Saturday, October 16, 2021

Craft CTM Carbon Race Rebel Multi Tester Review. 10 Comparisons!

Article by Ivan Luca Corda, Derek Li,  and Sam Winebaum

Craft CTM Carbon Race Rebel ($250)

Introduction

The Race Rebel is the 3d shoe in Craft’s brand new series of performance running shoes.  It follows the Carbon Ultra (RTR Review) and Ultra (RTR Review). All share nearly identical basic geometries and  approximate 10-11mm drops but differ in foams, use of plates and run focus.


All models were developed with collaboration of ultra runner Tommy Rivs who also has a sub 2:20 marathon time to his credit. 

The Carbon Ultra is a firmer chemically modified EVA dirt road and light trails focused shoe with carbon plate, a stout outsole and supportive upper. It weighs 9.88 oz / 280g  (US9) and has a 40mm heel / 30 mm forefoot stack.

The Ultra removes the carbon plate and substitutes a PEBA insert as well as a very light upper and comes in a 9.4 oz / 266g (US9) at the same stack as the Carbon. It retains the trail worthy outsole of the Carbon. While the super light upper challenged some of our testers, most found the ride dynamic and well named for road ultra purposes and long runs.


The Race Rebel has a somewhat lower stack height at 35mm heel with an extra millimeter of drop to 11mm and has a carbon plate. It is about 2.5 oz lighter than the Carbon and about 2  oz lighter than the Ultra using what is quite likely a supercritical foam and a lighter, lower profile yet still grippy outsole. It’s engineered mesh upper is super pliable and among the lightest we have yet seen in a super shoe. 


Pros:

  • Sam / Ivan / Derek: Forgiving cushion yet not mushy or overly soft. 

  • Sam / Ivan: High drop and geometry make them extremely stable at the heel, no low heel feel ever at any pace and easy to drive forward.

  • Ivan / Derek: Fit and breathability

  • Sam / Derek: More than enough near full coverage thin durable rubber coverage and great grip.

  • Sam: Somewhat flexible unlike most competitors. 

  • Sam: Carbon plate does its job without extremes (all paces accommodated) and without any front harshness.

  • Sam: Extremely breathable light upper. Voluminous and soft so wider feet should be very pleased.

  • Sam: Near ideal long, fast ( and really any pace) shoe option. 

  • Sam: Very solid marathon racer for mid packers seeking a friendly, well cushioned fast ride that doesn't over prescribe.

Cons:

  • Sam / Ivan / Derek: Not quite the aggressive snap of some racers so more long run focused than short, longer than 10K. 

  • Inconsistencies in weight at equivalent sizes

  • Sam / Ivan: While versatile, pricing at $250

  • Ivan: Narrow and short glued in sockliner 

  • Ivan: Grip in wet conditions

Stats

Approx. Weight: men's 7.6oz / 216g (US9)  

  Samples: Sam: men’s 7.48 oz  / 212g (US10),  / Ivan: mens 7.60 oz 215g (US 8.5),  men's 7.6oz / 216g (US9)  Derek: 7.28oz / 207g (US9.5)

Stack Height: Measured 35mm heel. 11mm drop

Available Oct. $250.  


Tester Profiles

Ivan Luca Corda: Copenhagen, Denmark.

Current age group: 45+. Height: 5’11 Weight: 140 lbs

Began running in 2012 (age 36). Weekly mileage: 50-80 miles (mostly roads and light paths/trails) Favorite distance: Marathon. Memorable running experiences: Tromsø Midnight Sun Marathon ‘17 (above Arctic Circle starting at midnight in full daylight), Valencia Marathon PB in 2019 in 2:39:28, First Ultramarathon in 2020 (100 km) and 3rd at Danish National Championship and then again in 2021

Passionate about analyzing all sort of data by using every possible gadget. This also includes comparing running shoes by measuring running mechanics.


Derek is in his 30’s and trains 70-80 miles per week at 7 to 8 minute pace in mostly tropical conditions in Singapore. He has a 2:41 marathon PR.


Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 64 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 48 years and has a 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA.


First Impressions,  Fit, and Upper

Sam: All black with an angular and cantilever heel the Race Rebel is all serious in looks and means business. I personally think it is a fantastic design with the black playing well with the overall visual design and midsole angles.


My first pair was incorrectly marked on its box as a US9 with the shoe itself tagged at a strange US10 EU 42. I was sent a second pair correctly marked on both shoe and box. The fit of this half size up pair from my normal US8.5 is good  but due to the volume and light mesh still a bit voluminous on my narrower right foot. The fit here is oriented, as the shoe is named, more towards the marathon and road ultras, swelling feet, and wider feet than shorter distances and narrower feet but if you wish for sheer racing comfort this is a superb upper. I would go true to size without question here and potentially down a half size if you have a very low volume foot.


The single layer engineered mesh is the thinnest, most pliable, softest I can recall. And one of the least stretchy. The mesh is very similar to the CTM Ultra, if yet more pliable,  thinner and less stretchy.

We have, as in the Ultra no heel counter, just rear and side of heel  overlays and internal bolsters.  

The toe bumper is a very slightly denser mesh with some 3D printing or melt in material and is almost as equally but not quite as pliable as the rest of the upper.


The tongue is a very thin 3 layer construction: a smooth fabric on the inside, a grid of what appears to be pliable overlay type material and on the outside open mesh.  There is no gusset tongue. 


Unlike its siblings with their  excellent if heavy TPU beads sockliner, the Race Rebel has a decently thick apparently well glued in sockliner.


The construction is incredibly breathable with no components that can absorb much moisture that I can see. 

The laces and lace eyelets are  a key element of the effective hold in such a voluminous very light upper  The laces are flat, non-stretch and remind of what might see in a non running athletic shoe. They grip the eyelets ferociously and to put the shoe on and take it off a lot of work is required both to loosen enough to get the foot in past the non stretch heel area and overall upper and then to tighten. 

Once tightened the hold is fantastic and even cinched way, way down for the sizing issues in my first pair I felt no undue top of foot pressures, surprising me.  In my truer to size pair the lacing was equally as effective

The soft pliable mesh clearly provides a voluminous, secure and comfortable fit. So comfortable I wouldn’t hesitate to wear them all day. Yet at the same time the Race Rebel is more than adequately secure. Running a marathon or ultra road race in the heat, with foot swelling, I am quite sure this upper would be just about ideal.


Ivan: I really like the design of this ‘Tommy Rivs’ Race Rebel edition. It’s hard to pull off a nice looking all black design in a running shoe, but I personally think it works in this case with the black in black Craft logo in the front and white text/specs around the shoe.

Just as with the CTM Ultra version, the Race Rebel fits my foot almost like a glove. It is a tad shorter in length in my usual US8.5, but I would still stay true to size as the toe cap is quite soft and pliable. In general the step-in feel was great and the lockdown felt nice and secure even without much structure to the upper. One thing I did notice though was the edges of the glued in sock liners which clearly do not fit the shoes. They are both too narrow and short. However, I assume it is an early production error in just the pair that I received.


Derek: This is a very black shoe. I think it would have been cool to do a two tone black/white, maybe even asymmetric left/right colorway but this is unique for sure for a race colorway. 


My first step-in impression was how soft and unstructured the upper is. There really is zero support around the ankle, and the materials are really soft and comfortable. Even the internal toe-bumper is fairly flexible. Fit is definitely true to size here. 


My second impression was just how much material there was in the upper. The mesh itself is very thin and breathable, but it feels like there is about a half inch to full inch too much material and the resultant fit volume is very high. This is easily the highest volume shoe I have ever worn, and that’s saying something since I've tested the likes of ASICS Novablast and Glideride, Brooks Ghost 13, and several Altra’s including the Duo v1 with its massive wide forefoot. Ironically, the platform itself isn’t wide at all, but there is just plenty of upper material to wrap your foot. I took this photo of my feet in the Saucony Endorphin Speed 1’s and the Race Rebel side-by-side. 

Just look at the spacing between the eyelets at the same amount of lace tension in the picture above. Despite all this, and having a fairly loose fit at the heel and ankle, not once did i ever experience any instability or heel slippage with i ran in the Rebels, which was wonderful and perplexing to me at the same time, because I have had much tighter laced shoes (e.g. Vaporfly Next%1, Endorphin Pro 1) with noticeably more heel movement. As a downstream effect of the high volume upper, the narrow spacing of the eyelets have also meant that the laces feel excessively long even after double knotting. 


All this aside, I think the width of the shoe is pretty much spot on and the overall fit in terms of width at different sections is just right across the board. Just walking around, you do notice the rockered forefoot profile. There isn’t a whole lot of squish to the foam, and my guess is that it’s going to be similar to the Saucony Endorphins in terms of long distance cushioning. One thing I noticed while toying with the shoes in my hands was that while there is a carbon plate in there, there is not a lot of stiffness to the shoe, and you can easily bend the shoe through the forefoot, which, I have to admit, was a bit disappointing.  


Midsole

Sam: The geometry of the Race Rebel features a 35mm full stack at the heel and an 11 mm drop so we are in the more mid range of super shoe overall stack heights and below shoes such as the Alphafly, Next % and Adios Pro 2, and RC Elite 2 and more in the midrange along with shoes such as Deviate Elite, original Vaporfly, RC Elite 1, ASICS Metaspeed Edge and 361 Flame. The 11mm drop is noticeable. I personally prefer higher drop , 8mm or more in a carbon plated shoe to easily get me forward as I tend to land towards the rear of a shoe.

The rear features a cantilever design reminiscent of the Brooks Hyperion Elite and equally as stable with the sharply slope rear rocker preventing any lingering at the heel no matter how far back one might strike . 

I tend to have a very short duration but pronounced heel strike before rapidly transitioning forward.  Here, in combination with admirable and leading rear stability in a super shoe, one clearly and easily flows along to the front at all paces I have tested at so far (one run at 9:30 per mile pace and another a 10K training run at a bit faster than my marathon pace (8:16 per mile).   


Given the weight, the UD Foam Pro in the Race Rebel is likely a supercritical foam but we don't have confirmation as of yet. The Craft website calls the midsole foam out as 100% EVA foam but clearly it is processed to lighten it and give it a distinctly forgiving rebound that is not quite as soft or quite as energetic as New Balance’s Fuel Cell (supercritical EVA TPU blend) as in the RC Elite and Rebe. 


The midsole foam here has the benefit, in combination with the geometry, of being more stable and consistent in feel regardless of pace than the RC 2 and most other super shoes. The UD Foam Pro is somewhat firmer than Puma’s nitrogen infused PEBA infused foam in the slightly lighter Deviate Elite and is not as bouncy, but more deeply and protectively cushioned.  The foam is less decisively springy than Hyperburst and somewhat softer and bouncier in feel. The foam is clearly softer than Saucony’s PWRRUN PB.  


I said forgiving, and more than once so far... as after my fairly fast (for me) 10K effort the next day I had zero soreness during a strenuous 10 mile hike. I can not say the same after a recent 10K race at somewhat faster paces in the denser, firmer, and heavier adios Pro 2.

The carbon plate is called out as “precision split for torsion and variable energy return”. The plate is felt as a smooth long impulse with absolutely no “sharp edges” or harshness up front and for my tastes is very well matched to the foam and geometry. There is a touch of give or flex up front and a smoother longer toe off roll through the plate than say the distinct sharp Speed Roll in Saucony’s Endorphin Pro which for my tastes requires very fast paces to really shine. Here the plate geometry is truly any pace friendly, even slow paces.


Ivan: The midsole is very reminiscent in geometry to the rest of the Craft CTM lineup despite the lower stack height. It’s worth mentioning that the Craft CTM Ultra without the carbon plate, is the one shoe I have put most miles into this year. I absolutely love the geometry of the midsole. My gait is very close to that of Sam and maybe that’s why I also enjoy the ride so much. Also, it reminds me of the Brooks Hyperion Elite 2, which was one of my favorite shoes of last year. The Race Rebel is narrower in the heel but the level of cushion is not that different and it even feels stable in quite uneven terrain. 

The new ‘UD Foam Pro’ foam is a bit softer compared to the ‘Vault’ foam used in the CTM Ultra. But having less of it under foot and a carbon plate too, I really don’t feel much of a difference in the overall level of cushion. Also, the sockliner is not as substantial as the thicker TPU one found in the CTM Ultra. On top of that I believe that the Race Rebel also lacks the PEBA insert found under the heel section in the CTM Ultra. I’m pretty confident that Craft has made these decisions to keep the weight down and create a snappier and more efficient ride. 


Derek: Well the good news for me is that the foam did open quite a bit after my first run, and is now noticeably springier and smoother through transition than those first couple of miles. I think the 35mm heel is sort of in the sweet spot for a distance racer. The original VF4% had a 35/25 stack, and the Endorphin Speed/Pro at 35.5/27.5 have also proven that this stack range makes the shoes fairly versatile across different race distances, and doesn’t really pigeonhole the shoe into being purely a marathoner racer. I must say the 11mm drop does take a bit of getting used to, especially for something a little firmer. My first run in the shoe was a progressive 30km run, and I found that the faster I went, the more I was naturally landing more midfoot and loading the forefoot, and I actually noticed a bit of calf strain after 15 miles. In retrospect, (and again comparing to e.g. VF4%), a 10mm drop shoe with a soft heel would feel like a 6-8mm drop shoe due to more heel compression, while a relatively firmer 11mm drop shoe would feel like a 11mm drop or even more if you are loading (and compressing) the forefoot more than the heel, and I think it was excessive plantarflexion and calf loading that caused me a bit of calf soreness. This was likely also accentuated by the break-in phase where the foam was still a little stiffer and deader at the beginning. On subsequent runs including some hard shorter 400-800m efforts, mile repeats, and even a longer, slower 13 miler, I didn't notice any more calf soreness. 


In fact, the more miles I put in the shoe, the smoother the rocker and transition felt, and the springier the forefoot felt under load. That said, I do notice that the shoe lacks the typical forefoot snappiness that a lot of other carbon-plated racers have. The plate here is noticeably softer than many of the current market offerings including e.g. Saucony Endorphin Speed. Whether it’s a good thing will come down to personal preference. Some people like the more natural transition through the toe joints (think Puma Deviate Nitro/Nitro Elite, NB RC Elite1, Saucony Endoprhin Speed), while I prefer the stiffer rocker and propulsion of the likes of the Nike VF and Tempo Next%, Saucony Endorphin Pro, ASICS MetaSpeed Sky/Edge, especially when it comes to race efforts. 


Outsole

Sam: The outsole is thin, almost full coverage rubber (but for a strip across midfoot) with micro lugs. It should be a very easy outsole to ShoeGoo if need be. While my runs so far have been on dry pavement, grip is excellent, almost reminding of the RC Elite's plastic nubs DynaRide outsole. 


Ivan: The outsole is fairly minimal as described by Sam. I have done about 40 miles in the Race Rebel and I’m not noticing much wear and tear so far. It seems to hold up fine. I have been running on most surfaces and have had no issues with the grip as long as conditions were dry. However, on wet tarmac I do find that the outsole is slippery at times.


Derek: I haven’t had the chance to test the shoes on wet roads yet, but so far they have been excellent on dry roads and soft trails. The rubber for me has been pretty with almost zero wear in the usual spots, despite almost 30 miles worth of uptempo/speed work in the shoes. This is a race shoe after all, and I don't expect durability to be a big priority, but i can easily see people getting 300-400 miles out of this outsole if they stick to running on the roads. 


Ride

Sam: The Race Rebel's ride is the most forgiving, stable and pleasant carbon super shoe ride to date for me, replacing the RC Elite 2  and is a shoe that without question I could daily train with and at a wide variety of paces. There are no compromises felt underfoot despite the light weight such as carbon plate, midsole firmness or lack of stability. More a half to marathon ride and fit  than a 10K focused one, the Ultra part is well placed in the naming as I am quite sure the Race Rebel would be near ideal for those crazy enough such as Tommy Rivs who run road Ultras! 


So far I am not finding it as aggressively snappy and energetic as some of the others such as Metaspeed Sky, Puma Deviate Elite, Next %, and 361 Flame (also a very stable super shoe) but far easier to flow forward consistently even when tired with noted flexibility most other super shoes don’t have due to its plate and relatively low front stack height..


Ivan: The Race Rebel carries over many of the properties that I enjoyed in the CTM Ultra. The smooth and efficient ride is still pronounced, but I have to admit that I almost don’t notice the implementation of the plate. I was expecting more of an aggressive and propulsive ride and while I appreciate the lower weight at higher paces, the overall feel is not significantly different. Compared to other race models, this is probably one of the most versatile racers and being higher drop and more flexible makes it more enjoyable at slower paces. I often do tempo blocks/intervals and fartlek and it is nice to have a workout shoe in my rotation that does not feel awkward and unstable at slower paces, but is still light and snappy enough when shifting gears. 

Derek: I think the biggest strength of the Race Rebel is its versatility, where it is fairly smooth at both moderate and hard paces. For me, that makes it an ideal shoe for those runs where you have lots of pace variation, or you are doing specific marathon training where you have segments or repeats at marathon pace in the middle of an otherwise easy pace long run. 


Another key feature I like is how comfortable and breathable the shoe is. If I were designing a shoe for some 100 mile road race, the upper would be something like this. Very easy to get a comfortable lockdown, no hot spots, no heel slippage, no achilles rub, no black toenails. Sounds easy but it is actually incredibly difficult to achieve all this and give a relaxed, almost recovery trainer-like feel to the fit at the same time. Despite the relaxed fit, there is plenty of stability here. I think there is just enough flaring of the midsole and the fairly wide forefoot to give you that confidence to take a corner hard. As I said above, there is a bit of a break-in period for the midsole, and after that, the midfoot-forefoot transition becomes a lot smoother. The shoe is quite happy doing easy-moderate paces and hard tempo efforts, and the rocker is fairly natural. 


The big question. Is the ride supershoe level? The short answer for me is no. It’s close though. It has a lot going for it: springy foam, smooth rocker, high heel-toe drop, excellent upper. Nevertheless, I don’t feel as much of the metabolic savings at race paces that I would get from some of the other supershoes. I think it could be better with a snappier carbon plate, and maybe making the foam just a little softer and springier. A stiffer plate, reduce the fit volume a little, and you could have a real rocket on your hands. Just to give an illustration of the level of stiffness of this shoe, my subjective feeling is that it is similar to the Puma Deviate Nitro; Saucony Endorphin Speed is stiffer. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Sam: Race Rebel delivers a tremendous amount of super shoe substance, deep cushion, smooth flowing, flexible, and forgiving ride at a very light weight  I am not convinced it is the fastest all distances super shoe but it may be the most practical and versatile for much of a runner’s training and longer races as well as for a wider range of runner paces than many of the other options.


The Race Rebel’s forgiving cushion, stability, high drop, flexibility and thus easy to maintain forward flow to the front of the plate and toe off combine very seamlessly and effectively. Thre is enough excitement for sure but not so much aggressive character and geometry that Rebel’s utility and range becomes limited to distances, paces, and particular runner strike styles although the focus here is longer rather than shorter efforts.. It is a good option as such for heel strikers such as me as it assists you effectively forward from a rear landing.    


Two negatives. Fit and sizing could use some work. The midfoot is voluminous for such as light upper and could use more structure. Pricing at $250 is up there, even at today’s high prices. $200 or $225 seems more “reasonable”  


This said the Race Rebel should prove to be a very versatile shoe at very near class leading super shoe weight and a more versatile and friendly one than any of its super light competitors except maybe the RC Elite 2. .

Sam's Score 9.2/10


Ivan: The Craft Race Rebel builds on the obvious qualities that characterize the CTM Ultra shoe lineup. Plenty of cushion, a smooth and snappy transition,  a great fit with excellent breathability. It is not the most aggressive ride though and not my first choice for faster intervals or short to mid distance races despite being much lighter.


So, what is the shoe best for? Well, leading up to long distance races, I implement several workouts including longer tempo blocks with some easier pace in between. This is where the Race Rebel really shines and adds value for  me. It is by no means a recovery or all out shoe, but it can handle everything else quite well. When it comes to racing, I am convinced that it will be an excellent ultra road race shoe and this is probably also its intended purpose considering it is named the ‘CTM Ultra Carbon Race Rebel’,  designed in collaboration with the famous ultra-runner ‘Tommy Rivs’. 

Score: 8.75 / 10

Ride 8.9 (50%), Fit 9.3 (30%), Value 7.0 (15%), Style 9.2 (10%)


Derek: I agree with Ivan. The shoe’s versatility between medium paces and race efforts is its biggest strength, though in terms of ride it sort of ends of being jack of all trades but master of none. I like how the shoe performs over the course of a progressive long run or a long run with race specific efforts in the middle and that’s going to be my main use for this shoe. I think it would also make an excellent ultra-distance road racer, given how comfortable and breathable the upper is, and how stable the shoe feels, which is something I think you will need for when you get tired towards the end of an ultra-distance event. For shorter distance races in the 10-42km range, I prefer shoes with a stiffer forefoot rocker.

Derek’s Score: 9.16/10

Ride 9.4 (50%) Fit 9.2 (30%) Value 8.5 (15%) Style 8.5 (5%)  


Comparisons 

Craft CTM Carbon Ultra (RTR Review)

Sam: Heavier, denser, firmer, more stable. Burlier upper. More light trails focused.


Craft CTM Ultra (RTR Review)

Sam: Similar light uppers although Race Rebel’s is yet lighter and more supportive.  Ultra is heavier and slightly more forgivingly cushioned. Less front impulse as no carbon plate: PEBA insert inset into firmer outer EVA. 

Ivan: Similar in many ways but the Race Rebel is and feels much lighter. 


New Balance FuelCell RC Elite 2 (RTR Review)

Sam: The RC Elite 2 is more cushioned, softer, bouncier and more energetic, with a lower feeling less stable heel. Both are clearly are the most wide range of pace friendly super shoes.

I prefer the denser, snugger no fuss upper of RC Elite 2 although it is not as slipper soft and comfortable as the more voluminous, soft and pliable Craft’s.

Ivan: I personally miss a rocker and snappy transition in the RC Elite 2, but for those who prefer an extremely soft and bouncy ride RC Elite 2  is the way to go. The plate is not that noticeable in either of them.

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The RC Elite has a much snugger fit especially through the midfoot, and has a much softer and bouncier ride. As Sam says, neither has an obvious plated feel but the RC Elite 2 definitely feels more “assistive” and energy-saving at race paces. My overall preference is the RC Elite 2. 


New Balance FuelCell TC (RTR Review)

Sam: The TC has a softer bouncier heel which is lower feeling at slow paces with a  somewhat harsher than Race Rebel front plate feel at slower paces.

Ivan: The TC is a heavier shoe better suited for easier runs and even recovery runs. At slower paces the deep and dense cushion feels amazing, but faster runs feel a bit clumsy to me and the plate even feels a bit harsh at the very front at faster paces.

Derek: I wear US9.5 in the Rebel, and fit US9.0 best in the TC. Both have similarly smooth and natural transitions. The TC has a much softer and mushier ride, and is still one of the all-rounded shoes on the market. I think the Rebel definitely handles faster paces better, but the TC is the king of the daily easy run. I think TC would be better for a daily trainer if you already have a dedicated speed shoe, while Rebel would be a better daily trainer if you already have a dedicated recovery shoe. 


New Balance FuelCell RC Elite 1 (RTR Review)

Sam: Slightly lower stack and a touch heavier the RC Elite 1 is flatter feeling on the ground, less forgivingly cushioned with a more traditional race shoe feel. It feels faster but is not as pretty much any run versatile as Race Rebel. 

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. The RC Elite 1 has one of the snugger fits of any of the new age racers. Both have very natural smooth transitions with not much of a plated feel, but the RC is much softer and despite having a relatively high official drop, it feels like a lower drop shoe. The RC would definitely suit midfoot strikers much better than heel strikers while the Rebel is pretty much a heel-striker’s dream shoe. So the choice here is 1) do you prefer a softer shoe or firmer shoe, and 2) do you heel strike more or mid-forefoot strike more?


Nike Alphafly (RTR Review)

Sam: Yet more cushioned with a more dynamic highly explosive forefoot but with a less stable softer heel when tired, and back on the heels. 

Ivan: The Alphafly is way more cushioned and bouncy. Transition is less smooth though and the ride generally feels a bit unnatural and almost mechanical to me.

Derek: I wear US9.5 in the Rebel and US9.0 in the Alphafly. The Alphafly is the softer and springiest shoe in the arsenal and one I admit I haven't fully mastered yet. If we are borrowing ASICS’s dichotomy of Stride runners and Cadence runners, then the Alphafly is definitely a strider’s shoe while the Rebel is more of a cadence runner’s shoe. I think it really comes down to preference, and running style but i suspect most people will find the Alphafly to be the more dynamic ride. 


Puma Deviate Nitro Elite (RTR Review)

Sam: The Elite is slightly lighter with softer yet bouncier foam. It is less protective, more agile and quicker.


Adios Pro 2 (RTR Review)

Sam: Fimer and denser in feel, somewhat more responsive and aggressive. Heavier. A bit harder to flow forward than Rebel. Close to as stable.

Ivan: The Adios Pro 2 demands a more aggressive style of running making it less versatile. I find both shoes quite stable despite both having a tall and narrow heel. 

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. I find AP2 to be the more dynamic and aggressive ride in terms of transition, and while both have pretty similar uppers in terms of feel, I find the AP2 upper to be more snug and secure. Overall, I find the AP2 to be more assistive in ride, and the more enjoyable one for all paces. 


ASICS Metaspeed Edge (RTR Review)

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. I make this comparison because the Rebel is clearly a “cadence” runner’s shoe with its high drop and moderate stack numbers. Edge is a softer shoe, and the foam is noticeably springier in the heel, but has the stiffer and more aggressive forefoot rocker, while the Rebel has a firmer heel but a more flexible forefoot and less aggressive rocker. I really like the Edge for short distance intervals while the Rebel is more cushioned and forgiving for longer efforts and long runs. Overall, as a racer, the Edge is probably the better option, but the Rebel makes for a better marathon option for cadence runners. 


Brooks Hyperion Elite 2 (RTR Review)

Ivan: Similar in many ways. Especially the fit. The Hyperion Elite 2 feels even more stable. The plate is significantly more rigid and noticeable in the HE2 which also amplifies the rocker sensation. 

Derek: I wear US9.5 in both shoes. In many ways, on paper, the HE2 and Rebel are similar. High drop, supercritical foam, thin upper. The end result could not be more different. The Rebel has a grippier outsole, feels a little softer underfoot, and has significantly better vibration dampening, while also feeling smoother in transition. Overall, the Rebel is the better shoe for me, by quite a large margin. 

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content

The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.


The CTM Carbon Race Rebel is available for men and women at Craft HERE

 Some tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes others were personal purchases. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content

The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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