Each month we delve into a specific area of running gear and discuss our views on the topic. This month’s video is all about the world of carbon plate shoes, from what the market currently looks like to how we think the technology is going to develop over the coming months and years.
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To listen to the full Run Testers Podcast, click here:
Jump right in:
00:00 – Intro
00:43 – What are carbon plate running shoes?
02:44 – What does the market look like?
04:26 – Are they just for racing?
08:16 – The future of carbon plate running shoes
13:36 – What will people expect from carbon plate shoes?
18:42 – The price of carbon plate shoes
22:27 – How will super shoes evolve?
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Hey he told me for the Run testers in This video we are going to be talking About carbon plate running shoes so We're going to be discussing what the Market is looking like in terms of Complex used at the moment and what we Think is going to happen in the future When it comes to Super Shoes this video Was brought to you by our friends over At sayski and if you continue to watch The video you will get an online code That you can use for 15 off say ski Online stores so well worth watching the Video to get through to that right let's Dive in and see what we all had to say About carbon plate shoes [Music] [Music] All right guys so uh the different gear We're going to do this month is focused On carbon plate shoes main largely Around the future of complex shoes and What we think is going to happen to to Super Shoes uh in the coming months and Years it's an area of quite a bit debate Um with a lot especially in the comments People always talking about um Accomplished shoes and if you need them And all that sort of stuff Um but before we talk about the future Of them let's just for anyone listening To this who maybe isn't too clear on What a car plate shoe is and what you'd Use it for uh Nick do you want to give
Us a bit of an overview of what are Complex shoes Uh so complex shoes are generally Racing Shoes fast running shoes although that's Not always the case anymore but they Came about really after the Advent of The Nike vaporfly four percent which was Uh it came around in the Rio Olympics But had been used a little bit before That and it's basically it's literally a Car and play in a shoe which acts as a Lever as a spring but also stabilizes in General a soft stack of a very bouncy Phone that's the other key element of All carbon issues really is the midsole Foam which is usually a very bouncy foam That without the carbon plate would be a Bit sloppy and potentially not as quick Something like the Nike Invincible has a Super foam in it but without a carbon Plate and is an easy day shoe rather Than the racing shoe so the combination Of the foam and this carbon plate Basically creates boosts your efficiency On The Run doesn't make you faster it Makes you more efficient so you're Faster by virtue of being stronger and Fresher at the end of races and being Able to hold faster Paces more Efficiently Um and they have limits around them Because they were proof so successful in World Records started tumbling you can Only have a stack height of 40m
Millimeter in a race legal shoe and you Can only have one carbon plate in the Midsole because Browns will start to Experiment with putting a couple of Plates in to get even more propulsion From the shoes but yeah so a race level Shoe 40 millimeter stack height one Carbon plate more efficient ride faster Times [Music] All right so uh two three years ago Can't play shoes they it was pretty Clear there weren't that many of them it Was pretty clear what they were designed For and when people went to buy them you Sort of knew what you were you were Aiming for but that's not the case Anymore because there are a lot I can't Play shoes in the market it's pretty Confusing especially if you're new to Running or you've never used complex Shoes What would you say Mike is what what is The the complexity world looking like at The moment for people I mean it's busy I think you would Probably say uh arguably that pretty Much every major brand has a carbon Plate shoe in their collection or most Will have it you know particularly in Kind of a road kind of running point of View but we're also seeing it in trail Shoes as well Hawker and the North and The kind of North Face of I put in
Carbon fiber plates in their shoes as Well so it's kind of branching out to a Lot of different brands we're seeing Kind of smaller Brands as well embracing The technology as well too so it's well Spread it's obviously making that Decision between you know looking at What com fiber no shoe you should go for A little bit more challenging than what It was a few years ago where there's Probably only a few brands that we're Offering it in their shoes Yeah I'll say that I think the thing With chrome plate shoes is that Back in the old I remember when the Vapor fly was out and then uh that was Sort of like the one complex shoe that Everyone knew about and then Hawker Released the carbon X And people all thought that that was Like they just went oh this is cheaper So I'll buy that one because it you know They both can't play shoes Very different type of shoe altogether Now it's way more complicated because Complex shoes aren't really Um the same thing anymore [Music] Okay uh Kieran um one of the things that People often think about complex shoes Is that they're just for racing and People will just have a complexity for Getting PBS and running fast is that the Case still uh I think it's changing and
But I mean they often tend to be Designed for racing or I would kind of Say basically for running fast so Whether you're training kind of race Paces and Beyond that's kind of them Their remit it's often sort of down Really to how the the shoes designed Around the kind of midsole foam and the Carbon plate as well so you're looking At kind of strip back minimal uppers to Keep them lightweight you know not so Much kind of structure to the shoe not So much cushioning in the heel because All of those kind of things lend these Shoes to being Uh better for faster efforts or efforts Where you might want to put them on for A couple of hours and then not be Wearing them for long after so yeah They're often quite stripped back but I Think they're we're seeing more shoes Kind of uh I guess digress a little bit Things like you know you've got the Hooker Bond IX you know it's a it's a Bigger Max stack cushion shoe that has a Carbon plate I think some of the other Shoes that you see are great for racing Have more capabilities kind of lower Down the pace as well so on things like The under arm velocity Elite is probably A more uh capable shoe even when you're Doing kind of slower training runs I'd Say the soccer endorphin Elite as well And we're seeing uh I guess the you know
Uh the Endorphin Pro 3 I'd argue as well It's great for racing but you can do a Lot more in so I think there's more Versatility coming into play with the Carbon shoes the other thing that we saw With the early shoes I guess they were They were very expensive the early Vapor Flies were expensive and they weren't as Durable so people tended to keep them For racing or they should have done I Still saw people bounding down on Off-road River paths in Richmond wearing Them thinking that they're only going to Last like a few four runs if you do that But I think we're moving away from that I think they're going to start to be as As Nick kind of said earlier used for Things that the basically wider usage Yeah I definitely think that I mean we See we're seeing carbon plates being Used and used it probably two years ago You'd you'd never even dream of look at A lot of trail shoes now have calm Plates in um and the way that carbon Plates are uh marketed in those sorts of Shoes is very different than how that is Marketed in a ratio Um quite often in trail shoes that They're not really there Um for Speed they're more there for you Know efficiency and sometimes I've Noticed that the brands will mention Talk about them as being a sort of uh Efficiency thing but also double as a
Rock play as well which I find quite odd I think it's worth saying that comp Plates are very different across the Board basically can't break to meet Shoes are but you can't place I don't Think I ever are completely carbon Because they'll make them through Brittles they're always some kind of Composite a little bit there's different Ways of making them I think thermal Molding is the most expensive to make it The thinnest and stiffest it can be and Brands will often make carbon and TPU Composite plates to make them a bit Softer so and then like saying travel Shoes off in the carpetex plate which Again is I think some kind of mix of Materials to make it more flexible Because you don't want it to be too Stiff on the trails or in hawker's case They're dual plate instead of one Complete plane there might be three Quarter length plates so there's lots of Different plates forked plates it's Another plate uh or even energy rods if You're looking at Adidas but they all Usually perform the same role which is To create a propulsion but yeah we kind Of say can't play a shorthand for Everything and also within that I guess The other thing is the interplay with The foam right it's not just about the Card and play it's about how it works Alongside the foam and that changes
Everything as well so yeah I think we Use sort of carbon races as the as the Shorthand for it but there's more going On that changes the feel of each of These shoes well exactly that's what I Was saying with the the Hocker carbon X That was just you know just saying I Can't blatant everyone thought oh great It's the same as a vapeflight but yeah There's a lot more there's a lot more to It than those tissues [Music] All right well let's let's jump into What we think is going to happen we Can't play shoes in the future so Um over the next year or so what what Are we expecting or what are you guys Expecting from Um complex shoes Nick do you want to Tackle this one sure yeah so it's a Really interesting time of confused Because they basically have hit a limit Because there is a literal limit set by World Athletics so they want to make Race legal shoes and we're never going To see the jump we saw from your Whatever you were racing in beforehand Like the AES Boston to the Nike Vapor Fly four percent so from there they Increased the stack that was the easiest Way to increase the performance of the Shoe they hit 40 millimeters is now a Limit and now you are into tweaking like I talked to an argue out at the event
Saying you know they're very confident There's loads we can still do we can Tweak the plate we can tweak the phones But it is we are talking tweaking I Think one of the potentially interesting Areas came out from the Mizuno Wave Rebellion Pro this year where they had That huge heel cut out which allowed for Some slightly playful interpretation of The rules I'd say in terms of Stack Heights because the heel wasn't that High and there was a very big stack in The mid foot and things like that so I Think we're going to see more attempts Like that to kind of engineer the Midsole to try and create different Rides there's gonna be a lot of talk About Foams and I just I think we're Back to the point when you know everyone Used to deliver ratios of an insane Amount of hype saying this is the best Shoe ever like yeah yes adios was like Two percent better mother's shoes and Things like that and the Nike just Changed everything a little bit The Vape Fly by you know really living up to all That Hyperbole and exaggeration around The adverts but I think we're probably Now back to stage where we're going to See a lot of very big claims that Probably Are only going to result in very minor Improvements in performance like I think I think within the limit that's been set
Now you can play with it you can play With the midsole shape you can start Finding better and better phones lighter Phone for the same energy return I don't know what you can actually do I Actually think the vaporfly 3 is another Interesting area where they might go Which is actually a bit of regression in Some ways in that they made it we've all Seen a little bit less durable than it Used to be and I think maybe brands are Going well actually we're going to start Sacrificing things a bit more like Outsoles to Crown more foaming and Things like that because it's very hard Now to improve on something when you've Got they've all got pretty most bands Have got great Foams they've all hit 40 Millimeters most of them they've all got A well-designed carbon plate How much can you do now without you know Breaking them the race rules okay yeah It feels like yeah it feels like you Know trying to find that extra margin That little extra gain I think is going To require you know there's only so much You can do with a shoe without Compromising it and you know making it Appear in other areas so I think that's That's gonna be a massive challenge for Kind of all brands that are trying to You know take the foundations of what We've already kind of achieved with Carbon shoes and try to make them even a
Little bit better [Music] So Nick you're a man who likes fancy Running clothes Certainly do certainly do love a bit of Fancy running gear uh makes the run for That a little bit more special well You'll be glad to know that this episode Of the podcast is sponsored by sayski And uh for all the listeners and viewers Of the podcast they will get a discount Code which we will uh Let them know about in a few seconds After we've after we've spoken for a Little bit uh let's say Skye or say ski It doesn't really matter does it well According to according to the brand they Don't mind I think say sky is seems to Be the phonetic way to to say it but um Yeah they're not bothered there's Actually a page on the website that uh That says they don't care how you Pronounce it so which is good because we Get criticized a lot on the channel for Saying things wrong so that's nice well Yeah so anyone listening to this Planning on commenting on a Mispronunciation the brand that mind So how much do you know about say skinny I know a lot about I use a lot of their Running gear test a lot of their running Gear it's exciting stuff it's good stuff It comes out a lot of new different Designs uh regularly throughout the year
Across a series of quite core uh pieces That I use quite a lot especially the Two-in-one shorts which have a lot of Storage which I'm a big fan of use those For most of my training runs to be Honest well did you know that the CEO And co-founder Lars Peterson started as A pro Windsurfer before setting up the Round I I didn't know that I will admit that I'll hold my hands up on that there you Go so apparently the idea was that he Wanted to take the the relaxed fun style Of windsurfing as a sport and and take It into the running world Lovely nice idea isn't it Um but that sort of follows on with one Of the brand uh ethos is which is Focusing on what they call everyday Heroes so these are these are Runners That aren't Elite level Runners Sub Elite level Runners and sort of ticking The boxes for everyone that wants to get Into running not just for people that Want you know the elite level kit Although they they do cover that as well Well yeah I think it's across the brand All the gear is very high performance Stuff but it is quite functional like I Say with those shorts it does carry a Lot of gear which uh you will need if You're not you know being supported by Someone carrying your phone and all your Fueling for you yeah well should we
Should we give the uh should we give the Code out to the listeners yeah we Promised it so we should promised it Yeah so that that code is trt15 and That'll get you 50 off at uh safety Schools globally so don't worry about Where you live because you'll still be Able to use that discount Enjoy it enjoy the code and enjoy Pronouncing it any way you want yeah go Crazy All the way So Mike what what do you think we're Going to see a shift Um in the coming months and years of What people actually expect from their Carbon plate shoes I think I think the more the more that These shoes are out there the more these Brands are learning the more that they Can see how people are using them see What are the benefits see what other you Know things they can get from issues so I think as I said I think we've we've Got to a point with issues where we We've seen real kind of positive in Terms of them being then people using Them from a wide range of Runners as Well so I feel that the more brands are Using these kind of Innovations and Embracing it we can kind of see that Potentially there could be changes in Terms of how they're using and how People use them in terms of their
Running and their racing as well yeah I I think the biggest thing for me is as You say Nick it's all about tweaking now But I think when it comes to like on Blade shoes the question of durability Is getting asked more and more now so I Think what what for me it's it's going To be the actual performance isn't going To change that much but the quote the The you know the the the ability for it To last longer than it actually does is Gonna is gonna be a big Focus if you Imagine a vape fly that can handle you Know 600 kilometers without losing any Of this the squish that's a that's a big Improvement on that shoe Um and I'll say counter that though but If you Market to certain people who went To them and go this year only lost 100K But it's a better performer I think People would probably buy that yeah well I guess so the other side of that is Probably that you've got a lot of these Shoes that are coming out like then the Soccer endorphin Speed 3 which are very Versatile shoes but it's not because the Shoe itself is comparable with some of The top line Super Shoes maybe modifying Those shoes to be even better when it Comes to racing and having a true All-rounder for race day might be might Be where where things would go there's There's another challenge coming down The line as well and it's probably not
Going to happen in the next couple of Years but it was being thought about but Sustainability is going to be a huge uh Change within the issues at some point Brands are going to have to find a way To make sustainable phones Good bio-based materials that actually Work and I think there's ortholite have Come up with um a phone called Circle Which is Essentially uh it comes from Plants it Can be uh returned to kind of compost at The end of it don't quite know whether Or not it's actually going to live up to Some of the Foams that we've got now but They are going to have to whether they Make the shoes more durable whether they Find a way to bring good quality Sustainable materials into the shoe I Think they're going to have to do that I Mean the carbon plate itself and the Components of the carbon shoes make that A very even more complicated kind of Puzzle to solve than than other shoes as Well because you've got more components In the complex itself it's a tricky one But I do think that's going to have to At some point that's going to be Something that these kind of shoes will Have to wrestle with and also I think as Runners we're going to probably have to Wrestle with it and with our own Consciences as well eventually I think Puma one of Puma's peel the Foams is is
Caster bean oil but I don't know how Recyclable it is but yeah that's Definitely true to say I think carbon Might be the last area they hopefully They'll start reforming their daily Trains I guess would be their first Target and things like that but Eventually like you say everything's Gonna hit that but I think actually one I meant to say in terms of improvement I Think one area that potentially could be A massive massive area for complex shoes And races in general is personalization In the future like you see Elites Talking about the shoes like Ali Kapchovia getting the outer flies tuned Very much to what he wants from it and Someone like uh bekayla Kennedy doesn't Like using it doesn't feel like it works For him and Elites get a lot of say About the shoe I think brands have Always been working on this the idea of You can customize shoes they all talk About 3D printing maybe helping with This but basically a new system or Something of determining what works you Best from accommetry what drops works Best for you what kind of rocker and Down the line maybe we'll all start Getting a league level personalization In our shoes to get the perfect racing Shoe for you know someone like me a very Shuffly heel striking High Cadence Runner compared to someone who's a big
Bounding flowing Runner Asics you know Started this a little bit with the edge And the Sky Plus but hasn't really Doesn't that doesn't really deliver the Level of customization that has worked Out but I think that might be something That we see in the future okay Nike Actually mentioned something with the Launch of the The Vapor 3 I think it was Where they actually said to me that they Can already kind of do anyone I can Describe as like a cut and shut which is When you kind of illegally smash two Cars together to make them look like one That have been in a wreck but anyway They they can take the uppers and fuse Them to midsole so you could you can Already sort of potentially choose your Upper that you like so you know Interestingly with the adios Pro if you Don't like the old apples but you like The strong uppers maybe you can choose The the midsole unit with a different up But those kind of things could be Interesting and Brooks I think also Mentioned about the idea of um this kind Of uh spectrum of stability so you know Rather than just having stability shoes And then shoes for everyone else that Everyone needs a little bit of stability Different levels and maybe that will Become a little bit more fine-tuned as Well foreign [Music]
Cool all right well Um let's look at pricing and costs so I Think anybody listening to this podcast Is probably aware that the price of Shoes especially the high the higher Tier shoes especially the Super Shoes is Getting pretty high I think shoes are Getting expensive now and it's quite Rare to find a complex shoe that is well Priced or Um yeah if you're looking for the top The top ratios you're looking upwards of 200 pounds at the moment do you think Akira now this one to you do you think It's having up to a point where complex Shoes have become so normalized that There are actually really good Cost-effective complex shoes are you are There any at the moment well I mean are There any good ones I don't know there Are some cheap ones there's a 361 flame For like 160 I think it is yeah I mean For me the best way to get a good carbon Shoe is to go old generation some of Those are still really good that I think That just you know particularly sort of Vapor Flies and stuff I I my fear is That they will just keep layering on a Premium and you know in tandem with what Nick was saying about kind of people Talking about sort of these margins of The shoes getting better and they'll Still sort of be marketing them as the Kind of this and that with the extra
Incredible sense and they'll just keep Making a more expensive I'm not sure Yeah maybe one of the smaller Brands Will come in with a good shoe and say Actually we'll do it uh budget but I Think if you look into the major brands I I think this is where they you know This is their premium place so I don't See them Doing any knockdowns personally but I Think I think that you know you've got I Think there are a couple I think you Know you look at the asset at the Asics Magic speed which I think it you know is It's still expensive but it's it's Falling a little bit in terms of the Price in terms of the other kind of Carbon plates is that complex is that Complete or a non-up play The magic speed three will have a carbon Plate yeah yeah Um and then I think Puma is being pretty Aggressive with their pricing I think as Well in terms of what they're doing with Their shooting at shoot range so I think There are there will I feel that there Will be but I still think it's still Going to be a little bit more of a Premium at least for a bit but it feels That brands are trying to be a bit more Aggressive at pricing but a lot of the Big names are still getting high high in Terms of how much you're gonna have to Pay for those top tier shoes I can't
Believe it'll keep working though Because the market is so old now and I Don't know I every time I tested you got Into USA like maybe they're a little bit Better but I've never I've not found one That I would buy for a 250 quid over a 120 pound paper fly in the sale it's Just I mean I bought a pair of comp Let's use larger than 100 pounds the Alpha fly Originals because I wanted the Blue ones I don't know I know people Will always buy the newest one but they Cut they can't just whack out a 300 Pound shoe when you can buy the older Gem and it's so much you know so close To the standard that said everything's Getting more expensive I paid two pounds For crumpets today so How many only six like it's a small Supermarket but I mean it's Crumpet Should be 35p beans in my Co-op are one Pound 70. it's gonna be outrageous it's Absolutely I had a big pack of crisps Every night That's not that's not the point of Making it I shouldn't be eating the Crisp but I could always find reliably One set of crisps set of crisps one set Of carbon crisps could be a pound it's Because you're going to places where You're buying sets of crisps Even insane like a pound 75 for Sensations come on come on all right Back to the running
Um so every podcast yeah that's true we Are getting stung on some of the shoe Price it's so annoying when you do the Shoe review and you go and in the US This is free and in the UK it's 300 Pounds [Music] Uh right last question uh this is over To all of you uh and it's not just about Complies it's about Super Shoes in General so what do you think is going to Be the next big evolution of Super Shoes Is there going to be a new type of Technology that sort of drives uh the Next the next phase of Super Shoes Forward I shot my load earlier by saying the Personalization thing if there's one Thing that could possibly make a big Difference it's that otherwise I think Everyone's gonna have a shoe with a big Heel cut out like the mizuna wave William Pro and try that as a as a way Of improving you and I'm going to repeat Myself I think the most important thing I'm going to get on a big kind of high Horses if I think the most important Thing that has to be done is to make the Shoes more sustainable and by that make Them more durable basically you know the Best shoe for the environment is the one You already own rather than one you go And buy and replace so I think that's a Huge Challenge and I I expect to see
More and more messaging around kind of Um Environmentally friendly kind of Performance shoes maybe not in the next Couple years but coming down the line How sustainable they actually are will Be up for grabs but I definitely think That we'll see him being marketed as Such right and I already know what Mike Is yeah flashing lights on the side yeah I love your opportunities I feel like We're going literally underwater before Any brand takes anything That's it from us thanks a lot for Watching don't get to like subscribe Click the little bell and don't forget To use your discount for the say ski Online store also if you want to listen To this video as a podcast you can do That and the link is below in the Caption thanks a lot catch you next time [Music]