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Nike Alphafly 3 Review: Nike’s Super Shoes Could Be Worth Every Penny

If you're seeking a runner capable of significantly improving both your marathon time and a casual park run, they may well justify the investment.

Nike Alphafly 3 Review: Nike’s Super Shoes Could Be Worth Every Penny


Nike have claimed that the new Alphafly 3s, dropped this year, are the pinnacle of running shoe technology. A bold assertion, but when the late, great Kenyan long-distance runner Kelvin Kiptum shattered the world record marathon time in Chicago last year, becoming the first runner in history to break the 2hr 1-minute mark in just his third appearance in an elite marathon, his superhuman performance put the Alphaflys on the map.

“We partner with the best athletes in the world who share our belief that sport can break barriers, push limits, spark change, and inspire the world,” Bret Schoolmeester, Running Footwear Sr. Director at Nike told DMARGE.

“Kelvin is an incredible example of that, and our team has been so inspired by his success in the last year.”

Bret Schoolmeester, Running Footwear Sr. Director at Nike

Back then, Kiptum’s Nikes were known as the Nike Dev 163 prototype, and few people outside those in the know had really heard of the so-called super shoes. But following the official release at the beginning of 2024, the Nike Alphafly 3s had reportedly sold out in seconds.

Nike Alphafly 3

Nike Alphafly 3

Impeccably designed, with stability and balance, the Nike Alphafly 3s have set the standard for what to expect from your runners.

In just three short runs, the Nike Alphafly 3 had already improved my form and my times.

We spoke with Bret towards the end of last year, before the Alphaflys officially launched worldwide. As Nike’s Running director, Bret was instrumental in the development of the third instalment of Nike’s celebrated Alphafly series and claims that the Nike Alphafly 3s represent the perfect combination of Nike’s unrivalled expertise.

“We believe athletes should both inform and validate our work, and we’re thrilled that Kelvin and many of our other elite marathoners saw their input into the new Alphafly 3 and trusted it for the most important days of their careers,” Bret continued.

“What’s even more exciting, is what may seem as a very niche proposition of a shoe for superhuman athletes like Kelvin was truly designed to serve all marathoners chasing a personal best – whether you’re looking to break two hours, four hours and so on.”

Kelvin Kiptum was training for the Rotterdam Marathon when tragedy struck, looking to break the 2-hour barrier for the first time in history. The Nike Alphafly 3s were going to help him get there. Kelvin Kiptum’s time within the sport was tragically cut short, but his accomplishments, as well as his profound impact on running, are immortalised with this release.


Of course, when I got around to trying the Alphafly 3s for myself I wasn’t entirely expecting to run a sub 2hour marathon on my first attempt. I’m relatively new to running, having picked up the habit to stay fit during the lockdown when the gyms were shut in Amsterdam.

I’ve always been sporty; I’m 6’3″ and 85 kilos. My running style typically involved short, intense bursts on the rugby pitch rather than the gruelling 42.195 kilometres of a marathon. As I’ve got older, I’ve learned to run slower and for longer; I’ve monitored my form and have invested in better footwear as I’ve improved my running. I think this makes me the ideal candidate to put Nike’s latest creation to the test.

“Nike exists to make all runners better, and we’re relentlessly focused on pushing the boundaries of innovation and design to serve their needs,” Bret claimed. “Whether it’s their first, fastest or most fun run, our goal is to bring innovation to every run.”


The first thing you notice taking the Alphaflys out of the box is the striking colourway. Nike aren’t exactly scared to put expressive styles on their products and the latest release has seen the American brand add Dusty Cactus – or radioactive green – to the 3s.

Taking them out, I’m struck by just how light they are (supposedly just over 200g for men’s size 9s). When I first put them on, I thought I was on stilts, towering over with each awkward step owing to the tall continuous midsole that Nike have introduced.

After several trial runs, I wasn’t entirely sold on them. The Alphafly 3s boast a rigid base that lacks the expected spring, and the mesh material almost makes them feel like a prototype. It was only when I started putting in some serious mileage in them, that I started to see the benefits in my form.

ZoomX is the best foam on the market, Zoom Air – still the most resilient technology we’ve ever tested – and a flyplate engineered to complement the system. We keep pushing the boundaries of these individual technologies and how we can best put them together.

Bret Schoolmeester, Running Footwear Sr. Director at Nike

I’ve now run about 100km in the Alphafly 3s and I have to say, they’re an incredible little instrument. Of course, during the first few attempts, I was conscious of every step; analysing my stride as I ate up the Ks through the Bay Run of Sydney’s Inner West. By the third or fourth run, I barely noticed I was wearing them.

In a very short amount of time, these punchy little pieces have transformed my approach to running and I’m already starting to see improvements in my times, managing to hit a PB sub 50-minute 10km just this week.


Admittedly, they’re not the most comfortable fit I’ve ever experienced, but their impeccable design offers ample support – something my glass ankles desperately need after years of rough tackles on the rugby pitch.

In the sole, the carbon fibre flyplate is Nike’s most cutting-edge technology, giving the wearer a propulsive, stable ride and increased comfort without adding unnecessary weight. The sole boasts ZoomX which Bret argues is “the best foam on the market” which works by cushioning your foot’s impact with each stride.

“We focused on maximising stability and comfort while keeping the shoe lightweight,” Bret told DMARGE. “What you’ll feel is a sock-like fit it the upper, comfortable cushioning underfoot, a propulsive ride and a smooth transition that launches you into your next step. We packed all of that, into the lightest Alphafly design ever.”

At $370 AUD, they’re certainly not cheap and come with an expected lifespan of only 300 kilometres, roughly equivalent to 30 runs the way I’m going or around seven marathons, if you’re so inclined.

But after trialling the Alphafly 3s over the last few weeks, I have to say I’m convinced. Nike’s super shoes may have arrived amid considerable hype, but if you’re seeking a runner capable of significantly improving both your marathon time and a casual park run, they may well justify the investment.