The Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next% is Nike’s top of the line daily training shoe and it comes in two varieties. Flyknit and Flyease. They’re the same price and both release widely in the US on October 1, 2020 (the regular Tempo Next% is already available at Nike). Which should you buy? Our Nike Tempo Next% vs Tempo Next% Flyease comparison highlights all the similarities and differences so you can make a decision.
To write this comparison, I ran a lot of miles in both shoes. I ran everything from easy miles to tempo (ahem) runs, and speed workouts. I ran in the shoes separately and together. Yes you read that right, I wore the Tempo on one foot and the Tempo Flyease on the other foot for multiple miles. While I don’t typically recommend doing that with two different shoes, in this case, they’re similar enough that it worked.
The Tempo Next% vs Tempo Next% Flyease comparison will help runners decide if either shoe works for them. I’ve heard from many in our running audience that are considering one or the other. But at $200, most of our readers want more information before purchasing.
For those that want to go in depth on the Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next%’s performance, read the full performance review.
I’ve also done other comparison articles that may be of interest including Nike Tempo Next% vs Alphafly Next%, Nike Alphafly Next% vs Saucony Endorphin Pro, Nike Alphafly Next% vs Vaporfly Next%, and adidas Ultraboost 20 vs Ultraboost 19.
Tempo Next% vs Tempo Next% Flyease: What’s the same?
- Midsole. The two shoes share the same midsole. Both Tempos feature two 15mm Zoom Air pods in the forefoot. The Nike Alphafly Next% also uses the same Zoom pods. Both Tempos have ZoomX in the forefoot and midfoot with a huge chunk of React in the heel for stability and comfort. The midsole shapes are the same and a composite plate is present in both shoes. It’s a midsole that’s bouncy up front and well-cushioned in the back.
- Outsole. The Tempo and Tempo Flyease have the same outsole. Plenty of durable rubber in a wave pattern that completely covers the forefoot and both the lateral and medial sides of the heel. Though it’s the same pattern from the Alphafly, the rubber compound is more durable. Nike says it will last at least 300 miles.
- Insole. Both shoes have ZoomX insoles firmly affixed to the strobel board. You can’t really tell from above. From above, the insoles look like standard Nike running insoles. If you drench the shoes in water, like I did, the adhesive loosens. A huge Florida rainstorm while running will do that. The insole is made of recycled chunks of Zoom X. The insoles in the Space Hippie line and the Nike Vapormax 2020 FK Medal Stand are thicker but also made of recycled Zoom chunks.
- Atomknit. Both uppers use Atomknit, Flyknit that has been steamed and stretched, in the forefoot and midfoot. It’s lightweight, breathable, and perfect for running.
- Stack height. Both Tempos have a forefoot stack height of 27mm and a 37mm heel stack.
- Offset. Both Tempos have an offset, or drop, of 10mm. That’s a standard drop for a running shoe.
- Price. Both the Tempo and Tempo Flyease retail for $200. $200 is pricey for an everyday running shoe. Nike packs in the technology and makes both shoes bouncy enough for speed work. If one of the Tempo versions work for you, it may be able to take the place of two shoes (everyday and speed) that you’d typically buy.
Tempo Next% vs Tempo Next% Flyease: What’s different?
- Flyease. The Tempo Flyease uses a one-pull fit system and a collapsible step-in heel. The one-pull lacing system is tightened by pulling the ripcord at the front of the ankle and loosened by pulling the release tab located at the forefoot. The Flyease system makes the upper of the Tempo Flyease a little chunky compared to the regular Tempo. As with the Flyease implementation on the Nike Vapormax 2020, it’s a little inconsistent to operate. It mostly works, but dialing in a perfect fit can take some tinkering.
- Heel. The collapsible step-in heel is the star of the Tempo Flyease and the biggest differentiator from the regular Tempo. It’s simple. Slide your foot halfway into the shoe and then use your heel to step where the shoe says “STEP”. The whole heel of the shoe compresses and you slide your foot inside. The heel pops back into place after your foot moves and releases pressure. The mechanism hidden inside the heel looks to be a hinged “v” shape that doubles as a heel counter. It’s really slick technology and already works well. Adaptive athletes and regular athletes will appreciate the ease of use. Who doesn’t love a shoe they can just slip into?
- Upper. The Tempos share Atomknit up front and both have an internal cage for reinforcement at the midfoot. The internal cages are quite different to match the differing lacing systems. But both nicely hug the arch area. The heel area of the Tempo is Flyknit with an internal heel counter and an achilles pad. The heel of the Tempo Flyease is neoprene covering the step-in heel mechanism and a more substantial achilles pad. The Tempo Flyease’s heel is chunkier and adds weight to the shoe. However, it feels like an acceptable trade off for a shoe that doesn’t require hands to take on and off.
- Weight. In my size 11.5, the Tempo Flyease is 15% heavier than the regular Tempo. I’d expect most sizes see a similar percentage increase. While the Tempo isn’t heavy for an everyday running shoe, it’s not super light either. The Tempo Flyease, on the other hand, is on the heavier side for a running shoe. Again, that’s necessary (with today’s technology) to get a shoe that doesn’t really require hands.
Tempo Next% vs Tempo Next% Flyease: Overall
The Tempo Next% vs Tempo Next% Flyease is a comparison of essentially the same shoe with different uppers. The Tempo Flyease is bulkier and heavier but comes with one-pull lacing and a slick step-in heel. It’s also roomier and more accommodating for a variety of foot shapes.
If you’re buying one, I’d recommend going with the normal Tempo if possible. Most runners will be slightly bothered by the extra bulk and weight of the Tempo Flyease. If you’re an adaptive athlete, have a very wide foot, or usually wear basketball shoes, the Tempo Flyease is your best bet.
This is a strange comparison where personal preferences will go a long way to deciding which you like best. Feel free to tweet at me with specific questions and I’ll do my best to answer.
The Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next% is available now for $200 at Nike.com (Nike membership required). The Tempo will be available on October 1, 2020 at other retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Road Runner Sports. The Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next% Flyease is available for $200 at Nike in Men’s and Women’s versions.