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Nike Alphafly 3 vs. 2 Review: In-Depth Photo Comparison

Are you curious about how the all-new Nike Alphafly 3 stacks up against the Alphfly 2? I've got you covered. I've been testing the Alphafly 3 and covered both shoes for Outside Magazine.

Nike told me their big goal for the Alphafly 3 was to provide better transition, comfort, and stability. Let's see how they did.

What's the weight of the Alphafly 3?

My Alphafly 3 in men's size 8.5 weighed 6.98 ounces as compared to 7.83 ounces for the Alphafly 2. This represents nearly a 12% lighter difference in the Alphafly 3 over the 2, and it's noticeable when running. The Alphafly 3 feels more similar to the Vaporfly 3, which weighs 6.35 than the Alphafly 2.

Nike Alphafly 3 on a scale

I weighed my men's size 8.5 Aplhafly 3 vs 2 and the Alphafly 3 netted a .85-ounce advantage.

Nike Alphafly 2 on a scale

What is the stack height on the Nike Alphafly 3?

Nike has yet to confirm to me what the exact stack height is, stating it's under the 40mm world regulations. I did get confirmation that the drop is indeed 8mm (the same as the Alphafly 2), so assuming the heel height is 40 mm, the stack height would be 40mm/32mm.

The best marathon shoe

What's the midsole of the Alphafly 3?

Nike continues to use its highest-performing foam, Nike ZoomX; however, it's tuned slightly differently than the Alphafly 2. To compare the two, I used my handheld durometer, and there was a stark difference between the two. The Alphafly 3 netted a much softer reading than the Alphafly 2. One note of taking readings is I measured the foam only, not where there was outsole material.

Measuring the softness of the Alphafly 3

The lower the number, the softer the foam. The Alphafly 3 netted a 27.5 reading as compared to a 35.5 reading on the Alphafly 2. As another point of comparison, the Vaporfly 3 had a reading of 33.5.

Measuring the softness of the Alphafly 2

How did this translate on the run? I could tell the Alphafly 3 was softer and bouncier than the Alphafly 2, but I did not feel it was too soft. I felt more similar to the Vaporfly 3 level of firmness.

What are the main differences between the Alphafly 2 and Alphafly 3?

From a design standpoint, the Alphafly 3 is a completely different shoe. Nike made changes to nearly every single part of the shoe: the last, outsole, midsole, carbon fiber plate, and upper. The only thing they kept the same was the Nike Air Zoom units. The result is an Alphafly that I felt more closely represents the OG Alphafly - fast, fun, and bouncy as hell.

Closeup of the Air Zoom units on the Alphafly 3

The most significant difference is how the Air Zoom units feel. On the Alphafly 2, I never felt the bouncy feeling I felt on the OG. They felt heavy and just kinda flat. That changes for the better on the Alphafly 3. I felt the pop of the Air Zoom units, and the harder I pushed, the more energy they gave back.

A look at the outsole of the Nike Alphafly 3

One notable design element you can't see is there is a ton of open space under the forefoot. This does two things. One, it cuts down on weight, and two, it allows you to engage the Air Zoom units more.

The bottom of the Nike Alphafly 3

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