Verdict from 24 experts and 75 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • Cushioning: Runners love the combination of plush yet springy ZoomX foam in the forefoot and the dense, stable React in the heel.
  • Speed: The shoe encourages faster paces through a propulsive toe-off and responsiveness, many users claim.
  • Upper: This Nike model hugs the foot well with a midfoot cage and a wraparound Achilles pad. No discomfort or heel slippage has been reported.
  • Outsole durability: Those who ran over 50 miles in the Tempo Next% swear by its resilience.
  • Breathability: The knit upper breathes very well and is barely noticeable on the foot, says plenty of wearers.
  • Weight: While it’s not the lightest tempo shoe, users are surprised at how light it feels given all the cushioning employed.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Price: At $200 MSRP, it’s the most costly daily trainer, many experts and users agree. 
  • Not for easy runs or walks: A good number of runners describe the shoe as “clumpy,” “wobbly,” and “disconnected”, when used for easy runs and walking. It is mostly attributed to the tall stack height.
  • Break-in: The Tempo’s midsole feels stiff on the first few runs, according to some testers.
  • Collar: The sock-like collar makes it a bit harder to put on the shoe, several buyers gripe.

Bottom line

The Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next% performs excellently for its intended purpose — fast-paced training. The shoe truly shines on speedy runs, be it short or long distance. It is a treat for those who want to experience the elite AlphaFly Next% racer inside a daily training shoe.

However, this model will not work for those looking for a comfy everyday runner for long, easy miles. But if you don’t mind shelling out on a premium Nike trainer for tempo runs only, the Tempo Next% is a solid option.

For a cheaper model of a similar caliber, consider the Nike Zoom Fly 3. For a lighter, cheaper, and more versatile trainer, check out the Pegasus Turbo 2.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next%: The brand’s fastest training shoe

Inspired by Nike’s elite racing shoes, the Air Zoom Tempo Next% is an addition to the growing Next% shoe line. As a daily-training counterpart of the  Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%, Tempo is designed for maximum efficiency in everyday training. It will help you train for speed and get ready for racing.

The killer cushioning combo

  • Composite plate

A full-length carbon-composite plate is infused in the midsole of this cushioned shoe for enhanced toe-off and smooth transitions. It is not as stiff as a carbon-fiber plate used in the super shoes for racing, which makes it more comfortable and forgiving for training.

  • ZoomX foam and Zoom Air pods

Placed in the forefoot, this setup is identical to that found in the AlphaFly Next%. They deliver Nike's best possible responsiveness yet.

  • React foam

A firm React foam in the rearfoot guards the heel from impact and helps to keep the foot stable on tuns and uneven pavement.

Tempo Next% vs. AlphaFly Next%

Please note that these shoes are designed with different purposes in mind, which explains the differences in price and construction.

Tempo Next%: daily training

  • price $200
  • weight: 9.3 oz (264 g)
  • heel-toe drop: 10 mm
  • more hard-wearing outsole
  • more midfoot support in the upper
  • more flexible carbon-composite plate for comfort
  • more heel stability with a denser and heavier React foam

AlphaFly Next%: race shoe

  • price $275
  • weight: 8 oz (227 g)
  • drop: 4 mm
  • softer and lighter cushioning
  • more spring and propulsion with a full carbon-fiber plate

Fast daily trainers from other brands

Softer and lighter: Saucony Endorphin Speed, Brooks Hyperion Tempo

Rankings

How Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next% ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 19% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Top 14% Nike running shoes
All Nike running shoes
Top 30% maximalist running shoes
All maximalist running shoes

Popularity

The current trend of Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next%.
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Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com