Scott Speed Carbon RC Review | Carbon Plate Road Running Shoes
Scott have been making sports gear using carbon fibre since 1989 when Greg Lemond used carbon aero handle bars on his road racing bike to help him win the 1989 Tour de France. Scott first put a carbon plate in a running shoe in 2007.
The Scott Speed Carbon RC one of the new breed of road racing shoes that uses a carbon plate inside the shoes to help the runner go faster. Scott has built on 10 years of R and D to design this shoe. It is designed to give you more energy back than you put in.
The energy return comes from the Carbitex DFX carbon fibre plate. This is unique in that it is dynamically flexible. It responds to the force the runner applies. So, as you increase the speed you are running the plate gets stiffer. When walking the carbon fibre plate is flexible. So, it gives you the power and efficiency when you need it and the ease of movement when you don’t.
Scott running shoes have always had eRide. This is a rocker in the shoe that is designed to increase cadence and maintain posture. The Evolved Rocker 2 that has been used to create the geometry of the Speed Carbon RC is the result of 10 years of using this technology. By maintaining good posture and a quick cadence you are able to run quicker, run for longer and use less energy.
The midsole is made from Kinetic Light Foam. This has more rebound than the foam Scott current use in their running shoes, is lighter and softer. However, it is just as durable. The Scott Speed Carbon RC weighs in at 240 grams for a sample size UK 8 and is 5mm from heel to forefoot. The first thing you notice when putting the shoes on is how light the upper is. The heel has an internal plastic heel cup. The padding on the inside of the heel has been kept to a minimum. The tongue is gusseted which helps pull the upper around your foot. The top of the tongue has been shaped so that is takes the shape of your ankle. This makes the upper feel almost like it isn’t there.
When you walk in the Speed Carbon’s you are unaware of the carbon plate in the midsole. The shoes cushioning is a bit softer than other Scott shoes but, other than that they feel just the same. When you start to jog they do feel a little bit stiffer but, not a lot. Essentially at a slow pace they feel just like a well cushioned training shoe. When you start to get up to a steady running pace this is when you notice the shoe get stiffer which gives a good platform for you to push off from and run fast.
As well as the carbon plate increasing the energy return the other great thing about these shoes is the Evolved Rocker. Scott shoes all have eRide This is where the sole of the shoe is curved and is used to reduce heel striking caused by over striding. This makes you run with a more upright posture and have a quicker cadence. When customers try the Scott shoes on in the shop and run up and down the corridor the comment that the customers often make is that the Scott shoes feel lighter. Although they are light shoes they aren’t a noticeable amount lighter than the other shoes customers are trying on. What is happening is that the eRide is making them lighter on their feet. This really coming into effect when you get tired. We all have a tendency to overstride as we get tired and lean forward at the waste. This makes us heavier on our feet and slows us down. The curve of the sole that the Scott shoes have makes you work at maintaining a quick cadence. This keeps you more upright and as you fatigue you will slow down a lot less than you would.
The feel to the cushioning is softer than other Scott shoes. However, it isn’t bottomless in feel and as the carbon plate stiffens when you pick up the pace the shoe feels more and more responsive.
The advantage to the stiffness of the carbon plate changing with the pace you run is that you can use the shoes for the whole of your speed workouts. As you can run your warm up nice and easy without the shoe trying to push you into running too quickly. Run your intervals at a fast pace. Jogging your recoveries and then run easy in your warm down.
In Summary the Scott Speed Carbon RC is a well cushioned shoe designed to help you race faster. I found the adaptive carbon plate and soft cushioning made the shoes feel comfortable at a variety of paces.
Other Carbon Plate Considerations
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Hoka Carbon X and Carbon X 2:
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Brooks Hyperion Elite 2:
Hoka Rocket X: