(My response in the Gear chat)
Having experienced my first race at Dorking 10 miles yesterday against runners wearing carbon plates, I'd say no (Vaporflys are NOT cheating).
Technology moves on. It may as well be a comparison against when we did cross country in rugby/football boots.
However, a few observations.
I was able to compare the last time I did the race in 2019 against now.
2019 - 513 finishers. 106F 407M 2023 - 408 finishers. 144F 264M
2019 - Fastest M-53:45 F-1:02:01 2023 - Fastest M-52:45 F- 1:03:22
2019 - Slowest 2:07 2023 - Slowest (except for 1 outlier) 1:57:11
2019 - Median Time 1:20:11 2023 - Median Time 1:16:11
My time was similar in both. Started very well, but tapered off.
On Strava, I could also check on those runners who had carbon plated shoes and said so.
It's a route I know well, but I could instinctively tell something had changed from previous years by the numbers of familiar runners overtaking me, and their running gait had something about it. The elite times seemed pretty similar to previous years, which makes sense as they were probably first to embrace new tech. So it looks like a factor benefitting middle of the pack runners.
Plus at the end of the race, one of the runners in my club said that all of the team there were wearing a version of carbon plated shoes. She pointed them out all over the place.
The other thing is that entrant numbers were down, a lot, on previous years, but female entrants were up. So are more females running races because of carbon plates and others(men) aren't bothering without them? With hindsight, I don't think I'd have bothered entering without carbon plated shoes. That's not bitterness on my part, I was just completely ignorant of the apparent benefits of these shoes.
So, bottom line, if you want to compete in road races, wear carbon plates.
BUT, when everyone's eventually super.....no-one is.