Written by

Brandon Law

Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
New Balance's Rebel is a popular lightweight, versatile speed trainer. Here we will be comparing version 4 with version 3.
Foo Bar

The Rebel is one of the most popular non-plated speed trainers. It has an energetic FuelCell midsole, a lightweight build and is very affordable. Each version of the Rebel has seen significant updates to the upper, midsole, outsole and ride.

This comparison will tell you which version is better for you, the Rebel 4 or the Rebel 3.

Similarity and differences: FuelCell Rebel v4 vs FuelCell Rebel v3

Expert score
Expert score
Expert score
7.5 oz
7.40 oz
Heel Drop
6 mm
6 mm
The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v4 is an excellent lightweight speed trainer which is perfect for any run faster than easy pace. Its new midsole which is a blend of PEBA & EVA delivers an energetic, engaging ride which makes it want to pick up the pace. Version 4 feels more like a speed trainer than version 3 which was slower and felt more like a daily trainer. V4 is firmer and more enjoyable for uptempo running.
The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 is a lightweight daily trainer with a flexible forefoot. It has a super soft ride and can handle a wide range of paces. Version 3 has more outsole rubber for added durability, a thicker midsole for more cushioning and a wider base for extra stability which makes it a better daily trainer
Recommended for
Daily training
Cushioning type
Cushioning amount
Medium cushioning
Medium cushioning
some stability
some stability
true to size
buy half size bigger
Retail price

Sole unit: FuelCell Rebel v4 vs FuelCell Rebel v3

The midsole of the Rebel v4 is made from a new FuelCell which is a blend of PEBA and EVA. This midsole foam is very energetic, very engaging and very responsive. It has a firmer ride than v3 but it feels faster due to its updated midsole.

The Rebel v3’s midsole is also made from FuelCell but this version of it is made from EVA and TPU. This midsole is super soft and compresses very easily. It feels slower and more plush than version 4.

Version 4 is better for faster-paced runs than version 3. It’s easier to increase your pace in v4 thanks to the PEBA in v4 and it’s firmer so your feet don’t sink down into the foam as much. Version 3 is more suited to slower paced runs.

If you do a lot of long runs, version 4 is the better choice. It has more cushioning depth and less ground feel so it offers more protection from pounding.

When it comes to stability, v4 is better because it has a firmer ride with less lean bias. It also has a wider base so your foot strikes feel more planted.

Upper unit: FuelCell Rebel v4 vs FuelCell Rebel v3

Bot versions have light, thin uppers which are racing-inspired. V4 has a more breathable upper so it’s better for warmer climates than v3.

The main difference is the fit. V3 has a snug, narrow fit with a narrow toe box so you have to go up a half size. v4 has a much wider midfoot and forefoot which is more suited to runners with wide feet. V4 has a more accommodating fit.

Foot lockdown is great in both and they are both available in a standard and wide version.

Which one to buy: FuelCell Rebel v4 vs FuelCell Rebel v3

If you are looking for a faster trainer which feels more energetic, the Rebel v4 is the better choiceNew Balance FuelCell Rebel v4 Review. It costs $10 more than v3 but it has more cushioning depth.

It also has better breathability and better stability. The Rebel v3 feels more like a speed trainer than a daily trainer.

If you prefer softer trainers which have plusher rides, the Rebel v3 is the better choice. It’s cheaper, it ‘s better for cooler climates and it has a lighter build. Version 3 also has the better fitting upper if you have narrow, low-volume feet. The Rebel v3 feels more like a daily trainer than a speed trainer.

This expert review is written by

Brandon Law

Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
Brandon is a South African who lives and trains in Malaysia. He is a marathon runner who eats, sleeps and dreams running shoes. While most people wear shoes to run, he runs to wear shoes.