We spent 8.6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

5 reasons to buy

  • Most consumers state that the sizing scheme of the New Balance FuelCell Propel follows their usual expectations.
  • A lot of runners have welcomed the cushioning system of this running shoe; they claim that the overall feel is soft and responsive.
  • The price is lauded for being affordable.
  • This road running shoe has a quality that some testers believe as superb; the components apparently didn’t look or feel cheap.
  • Many purchasers note that the lightweight construction of this product has allowed them to run for extended periods.

2 reasons not to buy

  • According to a few people, the overlay that’s placed on the toe box has started to irritate the toes, causing discomfort.
  • Some runners report that the New Balance FuelCell Propel requires a break-in period because it’s initially a bit stiff.

Bottom line

The general response towards the FuelCell Propel has been mostly positive. Those who have tested this New Balance running shoe feel that it employs a capacity for quality performance and long-lasting enjoyment. The responsive cushioning system, the wallet-friendly price, and the lightness of the build have been highlighted as the elements that elevated this product. On the other hand, the complaints center on the irritating overlay on the toe box, as well as a break-in period that is needed before achieving full comfort.

Fans of neutral running shoes meant for the roads are the target market of the FuelCell Propel.

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Video reviews and unboxing

- The New Balance FuelCell Propel is a running shoe that’s made for those who like to take to the roads on a daily basis. It can be used for speed training or exercise sessions in the gym. It has been touted as a model that’s inspired by the FuelCell Rebel shoe, a product that utilizes a fit-reinforcing feature called Trace Fiber Stitching.

- FuelCell is the midsole unit of this product. This full-length accoutrement is meant to provide a lightweight yet responsive ride, giving a performance that is reactive to the movements and capacities of the wearer. The NDurance outsole rubber shields against wear-and-tear while also delivering grip over the surfaces.

The New Balance FuelCell Propel was constructed using the standard sizing scheme. Users are welcome to get a pair with their usual sizing expectations in mind. However, it is worth noting that achieving a pleasant in-shoe experience would greatly benefit from initially testing the shoe or checking out user reviews from physical and virtual outlets.

When it comes to the width, the accessible options are D - Medium and 2E - Wide for men, and B - Medium and D - Wide for women. The various alternatives permit many foot types to fit into this shoe without worrying about a too-tight hug.

The semi-curved shape of the lasting board works with the flexible open mesh of the upper to accommodate the natural curvature of the human foot.

The outsole unit of the New Balance FuelCell Propel is made of NDurance, a rubber compound that is constructed to protect the base of the midsole from the abrasive nature of the surfaces. It has a set of non-prominent traction nodes to deliver grip on the asphalt. Movements such as swerves, turns, strafes and brakes are likely to benefit from such inclusion.

A few flex grooves are patterned on the external pad. These shallow grooves aim to make the sole unit as flexible as possible, encouraging the natural shape of the foot as it goes through the gait cycle.

FuelCell is the technology that’s used for the midsole unit of the New Balance FuelCell Propel. This in-house compound runs the entire length of the product, giving support to the foot as it stands idly or as it transitions from the heel to the toe. It is touted by the brand to be lightweight, flexible yet able to handle many running sessions. Its shock-attenuating capacity further aims to improve the quality of the performance.

A sockliner is placed right above the lasting piece of this product. This add-on offers a smooth surface for the underside of the foot, staving off a feeling of uncomfortable firmness that’s associated with any shoe’s lasting board. It can be removed or replaced with a new one if the wearer wants to do so.

The exterior of the New Balance FuelCell Propel’s upper unit is made of open mesh, a material that is lightweight and form-fitting. It is a fabric grid, with breathing holes pockmarking its facade. Air enters the ports, giving an in-shoe experience that is cool and dry. Breathable uppers are a staple in New Balance’s roster of performance footwear. Variations of this feature grace series like the enduring New Balance 1500.

The inner sleeve is made of a smooth textile. This interior layer is tasked with hugging the foot safely, staving off hot spots and chafing, occurrences that are associated with an itchy textile or a seam-filled foot-chamber.

The tongue and collar are moderately padded. Such features have the job of cushioning the back of the foot, ensuring that it doesn’t suffer from impact shock or in-shoe wobbling.

The heel part has a leaf-like structure to help with the security of the Achilles tendon. Such a design also prevents the foot from exiting the shoe unintentionally.

Trace Fiber Stitching involves a pattern of stitched-on overlays gracing the sides and the back of the shoe. These reinforcing elements bolster the upright position of the silhouette, ensuring that it doesn’t sag quickly. They also help with the attainment of a snug fit by participating with the lacing system as it tightens or loosens.

The forefoot section has a printed overlay to protect it from bumps or scratches from various debris on the roads.

A discreet lacing system is used for this product. Flat shoelaces snake through eyelets made of cords. This isolated zigzag structure averts hot spots brought about by material bunching or pressure from the placement of the lacing system.

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.