The Nike Alphafly and Vaporfly are two of the best running shoes around, particularly for racing, but you may be wondering which of them is best?
It's a testament to Nike that both shoes have gone on to break records at an elite level, with the Alphafly Next% being the footwear of choice for Kipchoge for his world record 1:59 marathon, whilst Kosgei broke the female world record wearing Vaporfly Next%'s.
As both shoes have a long list of accolades, we've looked more into some of the similarities and differences in performance, price, and comfort, before giving our overall verdict on which we think is best to help you come to an informed decision on which is right for you.
So, without further delay, we'll kick things off by discussing the shoe's performance.
Nike Alphafly vs Vaporfly - Performance
Both are relatively well-matched in terms of performance; however, there are a few key differences to note that make each of them slightly better than the other in their own distinct ways.
We'll start with the main similarities though. The Alphafly and Vaporfly's both feature Nike's ZoomX foam underfoot which has been designed to be soft yet extremely responsive, particularly for long distances.
Moreover, they both feature full-length carbon fibre plating and rocker geometry to add a 'bouncy', reactive feel for a faster toe-off.
The performance similarities essentially end there though because, as you can see from Alphafly's side profile, the shoe comes with two large forefeet Zoom Air units that sit beneath the carbon fibre plates and layers of ZoomX.
As a result, the Alphafly has a larger forefoot stack than the Vaporfly. Although the difference isn't huge, you'll likely feel a small height difference whilst wearing a pair of Alphafly's. The added stack also means the Alphafly is slightly heavier.
On top of that, it's worth taking into account that the Vaporfly is made from Nike's latest knitted fabric - Atomknit. Atomknit is essentially Flyknit that has been steamed and stretched which should help minimise water absorption.
Nike Alphafly vs Vaporfly - Price
Now you know a little bit about the performance of each shoe, you're probably wondering which of the two is the cheapest?
You may find the Alphafly to be a touch more expensive depending on where you look. This is most noticeable by the most recent Alphafly colourways released on Nike's website which are more than comparable Vaporfly's at this moment in time.
Nike Alphafly vs Vaporfly - Comfort And Stability
Much of what makes these shoes comfortable we've already covered in the performance section. From the ZoomX cushioning to the knitted uppers, both shoes should be extremely comfortable to wear during long-distance runs.
It has been said though that the Alphafly is slightly wider than the Vaporfly, making it more accommodating to a wider variety of foot sizes and shapes.
An occasional complaint some runners have with both shoes is that they lack stability, particularly around corners.
Having said that, the slightly wider base and the fact Nike has purposely flared the forefoot midsole of the Alphafly should make it the more stable of the two.
Which Is Best?
Choosing which one is best is hard as both are truly excellent running shoes that will likely help you break personal records with ease.
To try and split them, the Vaporfly is perhaps better for fast-paced, shorter runs, whereas the Alphafly is better for long-distance marathons. However, it's also important to consider the slight price increase attached to the Alphafly.
With that being said, we'd recommend trying them on in a store if you can to figure out which one feels right for you as not everyone's personal preferences are the same.
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