The Best Carbon-Plated Supershoes Of 2024

Men’s Health’s pick of 2024’s best carbon-plated supershoes

Super lightweight, ultra-responsive and carbon-plated. Supershoes have it all. These are the best of them.

THE PERFORMANCE FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY has come a long way since the release of the very first supershoe back in 2017: the Nika Alphafly 4%. At the time, the addition of a carbon plate in a running shoe’s already thick-stacked midsole was revolutionary thinking. Couple this with the fact that the shoe became favoured by high-profile competitive athletes (before regulations could be brought into place to limit their use) and that they had research-proven benefits for performance, and it’s easy to see why carbon-plating caught on.

Nowadays, every major athletic apparel and footwear brand boasts a marquee line of supershoes. Some of these shoes are proven to increase energy return and can genuinely make running easier. Others have less scientific backing. Cut-throat one-upmanship has defined the age of supershoes. Many are designed to appear innovative to the untrained eye with aesthetic features like a ridiculously large stack height, tonnes of foam, or a dangerously lightweight construction, without actually possessing any performance boosting qualities. In practice, these shoes are flimsy, unsupportive and due to a lacklustre carbon plate, they won’t survive the rigour of a long run and are basically single-use.

With such inconsistency between every line of supershoes, it can be difficult to navigate the market. That’s where we come in. These are the best new carbon-plated supershoes that will actually improve your performance.

Asics Metaspeed Edge+

Best SupershoesAsics raises the bar with the MetaSpeed Edge+, a shoe designed for precision and peak performance. Engineered with an innovative carbon plate and FF BLAST Turbo technology, these shoes offer optimal energy return, bounce and propulsion. The lightweight and breathable upper provides a snug fit, while the precision-designed sole enhances stability. The MetaSpeed Edge+ is a game-changer for runners seeking a competitive edge, be it in a fun run or a marathon.


New Balance SuperComp Elite v4


New Balance SC Elite v4The SC Elite v4 is a race day shoe that represents the culmination of years of innovation at New Balance. With a lightweight construction, powerful energy-returning technology and an ergonomic design, the SC Elite is a force to be reckoned with. The SC Elite’s FuelCell midsole is crafted with 100% PEBA foam, not only ensuring ridiculously precise responsiveness but also a firm platform for every stride. Energy return is where the SC Elite shines. By optimising the distribution of force and maximising the storage and release of energy, the shoes boast a level of responsiveness that borders on the supernatural. According to New Balance’s sports research lab, the SC Elite can deliver 87 per cent energy return, a 4 per cent increase on its precursor.

Read our full review of the SC Elite here.



Adidas Adizero Prime X 2.0 Strung


SupershoesThe latest Adizero Prime is a racing shoe that you actually won’t be allowed to use in a race. World Athletics prohibits the use of shoes with a stack height of more than 40mm and the Prime X 2.0’s stack height is 50mm. Not to matter, Adidas doesn’t mind and neither should you – if all you want is to hit a new PB, that is. Adidas proudly proclaims that the Prime X 2.0 was “designed without the constraints of world race regulations”. That much is clear upon first glance, with three layers of Lightstrike Pro foam, a powerful energy core, and an eminently grippy outsole.



Nike Alphafly 3

Best SupershoesThe original Alphafly was so revolutionary that athletic organisations had to change the regulations on which shoes were allowed in races. Nike have redesigned subsequent iterations, but they haven’t lost an iota of effectiveness. The newly released Alphafly 3 has built on its predecessors’ innovations with a design fine-tuned for marathons. Two AirZoom bubbles provide an added boost with every stride, a ZoomX midsole delivers all the bounce you need, and of course, a full-length carbon plate completes the propulsive ensemble.



On Cloudboom Echo 3

Best SupershoesThese kicks are more like turbo boosters than shoes. The Cloudboom Echo 3 is On’s premier running shoe. The shoe is extremely lightweight, weighing in at a maximum of 215 grams (about as much as a Granny Smith apple, if that helps visualise it). What’s more, the shoe’s carbon plate (dubbed a Speedboard by On) and rocker shape are designed to give you an extra lift during any fast-paced challenge.


Hoka Rocket X2

It’s no secret that Hoka makes some of the best running shoes in the game, and as you’d expect, that sort of know-how extends to supershoes. Hoka implements carbon plates in a few different product lines, but the Rocket X2 stands out as the best of the illustrious bunch. Here, the carbon plate’s geometry is remastered, sandwiching it between two layers of ultra-responsive PEBA foam. Meanwhile, the synthetic mesh upper is designed to be foot-hugging, ensuring stability and comfort.


Reebok Floatride Energy X

Reebok has only recently joined the supershoe space, premiering the Floatride Energy X in 2023. Dependable, durable and effective, the Floatride Energy 5 has everything you want in a running shoe with a breathable upper, roller shape for a smooth ride, and the all-important carbon plate – and they’re currently on sale, so scoop them up quickly. A small footnote here though, the Floatride Energy X’s carbon plate only covers its front half. So, it’s only half a supershoe, if you want to get technical.


Puma Deviate Nitro Elite 2

Assuredly, Puma’s Deviate Nitro Elite 2 has a carbon plate – and quite an impressive one at that – but it’s not the shoe’s main draw. That honour belongs to its Nitro Elite foam technology, which contributes to one of the most responsive constructions on the market. The Deviate Nitro Elite 2 also makes use of coveted PUMAGRIP tech for reliable traction on all surfaces – an all-rounder of a running shoe.


Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite 2

Under Armour’s one and only line of carbon-plated shoes lives up to the mighty expectations bestowed upon an only child. Whether you’re pushing for a marathon or simply slogging out an extended effort, the Flow Velociti Elite 2 has the explosive propulsion you need to be performing at your best. Under Armour also understands the importance of a weight reduction for these longer runs. The shoe’s rubber outsole has been entirely dispensed of in favour of an even lighter feel. That’s not to say you’ll be struggling for traction, however, with durable grip slits carved into the foam midsole serving in lieu of a regular outsole.



Saucony Endorphin Pro 4

One could only expect Saucony – a prolific footwear provider if there ever was one – to deliver one of the best carbon-plated supershoes the public can get their hands on. The Endorphin Pro 4 is a race-ready shoe, with plush cushioning, a responsive rebound, and masterful step-in comfort.





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By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

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