New Balance FuelCell Propel v2 Intro
At $99, the New Balance FuelCell Propel V2 is a steal for any type of road runner – whether you’re a seasoned racer looking for a new shoe to supplement your training or you’re new to the sport and looking for one shoe to get you started on your journey.
The Propel V2 is designed for training, but the midsole foam is softer than its more speed-focused brethren for a more comfortable ride on longer efforts.
The midsole has been refined from the Propel V1 – its firmness has been tuned for a better balance of cushion and springiness and facilities a smoother heel-to-toe stride.
Further, the lightweight upper material increases breathability without sacrificing security and support, making the V2 a significant upgrade from the previous version.
New Balance FuelCell Propel v2 First Impressions
The bold N logo and stylish colorway (frost blue for me – but many other good color options available) look sporty and cool.
At about 8 oz. for the women’s shoe (9.5 oz. for men’s), this shoe felt light and the upper material felt thin but structured enough to hold my foot in place. My first few runs in these shoes felt remarkably fast and smooth.
The FuelCell midsole initially felt overly firm to me compared to trail runners that I’ve been testing, but the energy return on the road was satisfying.
No break-in period was necessary – these shoes were comfortable right out of the box and caused minimal hot spots. The upper was breathable in humid, sweatier conditions.
New Balance FuelCell Propel v2 Sole Unit
The FuelCell midsole on the Propel V2 provided an exceptional balance of cushioning and responsiveness. There were no issues with stability or balance.
The most notable characteristic of these shoes is the quick and snappy energy return. The instant these shoes hit the pavement, they spring you forward.
The 6mm drop was excellent for facilitating a natural-feeling heel to toe stride.
The Propel V2 is ideal for training runs of most lengths, as well as speed workouts on the track; however, the firmness of the midsole caused some fatigue on the bottoms of my feet after runs over 90 minutes.
The traction provided by the Ndurance rubber outsole was generally sufficient on both wet and dry roads. Some slipping did occur in dustier conditions.
There was very little wear on the outsole after about 50 miles of running on this shoe.
New Balance FuelCell Propel v2 Upper Unit
Overall, this shoe fit true to size. The upper is a bootie construction made of an engineered mesh stitched together by trace fiber material designed specifically to provide support.
The result is a secure and durable yet still breathable upper that doesn’t add too much weight to the shoe.
My only issue with the upper construction is that it’s not very stretchy, so the shoe felt slightly too spacious or slightly tight in the toe depending on the thickness of my socks.
During testing in only summer conditions, my feet never got overly hot. The upper material is breathable in wet or humid conditions, and the shoes dried out quickly if they got wet.
The seamless collar and tongue is lightly padded to provide just the right amount of cushioning and support. In tandem with the lace system, the upper hugs the foot without being constrictive.
The heel cup is secure to prevent your heel from slipping out and comes up slightly higher on the heel than the V1 to provide additional support.
New Balance FuelCell Propel v2 Conclusion
Overall, these shoes are a solid choice for all types of road training. They are well-cushioned and stable for most lengths of training runs (less than 90 minute for me) and fast enough for speedwork.
The FuelCell midsole on the Propel V2 is calibrated to provide a springy energy return that you will notice on your first run and enjoy for every run thereafter.
The upper will keep your foot secure and comfortable over distances and in wet or hot weather. At $99, these shoes are an excellent value for road runners of all experience levels.
We purchased a pair of New Balance FuelCell Propel v2 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.
New Balance FuelCell Propel v2 Price Comparison
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