7 Best Carbon Plate Running Shoes Of 2023 To Avoid Injuries

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

By Priyam GuptaPriyam Gupta  • 
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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 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 feet pain during their run. 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
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 Flexible Midsole:Nike Zoom Fly 3 Women’s Running Shoes
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Best Anti-Slip:Adidas Women’s Adizero Pro Running 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

Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 24 Running Shoe Image: Mizuno

Make running feel easy as a breeze with the Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 24 Running Shoe. Fitted with the energy foam, these running shoes with carbon plate offer great responsiveness with each step taken. 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.


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


  •  The sole at the bottom begins to fall apart over time.
Price at the time of publication: $100

2. Best Snug Fit:Saucony Endorphin Pro Running Shoes

Bolt away in speed with the Saucony Endorphin Pro Running Shoes. It 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. The Formfit technology of these carbon fiber plate running shoes offers a snug personalized fit with the powerful XT-900 outsole providing an optimal traction and durability.


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


  •  Some might find the shoe sagging and leaning inwards.
Price at the time of publication: $139.99

3. Best Flexible Midsole:Nike Zoom Fly 3 Women’s Running Shoes

Make performance and comfort go hand in hand with the Nike Zoom Fly 3 Women’s Running Shoes. These carbon fiber running shoes are apt for racing as they take inspiration from Vaporfly to offer maximum comfortability paired with durability and flexibility. As the stiff carbon fiber plate helps in the propulsion of the foot, you can maintain a faster stride for a longer time. The full-length midsole called the Nike React comes with a responsive and durable foam that helps to create a balanced and firm cushioning. Moreover, the transparent upper of these Nike carbon plate running shoes helps attain more speed, and the inner sleeve and low collar help the foot sit well in the shoe.


  •  Soft cushioning
  •  Responsive
  •  Lightweight
  •  Low collar for better fit
  •  Flexible midsole


  •  Some might find the toe box a bit tight.
Price at the time of publication: $249

4. Best Anti-Slip:Adidas Women’s Adizero Pro Running Shoes

The Adidas Women’s Adizero Pro Running Shoes are just the one for the athlete in you. It has been fitted with a breathable mesh upper called the Celeramesh that provides ample support and flexibility with perforations that allow for cool air to pass through. This pair of Adidas carbon plate running shoes provides an optimum stiffness for a stable ride and propels the foot forward. In addition to it, the boost midsole offers a soft, responsive cushioning that absorbs and expels energy for a bouncy effect that helps reduce fatigue while helping you run faster for a longer duration. Moreover, the laces on the upper lock the midfoot down to prevent in-shoe slippage and facilitate a joyful and distraction-free run.


  •  Rubber sole
  •  Breathable upper
  •  Responsive
  •  Soft cushioning
  •  Lightweight


  •  The fit of the toe box might be too tight for some.
Price at the time of publication: $121.96

5. Best Lightweight:Brooks Hyperion Elite II Shoes

Facilitate a faster sprint with the Brooks Hyperion Elite II Shoes. With a rubber sole at the bottom and a nitrogen-infused DNA Flash midsole, this lightweight shoe offers optimum energy return. This pair of Brooks carbon plate running shoes provides 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.


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


  •  Some users might experience rubbing at the back of the heel.
Price at the time of publication: $174.95

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. It 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.


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


  •  Some may experience a slight discomfort at the ankles.
Price at the time of publication: $144.88

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, 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.


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


  •  The toe box might seem too tight for some.
Price at the time of publication: $100

The recent phenomenon that is the carbon fiber plate running shoes has taken up 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 because 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. 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.

If you run professionally or just to 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 the running performance. These designs were initially made by Nike, and since then, every brand has added this design to their product list. The shoes in 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 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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