Living with the New Balance Fuel Cell Prism .... first 100km
Posted on July 08 2020
The FuelCell concept from New Balance was started about 2 seasons ago with the launch of the FuelCell Rebel. A radical departure for NB to a completely different concept. FuelCell refers to the midsole but the way the shoes have been made has created one of the most attractive silhouettes of any running shoe on the market.
However function must also follow form and the FuelCell Rebel, while pretty fell somewhere on the edge of performance and lifestyle. A shoe to be seen in rather than to take on a hard, possible dirty old run.
Then came the FuelCell TC .... NB's first foray into the carbon plated world and the Fuel Cell platform was chosen to carry it. We tested it at the end of last year and for all the midfoot, forefoot strikers they really loved its pop and the spring given by the carbon plate. Once again, a drop dead gorgeous look but this time with serious performance.
Where it was a little weak was for an runner who was a heel strike or if you caught yourself landing on your heel running downhill for instance. The Fuel Cell at the back of the shoe is incredibly soft and this created not an insubstantial amount of rock and roll and a general feeling of instability.
So now we come to the Fuel Cell Prism. Soon to be launched in Hong Kong and from the outside looks the spitting image of the Fuel Cell TC. Just a red MB flash rather than the black one on the TC.
However this is a very different shoe. Immediately, no carbon plate and designed for people who overpronate the shoe has a significantly stiffened medial post to provide support to the arch and a differently designed heal to provide more stability.
The stiffened medial post is clear and obvious. A clearly different composition to the rest of the midsole.
So after around 70k or so in the shoes, after spending something similar in the TC, how do they compare?.
So while the Prism is designed to be a support shoe, it is in fact and absolutely fabulous everyday trainer. By adding the stiffer medial post and redesigning the heel, NB have fixed the instability of the TC. It is now stable and reassuring for the heel striker and for powering downhills. Obviously it doesn't have quite the pop of its carbon brother but still have a very nice roll off.
This has the same fit as the TC, but because the carbon plate is not there is 33g lighter than the TC which makes the shoe feel feather-light by comparison.
It has a 6mm drop compared to the 8mm of the TC, a difference which is hard to feel honeatly
So I think this is a great shoe, the question is how does it help the overpronators?. I dont overpornate so obviously its hard for me to tell.
So that's for the next blog . We got a bunch of them together for a try out and when they have tried them on a few different surfaces and in different conditions we will let you know the verdict. Until then, if you want an everyday trainer that looks great and feels as light as a feather... this is something to consider.