Who should buy the New Balance FuelCell Lerato

Because of the presence of the carbon plate, you might think that the Lerato from New Balance is a speedster. It's not. Get it if you want a:

  • "pleasant, easy-riding" shoe for long, easy days on the pavement 
  • a versatile shoe that's forgiving enough for recovery days and walking

The heavier runners and heel strikers will benefit most from the NB Lerato. It's best for heel strikers simply because its bounce is more pronounced in the rearfoot.

New Balance Lerato New balance

Who should NOT buy it

The NB Lerato is not a tempo shoe. So, if you want to run fast, consider buying a dedicated speed trainer instead like the NB Rebel v2. Not only is it fast, but it's also light and breathable.  

If you want to stay on the lane of daily trainers, among the most breathable shoes from NB is the NB Fresh Foam 1080 v11.

Experience luxury with the NB Lerato

Like the RC Elite, the Lerato's FuelCell midsole has a "luxurious" sensation upon step-in. It feels plush underfoot, and the upper is very soft "from all sides" and "easy on the foot." 

New Balance Lerato plush

It's alive

It's springy and bouncy. This is because the shoe combines the soft FuelCell foam and flexible carbon-fiber plate

Steady strides comin' through

No matter at what angle you land, the shoe keeps you steady. And when cornering, surefooted strides are ensured. This is thanks to the plastic heel cup and upper reinforcements.

A certified stunner! 

It's like NB's modern take on their 990 series — the OG dad shoe. It keeps a classic silhouette with "deluxe" embellishments. 

New Balance Lerato upper

Plated but not stiff

For reference, it's as flexible as the PUMA Deviate Nitro and more pliable than the FuelCell TC. It's so unobtrusive that experts say it makes the legs less sore than any other non-plated shoe. 

No more wobbling

It's very secure from the heel to the forefoot. There have been zero issues with slippage. 

It eats up all the impact

The combination of the plate and the foam "insulates" the foot from impact. Meanwhile, the outsole rubber is very thick, generating a "tank-like ride." 

New Balance Lerato carbon fiber plate

The Lerato can weigh you down

It's heftier than the Saucony Triumph 18, which is among the heaviest road shoes. 

Not for the warm weather

The upper has so much padding that it's not breathable. It may be of help during winter runs, but it's definitely a drawback for summer runs. 

New Balance Lerato up

A few more notes about the NB Lerato

  • The carbon-fiber plate does not reward fast paces. It has some pop, but only enough so that you won't have to exert more effort. In short, make your runs easy and enjoyable. 
  • Given its looks, the shoe is very much suitable as your sneaker. 

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 334g / Women 283g
Arch support: Neutral
Forefoot height: 27mm
Heel height: 37mm
Collection: New Balance Fuelcell, New Balance Fuelcell Lerato
Pronation: Neutral Pronation / Supination / Underpronation

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New Balance Lerato video reviews

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.