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Nike’s Zoom Tempo NEXT% Is Built To Be Reliable, But With Fully Loaded Luxury

By Sneaker News

Without a doubt, 2020 will go down as a pivotal notch in the timeline of Nike Running because of the innovational footwear pieces that they have delivered to the market and the well-received responses that have come along with them. Much of this success can be attributed to the Swoosh’s growing family of NEXT% models and so far, the two silhouettes leading the charge have been the ZoomX VaporFly which first dropped back in 2016, and the ever-popular AlphaFly NEXT% which debuted earlier this Summer. However, that will soon change as Beaverton is in preparation to expand upon this line of premium runners by welcoming in their newest proposal — the Air Zoom Tempo NEXT%.
 
 
Unlike the AlphaFly which is more so intended to be laced up on race days, the Zoom Tempo is built for everyday training purposes, or as its own moniker proclaims — tempo runs. Signature NEXT% family details such as the the ZoomX heel cushioning, knitted uppers, and forefoot Air Zoom Pods are kept consistent, but these also usher different sole elements that allow it to stand on its own. Instead of using a full-length carbon fiber plate like the AlphaFly and VaporFly, the Nike team utilizes a new composite plate which provides a softer, more stable transition throughout a runners’ stride. Furthermore, the soles also feature Nike React Foam in the heel zones where more impact protection/durability is most needed.
 
 
Lastly, these Zoom Tempos are the first NEXT% member to also come in with a FlyEase alternative. This particular version is anchored by two FlyEase systems including the collapsible heel for easy-on-easy-off access, and the One-Pull Fit system that allows wearers to lock their feet in with a single pull of the forefoot strap.The shoes release on 9/24 for Nike members, and 10/1 for wider audience.
 
 
Nike sent the Sneaker News staff pairs of the shoe to give some testing. Here are our first impressions on the shoes.

  • Nike Zoom Tempo NEXT% Releasing 9/24

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Additional traction is a must since these will probably be abused on concrete surfaces when I run away from people who aren’t wearing masks.

  John on the practical use of running shoes

I’m not a long distance runner. The only type of marathon I aim to complete require me to confirm that I will indeed “continue watching”. I do run, though. Three or four times a week i’ll peel myself from my makeshift home office (my couch) to gently pound the Brooklyn concrete for a total of no more than a dozen miles. For an everyday, average runner like me, footwear like the Alphafly NEXT% was like firing up the ignition on a Ferrari to go to that good bodega an extra block away. A beautiful ride that’ll draw eyes from bystanders, but otherwise excessive in some ways. It’s nice to know that I have those wheels in my garage, but I choose to stick to reliability and right now it’s the Pegasus 37 – the Toyota Camry of Nike running shoes. It’s got what I need in a running shoe. For someone who has enough sneakers to wear a different sneaker a day for almost three years, getting me to change running or basketball shoes is a huge stretch. I still ball in a pair of KD 7s I got six years ago. It just works for me.
 
 
With Nike blessing us with some pairs, I decided to give the shoe a proper run. First and foremost, I prefer it to the Alphafly NEXT%. I’m not constantly on my toes like a long distance runner typically is, so the ZoomX is a bit too plush and causes a sinking sensation. The Tempo NEXT% fixes that with the stacked React foam at the heel. The embedded plate, which i’ve come to love in the Pegasus 37, is really solid. I was already accustomed to a forefoot Zoom package, but I feel it more with the Tempo and Alphafly as the pods cover a wider surface area. Additional traction is a must since these will probably be abused on concrete surfaced when I run away from people who aren’t wearing masks.
 
 
Nike Running has been so ridiculously ambitious in the right way that $180 for a sneaker is no longer the most luxurious option. For an everyday runner, the Tempo NEXT% is probably the best choice and it’s got everything the Pegasus 37 has, but fully loaded in a sense with a lighter upper and more Zoom. Both are great options, but if you’re looking for more style and the charm of a visible Air bubble, the Tempo’s the pick.

  • Nike Zoom Tempo NEXT% Flyease Coming Soon

  • Nike Zoom Tempo NEXT% Flyease Coming Soon

  • Nike Zoom Tempo NEXT% Flyease Coming Soon

  • Nike Zoom Tempo NEXT% Flyease Coming Soon

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

…ticks all the boxes that I seek out from a performance standpoint.

  Elliot on the Tempo NEXT%

When it comes to runners, I tend to gravitate towards three elements: sleek aesthetic, cushioning, and durability. My current rotation for the past few years has involved different variations of the Pegasus (31 and Turbo) as well as the the AlphaFly in more recent memory. And while all of them have been great, I feel that they fall on complete opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of feel and comfort. The Pegasus is perfect for stability, and the AlphaFly provides next-level bounce in my stride that at times, can even feel a bit too pronounced considering that I’m not the avid marathon trainer, but more so the after-work jogger who tries to get in at least three or four runs in per week if I feel motivated enough.
 
 
However, after trying on the Air Zoom Tempo NEXT%, I can, right off the bat, confirm that it provides a happy medium between what I’ve been used to lacing up in the past. It’s sleek in design, has great colorways on the way, and ticks all the boxes that I seek out from a performance standpoint. I get the stability and low-to-the-ground feel of a normal runner, and I also receive the plushy responsiveness thanks to the combination of the Zoom and React foam cushioning.