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The best running shoes with a carbon plate

If your pockets are deep enough – and your running goals are strong enough – these are the shoes to help you race at your best

best running shoes carbon plate

Running shoes with a carbon fibre plate in them are here to stay, whether you like it or not (and chances are you do, especially if chasing a PB). A technological advancement in running shoe tech, born out of the Nike Breaking 2 project, now has pretty much every running shoe brand producing carbon plate running shoes – though not all are created equal and they most certainly don't perform the same.

The shoes listed below, unless otherwise stated, are designed for racing longer races from half marathon onwards. That's not to say that they won't feel good on a gentle 5K plod, but it's not what they are ultimately designed for, so the recommendations are based upon use at pace, in longer races.

Why is pace important? When you run fast (whatever fast may be to you), you run with greater efficiency and these shoes are built to enhance that efficiency, so that's when you get the most benefit from them.

Carbon plate running shoes all sit around the 40mm stack height (the max height for a shoe stack as set by World Athletics), which is a lot of foam/shoe. This means that if you're a minimal shoe wearer or just someone who likes to 'feel' the ground when running, these might not be for you, as there is a certain amount of disconnect that takes place with any larger shoe. This is not to say that you'll be stomping around unable to feel your feet on the ground, but there is a degree of instability that comes with a larger shoe.

The shoes have been tested by a variety of runners of all shapes, size and ability over a wide range of distances, but focused primarily on the marathon.

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1 Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2
Nike nike.com.uk
£224.95
2 Adizero Adios Pro 2.0 Shoes
Adidas adidas.co.uk
£180.00
3 Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% Flyknit
nike nike.com.uk
£269.95
4 FuelCell RC Elite v2
New Balance newbalance.co.uk
£210.00
5 Metaspeed Sky
ASICS asics.com.uk
£225.00
6 Brooks Hyperion Elite 2
Brooks runnersneed.com
£125.00
7 Hoka Carbon X 3 Running Shoes
Hoka sportsshoes.com
£159.99
8 Men's Endorphin Pro 2
Saucony saucony.com
US$160.00
9 Deviate Nitro Elite Racer
puma puma.com
US$160.00
10 Cloudboom Echo
On on-running.com
£169.99
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