Carbon Plated Running Shoes: 4 Run-Faster Picks Under $200

Looking for carbon-plated running shoes that won't break the bank?
In the world of running, it's challenging to find the perfect shoe that combines:

  • Performance
  • Speed
  • Affordability is challenging

In fact, just a few years ago, such shoes did not exist, and finding a carbon-plated running shoe that was in stock was nearly impossible.
Today, however, the market offers some great options for runners who don't want to spend a small fortune on a pair of racing shoes that will only last a few races. 
Let's take a closer look at four carbon-plated running shoes under $200 that are great for racing...

1. Atreyu Artist
  • Price: $100

Priced at just $100, the Atreyu Artist is the most affordable carbon-plated running shoe on the market, challenging the notion that high quality comes with a high price.
About Atreyu

  • Atreyu was founded by two brothers in Austin, Texas.
  • Their philosophy: Emphasize simplicity and affordability, reminiscent of the "good old days" of running shoes. 
  • If you like a simple, inexpensive, and lightweight running shoe, consider the Atreyu brand as a whole. 

Eco-friendly packaging

  • Atreyu forgoes traditional packaging for a minimalistic, eco-friendly presentation, and you will not receive a shoebox with your purchase (hey, that also saves money on something you probably don't need). 

The Artist carbon-plated running shoe design

  • The design is straightforward, featuring a seamless upper for a true-to-size fit. 
  • The Atreyu Artist features a supercritical EVA foam midsole and a carbon fiber plate, offering a responsive ride that bridges the gap between traditional racing flats and modern cushioned shoes. 
  • If you appreciate the "racing flat era" before 2016 but desire a more modern carbon plate option, the Atreyu Artist feels like a racing flat with a carbon plate.

Price vs. performance?

  • Despite its lower price point, the Artist does not compromise on durability or traction, performing well under various conditions. 

👉The Atreyu Artist stands out as the most affordable carbon-plated running shoe under $200, in fact it's half the cost.

Shop the Artist at Atreyu

2. 361 Degrees Furious Future
  • Price: $180

The 361 Degrees Furious Future distinguishes itself in the carbon-plated running shoe market with its affordability and lightweight design.
About 361 Degrees

  • 361 Degrees, a lesser-known brand based in Southern California, has garnered attention with endorsements from Olympic medalists and offers a range of cost-effective shoes without sacrificing quality.

The Furious Future design

  • For those seeking a bright and bold carbon-plated running shoe under $200, the Furious Future is an excellent choice. 
  • Its striking design and knitted-sock construction provide softness and breathability, making it ideal for workouts. 
  • The asymmetrical lacing system enhances comfort, particularly for those with high arches. 
  • The shoe fits slightly long, so some may need to size down for an optimal fit.


  • Performance-wise, the Furious Future's PBA midsole is comparable to Nike's ZoomX foam.
  • It delivers a soft and forgiving ride, making it one of the softest carbon-plated shoes available. 
  • It excels in racing and workout settings, offering ample energy return and comfort from the first wear. 
  • This shoe is very similar to the Nike Tempo Next.


  • The outsole provides excellent traction, maintaining reliability in rainy conditions and potentially exceeding the typical 100-mile lifespan of carbon-plated shoes. 

👉If you are in search of a fast, soft, carbon-plated running shoe under $200, the 361 Degrees Furious Future is worth considering.

Shop the Furious Future at 361 Degrees

3. Reebok Floatride Energy X
  • Price: $170

The Reebok Floatride Energy X, designed for long runs and races, stands out in crowd of carbon-plated running shoes with its $170 price point, offering a competitive advantage in the market.


  • It features a Flexweave woven textile upper made of 30% recycled materials, blending sustainability with performance. 
  • The shoe provides stretch and breathability in almost any condition and fits true to size in unisex whole sizes.


  • In terms of performance, the Energy X is fast and well-suited for the marathon and has impressive traction. 
  • You are unlikely to slip around on a rainy day. 
  • After logging 50 miles, the durability is good for a carbon-plated running shoe, with an expected lifespan of around 150 miles. 
  • The TPE foam midsole, initially stiff, softens with use, providing a comfortable ride with a less aggressive carbon plate, making it suitable for a wider range of runners.

👉If you are searching for a carbon-plated running shoe under $200 that is great for marathons, durable, and incorporates sustainable materials, the Reebok Floatride Energy X is an excellent choice.

Shop the Floatride Energy X on Amazon

4. Saucony Kinvara Pro
  • Price: $180

The Saucony Kinvara Pro, is a carbon-plated running shoe based on the iconic Kinvara. 

  • The Kinvara was initially known for its marathon racing capabilities and speed workouts but now more of a daily trainer. 
  • Reflecting on the past, the Saucony Kinvara was a true marathon racing shoe, but in 2024, carbon-plated running shoes have become the focus. 

So why not make a more modern version of the Kinvara?
The Kinvara Pro seeks to combine modern carbon plate technology with the Kinvara's legacy for faster workouts. The fit is generally good, though the breathability for a racing shoe could be improved.

  • Despite its substantial 42 mm stack height and chunky appearance, the shoe's midsole combination of PWRRUN, PWRRUN PB, and a PWRRUN+ sock liner, supported by a 3/4 carbon fiber plate.
  • This gives helps the shoe offer a responsive and smooth transition, making it a fast carbon-plated shoe.


  • Durability is a concern, with an estimated lifespan of around 150 miles due to minimal outsole rubber and exposed midsole areas. 
  • This makes the Kinvara Pro less durable than a daily trainer but more so than many carbon-plated options. 

👉If you are looking for a carbon-plated running shoe under $200 that can double as a trainer, the Saucony Kinvara Pro is a strong contender.

Shop the Saucony Kinvara Pro on Amazon

👟Affordable carbon-plated running shoes are here...

These carbon-plated running shoes each offer unique features, catering to a wide range of preferences and needs, including:

  • Eco-friendly materials
  • Innovative design
  • Plush ride
  • Firm, race-ready feel

Proof there are carbon-plated running shoes under $200 that don't compromise on performance or innovation. 
As the running industry continues to evolve, it's likely that we will see even more affordable carbon-plated running shoes in the future. 
Stay tuned!🏃‍♀️

👟What's your favorite carbon-plated running shoe?

Tell us in the comments or create a WeeView of your favorite carbon-plated running shoe.

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Hollie S
Mojave Desert, CA
0 Following

Hollie has worked in run specialty for 8+ years and fit over 1000 people for shoes. Her favorite distance is the half maratho...


David Moore Thanks for sharing Hollie! I haven't tried a carbon plated racing shoe yet. The closest I've come is the Saucony Endorphin Speed but it has a nylon plate, not carbon. For less than $200, I'll have to give one of these a try.

Hollie S I'm a huge fan of the 361 Furious Future and I am going to run my upcoming marathon in it. Let me know if you do David!

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