The RW Takeaway: The CTM Ultra Carbon Race Rebel is a lightweight racer that’s race-day worthy.
- Ultralight midsole, upper, and outsole
- Developed with ultrarunner Tommy “Rivs” Puzey
- Carbon-fiber plate encourages a propulsive toe-off
Type: Road, racing
Weight: 6.9 oz (M)
Drop: 11 mm
Boldest statement of 2022 so far: The CTM Ultra Carbon Race Rebel is the breakout hit in the racing-shoe category. Last spring, ultrarunner and RW video editor Pat Heine-Holmberg tested Craft’s foray into carbon-plated shoes, the CTM Ultra Carbon. That road and light-trail model (best suited for nothing more technical than a gravel road) blistered his Achilles because of the high collar. Pat warned me about this before I laced up the Race Rebel for testing. The good news is my ankles are unscathed. Even better: The Race Rebel has earned its place on my shoe rack beside the Saucony Endorphin Pro, Brooks Hyperion Elite, and Asics Metaracer.
You might be asking, “What business does a Swedish brand known for its long underwear have entering the super-shoe ring?” Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, I say. Of the shoes I’ve raced in—Metaracer, Vaporfly, Endorphin Pro—the Craft feels the most stable. It’s supportive through tight turns, like the Hyperion Elite. The fit is dialed, with a collar that grips your heel and a tongue that doesn’t go askew midrace.
The shoe has a thin but ultraresponsive midsole and ultrathin rubber outsole; its weight is ultralight; and it was created in collaboration with ultrarunner Tommy “Rivs” Puzey. On the heel of the shoe is Rivs’s rebel yell, “Lets rage!” For us amateurs, it’s probably not enough shoe to get through an ultramarathon. But it’s blazing fast for local 5Ks or just logging hard tempos on my usual route. When I lace them up, I follow Rivs’s dictum like it’s my mission.