Verdict from 22 experts and 36 user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • Several testers have reported that the New Balance FuelCell TC is very comfortable. 
  • The running shoe delivers a springy ride, commended a few runners. 
  • It has a good grip on multiple surfaces, claimed several users. 
  • According to some experts, this race shoe has a secure fit. 
  • Many wearers appreciate the high energy return of the running platform. 
  • A number of commenters have stated that the shoe enhanced their speed. 
  • It delivers a stable performance, shared some purchasers.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some buyers are disappointed with the loose fit of the neutral shoe’s forefoot. 
  • The running shoe is quite heavy, noted some customers. 
  • The heel of the running platform causes some irritation, remarked several buyers.

Bottom line

Engineered as a multi-purpose running shoe, the New Balance FuelCell TC is perfect for marathons and training runs. Its prime offer is to deliver high rebound and unparalleled durability, which is very evident in its makeup. Powered by a carbon fiber plate in the midsole, the shoe is designed to supply a fast-paced, energetic ride.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

Video reviews

Our reviews

98
/100 by , posted on .

Described by the experts as the ‘New Balance Rebel on Steroids,’ I had to get my hands on a pair of these and experience them for myself. I searched far and wide for over a week and nothing.

I was desperately hoping this shoe was not going down the same path of Nike regarding limiting release of their carbon plate prized possessions. Finally, my size eventually popped up on one of the popular running shoe sites. I didn’t hesitate and coughed up some serious cash.

 

New-Balance-FuelCell-TC.jpg

First Glance

They looked good in the box and even better straight out of the box. These shoes cost top dollar, and you can see why.

The shoe looks amazing, and the materials feel expensive, just quality. The midsole shimmers with a pearl-like finish, the upper is soft, and the heel counter fabric reminds me of suede. 

Stats

  • Weight  -10 oz (M9.5)
  • Price – $200 US
  • Offset – 10mm
  • Stack – 20 - 30mm (FuelCell)
  • Carbon Plate - Yes
  • Durability - 300+ miles (500km)
  • Use - Everyday trainer, races
  • Surface - Road, track

Upper

The upper is premium, mainly consisting of a soft light layer of woven mesh. It is almost translucent with a lightly stamped New Balance logo over the toe box. The black material that wraps around the heel and houses the laces is suede-like.

The tongue is thin and soft to touch, with holes punched from top to bottom. The shoelaces can be weaved through any of the holes on the tongue to customize how you wish to hold the tongue in place.

 

New-Balance-FuelCell-TC-Tongue.jpg

 

The heel counter has a little structure but not overly robust (almost perfect). It has an elf-like heel tab to assist getting your foot in the shoe.

The toe box is wide with plenty of room for the toes to splay while running.

 

New-Balance-FuelCell-TC-Heel-Collar.jpg

Midsole

The midsole is made up of extremely soft and bouncy Fuelcell with a full-length carbon plate to add some rigidly to the tonnes of cushy foam. The midsole flairs out on the lateral side, designed to hit the ground first, taking some impact and guiding the foot strike.

Soft is an understatement when trying to describe this version of the Fuelcell. Walking around is marshmallow-like and a similar feeling to the Nike Next %.

Outsole

Underneath, you will find a large amount of rubber covering the forefoot and lateral side to the mid foot. This rubber definitely adds some stability to the foam and adds some pop to the cush.

Pretty grippy in the dry conditions, pretty slippery in the wet. Obviously, with this much rubber underneath, the durability looks good.

There are two smaller segments of rubber around the heel area in the high impact areas, and the rest of the outsole is exposed foam.

 

New-Balance-FuelCell-TC-Outsole.jpg

Performance

Firstly, let me tell you that these shoes are extremely comfortable. Regardless of the length or speed of the runs I have tested them on, they are 10/10 in the comfort department.

My first run was an early morning flat 7kms at a steady pace. Soon as I stepped off, the "marshmallow feel" you get from walking around was gone. They felt smooth but snappy.

You can really feel the carbon plate doing what is intended to do propel! I picked up the pace, and these things just got better. Very easy to maintain the pace.

 

New-Balance-FuelCell-TC-Comfort.jpg

 

The second test was a 140 minute long run on the road. Again these didn’t disappoint. They felt fine at an easier pace and ready to go when I wanted to pick it up.

As the run got past the hour mark, the laces or fit felt like it was loosening. Not enough to stop and re-adjust but enough to notice. No foot fatigue whatsoever!

 

New-Balance-FuelCell-TC-Fit.jpg

 

The next test was a tempo/threshold run. I was curious how these would hold up over extended faster speeds. To combat the fit loosening on long runs, I purposely went for a tighter lockdown.

The lockdown fixed the loosening sensation, and these shoes just absolutely hum once they get going. Once you hit your pace, the carbon plate does the rest—consistent and effortless performance.

Issues

The only real issue I found was the loosening of the fit during long runs. This is easily combated by a tighter than usual lockdown before you leave.

I have found no issues with the weight. I read that people think it is too heavy, but I honestly have not noticed.

 

New-Balance-FuelCell-TC-Design.jpg

Verdict

This is the best shoe I have tested this year. Hands down!

No shoe out there (at the moment) delivers a plush, premium, responsive, carbon fibre shoe that is pretty durable. In my opinion, this shoe is best for tempo and your long runs when you need to hit some fast, consistent pace.

Probably not a middle-distance racer but definitely worth considering as a half or marathon competition shoe. If you can’t get your hands on the Next % or Alpha Fly, get yourself a pair of these. They will last you longer and give you more bang for the buck.

| Level 2 expert Verified
G'Day! I'm Dwayne, a long and current serving member of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) employed as an Airfield Defence Guard. I am a proud member of the Australian Defence Force Athletics team and compete in both the half and full marathon distance. I see myself as an athlete, specialising in distance running with a genuine running shoe obsession. My current shoe "arsenal" is around 40 pairs, mostly from big brands.

Good to know

As the name suggests, the FuelCell TC is equipped with one of the brand’s most famous innovations — the FuelCell midsole. This midsole technology gives the runner a forward push to promote acceleration. It also aims to deliver a soft underfoot cushioning for comfort.

Cohering to the FuelCell’s springy ride is the internal carbon fiber plate to further the shoe’s propulsion. This is intended especially during toe-off. With its composition, the carbon fiber plate increases the pace of the runner. 

For a lightweight and secure fit, the upper of the New Balance FuelCell TC consists of a synthetic mesh. This offers a foot-conforming wrap, locking the foot in place during performance. This eliminates unwanted shoe removal and any slippage that may cause strain to the foot.  

Lastly, the collar and eyelets of the shoe are made of suede material. This construction not only boosts comfort but also security.

The New Balance FuelCell TC is furnished with a full-length rubber outsole. It serves as the layer of protection of the soft midsole of the running shoe. Aside from maintaining the platform’s strength, it is also responsible for the ground adherence of the shoe. Because of its sticky texture, it allows the runner to perform on multiple surfaces without the fear of slipping. Although sporting high-strength qualities, the rubber outsole of the running shoe does not sacrifice both weight and flexibility. This gives the wearer unrestricted foot movements and speed.

The most lauded feature of the New Balance FuelCell TC is its midsole composition. That is because it exhibits a blend of the FuelCell foam and the internal carbon fiber plate. Together, these components enable a bouncy, propulsive running experience. 

The FuelCell foam is a staple to the FuelCell series of New Balance. That is why it serves as an integral part of the FuelCell TC’s construction. The foam runs full-length, offering plushness to the underfoot without adding much bulk. In turn, the foam promotes a well-padded landing with spring to highlight the running shoe’s responsiveness. 

Embedded on the FuelCell foam is the internal carbon fiber plate. Its engineering keeps a balance of pliability and stiffness. During ground contact, it flexes, and on toe-offs, it stiffens. These functions amplify the forward motion of the user to achieve peak performance and comfort.

Like most running shoes, the upper of the New Balance FuelCell TC is composed of synthetic mesh. It keeps a featherlight profile, preventing drag from occurring. The mesh upper’s perforations also act as the ventilation system of the running shoe. It is responsible for the airflow within the foot chamber, keeping the foot healthy by preventing the onset of odor and sweat. The synthetic mesh upper also has a flexible quality, allowing it to envelope the foot. This heightens the security of the shoe. 

In terms of lockdown, another important technical component of the shoe is its lacing system. The running shoe sports a traditional lace-up closure, providing a dialed-in, precise fit. However, New Balance tweaked the laces’ construction to better its function. The laces present a single embroidered stitch run. With such texture, the laces stay tightly tied even on long runs. 

The collar and the eyelets of the running shoe are made of suede. Aside from offering a premium feel to the wearer, the suede material also produces added grip on the laces. This prevents them from unraveling easily or loosening. 

Perforations are not only implemented on the upper wrap of the shoe, but also on its tongue. This composition adheres to the breathable fit of the shoe, maximizing comfort.

How FuelCell TC compares

This shoe: 85
All shoes average: 82
56 95
This shoe: £190
All shoes average: £120
£40 £280
This shoe: 264g
All shoes average: 270g
79g 437g
Ready to buy?
Author
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.

jens@runrepeat.com