How To Choose a Carbon Fiber Plate Running Shoe

We know how hard it can be when it comes to choosing a new pair of runners, so we’ve put together a helpful guide below for choosing the best carbon plate running shoes with key features to look out for such as comfort, speed, suitable for long-distance or short-distance, grip, support and weight.


What Are Carbon Fiber Plate Running Shoes?


Carbon-plated running shoes have taken the running world by storm with their innovative lightweight technology that allows runners to enjoy a well-cushioned midsole without compromising on the weight or support over long distance. This happens by inserting a thin carbon fiber plate into the midsole which adds stiffness to the shoe and causes the foam to compress and expand more quickly, therefore saving you energy. 


Back in 2017, Nike released the first Vaporfly 4, which promised runners a 4% increase in their performance. Combining a full-length carbon plate with responsive cushioning, Nike had created a powerhouse shoe that was the first of its kind and had completely taken the running world by storm. Since then, other brands like Saucony, New Balance and Adidas have released their own carbon-plated running shoes.


Whether you are looking to smash a personal best, or run a race, carbon-plated running shoes can help you propel you to your goals even faster. 


Below, we've listed out what to look for when choosing a carbon-plated running shoe:


Carbon-plated running shoes use a thin carbon fiber plate that is incredibly lightweight so that runners can continue to run for a long distance whilst conserving energy. It is worth trying to strike a balance between the lightweight material and durability of the shoe.


Carbon plate running shoes made headlines with their ability to help you run faster, so make sure that you look for a shoe that feels natural to your stride and helps you run at a continuous momentum. Stability is really important to make sure you are not overworking certain muscles, however this might mean less bounce or cushioning.

Shoe featured: Saucony Endorphin Pro


An important factor to consider when purchasing your first pair of carbon plate running shoes is whether you will be running short or long distance, as well as if you will be on or off road. If you are looking to run long-distance, then a well-cushioned midsole will help support your feet throughout the distance. Whereas if you are a trail runner, then a stable and supportive shoe that is well-gripped will be best.


Cushioning helps to support our feet, calves and ankles to reduce the risk of pain and injury. It also provides important comfort for long distance.

Shoe Featured: Hoka One One Carbon X 2


Grip is usually more of consideration for trail running as outsole grip can be a really important factor to consider for reliable traction. However, good shoe grip is also important for road runners because it reduces the risk of slipping in wet conditions that can cause injury or slow you down. 


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