Our verdict

With its 40+ mm stack, the New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer is one of the tallest road running shoes we have ever tested, so high that it’s not even allowed in World Athletics events. For all other situations, especially marathon training, we believe that this is a superb max-cushioned carbon-plated trainer. It is so massive, protective, and fun to ride in that we were surprised the first time we used it.

Pros

  • Incredibly bouncy and soft
  • Extremely protective underfoot
  • Top-quality upper
  • Stable for a “super-shoe”
  • Versatile for different paces
  • Great lockdown
  • Ready straight out of the box
  • Welcomes wide feet
  • Massive, yet great-looking

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Collects some rocks

Audience verdict

87
Great!
  • Top 24% most popular running shoes

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Who should buy the New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer 

We highly recommend this NB shoe if you need to prepare for a marathon or even for a longer distance race and you seek plenty of cushioning, and a propulsive, very lively ride.

It is suited to advanced runners who appreciate a great amount of protection.

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Who should not buy it

Look elsewhere if you:

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The upper borders on perfection

Comfortable, stretchy, light, and very breathable: the upper part of this shoe is flawless! We found that it fits exceptionally well and must be one of the best uppers on the market.

New Balance FuelCell Supercomp Trainer (left), Adidas Runfalcon (right)

The Supercomp Trainer receives the highest mark in our breathability test. On a 1-5 scale where 5 is the most breathable, we marked it as 5 based on how easily the smoke passes through the material. You can also see the most transparent (slash breathable) parts of the upper in the video below.

As for the shoe's fit, we measured the widest part of its toebox to be 95.1 mm. This is about 3 mm narrower than average but still within the range of medium width.

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SC Trainer has an outstanding ride

No doubts about the midsole’s capabilities: we absolutely LOVED how this shoe behaves on the road.

It's got a forgiving, very propulsive, and one of the softest, bounciest, and most cushioned experiences ever. The shoe kept us smiling all throughout the test run!

Using a durometer to check the softness of the foam, we received a stunning result. The FuelCell Supercomp is 103% softer than the average road running shoe! With a durometer reading of 11.5 HA, it is hard to find a plusher shoe on the market.

One such rare example is the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 at 9.5 HA.

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Disclaimer: We repeat the durometer measurement 5 times before taking down the final result. The photo shows the final measurement.

What's astonishing is that even after being exposed to cold temperatures (like sitting in the freezer for 20 minutes) and getting 57.4% firmer, the FuelCell foam still remains 31% softer than most foams in from temperature.

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Trampoline-like propulsion

As is the case with all carbon-plated running shoes, the Supercomp Trainer has a good amount of stiffness in the forefoot. We were pleasantly surprised with the propulsion and speed it created during long and fast runs.

As our lab test shows, the shoe is indeed very stiff. Measuring its resistance to bending, we found that the SuperComp Trainer is 50% stiffer than running shoes on average.

In a manual assessment, we rated the shoe as the stiffest in both longitudinal and torsional flexibility. On a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the stiffest, this NB shoe got 5.

Supercomp Trainer is incredibly protective

The amount of impact protection that this shoe can deliver is amazing. The FuelCell midsole really takes the bullet for you and saves your body from aches and sprains. A shoe like this is definitely capable of speeding up recovery time.

The New Balance FuelCell SC is a record holder in the stack department as well. According to the brand, the shoe has a midsole height of 47 mm. However, we measured it at 40.2 mm in the heel and 29.9 mm in the forefoot.

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Despite the fact that our results show a lower stack, the shoe is still a whopping 7 mm thicker than the average in the heel. Its few contenders include the Nike Vaporfly (38.6 mm) and the Alphafly (40 mm).

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Disclaimer: We always include the shoe's insole thickness in the stack measurement. The Supercomp Trainer has a fairly thin insole - only 2.5 mm compared to the average of 4.6 mm.

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Best to avoid dirty roads

Contrary to the rest of the shoe, the quality of the outsole doesn't seem so superior to us. It works well on dry surfaces, and a little less on wet ones, but overall it does the job. What can be annoying, is that it picks up rocks and debris from the ground, as they get easily stuck if the road is not clean.

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You shouldn't expect a lot of life from this outsole either. The rubber piece on the bottom is only 2 mm thick. For reference, the average is 3.4 mm.

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Secure lockdown in the New Balance SuperComp Trainer

Another admirable aspect of the shoe is how well it hugs the foot and provides an excellent lockdown.

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A major contributing factor to the foothold is the shoe's gusseted tongue.

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We also observed no heel slippage whatsoever. That is despite the fact that the shoe features a very soft, form-fitting heel counter. Assessing the stiffness on a 1-5 scale where 1 is the most pliable, we rated it 2.

A shoe for many different scenarios 

This New Balance shoe is excellent when it comes to running long distances, but it’s perfectly at ease on shorter runs too! It works great for slow to uptempo paces and even for recovery days.

Don’t expect the SC Trainer to feel light

The major con of the SuperComp Trainer is its WEIGHT!

As enjoyable as the shoe's ride felt, we remained very well aware of its 10.5 oz (300g), especially on the longer runs. The shoe is an ounce heavier than road running shoes on average.

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Not as wobbling as other competitors

Super-shoes, as they are now called, are often unstable due to their stack. Yet, in the SC Trainer, this issue has been addressed fairly well. Despite not being the best on sharp corners, the shoe has good lateral stability and feels more secure and stable than other similar shoes.

This New Balance shoe is built on a nice and wide platform, which turns out to be wider than average: 113.9 in the forefoot (1 mm wider) and 93.9 (4 mm wider).

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Immediately ready

The New Balance FuelCell SC Trainer needed no breaking in to perform best. Both the upper and the midsole of the shoe have worked amazingly well since the first step on the road.

Shocking and attractive at the same time

This shoe gets noticed for sure! The shoe's cushioning looks and feels immense. It screams comfort and does so in a variety of appealing colour options.

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