Maximalist to the max, the jumbo-sized soles on these shoes will please the big and bouncy folks, but the snug fitting uppers and reinforced toes might crowd your toes
Plush, soft, bouncy midsoles
Aggressive rocker design
Carbon plate for added responsiveness
Good heel lockdown
A little on the heavy side
Run very small
Snug, reinforced toe box doesn’t leave much room
Stones get stuck easily in the sole
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New Balance Fuelcell Supercomp Trainer: first impressions
If you’ve always wanted to know what Neil Armstrong felt like when he took his giant step for mankind, try these shoes. With a jaw-dropping 47mm stack height, these road running shoes are so big and bouncy that they’re illegal for track competitions. If you’re not competing, however, and you love the feeling of bouncing down the road like a gazelle, you may want to give them a go. The jumbo-sized midsole combined with a carbon plate and the most aggressive rocker sole we’ve tested certainly makes for a really fun, stable ride giving you a propulsive feel to help drive you forward with each step. A sock-like upper locks your heel in place and breathes well on hot days.
• List price: $179.99 / £210
• Gender specification: Men’s and women’s sizing available
• Sizes available: Men’s 7 - 14; Women’s 5 - 12
• Stack: 47mm
• Drop: 8mm
• Weight (per shoe): 230g / 8.1 oz (women’s 4)
• Colors: Black, White, Orange
• Best use: Road running
That said, there are a few good reasons not to wear this shoe. It’s too big and a little heavy for long runs and the reinforced toe box feels cramped, even when you size up. A super snug midfoot won’t feel great for those with wider feet. The sole design has a big groove right down the middle, which is a surefire way to end up running with a small stone or dirt embedded in your shoe, and they’re pretty expensive. If you can’t get enough of maximalist shoes, you might well love this design, but they’re certainly not for those who want to go long distances, hit some sprints or spread their toes.
New Balance Fuelcell Supercomp Trainer: in the field
When I first pulled these shoes out of the box, I honestly didn’t know what to think. I thought I understood big and bouncy shoes having tested out models like the Hoka Bondi 8s, but these soles look like actual crash pads. I wasn’t sure about running in something that effectively looks like a pair of platforms, but I eventually got them out for a five-mile run through Glasgow.
Here’s how they performed:
Sizing and fit
I went my usual half size up and was shocked at how tiny they were. I think they run small and also have a pretty cramped design around the toe box and midfoot, which meant my toes felt a little strangled. I’m a 3.5 and tested a 4, but if I was getting another pair I might even go up to a 5. The uppers have a sock-like fit so they’re snug and have great lockdown, but are designed to be snug across the midfoot so not ideal for those with wide feet.
Comfort and breathability
The soles couldn’t be softer, which feels great when I’m running and the breathability is noticeably good. That said, the issues with sizing and fit make them a little less comfortable, without room for a proper toe spread while the cuffs are a little stiff. Though my toes felt pretty squashed after five miles, I didn’t experience any actual rubbing.
For a pair of road running shoes, these are pretty heavy, though I’m not sure that matters since they’re obviously not designed for long runs anyway. They’ve cut a big groove out of the sole and I’m not sure why, though it could be to reduce the weight. However, what they’ve succeeded in doing is creating a really handy space for rocks and pebbles to lodge themselves.
Responsiveness and stability
What can I say? These are super responsive under foot. They literally feel like running in trampolines. First, you’ve got the gigantic plush soles and carbon plate, but the rocker sole is easily the most aggressive I’ve ever tried. It actually felt a little precarious walking down the stairs in these as they propelled me forward so much I thought I might just pitch forward. Once I was running, I definitely felt how they assisted my forward momentum.
Despite their enormous stack height, these shoes are actually pretty stable for road running which was a relief as I was afraid I’d be tottering down the street.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.