The Nike Alphafly 2 is one of the best carbon plate running shoes and was used by Eliud Kipchoge to set the world record at the Berlin Marathon in 2022. It’s a fantastic running shoe, which I loved, and used to run a 2hr 29min marathon, though it never seemed as popular as the original Nike Alphafly, or the Nike Vaporfly.
A lot of that was down to its weight. The Alphafly 2 weighed 8.7oz/247g in my UK size 9 and—while it didn’t feel big or clumsy on the run—a race shoe that heavy is always going to be off-putting to many runners.
That’s one big reason I think the Nike Alphafly 3 is going to be the most popular version of the shoe yet. Nike has trimmed the weight to 7.7oz/220g in my size, and that’s noticeable when running.
For my first run in the shoe, I used it for a steady 10K in 35 mins, running at around my marathon pace of 3min 32sec/km. The shoe still has the booming bounce of previous versions, which came into play when running with the wind; it feels lighter and it was easier to turn my feet over into the wind in the last few kilometers of my run.
The changes Nike has made to the midsole are also noticeable. The large cutout in the middle of the Alphalfy 1 and 2 is gone, so the foam is connected at the bottom of the shoe. I noticed more of a tip-forward feeling on the run, with the shoe pushing you onto the Air Zoom pods under the forefoot faster.
Another complaint people had with past versions of the shoe was arch pain, and Nike says the last of the shoe (the mold of the foot the shoe is designed around) has been adjusted to change this. I didn’t have this problem with the shoe in the past so can’t say if it’s changed much, but overall the fit is good in my normal running shoe size, locking down the heel and midfoot well while having enough room in the toe box.
One thing that hasn’t changed with the new shoe, however, is how noisy it is. You still get the distinctive thump-thump-thump when running, and, for me, the Alphafly 3 also squeaks, so far at least. You’ll certainly notice when someone is running beside you in races while wearing this shoe.
I’ll continue testing the shoe for Coach’s full review, which will be published well ahead of the Nike Alphafly 3’s release date of January 4th 2024.
Get the Coach Newsletter
Sign up for workout ideas, training advice, reviews of the latest gear and more.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.