The Nike Alphafly 3 originally launched on January 4 in a white “proto” colorway in limited quantities that sold out in hours, leaving a lot of runners who were hoping to get their hands on the shoe disappointed. Nike has announced when the next colorway of the shoe is to go on sale, and it’s great news for UK runners in particular.
That’s because they have the chance to buy the Nike Alphafly 3 from March 7 at 8am GMT, according to the Nike app. Meanwhile, those in the US have to wait until April 4 at 3pm GMT+1. Wherever you are in the world, you’ll need to be a Nike member to buy the shoe when it initially goes on sale (it’s free to sign up, you just need to hand over your email).
The Nike Alphafly 3 is undoubtedly one of the best carbon plate running shoes, and I rate it as the best available after my testing. It’s the lightest version of the Alphafly and combines the bounce of the Alphafly line with the aggressive transition from heel to toe of the Nike Vaporfly.
After the relatively subdued white-and-orange proto colorway, Nike has gone for a more distinctive look for the full launch of the shoe. The Volt upper is a bright yellow/green, with the same color on the front half of the midsole, which then fades into blue at the back.
Since this is the first proper colorway of the shoe, I hope it will be available in greater quantities than the proto shoe, so anyone willing to spend $285/£285 on the Nike Alphafly 3 is able to get hold of it. The good news for all is that the shoe comes out before spring marathon season kicks into gear. The Boston Marathon is on April 15 and the London Marathon is on April 21, so you should just about have a chance to get the shoes and do a trial run or two in them before race day.
My usual advice is to do at least one good long run in a shoe before racing a marathon in it, but if you have used Nike’s other super-shoes in the past I’d say you’ll probably be familiar enough with the Alphafly 3 to use it on the big day without much prior testing.
Nike Alphafly 3 Release Notes
Nike has made several major changes to the Alphafly 3 compared with the Alphafly 2, and the new shoe is notably lighter and sleeker. The Alphafly 3 weighs 7.7oz/220g in my UK size 9, compared with 8.7oz/247g for the Alphafly 2. It’s also lighter than the original Alphafly.
The midsole now has a continuous bottom, instead of the large cutout separating the ZoomX foam at the heel and the Air Zoom pods at the forefoot in the first two generations. The new design is meant to create a smoother transition for runners of all levels—no matter where your foot initially lands during your stride.
Under the forefoot are two Air Zoom units, which are the main feature that distinguishes the Alphafly from the Nike Vaporfly 3, which has a full ZoomX foam midsole. The Air Zoom pods deliver even more energy return than the foam alone. Nike says the updates made to the Alphafly 3 mean the pods will be better engaged.
The carbon fiber Flyplate runs the length of the shoe and has been widened on the medial side (the inside of your foot) to create greater stability. The Atomknit upper has also been tweaked, with new integrated stays for the laces to achieve a more comfortable fit.
There is not a lot of rubber coverage on the outsole of the shoe, and there are substantial cutouts there to reduce weight. The Fast Shot outsole is designed to (mainly) deliver grip under the forefoot, with two small sections of rubber at the heel, too.
Nike has also made a point of saying that the Alphafly 3 should be quite durable, having been used for a minimum of 200 miles by its testers. This is a note that is, perhaps, directed at Adidas and the Adios Pro Evo 1, which is, apparently, only at its best for one marathon, though I’ve not tested the shoe yet myself.
Nike Alphafly 3 In Brief
When will the Nike Alphafly 3 be available to buy?
How much does the Nike Alphafly 3 cost?
Nike has confirmed the Nike Alphafly 3 will cost $285 in the US and £285 in the UK.
How much does the Nike Alphafly 3 weigh?
My UK size 9 sample weighs 7.7oz/220g, which matches the weight listed by Nike.
How many miles can you run in the Nike Alphafly 3?
Nike says its testers have used it for a minimum of 200 miles.
This article was first published November 30, 2023, when the initial Nike Alphafly 3 release date was announced. It was substantially revised on January 19, 2024, with information about the release date of the Volt colorway. The release notes section was retained from the original article.
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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.