New Balance Fuel Cell TC Review

Coach Rob Dallimore had his first run in the awesome New Balance Fuel Cell TC.

It's an amazing, unique and FAST shoe. Here are his thoughts on it and a few pointers and tips for those considering adding it to their running shoe collection

Check out the video

Read the Transcript

I'm going to be talking to you today about the New Balance Fuel Cell TC.  

This is one of these superb new carbon plated shoes and there's a couple things to be aware of this shoe.

It's much like your race wheels on your bicycle, they're there to make you go faster youd on't use them all the time this shoe is designed to make you go faster and trust me it will make you go faster it's a very very fast shoe but it's not the sort of shoe that you're going to wear all the time so listen in and check out what I got to say about it I think you're going to like this shoe.

How's it going? Carbon inserts in the midsoles of running shoes is something that's been pretty prominent the last year or so and pretty much every brand is every major brand has come out with it with its offering and they're in that area and I'm here today just testing out the new Balance fuel cell TC which is New Balances carbon inserted shoe so this is literally my first run I've only just put them on a run down to the park I'm gonna give them a go 

I've only just jogged down here so first impressions where it's it's incredibly unique and incredibly different to what I run in before and you know I've run along along time and just conventional footwear so for this shoe is a real change from what I'm used to I've always liked a harder sole shoe I always like feeling the ground but suddenly putting this shoe on it's super soft and it's totally different but there are some real key benefits I can feel to the shoe so I'm going to do a bit of a run. I'm going to up the tempo a little bit try it at various paces and we're going to check back in I'm gonna give you some feedback on how it's going.  

All right so I'm just back from my first run in the New Balance Fuel Cell TC and I've had a great run I had a good chance to sort of have a think about how this shoe works where it's come from who's the sort of runner that can wear it and in what situations. 

So we'll take you back a bit there I feel like I've seen this shoe evolve over the years I've been involved in New Balance since 2007 back when I was a sports podiatrist and some of the designs of the shoes back then I saw carry through the generations we're seeing brought through to where we are now with the TC. 

So they kind of started back with a model called the it was a mid-foot strike shoe it's called the 800 and was a really really unique shoe and it was a bit of a game changer when it started when it came out and it was kind of ahead of its time and the features we found in that shoe was a stiffer lateral border and those people who wore it will remember that there was a piece through the lateral side of the shoe which provided a great deal of support and stability to the foot at landing in mid foot strikers in particular and you can see this has been carried through with this new model here it was also a feature they had in this great shoe the Fuel Cell Rebel which is a shoe absolutely love as well we have this stiffer lateral border and that was something that back when that came out myself and other sports podiatrists were sort of saying this is this is where we need to go with Footwear so it's great to see this has sort of been carried through.  

The other thing that I found fantastic with New Balance shoes back from back in those days is they're very very good at doing a full contact outsole so when I say thatI mean the whole shoe itself is in contact with the ground you don't get this segmentation which I feel causes instability you get feedback from the ground and every part of your foot which I think is really important so you can see through the Fresh Foam Beacon they've gone full contact through the Fuel Core Sonic 890 full contact shoes and these are a fantastic feature that you find in these shoes and they've carried it through to the TC so as you can see full contact a great deal of feedback from the ground.

The other thing that I sort of came about to decide is that New Balance do a really really good job of creating a shoe with a rocker bottom shape to it so when we look at the shoe flat on the surface it's got this nice toe spring that's nice curvature of the forefoot and that just allows the foot just to shift forward really really easily and I've loved that with New Balance shoes from when this feature started coming through 890 has been a great shoe to run in with that feature and what we find with the TC is that where you hit the ground is very very important in relation to where this rocket occurs so if you hit the ground too far forward you're not actually engaging that rocker and so forefoot runners might actually find this shoe to not to be the greatest shoe for them mid foot strikers will absolutely love it rear foot strikers have to be a little bit careful because it is so soft in the rear foot if you do crash in on the heel you could get some problems around stability but mid foot strikers absolutely made for the shoe.  

The other thing I found it's not super light it's not their race model it's not the lightest shoe they do you know this is a race shoe, this is the 1400 this is a very light shoe this is a little bit heavier but like I said earlier this is a training shoe the race model will be a lot lighter however I would still consider racing in the shoe because of the feel you get from it because the the rebound and when we talk about them when we talk about the midsole the thing that came to me when I was running is it's not so much the cushioning that we that I'm finding and it's not the energy return that we're getting but it's the dampening of the vibration as you hit the ground and it's the vibration that causes a lot of injuries a lot of stress injuries and a lot of muscular injuries so having a shoe that dampens that vibration and dampens that noise through the leg is really really important and that's exactly what the shoe is doing so we know when I was running at that faster tempo it just felt super smooth and really really comfortable really really nice.  

So who would wear this sort of shoe you've got to be really careful it's if it's not an all-day training shoe just keep that in mind if I see any FootTraffic athletes out running their slow easy runs in this shoe we're gonna be having words it's not the shoe to put on and go and run two and a half hours at a comfortable pace at this is the shoe that you wear for your harder tempo effort it's your race simulations race day you know I'd be very very careful wearing the shoe because one thing I did find I started getting a little bit of forefoot discomfort a little bit of numbness in my toes and that really came about from the stiffness of the shoe it is so stiff that it doesn't allow the foot to move naturally and so that's sort of a red flag for me if I wore this shoe too much what does that increase stress doing to the forefoot am i opening myself up to an injury there so I would look at that and go well this shoe is great for this sort of session but I'm not going to wear it for a long easy run I might wear it for a long long race because my foots doing a different thing in a race and is to training but be very careful with your decisions around wearing this shoe.

And the other thing is it's and that sort of brings me to which races would you wear it in and so you know it's a little bit like looking at using a disc wheel in the triathlon not everyone should use disc wheel but the people who do use and get the advantage out of them so not everyone should be racing the shoe for an Ironman for example but if you're Sebastian Kienle and you're running well under four minute kilometers this is a shoe to be wearing if you're a person who's running you know six-minute k's in an Ironman run this is probably not the shoe for you it's going to be the decision you've got to make but it might be the shoe for you to wear for a sprint triathlon or an Olympic Distance race so not saying don't wear it but I'm saying be very very mindful of what you do with it. 

The other thing to keep in mind is the durability of it so reading online a lot of the companies are sort of saying that they should get around 300miles out of a pair of these shoes which is really really quite high so but but I tend not to rely on mileage from my shoes I look at the wear on the outsole wear on the midsole how it feels to make that decision as to when to replace them so I'm not going to say the shoe is going to last you this amount of time but good runners generally know when their shoes are worn out so that'll be interesting to see as I wear the shoe how long it should last for I suspect it'll last fora pretty long time I mean the rebel which is very similar this shoe has just done hundreds hundreds of kilometres for me no problem and it's still got a lot to go in it so so I'm looking forward to running some miles in the shoe 

so hopefully it's going to help you make some decisions around this around the style shoe but if you do have any questions please reach out to me ask away I'm you know I'm pretty passionate about this subject and I feel I've got a fair bit of knowledge init so I'm happy to answer any questions that you may have but you know it's a it's a great show and I think you'll enjoy running in it so good luck