- Weight 279g (M) 225g (W)
- Heel-To-Toe-Drop: 10mm
- Type: Road
- Price: £160
Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next% Summary
Training? Check. Racing? Check. High mileage reliability and responsiveness? Check.
- Three kinds of bounce: carbon composite plate; air pods, and two types of midsole foam.
- Flyknit upper with reinforced zones in key areas
- A 46mm rear stack height makes it perfect for heelstrikers,
This shoe is designed as a more everyday version of the Alphafly Next%, and there’s so much going on with it, it’s hard to know where to start. Perhaps with the conclusion which is that, if you can afford it and are willing to feel slightly foolish when you line up at the start of race, this will knock chunks off your PB (and make your training just that bit more joyful beforehand).
It's High Energy
Nike has achieved what is a substantial amount of bounce in three different ways. Number one: two different types of midsole foam; Zoom React in the rear (firmer and more durable) and ZoomX up front (softer and more responsive).
Both offer a good ratio of low weight to cushioning. Number two: a carbon composite plate running the length of the shoe, designed to be less harsh underfoot and allow runners to clock higher mileage. Number three: air pods under the forefeet. Nike Air is not a new concept but while previously the air pods were encapsulated in the middle of the midsole foam these ones, positioned under the balls of the feet, are self-contained which Nike says gives better energy return.
Smooth and Stable
Testers were concerned that with such a vast stack height (46mm in the heel, 36mm in the forefoot, as measured by RW) the shoe would be unstable laterally, but the reinforced knitted mesh locks the foot down well.
Other shoes with carbon plates have been on the aggressive side, with rebound coming with a trade-off of a slight lack of control. Not here though. The composite plate, the ample cushioning on the heel, a pleasing flare on the forefoot to give a wider surface area for landing all combine to provide a ride which is wonderfully unmemorable. The shoe goes on, you forget you’re wearing it, you do the run and at the end you are aware your legs are less pooped than they normally are.
A Great Fit (Almost)
If you can it’s worth trying before you buy with these. Of course, everyone has different feet but we had more than one tester grumbling about what we’ll call the Goldilocks fit. It was too wide in the toebox, too narrow in the midfoot and just right in the heel. But we’re talking small amounts. On the plus side the Flyknit mesh is as breathable and durable (always a good combo) as we’ve come across and the asymmetical lacing did a good job of reducing pressure on the top of the foot.
Aside from the tiny downsides of the slightly variable fit and the unshakeable feeling that somehow wearing these is (whisper it) cheating a little bit) this is a shoe that is as impressive as you might expect.
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