Gear Shoe Review: New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite, v3

Shoe Review: New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite, v3


After running through the gamut of rock ‘n’ roll shoes, the carbon plate—dare we even say it?—seems to have lost some of its allure. Like the Tesla when it was the only car that was electric, carbon plates—a revelation in energy return used to propel momentum, lift the heel and offer midsole support—are now somewhat ubiquitous. Most major shoe brands offer some variation of more or less the same thing.

This is what makes the SuperComp Elite v3 from New Balance a revelation. We no longer instantly feel a jolt when brandishing these once nearly-outlawed shoes. The jolt must now come from the actual sneaker and the New Balance SuperComp Elite v3 feels like the start of something new. Light and peppy and low to the ground, the men’s sized 9 sneaker weighs 229 grams and has a 4mm drop. The ride is responsive, cushioned and propulsive. It’s aerodynamic, but here’s the thing: even after 35K, the lightweight trainer still provides adequate ankle support. Far from flimsy, somehow the SuperComp Elite v3 from New Balance has achieved the running shoe holy grail: light, but substantive; fast, but cushioned enough to lend a tired marathon runner support.

The shoe retails at $299 and boasts a synthetic upper and integrated tongue construction, which means there’s no extra material on your shoe: like a slipper, the whole shoe is just a single piece. On the website, the reviewer called the shoe “nippy,” and I agree. With its elevated toe box and energy arc extending back towards the heel, the FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 feels like you’re actually wearing a different kind of shoeone with wings.

Give it up to the carbon plate shoe revolution. Each new model seems to elevate the science of what competitive runners can expect in a shoe. The new elite shoe from New Balance runs kilometres away from the competition. This is the next evolution of what can be done in a carbon plate shoe.