New Balance FuelCell SC Elite V4 Review: Race Day Shoes That Compete With The Best

The FuelCell SuperComp Elite V4 is something else; can you guess where it landed in our 'Best Carbon Fiber Plate Race Day Super Shoes' roundup?

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Hey everyone, it’s Alastair here, and in this New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4 review I’m sharing my thoughts on these fantastic looking race day super shoes. There’s been quite a buzz around these running shoes, and just by looking at them, you can tell they’re something special – full kudos to the New Balance design team that worked on bringing them to life.

Personally I think they definitely stand out as one of the more stylish options for race day available right now. But the big question remains: do they live up to the hype in terms of performance and comfort, as much as they do in style? Keep reading, and I’ll break down everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision on whether these are going to be your next training and racing partner.

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite V4 Review 4
New Balance FuelCell SC Elite V4 Review | Trail & Kale

The Key Specifications

  • Price: $250
  • Sizing and fit: True to size with a medium width fit
  • Weight: 8.4oz (238g) for a size US(M)9 (my pair)
  • Drop: 4mm
  • Toe box width: Medium
  • Stability: Neutral
  • Midsole Cushioning: Responsive and cushioned FuelCell midsole made with PEBA. It has cutouts to reduce weight and the Energy Arc carbon fiber plate creates awesome energy return. There’s also has a rocker profile for a smooth transition from heel to toe
  • Best for: Race day and also speedwork like tempo training and intervals sessions

Who are they going to be best for?

As a super shoe, their primary role is clear, they’re designed for race day, helping you push your speed to the limit. Featuring a carbon fiber plate, and a PEBA infused midsole foam, these racing shoes are all about enhancing your performance, which, as you might guess, means they come with a significant price tag – as with any super shoe.

To kick off my performance review, I’m going to start by sharing what I personally love about this running shoe and then I’ll point out a few aspects that I think could be tweaked or enhanced for the next version.

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The New Balance FuelCell SC Elite V4 features that work really well

Alright, let’s dive into the features of the FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4 that have really won me over after running in them these past couple of weeks. First and foremost, what really sets them apart is how comfortable they feel right out the box.

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite V4 Review 1

Some brands have had a tendency to prioritize performance in their race day super shoes, and as such sometimes miss the mark on comfort, in terms of how they feel over extended periods during long training runs or races. Whether you’re tackling a marathon, a long training run, or even pushing through a tempo or interval session, the need for a shoe that lets you focus solely on your run (ensuring proper running form and maintaining mental resilience), without the distraction of foot discomfort is crucial.

This shoe strikes the perfect balance; it’s incredibly comfortable and performs very well thanks to the responsive rockered midsole with PEBA foam and that rather sexy thin Energy Arc carbon fiber plate.

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite V4's Fantom Fit upper is designed thoughtfully
New Balance’s Fantom Fit upper is designed thoughtfully

New Balance’s Fantom Fit upper is designed thoughtfully, with a breathable mesh that’s flexible and form fitting, and a soft and plush collar & heel counter that both add just the right amount of flexibility without causing any rubbing or discomfort around your ankles or heels.

The breathability is another plus, helping to regulate temperature inside the shoe – an important design factor when it comes to racing shoes where feet will inevitably heat up due to the high intensity running that you’ll be doing in them.

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite V4 Review 14

The lacing system deserves a special mention too, It’s simple, traditional, and highly effective at securing a snug fit. Unlike some race day shoes that might skimp on the practicality of the lacing process, it’s refreshing to see a race day running shoe that makes lacing easy and reliable, ensuring a secure fit for every run.

The laces themselves are lightweight and have a surprising amount of stretch, which I demonstrate in my YouTube video review here, which is worth watching after reading this for additional insights into these $250 running shoes.

This elasticity means that as your feet expand from heat during a run, the laces also expand and adjust to provide that necessary extra space, ensuring a snug yet comfortable fit throughout your run or race.

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite V4 Review 26

Moving on to the midsole, it’s delightfully cushioned, offers an impressive degree of flexibility in the lateral plane (especially considering it houses a carbon fiber plate), immense propulsion in forward flex motion, and a heavily rockered geometry, similar to the epic HOKA Cielo X1.

There’s a 4mm drop in there which is nice to see! I’m a fan of smaller drops in my running shoes as it promotes better, more natural form and reduces the risk of injury overtime because of it.

The Energy Arc carbon fiber plate stores energy as the shoe flexes under your body’s weight during your stride, propelling you forward and maximizing your energy return. This is enhanced thanks to the weight-saving, and flexibility-enhancing midsole cutout that you can see in the image below.

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite V4 Review 20

The rockered PEBA-infused FuelCell midsole delivers on both springiness and cushioning, making the shoe not only comfortable for long distances but also a powerhouse for speed training, intervals, and tempo runs – all important runs to incorporate into your Training Plan.

The versatility of this midsole makes it just as good for marathon racing as it is for improving speed and performance during training.

The PEBA-infused FuelCell midsole delivers on both springiness and cushioning
The PEBA-infused FuelCell midsole delivers on both springiness and cushioning, and durability over time (something PEBA is known for)

Stability is another aspect where this shoe shines. It’s designed as a neutral running shoe, but the unique split at the rear acts as a stabilizer of sorts, I demonstrate how in my video review on YouTube.

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite V4 Review 9

This design corrects slight pronation by guiding your foot back into alignment as you land, contributing to a straighter and more biomechanically efficient run. The additional cushioning where it’s most needed and the pronounced rocker design further aid in providing a smooth and responsive running experience.

Lastly, the outsole deserves praise for its zoned traction which performs very well for a super shoe. The rubber compound used provides a firm grip and control, especially noticeable when taking corners and dodging people at speed – that’s sometimes how I roll when running along busy paths.

It’s clear a lot of thought has gone into every aspect of this shoe, from comfort and fit to performance and stability, making it a solid choice not just for races but for anyone looking for a way to run faster in their training runs – or run longer for that matter because they’re so comfortable.

➡ If you’re enjoying this review do me a favor, drop a comment down below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more running shoe reviews just like this one. If you’re familiar with these running shoes, share your thoughts on them in the comments.

Features that could be improved for the next version

Now, for the areas where I think there’s room for improvement in the next iteration of this shoe. To be honest, it’s tough to find much to critique here, but if I were to zero in on a few details, the shoe’s tongue would be my focus.

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite V4 Review 7

Currently, the tongue is quite short, which, while not uncomfortable, does have a tendency to shift to the side during runs. This is a minor issue as it’s not uncomfortable, but worth mentioning none the less because a slightly longer tongue that is supported in someway, maybe with internal gusseting could make a big difference.

Are they worth buying at $250?

So, is the $250 price tag justified for the FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4? My answer is a resounding YES. Given its status as a super shoe, a premium price is expected, and $250 places it competitively among its peers like the HOKA Cielo X1, which actually comes in at a slightly higher price point, as well as the On Cloudboom Echo 3 and the Brooks Hyperion Elite 4.

These shoes all hover around that $250 mark, indicating that New Balance has priced their offering very on point. The shoe is not just comfortable; it’s also exceptionally bouncy, making your runs enjoyable, lively, and FAST. It’s a worthy race day companion that delivers on the promise of speed while giving you the bonus of top comfort.

If you’re drawn to its design, I totally recommend giving this shoe a try for your next race. Wrapping up this New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4 review, it’s clear that I hold these shoes in high regard, placing them alongside favorites like the Cielo X1, and others. I see myself alternating between these and a couple of other top contenders, such as the HOKA Rocket X2 and the Hyperion Elite 4, both of which have also earned a spot in my rotation.

The FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4 stands tall among the elite racing shoes, capturing my affection not just for its performance but for its aesthetics too. I’ve always had a thing for vibrant colors, so the neon yellow and orange colorway is right up my alley, adding an extra layer of happiness to my runs.

Additionally, the geometric contouring on the midsole catches the eye, showcasing the thoughtful design work that went into this shoe. Major props to the New Balance design team for crafting such a beautiful, and top performing running shoe. New Balance, you have my attention!

I really hope you found this review informative and enjoyable – If you did, don’t forget to subscribe to our Newsletter, so you don’t miss new running shoe reviews as they drop.

YouTube Video review

Did you know we also create shoe review videos on our YouTube Channel? Click the image below to watch our New Balance SC Elite 4 review on YouTube next.

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite V4 Review YOUTUBE

FuelCell SuperComp Elite V4 Image gallery

Alastair
Alastairhttps://www.trailandkale.com
As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.

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