Running Economy: Super Shoes vs Crocs

Running Economy: Super Shoes vs Crocs

Here is an interesting set of findings on Super Shoe Performance by Dustin Joubert @labratrundown

The most striking finding is that super shoes are significantly better than crocs!

But turning to the serious side of the data, Dustin’s findings tie in with my own anecdotal ones. Namely that the Super Shoes generally DO offer superior running economy (make you faster) and that the benefit is relatively short-lived. A week or two of running can lower the running economy performance by about 10%

He also shows that Hoka Carbon X offers little advantage compared to the others and, again, I would agree with that (I returned my Hoka X 2 for that reason)




Running: super shoes vs crocs
Running: super shoes vs crocs




If these findings are correct (sample size = 1) then surely there is no way that the carbon plate can degrade in a few days or weeks? So the degradation must come from changing performance characteristics of the Pebax foam? That makes sense to me and is what I suspected.

Take Out

You really do have to save your special shoes for Race Days. And not too many race days at that.

Personally, I find these cushioned shoes offer FAR more cushioning than anything by Hoka and are by far the best type of cushioned shoes even after their ‘best by’ race date has passed. In that sense, these make great day-to-day trainers for me. And they might still even offer a tad of performance improvement from any longevity in the carbon plate.


Also from Dustin: A More scientific Study concludes “most running shoe companies have not yet caught up to the advantages conferred by the Nike Vaporfly 2.”




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8 thoughts on “Running Economy: Super Shoes vs Crocs

  1. hmm… i’m a different n=1 obviously, but for me the benefit of Vaprofly’s doesn’t deteriorate much at all. I retired my initial ‘next %’ with 654km on them, and they were running as efficiently as a new pair of vf next% 2. No difference. Actually, maybe a little faster than the new pair.
    Also, as Dustin has Alphafly’s at the top, and invested in Asics Metaspeed Sky+ and not Edge + (which for me is as good or better then VF Next%2), I assume he’s a Stride runner rather than Cadence runner. I’m a cadence runner, and I find that shoe weight matters, plate or not. So for me VF work better than AF, and I haven’t noticed the economy deteriorating.
    I wonder what’s the source of the economy data – re-calibrate Stryd with the same pace maintained over the same course?
    One think I note, plated shoes affect Stryd’s calibration, enother sign of a significant benefit being delivered.

    1. hi
      shoe weight will affect every runner. I am 180-190 cadence, by a cadence runner do you mean higher than that?
      IDK if it proportionately affect a stride vs cadence runner the most. I guess a cadence runner does have a great total vertical foot displacement, other things equal??? IDK
      apparently, the weird lace positions of some bikes do affect stryd.

      1. A more detailed view is here: but the way ASICS developed Metaspeed Sky vs Metaspeed Edge, is based on which metric you increase more drastically when speeding up. Stride runners predominantly increase the stride length, while their cadence only changes minimally, cadence runners increase both stride length and cadence.

      2. hi, yes i appreciate from that stride length X cadence = running speed and that you have to improve one or both to get faster.
        The article doesn’t seem to go through to an appropriate shoe choice.

        Asics claim that their shoes match the running styles described but i don’t see their research published…just the marketing claims

  2. I just picked up my 1st pair of super shoes, Nitro Elite, as they were on sale at €120. Looking forward to seeing what the fuss is about once I shake off round #2 of CV-19.

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