Even though I test and review running shoes on a daily basis, that doesn't mean I don't get equally as excited as everyone else when I see new running shoes that feel... different. And excitement is exactly what I felt when I first laid my eyes on the Craft CTM Ultra Carbon Race Rebel: an iteration of the CTM Ultra Carbon that looks sleeker, faster and more brutal than its predecessor.
The Race Rebel was created in collaboration with Tommy Rivs, a well-known trail runner, who became a Craft athlete in 2020. Sadly, not long after he joined, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, but this didn't stop him from recording his voice for the video you can see below. Tommy is a real motivation for us all to keep on pushing our boundaries and get out of our comfort zones.
The shoes themselves remind me of the Salomon S/LAB Phantasm: minimalist, light and race-ready trainers, just like the Race Rebel. Of course, there is more on offer here than just lightweight performance, although the main appeal is certainly the feather-light construction.
The Craft CTM Ultra Carbon Race Rebel might not be the best running shoe for every type of runner, but those who are happy to step out of their comfort zone and venture into the unknown will with speed certainly like the shoes.
Here is the teaser video to get you in the mood:
Craft CTM Ultra Carbon Race Rebel: price and release date
The Craft CTM Ultra Carbon Race Rebel will first be released in Europe on 16 Aug 2021 for a recommended retail price of €249.95. You can buy the women's version (opens in new tab) or men's version (opens in new tab) directly from Craft.
North America and Asia launch is scheduled for mid-September.
There is no information about availability in Australia.
Craft CTM Ultra Carbon Race Rebel: features
The Craft CTM Ultra Carbon Race Rebel is built on the Ultra Platform foundation, originally designed for the Ultra series that creates a balance between stack height, drop and foot angle to "enable runners to keep form as effortlessly as possible", as Craft explains, which is essential when you want to run fast during a sustained period of time.
Embedded in the Ultra Platform, you'll find the Ultra Carbon Plate, made of "carefully sourced" carbon fibre. As you would expect, this thin plate works almost like a trampoline, much like what we've seen in other carbon-enhanced shoes such as the ASICS Metaracer or the Under Armour FLOW Velocity Wind.
In addition, the carbon plate comes with a "precision split", allowing the big toe to press independently on the medial side of the plate and the other toes on the lateral side – which creates torsion to provide "ultra-rebound at all angles".
The UD Foam Pro is a lightweight midsole foam that delivers propulsion. This is a 'pro version' of the EVA-based UD Foam that adds a chemical compound with superior rebound and minimal weight.
According to Craft, the CTM Ultra Carbon Race Rebel combines a tight and secure fit around the foot with an anatomic toe box. The shoes are said to allow your toes to spread out for optimal comfort and a more natural stride. As comfortable as the Race Rebel is, Craft recommends that those of you who are in between sizes or prefer more room to size up.