The highlight of the shoe for me is the outsole which grips better than anything I’ve ever run in.
Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
Racing shoes are no longer thin pieces of foam glued to a mesh upper. They are high-tech machines which look like regular shoes from the outside all with the purpose of getting their runner over the finish line first.
Every brand has their flagship racer which contains a carbon fiber plate paired with their version of a super foam. This is an informative guide on which carbon fibre plated running shoe is right for you.
Very durable compared to other carbon fiber plate shoes
“The Carbon X is a stable, durable long distance carbon plated shoe which incorporates Hoka’s Meta-Rocker for efficiency during the gait cycle. It has a firm and responsive ProFly midsole and a wide base for added stability during the later stage of marathons.
The Hoka One One Carbon X is for more advanced runners who primarily have a forefoot or midfoot strike.
The carbon fiber plate and aggressive meta rocker feeling will feel incredible for these runners, but work against the rest. It can be used for both training runs and race day.
“The Vaporfly set the standard when it was released in 2019. It features a light VaporWeave upper and ZoomX in the midsole paired with a full length carbon plate for a great balance of cushion, propulsion and efficiency.
Any runner who is looking to compete (either against others or against themselves) in a long-distance race.
“The Speed Elite is a low-profile, responsive race day shoe which has a unique winged carbon plate in the forefoot. Its stripped down upper and low stack height make it one of the lightest shoes on the market.
Runners looking for a super fast, stable and well cushioned 5k to half marathon shoe, or those with the right biomechanics and are more accustomed to a minimal shoe the half to full marathon.
“Half racing flat, half modern super racer, the Metaracer is Asics’ new race-day shoe. It utilises the latest version of FlyteFoam in the midsole and a wishbone shaped, bottom-loaded carbon plate to accentuate the forefoot rocker.
The Asics MetaRacer is recommended for the runner looking for a race-day shoe that blurs the lines between traditional racing flat and modern, cushioned super foam racer. Its low stack height makes it suitable for 5km to half marathon distances.
“The Hyperion Elite is a firm riding shoe with a full-length carbon plate. The DNA ZERO midsole is super-light and made to go fast. The firmness of the midsole results in a very stable ride which is great for cornering at high speeds.
The Brooks Hyperion Elite is recommended for the runner who wants to go fast and wants a firm, responsive rocket-shoe to assist with stability and efficiency. What the Hyperion Elite lacks in cushioning, it makes up in a super-light weight and stable ride.
“The FuelCell TC is a soft, durable training companion to the FuelCell RC. It has a soft and bouncy FuelCell midsole and a full-length carbon plate which gives the shoe a zippy-feeling ride.
The New Balance FuelCell TC is recommended for runners who seek a fast-feeling shoe with plenty of durability for training runs leading up to a marathon. The FuelCell TC is for runners who want plenty of soft, deep cushioning which when paired with a carbon-fibre plate also delivers an efficient,...
High High performance midsole, springy and energetic but balanced and not overly soft.
Stable, consistent, and easy to lock in and hold a fast pace.
Reduced muscle fatigue.
“The Endorphin Pro is Saucony’s answer to the Vaporfly Next%. It has Saucony’s latest Pebax midsole which provides plenty of cushioning and responsiveness. It also features SpeedRoll which provides a “trampoline effect” at toe-off.
Those who want a comfortable, cushioned distance racer for 10k and upward.
“The Alphafly is Nike’s premier racing shoe which comes at a premium price. It has springy cushioning in spades and the latest upper technology crammed into it. There are two additional Zoom Air pods in the forefoot for more extra bounce.
The Nike Alphafly Next% is recommended for runners who want the latest technology packed into a marathon racer which is cushioned, springy and propulsive. The Alphafly Next% is for the runner who wants the best and doesn't mind paying a premium for it.
“The adidas Adizero Pro is a top of the line racing shoe which screams “technology” with its firm yet extremely breathable upper; springy, cushioned ride and quick transition due to its carbon plated dual-foam midsole; and lacing options which allow runners to customize their fit—like a Pro. This shoe is best at race paces, and its benefits are enhanced when running long.”
The Pro is a long-distance racing shoe made for runners who want a supported upper fit without weight or bulk, and a cushioned feel with low-mid stack height. A light to medium weight runner or heavier runner with an efficient stride will find this shoe to be supportive enough for half marathon...
Carbon fiber plated shoes are relatively new to the market and each one is loaded with their brand’s latest bells and whistles.
These carbon fiber plated shoes are made in small quantities compared to regular daily training shoes so they don’t have economies of scale to reduce the costs yet.
Marathoners also don’t mind paying a premium for a shoe to help them run a fast time when they have been training for months for their race.
Are the more expensive carbon fiber plated shoes better than the less expensive ones?
No. There is no “one size fits all” approach to shoes. It’s all down to personal preference and foot type. Some of the flagship racing shoes are more suited to elite runners with perfect running form and foot strike than the average runner.
Why are some carbon fibre plated shoes so difficult to buy?
Many of these flagship racing shoes are still on their first version and shoe companies still want to dip their toes in the water and see what the reception is. These shoes are also made in small quantities because they are difficult to make and the companies haven’t smoothed out the production process yet.
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