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Discussion: Carbon plated shoes

in: VeganKeegan; VeganKeegan > 2023-07-30

Jul 31, 2023 2:39 AM # 
Yes, if you don't run with carbon plated shoes, you're just giving up time. The IAAF has banned shoes with two carbon plates and a stack height greater than 40mm because of their competitive advantage.

Personally I'm a fan of Saucony's Endorphin Pro. But that's mostly because the last fits my foot better than other brands.
Jul 31, 2023 7:59 AM # 
They make a huge difference.

I like this website too scout for shoes.
Jul 31, 2023 7:23 PM # 
Echoing above, but yes they make a huge difference not just anecdotally but there is a lot of empirical evidence. Unclear which shoe is the best because 99% of the carbon-plate research is Nike Funded and shows that Nike Vaporfly is the best.
Jul 31, 2023 10:37 PM # 
Ok thanks everyone, guess I got to go buy some. Do you however, how much of that benefit applies to non elite runners? I know on the elite side it’s clearly beneficial what with the bans and number of world records broken in last couple years but does that apply to slower speeds as well?
Aug 1, 2023 12:36 AM # 
The shoes do seem to offer a greater efficiency gain the faster you run, but you are fast enough to get a measurable benefit. However, the benefit varies from person to person even at the same speeds. Some people will see a 4% efficiency boost and others will see a 2% boost. And it still matters that you have a shoe that you are comfortable running in for three hours.

As for whether it's worth it to shell out the $$ for the shoe, that depends on your reasons for running the marathon and what you hope to get out of it. The shoes don't last long as supershoes (supposedly ~100mi), but you could get several races out of them, so it could be a worthwhile investment if you make road racing a habit.
Aug 1, 2023 1:49 AM # 
I think it definitely still applies to all runners, definitely more benefit the better your stride is. It's only worth buying if you are really reaching for a good time, otherwise like Cristina said, whatever is comfortable and convenient is also not a bad option.
Aug 1, 2023 1:55 AM # 
Aside: for any other slower runners (like me!) reading this here's a paper that shows less than a 1% efficiency gain for runners going 10km/hr.
Aug 1, 2023 8:21 AM # 
I spoke to a couple of guys during a warm down after a parkrun a couple of months ago. Both were training for or had done several marathons and both really espoused the benefits of carbon plated shoes - one had them and the other was waiting for a delivery.

If I ever get around to training for an actual marathon (not an ultra, as is my next big run) then I would consider them given I'd also be reaching for a sub 3hr. I need all the advantage I can get at my age!

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