Looking for a new pair of running shoes for your next race? It may be time to consider investing in carbon fiber running shoes to optimize comfort and support. The added carbon fiber plate combines with responsive foam and is shaped with a curve at the arch of the foot, bending down under the ball of the foot. This design is said to help runners toe off, helping them to run faster. Below we look at the top carbon running shoes for training.
This is a popular shoe that appears at every major road marathon and it’s easy to see why. The Vaporfly Next% 2 uses ZoomX foam which is the lightest and most responsive midsole from Nike. The shoe also features a full-length carbon fiber plate to help for a faster toe off. At just 195 grams, this is a great lightweight and breathable shoe for any runner. Plus, it comes in 8 different colorways and is available as a custom design. The Vaporfly Next% 2 start at $250 USD making them rather pricey, but we definitely think they’re worth the money.
The new Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 is a complete rehaul of the Endorphin Pro 2. The upper is extremely breathable and added more foam underfoot. Utilizing the PWRRUN PB foam is extremely comfortable. This foam creates a comfortable, yet efficient support system. At 204 grams, the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3 is a great option and they start at $225 USD. This may seem pricey, but Saucony often hosts sales, meaning you can often get a great deal on this stable, responsive shoe design.
The New Balance SuperComp Trainer is a large, bouncy, and comfortable shoe to have on your feet during training. The thick wedge is made of New Balance’s FuelCell foam which is soft and bouncy while offering support. There is also a full-length carbon plate running through the midsole to help with your toe-off speed. The thick foam wedge does make these shoes heavy than others on our list at 320 grams, but it is barely noticeable on long runs. The biggest downside of this shoe is that the stack height is higher than the legal 40mm road race requirements, meaning they are a training-only shoe option. Starting at $180 USD they are a great high-mileage carbon running shoe for training. .
The Brooks Hyperion Elite 2 is designed for road running and features the Brooks’ DNA Flash midsole. This sole is built to last, with Brooks claiming they’ll last 200-400 miles of wear. Furthermore, they feature a broad midsole, and wide toebox making them extremely comfortable. The Brooks Hyperion Elite 2 also has Rapid Roll technology, that creates a curved shape at the heel, helping to push you back onto the ball of your foot. The carbon plate makes this a stable, and supportive yet flexible training shoe option. At 215 grams, the shoe is relatively lightweight and fairly breathable. Starting at $200 USD this is a great training shoe that will last the distance.
Unlike your standard day-to-day running shoes, carbon running shoes have a shorter shelf life. While most retailers say they’ll last a few hundred miles, in reality, you’ll likely only get a few long training runs, some speed sessions, and a marathon or two out of each pair. So while carbon running shoes aren’t suitable for the average runner, they are worth it for serious runners looking to improve their PB.