Which carbon-plated shoe is the one for me??
Even though the racing world seems to have come to a standstill in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world’s leading running shoe companies have been rolling out new and incredibly fast product! Nike has preceded other companies by unveiling multiple models of carbon-plated shoes and produced the carbon-plated shoe that aided in Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya breaking 2 hours in the marathon in October of 2019. Now, almost every popular brand has their own carbon-plated shoe designed to run faster and farther. With so many options now, how does anyone know which one is best for them? Which one is the most lightweight or durable? Below, I have compiled a few relevant tech specs from each carbon-plated shoe that Skinny Raven currently carries or will carry in the very near future!
First up is the Saucony Endorphin Pro! This shoe weighs in at 7.5 oz* and has an 8 mm heel-to-toe drop. The stack height of 35.5 mm is a little lower than many other racing flats, but it still allows for the PWRRUN PeBa-based foam to star right alongside a full-length carbon plate. This extremely bouncy midsole coupled with a carbon rubber outsole with increased traction detailing makes for a streamlined fit from the ever-popular Saucony brand.
FUN FACT: The Speedroll technology in the midsole includes an “always forward” geometry that creates a rolling feeling underfoot!
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%; say that 5 times! This shoe only weighs 6.6 oz.* with a stack height of 40 mm. The Next% also has an 8 mm heel drop and boasts 15% more Zoom X foam in the midsole than its previous model, the 4%. In edition to the extra energy return and cushion in the forefoot, the outsole has a distinct traction pattern thanks to the suggestions from many elite athletes. The heel sports high abrasion rubber for increased durability and the forefoot houses an extremely lightweight rubber that aids the midsole in optimizing energy return.
FUN FACT: The offset laces aid in the alleviation of pressure on the top of the foot while keeping it snugly in place.
The HOKA ONE ONE Carbon X has been on the market since late 2019 and weighs 8.7 oz.* This shoe has one of the lower drops for a racing flat at 5 mm with a stack height of 35 mm. With a CM EVA foam above the carbon plate and a rubberized EVA foam outsole, this shoe brings the runner the classic HOKA feel of soft and supportive.
FUN FACT: The carbon plate is split under the lateral toes which allows for a more neutral forefoot strike!
The New Balance Fuel Cell TC is the heaviest racing flat in this group at 9.3 oz.* and has the highest heel drop at 10 mm. WIth a 36 mm stack height and Fuel Cell foam technology, this shoe is springy and soft with a multi-directional carbon plate that flexes at initial impact, but stiffens for toe-off propulsion.
FUN FACT: The suede collar on the upper gives this shoe extra style points!
We are patiently awaiting the arrival of the Brooks Hyperion Elite in the next couple of weeks, but we’ll share the tech specs anyways! At 6.9 oz.* with a stack height of 40 mm, this 8 mm drop shoe seems to blend in with all the others. However, the DNA ZERO foam in the midsole has proved to be exceptionally lightweight while remaining firm throughout the entirely of the shoe. With a carbon plate sandwiched between two layers of this foam and a thin rubber outsole, it looks promising from the 5k distance to longer endurance events.
FUN FACT: A Hyperion Elite 2 will be released in September with some exciting updates!
The Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% has arguably received the most press out of all the carbon-plated shoes. It weighs 7.4 oz.* with a low drop of 4 mm and 40 mm stack height. The Alphafly has the same Zoom X midsole foam as the NEXT% as well two Zoom Air units towards the front of the shoe to optimize energy return. The full-length carbon plate is scaled for each shoe size with the smaller sizes being the most flexible and the larger sizes being the most rigid. The outsole of this shoe has a traction pattern that is based off of data from hundreds of runners.
FUN FACT: The Atomknit upper fabric is steamed and stretched to deliver minimal water absorption and breathability!
*all weight measurements are based off of a men’s size 9