Verdict from 11 experts and 20 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • Several testers mentioned that the New Balance FuelCell 5280 is lightweight in structure.
  • According to those who have tried it, the running shoe is fast.
  • Based on the reviews, the shoe is durable.
  • Several users admire the FuelCell 5280's excellent grip.
  • The running footwear is true to size, as noted by some wearers.
  • The shoe is best used for short-distance running sessions, an avid fan commented.

2 reasons not to buy

  • One of the consumers said that the New Balance FuelCell 5280's back area digs into the Achilles. This made him uncomfortable at some point in the running session.
  • A buyer commented that the shoe is not advisable for marathon running.

Bottom line

With the positive feedback given to the New Balance FuelCell 5280, many users agreed that the shoe is a successful release. Those who have tested it are happy and contented with the lightweight structure and durability of the shoe. The overall quality of its construction is truly evident in the reviews and comments. The excellent grip and responsiveness of the shoe were highlighted as the essential factors in the performance of the users. In general, the majority of the purchasers agree that the New Balance FuelCell 520 is suitable for those who are looking for a well-performing running shoe.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Good to know

  • This road running shoe, the New Balance FuelCell 5280, is designed for those who have neutral foot mechanisms. It utilizes a breathable knit upper area. This super-lightweight material is focused on providing a better inflow of air during the run. It keeps the foot cool and dry at all times to promote a healthier interior environment.
  • The shoe features the FuelCell technology, New Balance's bounciest midsole version. Along with the flared midsole design and a multi-directional carbon fiber plate, the 5280 is sure to be the runner's perfect partner in confidently finishing the race on time. With the right combination of these features, improved performance is encouraged.

The New Balance FuelCell 5280 is built following the standard running shoe length, and it claims to be true to size. This running shoe is designed for racing; thus, fit specifications include narrow heel and forefoot widths, as well as low toe box height and midfoot volume. The FuelCell 5280 is best suited for neutral pronators or wearers with high arches.

The Tacky EVA is integrated into the New Balance FuelCell 5280. Along with the Tacky EVA, it is injected with Dynaride Rubber and an optimized lug configuration. This component of the shoe aims to deliver excellent grip during the toe-off phase. The outsole is one of the essential features of a running shoe because the traction it provides affects the performance of the runner.

Like the New Balance FuelCell Propel, the same midsole compound is used in 5280, the FuelCell technology. This material is described to be New Balance's most responsive midsole compound. Made of nitrogen-infused foam, it delivers a bouncier feel and great launch with every step. When compared to regular EVA, the foam is made up of TPU that offers a consistent and responsive ride. As a result, improved speed is promoted.

Together with the FuelCell technology is the Multi-directional Carbon Fiber Plate. This feature of the shoe is strategically designed to flex at initial contact and is designed to flex at initial contact. After being flexible, it stiffens at toe-off. The primary purpose of this is to encourage propulsion.

The Hypoknit is integrated into the upper section of the New Balance FuelCell 5280. This lightweight material is focused on providing breathability. As a result, better inflow and outflow of air during the running session is experienced by the user.

Used in crafting the shoe is the Bootie construction. New Balance added this feature of the FuelCell 5280 to provide a sock-like fit during the running session. 

Integrated into the New Balance FuelCell 5280 is the VL-6. This component of the shoe is described to be a running-specific last that utilizes a standard forefoot, heel, and toe-box height.

Once again, New Balance created and brought to the market new running footwear that is intended for those who want to take their activities to the next level. Like the New Balance FuelCell Rebel, the shoe is designed strategically designed for the everyday-type of a runner. Both shoes are described to be lightweight in nature. During race days and up-tempo training and workouts, both deliver a high-rebound performance.

The FuelCell Rebel uses a thin engineered mesh in the upper area. This is essential in providing a breathable and lightweight structure. On the other hand, the hypoknit upper is integrated into the New Balance FuelCell 5280. This component of the shoe is lightweight and offers added breathability as well.

When compared to the FuelCell Rebel, both shoes utilize the improved version of the FuelCell technology. This is focused on providing a plush cushioning system that works well with the midsole's flared design. This technology aids in achieving a run with faster paces and longer distances. 

The Rebel uses a single piece blown rubber in the outsole area while the 5280 utilizes the Tacky EVA. The uniquely-structured outsole of both shoes uses different types of materials that provide the right amount of traction and durability needed in the running activities.


How New Balance FuelCell 5280 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 41% road running shoes
All road running shoes
Top 44% New Balance running shoes
All New Balance running shoes
Bottom 21% carbon fiber plate running shoes
All carbon fiber plate running shoes


The current trend of New Balance FuelCell 5280.
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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.