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Carbon Plated Shoes for Solo Workouts

Published on October 7, 2020

It was a running shoe revolution. New carbon plated shoes hit the pavement. The first was the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% and many soon followed from other shoe brands. Average times in marathon events were dropping and more and more runners started to race in them with significant personal best times. Competition heated. Nike released the improved Nike Zoomx Vaporfly Next % racer. There were variations such as Saucony’s Endorphin Speed with a nylon plate, and New Balance’s training model Fuelcell TC. It was a new world of long distance running with new and better technology similar to that found in cycling, soccer and other sports. The new technology has changed running forever. The first time I tried on a pair I thought, “Wow this is how my legs felt 15 years ago!”  

The demand has slowed down somewhat due to the Covid pandemic and postponement of running events. They are more expensive and there is the concern they would wear out too fast due to the light materials. Carbon plated shoes were thought of as reserved for only racing.

There are no races, only virtual events and surprisingly carbon plated shoes remain popular. There is a segment of runners that are currently demanding carbon plated shoes for workouts. Here is why. 

A master runner in his 50s recently ran a 2:50 virtual marathon on his own. I asked him how he became so fit and he said he’s been training in his Zoomx Vaporfly Next % carbon plated shoes. He said he can train more, recovers faster after long runs and is less tired. I was surprised. He ran over 600km in his Next Percent’s which turned out to be much more durable than thought. With carbon plated shoes you can train more, fewer aches and pains, and run faster; a running fountain of youth.

During the pandemic with reduced group size limitations it’s not as easy to workout on your own. We have all experienced how much easier it is to run in a group and achieve a higher quality workout. Running on your own requires more motivation, and a lightweight pair of speedy shoes propelling you forward makes you feel good.

There are physical and motivational benefits of working out in Carbon plated shoes:

Solo speedworks – Carbon plated shoes help you run faster and once you’re used to running faster, you are encouraged by your speed and it reinforces even faster running.

Speedwork in the rain – You are not stopped by rainy or cold weather because you feel light on your feet and you get the workout done. Lighter shoes soak up less water and stay lighter.

Solo long runs – If you are running on your own and your average pace is faster that is exciting. Better long distance runs are motivation for the next run.

Long run in the rain – It’s raining, it’s pouring, it’s not easy to run on your own. It’s easy to run in a shoe that puts pep in your step. 

Recovery from long runs – You feel the road less and are less fatigued after a long run. Carbon plated shoes turn some of the impact of landing on a hard surface back into forward motion instead into your legs. Your recovery is faster.

Ability to run more km per week – If you are less tired, less fatigued you can run more miles per week and you will achieve a higher fitness level. 

Carbon plated shoes are very limited in supply but there are now several options available at Forerunners:

Hoka Carbon X – middleweight trainer

New Balance Fuelcell RC – light faster shoe

New Balance Fuelcell TC – middleweight trainer

Nike Zoomx Vaporfly Next % – light faster shoe

Saucony Endorphin Pro – light faster shoe

Saucony Endorphin Speed – light faster shoe (nylon plate)

Running events, races and run clinic workouts will return. Stay healthy and stay fit. Carbon plated shoes are another way to keep you motivated and running strong.

Read more about Carbon Plated Shoes Here.


Carey Nelson
Co-Owner - Forerunners Main Street & Clinic Director (2007)


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