After nearly 2 years of triathlon and running training, the time has come to invest in my first pair of Carbon Plate running shoes!
Being located in Boulder, Colorado for a month I had no shortage of running stores to visit, so embarked on a trip to narrow down my selections to something that can deliver high performance, while also being extremely comfortable.
Being a Nike fan from way back (and currently owning a pair of Pegasus 39s to run in), i desperately wanted to get a pair of Vaporfly’s, but unfortunately the fit and the response when testing them out left me underwhelmed, and almost as quickly as it began, the dream of a Nike pair of carbon running shoes was over for now!
The staff at Running Roost in Boulder helped me explore a number of shoes – from Hoka’s to New Balance, Asics and Saucony, I got to try on, walk around in, and treadmill test them all. For me, the Saucony’s felt far superior from the outset – they offered great general support, had a decent amoubt of cushioning, and were responsive and delivered great propulsion when running on the treadmill (where some of the others felt dead).
Colour wise, they are definitely not a pair of shoes for those wishing to “blend in”! They are called ”Prospect Quartz” by the manufacturer, but are essentially bright pink, with a mesh appearance that features gold sparkly flecks, and gold and white highlights throughout.
I handed over my money (a cool $225 USD plus taxes), and headed out the door, eager to try these new pink beauties on in the real world!
The Real Test – Putting Some Miles On The Shoes
As is typical of my impulsive nature, once I bought the shoes I started looking at reviews, and despite overall positive feedback, there were a lot of comments on the shoes causing heel blisters, which had me worried. While I am yet to run more than 18km in a single session, I am pleased to say I have had no blisters as of yet.
Performance wise, I couldn’t be happier with the shoes. The responsiveness of the S-Curve carbon plate, coupled with the improved foam cushioning makes for a comfortable and impressive run experience. I have used the shoes for half a dozen training runs so far and for the 2022 Boulderthon 10km race (where I posted a 3min PB in my first race at 1700m altitude). I will also be lacing them up in a few weeks for the 2022 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in St George.
While I am yet to run a half marathon or marathon in these shoes, first impressions are that they are a fantastic shoe, albeit at the top end of pricing for running shoes in 2022 – for anyone looking at stepping into a first carbon plated shoe, I highly recommend giving them a go. While I am not a running guru or a shoe expert by any means, I also see these as being a great fit for experienced runners looking for an improved version of past Saucony shoes (like the Endorphin Pro/Speed 2) or for those looking at something that is forgiving yet high performance.