The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 is a carbon fiber plated race day shoe where the design focus has been on energy return and making it lightweight. But there has been no compromise when it comes to comfort and this is an easy shoe to wear straight out of the box, and a great pair of running shoes for women.
Could it be one of the best carbon plated running shoes on the market? Let’s find out.
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 technical details
Sizes: UK 3.5-9
Special technology: carbon fiber plate
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 pros
- Feels fast
- very comfortable
- Good, secure fit
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 cons
- I would have liked and extra lacing hole.
- Upper could be a little thick for hot days.
Who and what is this shoe for?
The FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 is a race-day shoe designed to help you to your next PB. Like most carbon-plated shoes it’s a neutral running shoe. It sits within New Balance’s SuperComp range which features a training shoe (SuperComp Trainer) and a shorter distance race shoe (SuperComp Pacer). The Elite v3, however, is aimed primarily at the marathon distance and New Balance released London and New York Marathon themed designs.
How does the shoe fit?
I found the New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 to be true to size in my UK size 6 with a little bit of room at the end of my toes to save them from getting bashed over a marathon. The upper has an engineered knit and a built-in tongue which gives a very secure fit. Around the ankle and heel there’s more structure and support.
Is it comfortable?
This is a very comfortable shoe. The upper quite literally hugs your foot and gives the right level of support around the ankle. Personally, I would have liked an extra lacing hole but this is quite a minor point. The FuelCell foam is soft underfoot and I had no hesitation taking this shoe straight out of the box and racing a 10k in it.
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 run test
I was headed to the Eye 10k, a local 10k road race near where I live, and it seemed the perfect opportunity to test the shoe. Ordinarily we’d stick to the ‘nothing new on race day’ adage but I’d tried the shoes on at home and had no reservations choosing them for the 10k. I knew they’d be comfortable. Even walking around you can feel that rocker tipping you forward a little and I was excited to see what happened when I started running.
It was perfect racing conditions when the 10k started and the flat straight roads of The Fens were a great place to test the speed of these New Balance shoes. The FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 have a 4mm drop and I’m usually a fan of something a little more dramatic. However, with the rocker giving you a little nudge forwards, I didn’t miss the bigger drop. That said, the rocker isn’t as severe as something like the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3, so if you don’t like the feel of rockers as much, this could be a good option for you.
The FuelCell foam of the sole is soft without being too squishy and gives a great balance of comfort and energy return. New Balance say they want you to forget about the shoe on race day and, for the most part, they succeeded. The ride was smooth and comfortable.
The structure around the ankle and heel in the upper cradled my feet and made it feel stable going round corners. And while there’s minimal rubber on the outsole to cut down on the weight of the shoe, what is there is enough to give you the grip you need for a road race.
Unfortunately I hadn’t fully read the description of my race and at around 6k we headed off-road for a kilometer of dirt paths and through a nature reserve with a very muddy puddle. This isn’t terrain that the FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 is designed for but it coped surprisingly well.
Back on the road again it was time for my sprint finish and I was glad that I hadn’t actually opted for trail shoes. The shoes helped me pick up the pace, despite the weather now heating up.
I headed out to test the shoes again a few days later to check it wasn’t just race day magic and my view still stands: these are a great racing shoe. They’re lightweight, comfortable and easy to run well in.
Where can I buy these shoes?
You can get them directly from New Balance.