7 Best Carbon Plate Running Shoes Of 2024 To Avoid Injuries

Lightweight and perfect for those who love marathons or long walks and jogs.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Benjamin Gibson, PAHM, PharmD, Certified Functional Specialist Dr. Benjamin Gibson Dr. Benjamin GibsonPAHM, PharmD, Certified Functional Specialist linkedin_icon
Written by , MA (English) Priyam Gupta MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Edited by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Style & Image Consultant Srijani Roy Chowdhury MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Style & Image Consultant linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English) Asmita De MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
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Athletes and professional runners use shoes with lightweight carbon plates on the midsoles of their shoes. The best carbon plate running shoes ensure that you avoid injuries and stress while running long distances. People who run marathons or are professional runners are always searching for the perfect pair of running shoes with an ergonomic design that will enhance their performance.

But, the best carbon plate running shoes are no longer limited to just the professionals. Anybody that runs long distances for pleasure or cardio can wear these. These shoes are also suitable for fitness enthusiasts looking to avoid injuries, muscle tension, and foot pain during their run. Dr. Benjamin Gibson says “Leg stiffness improved in one study of 18 athletes as a result of the carbon plate of about 5%. Researchers didn’t see much changing in other ways of measuring muscle movement. In another study of 24 athletes the effect of spiked shoes and another type of running shoe with carbon plate were compared with each other. Again the carbon plate had an improvement between 2% and 4%. According to another study with Saucony Endorphin Pro it gave about a 1.5% benefit over a shoe without the carbon plate.” The market now has multiple brands that offer these kinds of shoes, and their demand has increased substantially. Selecting the best ones for yourself may get a little overwhelming.

To help you out on this quest, we have listed the top 7 carbon plate running shoes that have been closely reviewed for your convenience. So, go ahead and check them out now!

Top Picks
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Best Cushioning:Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 24 Running Shoe
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Best Snug Fit:Saucony Endorphin Pro Running Shoes
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Best Support: ASICS Women’s Magic Speed Running Shoes
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Best Endurance: HOKA ONE Carbon X2 Womens Shoes
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Best Lightweight:Brooks Hyperion Elite II Shoes
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Best For All Day Long Wear:361 Women’s Meraki 2 Running Shoe
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Best Breathable :PEARL IZUMI Women's Quest Road Cycling Shoe
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What Does The Carbon Plate Do In Running Shoes?

Carbon plates help in stabilizing the ankle of the runner by lessening the rotational force and, in turn, reducing the workload of the calves. The stiff carbon plate aids the foam in compressing and expanding rapidly, thus returning more energy to the runner. Moreover, the loss of energy is reduced efficiently as the carbon plate helps keep the runner’s toes straight.

7 Best Carbon Plate Running Shoes For An Effortless Gait

1. Best Cushioning:Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 24 Running Shoe

Make running feel easy as a breeze with the Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 24 Running Shoe. These running shoes with carbon plate offer great responsiveness with each step taken and are fitted with energy foam and breathable materials,. The midsole optimally reduces shock to the feet while providing a superior ride that is responsive and resilient at the same time owing to the springy cushioning. The wave plate fitted in this carbon fiber running shoe helps to disperse energy to the foot while creating an optimum balance, and the Smoothride technology offers smooth heel-to-toe transition. The reviews mention the product has ample toe room and cushioning for a comfortable running experience. The host of features makes these one of the top recommended running shoes.

Pros
  •  Rubber sole
  •  Superior cushioning
  •  Smooth transition
  •  Optimal shock reduction
  •  Responsive
  •  Lightweight

Cons
  •  The sole at the bottom begins to fall apart over time.
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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has received 1,064 reviews from customers on Amazon, indicating its popularity and reliability.

2. Best Snug Fit:Saucony Endorphin Pro Running Shoes

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Saucony Endorphin Pro Running Shoes Image: Saucony

Bolt away in speed with the Saucony Endorphin Pro Running Shoes. This pair of durable running shoes is equipped with the Speedroll technology that helps to achieve a propulsive ride forward to give you a faster gait. This pair of Saucony carbon plate shoes is for the performance-oriented runner as it is fitted with their signature S-curve carbon fiber plate. A single layer mesh upper ensures breathability and the super lightweight foam cushioning gives your stride a spring. These carbon fiber plate running shoes feature the Formfit technology, which offers a snug personalized fit with the powerful XT-900 outsole providing an optimal traction and durability.

Pros
  •  Rubber sole
  •  Lightweight
  •  Soft cushioning
  •  Breathable mesh upper
  •  Easy transitions

Cons
  •  Some might find the shoe sagging and leaning inwards.

3. Best Support:ASICS Women’s Magic Speed Running Shoes

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Train and race in the ASICS Women’s Magic Speed Running Shoes. The shoes perfectly combine overall support, snug comfort, and affordable pricing. This new design is suitable for those who want to experience the benefits of carbon-plated running shoes to push themselves to their best level. The guidesole technology and flytefoam blast sole provide the perfect landing zone for the feet, making it one of the best footwear for racing. The lightweight running shoes with carbon plate let you roll through your stride with the bounce provided by the midsole foam. The ahar outsole increases the durability of this neutral trainer. The design will help you intensify your speed without straining your feet. Multiple reviewers on Amazon recommend the shoes based on the softness of the insoles and the support they offer.

Product Dimensions: 12.44 x 6.3 x 4.75 inches | Weight: 1.44 Pounds.

Pros
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Shock absorption
  • Increased grip

Cons

None

protip_icon Did You Know?
Ideally, if you run regularly, a pair of running shoes should last 4 to 5 months, after which it should be replaced.

4. Best Endurance:HOKA ONE Carbon X2 Womens Shoes

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Get ready for a stable and energetic race with HOKA ONE Carbon X2 Womens Shoes. It has a carbon fiber plate and meta-rocker engineering that gives the shoe responsiveness and propulsive speed. The design of the shoes is adapted for training and racing. The light and soft foam and rubber sole ensure a snug fit and a soft and stable run, making it a must-have marathon running gear. The refined collar shape, TPU yarn, reinforcement around laces, notched tongue, and advanced mesh upper make the performance running shoes long-lasting.

Pros
  • Rubber sole
  • Lightweight
  • Soft cushioning
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Available in various colors and sizes

Cons
  • People with wide feet may experience issue with the arch.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Feet expand or swell throughout the day and are at their largest at night; that is when you should measure your shoe size for accuracy.

5. Best Lightweight:Brooks Hyperion Elite II Shoes

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Facilitate a faster sprint with the Brooks Hyperion Elite II Shoes, top-notch training shoes for runners. With a rubber sole at the bottom and a nitrogen-infused DNA Flash midsole, this lightweight shoe offers optimum energy return. This pair of comfortable running shoes with Brooks carbon plate provides an easy transition with each step you take and conserves energy to allow for a longer and faster run, owing to the propulsion plate attached. It has effective cushioning on the insole, breathable lining, strong lace-up closure, and plush tongue that adds up to the comfort quotient of this Brooks carbon plate shoe. Multiple reviewers mention the product is ideal for runners who want speed and stability.

Pros
  •  Rubber sole
  •  Lightweight design
  •  Easy transition
  •  Soft cushioning
  •  Breathable lining
  •  Plush tongue and collar

Cons
  •  Some users might experience rubbing at the back of the heel.

6. Best For All Day Long Wear:361 Women’s Meraki 2 Running Shoe

Pressure-free, seamless running is now made possible with the 361 Women’s Meraki 2 Running Shoe. This elite running shoe pair comes with a rubber sole at the bottom and a breathable mesh upper for a sleek fit. The midsole of this lightweight shoe is powered with qu!kfoam that provides an amazingly comfortable cushioning that lasts as long as the shoe does. These qu!k spine carbon plated running shoes offer a balanced and natural tow off and provide better acceleration by improving the ground contact. Additionally, the pressure-free design of the tongue makes for an irritation-free, comfortable all-day wear.

Pros
  •  Rubber sole
  •  Superior cushioning
  •  Breathable mesh upper
  •  Balanced tow off
  •  Improved tongue design

Cons
  •  Some may experience a slight discomfort at the ankles.

7. Best Breathable :PEARL IZUMI Women’s Quest Road Cycling Shoe

Foot fatigue will be a thing of the past with the Pearl Izumi Women’s Quest Road Cycling Shoe. This high performance pair of cycling shoes comes with 3 supple straps that help to keep the closure strong along with an adjustability that is easy-on-the-fly. These shoes with carbon plates offer a lightweight stiffness and durability. With a bonded mesh and heavily perforated upper and plush cushioning in the inner sleeve, you can be sure of breathability and all day comfort when you wear this versatile shoe. Moreover, the BioViz reflective element aids in visibility even in low light.

Number of Items: ‎1 | Material: ‎Mesh | Color: ‎Black/Black | Item Weight: ‎1.8 Pounds | Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎14 x 9 x 5 inches

Pros
  •  Breathable material
  •  Lightweight
  •  BioViz reflective elements
  •  Strong closure
  •  Easy adjustability

Cons
  •  The toe box might seem too tight for some.

Carbon fiber plate running shoes, a recent phenomenon in shoe trends, have taken the world of athletics by storm. It has improved the running economy by an average of 4%. But what are the things to consider before buying a carbon plate running shoe? Let us take a look below.

How To Choose A Carbon Fiber Plate Running Shoe

  •  Weight

Most running shoes are fitted with a very thin carbon fiber plate that helps the shoe to remain feather light to facilitate a faster and longer gait while also maintaining the durability of the shoe.

  •  Speed

Carbon fiber shoes mainly grabbed eyeballs with the running shoe reviews, which claimed that they helped in attaining faster running speeds. But one should also bear in mind the stress that would be incurred on the leg muscles. Therefore, select a pair of shoes that provides a steady momentum and makes you feel at ease even while running.

  •  Distance

The life of carbon fiber plate shoes isn’t very long if used in rigid conditions. Therefore, it should be paired with a strong, well-cushioned midsole if you like to do off-road running. In case of a trail run, a well-balanced shoe with a powerful grip should be selected.

  •  Cushioning

While carbon fiber plates help in propulsion of the feet, it is equally and more important to find a shoe with the right amount of cushioning. Ample cushioning in the shoes means that the feet get optimal support and are protected from injuries and pain.

  •  Grip

While runners need proper push at the feet for energy conservation, it is also important for them to wear shoes that have the correct fit and grip. This helps mostly in the case of a trail run when you can encounter unfavorable weather conditions like rain, sleet, etc. and lends protection from slipping.

The introduction of carbon fiber plates in running shoes is a pretty much novel technology, and athletes love these latest running shoe releases. But since it’s advent it has managed to stay in headlines for how effectively it has been able to raise the running speed. Let us have a look at the benefits that a carbon plate running shoe offers.

Benefits Of Carbon Plate Running Shoes

  •  Carbon fiber plates are stiff and practically lightweight and are attached to the soles.
  •  They provide a great thrust at the midsole, resulting in a longer and faster run.
  •  The plate is curved and bends slightly at the ball of the foot for optimal energy conservation.
  •  It helps in returning energy, especially at the ‘toe-off’, pushing the runner’s toes away from the ground.
  •  It provides a bouncy and springy effect when coupled with foamy midsoles.
  •  It reduces the rotational force to support the ankle joint, thus reducing the load on the calves.
  •  It helps keep the toes straight which in turn helps in maintaining balance.
  •  It aids in shock absorption that lessens the scope of injuries and pain while running.
  •  It provides optimum traction and helps maintain a steady gait.
  •  It helps provide flexibility and increases durability of the shoe.

The Bottom Line

If you run professionally or just stay active, the best carbon plate running shoes are a must for you. These specially designed shoes help to avoid injuries and offer proper stability. The carbon plate in the midsole of these shoes ensures that the foam expands and compresses properly to induce energy during a running session. Their main purpose is to conserve and return energy to enhance running performance. These designs were initially made by Nike, and since then, every brand has added this design to their product list. For a reliable and pleasant running experience, choose the Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 24 Running Shoe. For improved running performance, pick a pair of ASICS Women’s Magic Speed Running Shoes. and for lightweight and responsive qualities, choose the Brooks Hyperion Elite II shoes. The shoes on our list are lightweight and have great shock-absorbing qualities. They are flexible and made with breathable material that keeps your feet comfortable. Consider factors like speed, cushioning, and weight, and ensure to read the reviews before investing in these shoes.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author of this article, Priyam Gupta, is a fashion enthusiast who does not believe in compromising on style to get good functionality. She agrees that athletes and professional runners should use shoes with lightweight carbon plates on the midsoles of their shoes for better performance. She has sifted through thousands of reliable online reviews before curating the list for her readers. The carbon plate running shoes included in the list can be used by anyone who runs long distances.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do carbon-plated shoes make a difference?

Mostly yes. They help in the compression and expansion of the foam and give back energy to the runner, keeping the toe straight to reduce loss of energy, stabilize the ankle and lessen the workload of the calves by reducing the rotational force.

Do carbon-plated shoes make you run faster?

Yes, but it does so in addition to the optimal stiffness of the midsole, velocity of running, and the individual biomechanical differences of the runner. It also reduces fatigue levels and helps recover fast.

Are carbon plate shoes legal?

Yes. Running shoes with a single carbon plate and a midsole height not more than 40mm are legal.

How long do carbon plate running shoes last?

While a normal shoe with rubber fittings might last upto 500 miles or so, a carbon plate shoe might last 300 miles at the most.

Can slow runners benefit from carbon-plated shoes?

Yes, carbon-plated shoes can help individuals run faster by increasing energy return and decreasing fatigue rate.

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Dr. Benjamin Gibson
Dr. Benjamin GibsonPAHM, PharmD, Certified Functional Specialist
Dr. Benjamin Gibson is an award-winning multi-state licensed pharmacist and nutritionist published on PubMed. He is also a best-selling author, international podcast host, international newspaper reporter, and health coach.

Read full bio of Dr. Benjamin Gibson
Priyam Gupta
Priyam GuptaBeauty & Lifestyle Expert
The day Priyam learned that having strong opinions about everyday products can be a full-fledged writing career was the greatest day of her life. Partially driven by a passion for everything timeless, she likes to explore and recommend styles and makeup products that will endure the test of trends.

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Srijani Roy Chowdhury
Srijani Roy Chowdhury Associate Commerce Editor
Srijani is an associate commerce editor with a master's degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Calcutta, West Bengal. She is certified in makeup techniques and is also a certified style and image consultant.

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Asmita De
Asmita DeAssociate Editor
Asmita De is an associate editor with over three years of experience. She graduated in English Literature from the University of Calcutta. She has collaborated with several digital companies and reputed publishing houses as an editor.

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