Nike’s new Alphafly 3 shoe already a big hit with runners

Newtown’s Tony Pereira has been running fast times in Nike’s Alphafly shoes with carbon-plate technology.

      What if I told you I could get you to run four percent faster without taking one additional step of training, would you be willing to spend $285 to prove me wrong?

      It probably would be a good idea to purchase a pair of Nike’s new Alphafly 3 shoes for the aforementioned price and then you couldn’t go wrong.

      After Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum broke the men’s world marathon time record with a two-hour, 35-second clocking at last October’s Chicago Marathon in a pair of the innovative Nikes, all bets are off.

      Since the near-miss at eclipsing the two-hour mark in the 26.2-mile test, Kiptum’s performance has been the subject of great scrutiny in the running community.

      How do we know this? Because the Alphafly 3 sales have been so hot, Canada’s supply – both in stores and online — sold out in less than 24 hours when sales opened on Jan. 4.

      Purchases in the United States have been just as furious. Thanks to innovative carbon-plate technology, a whole lot of runners are looking to take advantage of the carbon-plate technology.

      The Alphafly 3 is a clear deviation from the first two versions of the shoe. Without getting too technical, the previous version of the Alphafly midsole followed the original formulation fairly closely, with (according to Nike) a partially separated forefoot and heel section. In the new version, the Zoom air units are now encased within “ZoomX” which now extends throughout the midfoot area, connecting both the heel and forefoot for a more cohesive look.

      Newtown’s Tony Pereira, who has run a total of 39 marathons and will complete the six-marathon World Majors tour in April when he runs the Boston Marathon, got in on the ground floor of the Alphafly techology and he’s a big proponent of the shoe. He’s already ordered a pair of 3s.

      In all, he’s run 39 marathons and, in his mid-50s, he’s still finishing them in around three and a half hours. No doubt, the Alphafly shoes have helped in those sparkling times.

      “They (the new 3s) are very light,” Pereira said in a telephone interview. “The ones I ordered are the exact same shoe that Kiptum wore in Chicago that day.

      “Starting in April, they’re going to have the same shoe but different colors, a marketing thing. The Alphafly 3, as opposed to the 2, is a little bit lighter. But the normal runner probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.”

      Pereira has run the other five majors, including New York, Chicago, London, Berlin, New York and Tokyo. When he stands at the starting line and looks around, it appears that about half the runners are wearing shoes with carbon-plate technology.

      “You look to your left, you look to your right, it looks like everyone is wearing Alphaflys nowadays,” Pereira said. “It’s just amazing how many people buy Alphaflys and are wearing them.”

      Because the new shoe has been on the market for only a very short time, it’s difficult for Nike to really know what the long-range impact will be. But the very fact that someone wearing a pair of 3s has come within 36 seconds of breaking the two-hour mark is a pretty good start.

      “He (Kiptum) was the only one who has worn the shoe (in a competitive race),” Pereira said. “Technology is in your favor now, it’s changed a lot over time. It’s not like it used to be. We didn’t have these shoes 20, 30 years ago. People now are just becoming faster and faster because of the technology.

      “People are faster because of the training methods but the shoes have a lot to do with it. You wouldn’t be able to even talk about a sub-two-hour marathon back in the day. Now it’s like it’s going to happen.”

      Pereira is quite active in the Bucks County Roadrunners Club’s Winter Series and also does the McTuesday night training runs in Lower Makefield. He took up running only about 10 years ago, so his progress has been remarkable. In shorter distances, he’s quick, too, with a 19:10 5K to his credit.

      Getting started was fairly easy.

      “One day I woke up, looked in the mirror and I was a little bit overweight,” he said. “Sometimes we just have to address the issue, take charge and that was it.”

      He’s easy to spot with those fancy Nike racers on. But as any runner will tell you. . .it doesn’t matter how shoes look as long as they go fast.

      Race calendar

      Sunday

      BCRR Winter Series Wild Card (4 to 6 miles), 9 a.m., Tyler State Park, Newtown/Richboro. Contact www.bcrrclub.com

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About Wayne Fish 2451 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.