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  • Nike has announced that the long-awaited Air Zoom Alphafly Next% shoes will be available this year.
  • The controversial, carbon-fiber plated shoes were deemed legal by World Athletics, which made its ruling last Friday.
  • The Alphafly was first teased when Eliud Kipchoge wore them to break the two-hour marathon barrier in October.

Less than a week after World Athletics imposed regulations on running footwear, Nike finally made the announcement of its competition-legal Air Zoom Alphafly Next% shoes.

Despite many critics arguing against the shoes for months, World Athletics deemed them legal for racing as they appear to fall within with a list of guidelines from a construction standpoint.

The Alphafly series has been mythical since Eliud Kipchoge wore them to break the two-hour marathon barrier in October. Those shoes were rumored to have as many as three carbon-fiber plates in them, which is illegal according to the new World Athletics guidelines.

Fans have long awaited to get their hands on them, however, and it appears that time will finally arrive in 2020. Though this new design will differ from the Air Zoom Vaporfly Next%, it will likely bring another generation of controversy and records with it.

New construction in running shoes—including implementing carbon-fiber plates and advanced foam technology—have been controversial since they debuted on runners’ feet in 2016. Over the past few years, versions of the Nike’s Vaporfly series have evolved to make runners even faster and help them set world records, like when Brigid Kosgei broke the women’s world record at October’s Chicago Marathon.

What We Know About the Alphafly Next%

The headliner for this announcement is the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%. The long-distance racing shoe contains a single carbon-fiber plate, ZoomX cushioning, and Zoom Air Pods. These are all updates from its predecessor, the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%. The shoe will also contain a new knit upper Nike calls Atomknit.

Runner’s World has learned that the Alphafly has been measured by World Athletics—a men’s size 8.5 is 39.5 millimeters (mm) thick—so they would be competition legal based on the new guidelines that impose an immediate ban on any shoe with a sole thicker than 40 mm or shoes that contain more than one plate.

Knit Upper
ZoomX Chusioning
Single Carbon-Fiber Plat
Air Pods
Nike React Foam in Heel

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