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Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% Flyknit Review Analysis (2021)

Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% Flyknit

Last update: April 2024

The Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% Flyknit is a very good, comfortable, and versatile high-stack trainer with a nylon plate.

The Consensus

9.4Overall score
A very good maximalist shoe with nylon plate that offers comfort and versatility
Nike expands its NEXT% collection with a new model to complement the Alphafly: the Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% Flyknit.

What immediately grabs the attention is its massive sole (46 mm stack under the heel!) with a curved shape that looks like an arch. Another important point is its nylon plate. It improves propulsion by ensuring a smooth transition while running. The big difference compared to a carbon plate (like the one on the Alphafly) is its firmness: carbon is lighter but firmer than nylon. Thus, the blade on the Tempo is softer, which makes it less noticeable.

In terms of running sensation, runners found the cushioning of the shoe very comfortable while being rather firm underfoot. This configuration makes the platform relatively stable despite the impressive stack height. As a result, the shoe is more stable than other models equipped with ZoomX foam. According to them, this is the work of the React foam under the heel. They also found the ride pleasant and responsive even at a slow pace, which is not always the case with propulsion plate running shoes as they are primarily intended for racing and fast speeds. Nike seems to position the Tempo as a fast and versatile trainer with its medium weight (252 g) and nylon blade, and the Alphafly as a competition shoe with its carbon plate and featherweight.

Moving on to the upper, Flyknit is quite breathable despite its somewhat “plastic” appearance. It is not very stretchy for a more precise foot lockdown without reducing comfort. The shoe remains spacious overall, especially in the toe area. However, some runners have found it too narrow in the midfoot, which may not be suitable for everyone.

Overall, the Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% Flyknit is a very good, comfortable, and versatile trainer with high-stack yet firm cushioning and a nylon blade.
Value for money
  • Great comfort
  • Very responsive cushioning
  • Good versatility: shoe adapted for all speeds
  • Snug foot lockdown with a spacious enough toe box
  • The upper is a little narrow around the midfoot
  • Stability is acceptable considering the maximalist stack height but not as good as with a “regular” running shoe
Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% Flyknit rubber outsole


Technical Specs

Pronation typeNeutral
Drop10 mm
Heel stack height46 mm
Forefoot stack height36 mm
FeaturesMaximal cushioning, Nylon plate
Weight (men)252 g/8.9 oz
Release year2020
AthletesEliud Kipchoge


Softness (1-5)2 – Firm
Bounce (1-5)4 – Bouncy


OutsoleDurable rubber, wave-shaped tread pattern, exposed foam
MidsoleZoomX, React, Zoom Air, nylon plate
UpperFlyknit, embroidered overlays


DistanceShort, mid, long, 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon
WorkoutDaily runs, recovery, speed

Reference: Nike’s official site

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does the Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% Flyknit fit?

This shoe uses a standard sizing system. Athletes who have tried it confirm that it fits true to size. Therefore, you can order your usual size for sports shoes. However, if this is your first Nike model, a visit to the store can be a good idea to make sure you choose the best size possible.

Is this model suitable for athletes who overpronate?

This model is a neutral running shoe, which makes it suitable for all athletes regardless of their type of pronation. It doesn’t feature stability features to prevent the foot from deviating to one side while running. In any case, stability shoes for overpronation are no more effective than neutral shoes in reducing the risk of injury. Thus, we recommend that you go for running sneakers that you find comfortable as this is the most important criterion. In short, you can choose this model independently from your type of pronation, as long as it is comfortable.

Is this running shoe suitable for heavy runners (80 kg/176 lbs or more)?

To our knowledge, only one scientific research study so far has looked at the link between stack height, risk of injury, and weight. According to the conclusions of this study, shoes with a very thin sole (minimalist) may increase the risk of injury for athletes who weigh more than 71 kilograms/157 pounds. The Air Zoom Tempo Next% Flyknit is a very high-stack running shoe, and it should be suitable for most runners.

Is it possible to run a marathon or half marathon with this model?

This Nike road shoe is perfectly suited for all types of workouts and distances. It will be a good choice for your daily workouts, whether they focus on distance or speed. As for the marathon, the most important thing is to focus on your experience. : if you find this shoe comfortable for your long runs, then it should be a solid contender for your race. Besides, its nylon plate and thick sole make it a good choice to speed up comfortably.

Photo of author

Kevin Le Gall

Kevin is the founder and editor of Runner's Lab. He started running in 2015 and completed his first marathon in Rotterdam in 2016. He's also worked for Under Armour from 2016 to 2018 and helped launch their running collection in Europe (in particular the HOVR shoes). In addition, Kevin is a 300-hour certified yoga teacher (Sivananda) and uses this experience to run more mindfully with a focus on well-being over performance.

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