In today's world, running shoes boast a combination of innovative features tailored to each runner's unique needs [2]. Think shoe weight and longitudinal stiffness for enhancing running economy (RE), diverse midsole hardness and upper construction for optimal comfort, or slimmer midsoles and reduced heel-toe drops for injury prevention [2].

Let's dive into some key aspects! The Carbon-Plated Craze: 

Revolutionizing running shoes carbon-plated running shoes have taken the athletic world by storm, thanks to their potential to elevate your running game. These shoes are equipped with a carbon fiber plate nestled within the midsole, promising a range of perks. Although individual reactions to carbon-plated shoes can vary, research generally backs up these benefits:

  1. Supercharge Your Running Economy: Numerous studies reveal that carbon-plated running shoes can bolster running economy - the energy expense of sustaining a steady pace [3]. This boost could mean better race results, especially over long distances.
  2. Energize with Enhanced Energy Return: Carbon fiber plates are renowned for their rigidity and feather-light nature. When incorporated into a running shoe's midsole, they can capture and release energy more effectively than conventional foam materials, helping to combat fatigue during long-distance runs (Barnes & Kilding, 2015).
  3. Propel Yourself Forward: Acting like a lever, the carbon fiber plate launches you forward. As your foot hits the ground, the plate bends and swiftly reverts to its initial form, generating a propulsive force that supports forward movement [4].

I personally LOVE the ASICS Metaspeed Sky +, the shoe is one of four carbon-plated shoes now produced by ASICS (the others being an updated Metaspeed Edge+ and older Metaspeed Sky and the Metaspeed Edge). The Metaspeed Sky is for runners who extend their stride to speed up (remember our last blog?), but retain an even cadence, while the Metaspeed Edge is for runners who extend their stride while also quickening up their cadence. The shoe utilises Asics’ Flytefoam Turbo foam – its lightest and bounciest ASICS's foam to date. 

Research [1] backs up the hype, highlighting that wearing these shoes can significantly boost running economy by 0.9–4.9% (with an average of around 3.5%), as demonstrated by reduced VO-2 levels. This translates to one simple truth: YOU CAN RUN FASTER JUST BY SLIPPING ON THESE SHOES! Sounds like a dream come true, right?

The Sky+

From my own experience, I can attest to the game-changing nature of carbon-plated shoes-specifically METASPEED SKY+. Imagine strapping mini trampolines to your feet - that's the level of springiness these shoes provide. Running at top speed becomes almost effortless. So why not give carbon-plated running shoes a try and discover the difference for yourself?

Remember, individual responses to carbon-plated running shoes can differ. Factors like running style, biomechanics, and personal preferences can all influence how a runner experiences and gains from these shoes. Additionally, some research points to potential injury risks due to altered running mechanics linked to carbon-plated shoes [5]. Thus, it's crucial to select the right shoe based on your specific needs and, if necessary, consult with a professional.

In our next blog, we will dive into understanding the term "heel-toe drops" in running shoes, and explain how it effects running economy and biomechanics.


[1] A comparison of running economy across seven highly cushioned racing shoes with carbon-fibre plates 2022

[2] Hoitz et al., 2020

[3] Hoogkamer et al., 2018

[4] Bonacci et al., 2021

[5] Roche et al., 2020

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Barak Gahtan

PhD student in computer science, Technion from Haifa

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Yoga / Pilates Strength Training marathon 10k

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