is no flexibility in this shoe thanks to the thick midsole and thick/wide carbon plate that runs the full length of the shoe. As soon as you load this shoe it will immediately propel you. This makes it feel awkward at slow paces because you're bouncing up and down, whereas running faster helps direct the bounce to feel far more natural (natural being a word that does not really fit with this shoe but that's not what it is meant for). This again makes this shoe best for workouts and races. I realize I am going to say this fifty times during this review, but the Alphafly 3 is NOT comfortable running slow in. The minimum pace seems to be moderate/uptempo efforts. It can handle faster intervals, but its larger size makes it better for tempo runs, race paces and efforts from 5k to marathon. The weight and responsiveness makes it quite versatile at a variety of speeds, which makes up for the complete lack of versatility at slower/easy paces.

As this is a road shoe, the traction is moderate and only meant for smooth surfaces. I would not take this on trail or anything but smooth road given the risk for rocks and debris getting stuck in the central cut out. Durability-wise, I am already seeing wear on the exposed ZoomX foam at 25 miles and am wearing down the posterior lateral heel reinforcement. The forefoot outsole is highly durable, so those who land farther forward will find the shoe fairly durable, but those who are heel strikers that scuff their heels will see the durability be much lower. 

Andrea: The Nike Alphafly 3 is an aggressive super shoe designed for fast running and racing. It feels light on foot and doesn't feel much heavier than my Vaporfly 3s, which are 5.6oz for a women's size 8. One of the things that I love about the original Alphafly is that I feel like the placement of the Air Zoom Units lines up well with my midfoot strike pattern, resulting in an extremely responsive and aggressive ride that feels too aggressive for marathon pace but perfect for 5k-half marathon races. After testing the Alphafly 3 in several workouts that included intervals at marathon pace, 10k pace, 5k pace, and mile pace, I can definitely say that for me and my mechanics, v3 feels a little less aggressive than the original. It still has high responsiveness, which becomes more apparent at faster paces, but the initial boost from the Air Zoom Units is muted compared to v1. The wider plate and base are also apparent and it feels like it is a little harder for me to transition from initial contact to loading of my 1st MTP. The forefoot sole flare in v3 extends further back both medially and laterally as compared to v1 and there appears to be more medial bias to the sole flare at the front of the forefoot. At marathon pace, it feels like I do not load the shoe enough to get the full benefit of the interaction between the plate, ZoomX, and Air Zoom Units.

The shoe feels like its stated 8mm drop and the rearfoot is definitely more noticeable as compared to the 4mm drop v1, particularly at slower paces (including marathon pace). Due to its high longitudinal bending stiffness and sharp forefoot rocker, the shoe feels like it is all about forward motion. The high stack midsole provides the high energy return we are accustomed to from the Alphafly and Vaporfly, but is definitely not a soft shoe. I would say Vaporfly 3 has slightly more give (which is not saying much) as compared to the Alphafly 3. Similar to v1, I would not use this shoe for a marathon, but would use it for 5k-half marathon (after getting a 1/2 size up to save my toenails). 

While I initially had concerns about outsole durability due to the lack of rubber coverage in the rearward half of the shoe, it is actually holding up nicely after 30 miles. Those who land further back may experience more wear in this area than I do. The full coverage rubber in the forefoot shows minimal wear. One of my workouts was on wet roads and I had no issues with traction. Regarding durability, I would expect that the midsole will wear out before the outsole.

David: 
The Nike Alphafly 3 is another good example of playing with small components and getting a big result out of it. The 2 felt a little clunky and too built up for me, but the 3 does not come off that way at all. The shoe now uses a single unit of  ZoomX versus the two piece hoof design from before. The geometry is also a little different throughout the shoe. The shoe has a mild to moderately sized heel bevel with a much larger focus on the toe spring and air pods up front. The ZoomX is very bouncy and comes alive when you load it. Despite the heel bevel not being huge, the compliancy of the Zoom X actually does have some give and eases that transition through the midfoot. The midfoot has a deep midline groove down the center of it with filled in pillars of Zoom X on the medial and lateral sides. The flat geometry and wider plate definitely feel more stable than previous versions and do a good job of pitching you forward. This is a shoe that really engages when your momentum is forward. The forefoot has a wide platform underfoot with solid outsole traction for a racing shoe. The combination of the plate, ZoomX, and air pod really show themselves with how bouncy the toe off is. The ZoomX foam has plenty of cushioning and the foam does have an element of softness to it. The plate and air pods do firm the ride up though so you will have a balanced experience in terms of firmness. 

From a usage standpoint, the Alphafly 3 is definitely going to be a racing shoe. Some of the previous versions felt alright at slower paces whereas the Alphafly 3 really just wants to get moving. The Alphafly 3 feels closer to its roots and is a shoe that really responds to the forces you put into it. The pace ranges feel comfortable from pretty much anything 5k to marathon. The 8mm drop feels about right, though may come off as a little bit lower than that because of how compliant the midsole is through the heel and midfoot. The highlight of the shoe is the forefoot. The wide base feels stable and the components make for a very lively toe off. The low point of this shoe is the midfoot. Although the base and midline groove feel good underfoot, the lack of outsole coverage is certainly noticeable. I have definitely found the shoe to slip a little bit through the midfoot in slick conditions. Granted, the forefoot saves it... but its enough for me to notice. I would like to see them make the outsole/ground connection a little more sticky. However in dry conditions the shoe does do well with running fast and ultimately performing. Turns are surprisingly good in the Alphafly and I feel comfortable on the track in them around 5k pace. I noted this earlier, but the shoe does like to be pitched forward. That geometry might feel a tad aggressive for some, but if you like that feeling of being forward this can make for a fun shoe upwards of that marathon distance. 






STABILITY

Matt: The Nike Alphafly 3 is technically a neutral racing shoe but has several elements that make it well well-guided and stable ride. The most obvious is the large central groove throughout the length of the shoe combined with a fairly wide sole, particularly in the heel and forefoot. There is also a large amount of sole flaring in the forefoot and heel. The less obvious thing is the large sidewalls that run the full-length sidewalls on both the medial and lateral sides in the heel, midfoot and forefoot. The arch, along with the sidewalls, come up fairly high in the midfoot. Combined with the slightly firmer zoom pods, this has made for a highly stable and guided forefoot. The softness of the foam offsets this slightly at the heel. The higher sidewalls/arch and central groove offset the narrowed midfoot.

Overall the Alphafly 3 is fairly stable for the foot/ankle from a midsole/sole perspective. There is not as much security from the upper (as mentioned) and the softer foam will require good stability from the hip. Those who need some mild foot/ankle guidance should do quite well here and I am confident in taking this shoe for longer distances. 

Andrea:
The Nike Alphafly 3 is a neutral racing shoe, but it does have some elements that make it somewhat more stable than other super shoes. The wider base makes initial contact feel a little more centered and predictable, and may be an improvement for some over the narrow rearfoot and midfoot of the Vaporfly line. Nike filled in the gap between the Air Zoom Units and the rear half of the shoe by encapsulating them with a bottom layer of ZoomX. This could smooth out transitions for runners who land further back. However, the two guidance lines/cutouts that run the majority of the length of the shoe are biased medially, which may pose an issue for those with medial stability needs.

Personally, I found that the Alphafly 3 made it slightly harder for me to load my medial forefoot due to the medially biased sole flare that extends further forward in the forefoot as compared to v1. In general, I would say that v3 has more guidance elements as compared to v1 or v2, but the way in which those elements affect an individual will vary based on individual biomechanics.

David: 
The Alphafly 3 is not a stability shoe, but does some things pretty well. The shoe does have a nice wide base underfoot with well integrated sidewalls in the heel and midfoot. The shoe does have an element of guidance while you are running forward. The deep midline groove does have a nice crash pad feel to it and you do feel like you are hovering forward consistently. The forefoot traction is good for most situations and also gives you a good platform to push off from. The upper lockdown is really good and holds its structure well through turns too. The midfoot however does have a tendency to slide some in wet conditions. This would be something to consider if you are going to be in situations with a lot of slick turns. 



Thoughts as a DPT: It Depends, Part 436
By Andrea Myers

While Nike advertises the Alphafly line as their marathon shoe and the Vaporfly as their 5k-marathon shoe, I have always found the opposite. I love the Vaporfly for marathons and the Alphafly Next% 1 for 5k-half marathon, and I feel the same about the new Alphafly 3. The Alphafly 1 has always felt too aggressive for me to run a marathon in, and the Alphafly 3 actually feels somewhat sluggish in the forefoot at marathon pace. This could be because I am not fast enough at my marathon pace (6:45-6:50/mi) to properly load the Alphafly and get the full benefits of the plate, foam, and Air Zoom Units, but I am able to load it properly at faster paces. It could also be due to my midfoot landing pattern, whereas those who land further back may have a completely different experience running in the shoe. It is more likely to be due to a combination of multiple factors, both related to my individual characteristics and how they interact with the shoe.

It is common to focus on one feature of a shoe, such as midsole drop or presence of a plate, and attribute any prominent ride qualities to that feature. Reality, as it often turns out, is much more complicated. What is it about the design of the Alphafly that makes me dislike it for marathon pace, but love it for faster paces? Researchers have tried to tease out the effect that individual shoe properties have on running performance, but more often than not, the answer is "it depends." A systematic review from 2022 examined the literature regarding the effects of various aspects of shoe design on running performance and injury (Lin et al 2022). One of the aspects they examined was longitudinal bending stiffness, which exemplifies the interdependent relationship between the shoe and the runner. The authors found that increasing the bending stiffness of running shoes has mixed results in improving running economy, with some studies showing an improvement in running economy as bending stiffness increased and others finding no improvement. When the bending stiffness of a shoe increases, the 1st MTP joint extends less at push off, but the ankle joint moment increases. Runners will need to have sufficient plantar flexor (calf) strength to tolerate this shift in load from the 1st MTP to the ankle. In addition, runner weight, running speed, ground reaction forces, and lever arm length of the ankle and 1st MTP all influence the "optimal" bending stiffness of a running shoe for an individual (Willwacher et al 2014).

I highlight these findings as an example of why it is hard to say "this shoe works/does not work for me due to this one feature," because running biomechanics and shoe science are too complicated and interdependent to isolate any one factor as the reason for a particular experience. The Alphafly 1 and 3 are better for me at faster paces likely due to a combination of factors: my midfoot strike pattern, calf strength, 1st MTP and ankle joint lever arms, hip strength and mobility, running speed, body weight, and overall preferred movement path due to all of these factors and others. Runners with different characteristics may find that the Alphafly 3 is better for them at marathon pace, or the shoe might not work for your mechancs at all. One of the reasons we have multiple reviewers here at DOR is that hopefully you will find similarities between yourself and at least one of us, which can help to refine your shoe choices. 

References:

Lin, S., Song, Y., Cen, X., Bálint, K., Fekete, G., & Sun, D. (2022). The Implications of Sports Biomechanics Studies on the Research and Development of Running Shoes: A Systematic Review. Bioengineering (Basel, Switzerland), 9(10), 497.

Willwacher, S., König, M., Braunstein, B., Goldmann, J. P., & Brüggemann, G. P. (2014). The gearing function of running shoe longitudinal bending stiffness. Gait & posture, 40(3), 386-390.



RECOMMENDATIONS

Matt: Outside of some upper challenges, the Alphafly 3 is an incredible update and shoe. It finally does justice to the original version being even lighter and more aggressive. It does so many things right from a guidance and performance standpoint that it is a shoe that I am going to race in this year. The amount of noise the shoe makes is also great to alert people that I am coming so I don't have to announce myself while running on smooth paved trails (this is mostly a joke but this shoe is loud). My only suggestions revolve around the upper. I am a bit concerned about the slightly short fit and lack of midfoot reinforcement. The heel is fine, but I have had some mild sliding and toe pressure that is the only thing that makes me hesitate to choose these over the Endorphin Elite for a marathon. Up to the half marathon I would be completely comfortable with these, but the potential for toe pressure injuries has be concerned.

My biggest suggestion would be to tone down the toe guard and use more of that reinforcement to lock down the midfoot. The lack of the ability to really tighten the laces without putting too much pressure on the dorsum of the foot also limits the security here. I would also suggest a little more volume up in the forefoot to allow for some natural swelling that will occur with longer-distance running. Outside of that, the sole is awesome and I would not change it. The geometry of the midsole is still amazing to me that I do not notice the massive lack of midsole inside the shoe while it still comes in at 7.0 oz / 198 g. My only last suggestion is to extend the outsole rubber at the heel. The smaller piece is wearing down and I am a little concerned about ripping it out. I will get more mileage on these to test durability, so will update this review with how that turns out. 

Andrea: I love the aggressive ride of the Alphafly 3 , but there are a couple of things that I think could be improved. First, the fit of the upper could be improved to allow for more volume and length in the toe box. The difference in fit and comfort between the Vaporfly 3 and Alphafly 3 for me are remarkable. There is no way I could use the Alphafly for a marathon just based on fit alone, whereas the Vaporfly 3 in the same size remains the most comfortable marathon shoe I've tried. Second, I would recommend that they reduce the height of the arch support to a more normal level. It is unusual to find arch support that wraps that high up the midfoot in a racing shoe, particularly one as aggressive as the Alphafly 3. A lesser amount of guidance could be provided by thickening the upper material in that area, similar to what Nike did in the rearfoot. This could provide some resistance to medial motion without being as intrusive under the arch.

David:
I feel that Nike knocked it out of the park with the redesign of the Alphafly 3. With that said the one thing I consistently was thinking about was the midfoot. Normally I don't mind some exposed midsole, but this ZoomX seems to have a habit of sliding on me and I thought about it multiple times. The really well done forefoot saved it, but it is something to look into for the future. 

WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR

Matt: The Nike Alphafly 3 is an aggressive super shoe for those looking to run at faster paces. The aggressive and forward ride are best for workout and race paces while not at all versatile at slower paces. It is designed as marathon shoe that those not sensitive to upper security/toe pressure will easily be able to take that distance. Others may find it a more optimal 5k to half marathon. shoe. There is plenty of cushioning for any race distance and the incredible bouncy/fast sole design is one of the best and lightest on the market (for the amount of cushioning). Despite being so soft, there are several guidance elements here including full-length sidewalls, sole flare and a central guidance groove that will work well even for those needing some mild stability/guidance. We often say shoes are tools and the Alphafly 3 is a specific tool that will work for specific people. While it is faster for me than the first version, it loses the versatility at slower paces. That may be a good place for a shoe like the upcoming true new version of the Pegasus Turbo or even the Alphafly 2 to take. However, this shoe is strictly for fast runs and racing. It is incredibly expensive at $285, but the technology and weight do justify the price. You will get what you pay for, although my only concern is a bit of heel durability, but that might just be me. 

Andrea: The Nike Alphafly 3 is an aggressive super shoe that is most responsive at faster paces. For some, that may mean it is an ideal marathon shoe and for others it may be a better shoe for shorter race distances. The fit in the Alphafly 3 is short and lower volume, so those who are between sizes will likely want to go up 1/2 size. This is definitely not a super shoe that is designed for easy long runs or every day running. It is a tool for a specific purpose, which is running fast. While the Alphafly 3 has some guidance features, it remains a neutral shoe that will require adequate hip strength to control the highly responsive ride.

David: 
The Alphafly 3 is a super shoe for those wanting a forward experience nearly the whole time. The geometry in the heel and midfoot are a little flatter, but the forefoot has a huge bounce and rounding to it. The midsole really responds to what you put into it and this thing can easily tackle anything 5k-marathon. Those with forefoot instability may also like the wide forefoot unit with good traction as well. If you are a little less sure footed in wet conditions this shoe does have a little sliding in the midfoot where the exposed midsole is, so that is something to consider. The price point does line up with other premium super shoes. In my personal opinion this is currently tied for my favorite super shoe and they both are around a similar price point. 


GRADING

Matt
Fit: B+ (Extremely light upper that initially fits short but breaks in. Slightly difficult to get a secure fit until you figure out the lacing system)
Performance: 
A (One of the highest performing racing shoes on the market. Aggressive bouncy ride with no versatility at slower paces. )
Stability:  A-/B+ [Stable Neutral] (Full-length sidewalls, wider sole in forefoot/heel, central groove and stiff plate do a great job to offset softer sole and make for a stable neutral ride)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (Incredible use of geometry to drop the weight while maintaining a high stack height, incredible bouncy ride with a ton of cushioning that pushes you forward)
Personal: A (By far my favorite version of the Alphafly and the shoe I reach for when I want to run my fastest. On the top of my list to grab for races in 2024)
Overall: A-
  
Andrea
Fit: (Short fit and low volume toe box resulted in bruised big toe nails. This is the least comfortable fitting Alphafly for me out of the 3.)
Performance: A- 
(Feels best at 5k-half marathon pace for me, but feels a little more sluggish than v1, which is my current favorite 5k-HM shoe.)
Stability (Neutral): B- (Some mild guidance features that overall feel like they provide resistance to medial forefoot motion)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+/A- (Updates to geometry and plate make this shoe tuned for faster paces, making it a more specific tool than other super shoes)
Personal: B+ (Not my favorite Alphafly, fit needs improvement, forefoot feels a little sluggish)
Overall: A-

David

Fit: A- (Not short on me. Actually really well fitting for my foot. Good lockdown throughout with good reinforcement through the upper. The tongue and lacing pressure is definitely still noticeable though.)
Performance: A- 
(Incredibly lively midsole and geometry. Good traction and ability to put through paces. The midfoot though... it does slide a little.)
Stability: B (Decent guiding components in place, but foam is still compliant and the midfoot does still have some sense of instability. Definitely a neutral offering.)
DPT/Footwear Science: A (Another good example of taking things you already have and know and creating a completely new experience)
Personal: A- (A very lively shoe and one I can definitely see myself racing in, its just that midfoot. I wish it slid less.)
Overall: A-


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Nike Alphafly 3
Price: $284.95 at Running Warehouse

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FURTHER READING (Racing Shoes)

Adidas Takumi Sen 9  - An upper update drops the weight down to a swift 6.4 oz for race day
Altra Vanish Carbon - Inside Altra's first super shoe attempt
Asics Metaspeed LD [Track Spike] - Flytefoam Turbo and a carbon plate power this super spike
Brooks Hyperion Elite 3 - We look at Brooks premier racing shoe
Hoka Cielo Road - Hoka's new 5k/10k PLATELESS racing flat
Hoka Rocket X 2  - Hoka finally has its first real super shoe with this PEBA-based racer
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 - A full redesign of their super shoe offers the best ride yet, but with one issue
New Balance SuperComp Trail - A cushioned, rockered ride for all-terrain
Nike Vaporfly Next% 3 - A better fit and new geometry make the Vaporfly 3 the best yet
On Cloudboom Echo 3 - On Running's first real super shoe hits the market
Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2 - One of our favorite racers sees its upgrade, but is it better?
Puma Fast-FWD Nitro Elite - Puma's highly aggressive, uniquely design 5k/10k racer
Puma Fast-R Nitro Elite 2 - A highly experimental racing shoe gets even more techy for v2
Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2 - Salomon's first true super shoe
Saucony Endorphin Elite  - A brand new super shoe rivaling the Alphafly in performance
Saucony Sinister - Sub 5ozs of speed
Skechers Speed Beast - A new long distancer trainer/racer from Skechers
Saucony Terminal VT [Track Spike] - Saucony's new middle distance super spike, featuring PWRRUN HG
Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite - UA releases their racer, featuring an ultra comfortable platform

Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Danbury and Stevens Point areas, we am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Nike for sending us pairs.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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Contact us at doctorsofrunning@gmail.com

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