Home All running shoes Reviews Cushioning shoe reviews ... New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2 expert review

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2 review

8 expert score
7 user's score
As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples. We purchased this pair at Running Warehouse with our own money.
Review written on 09th August by Brandon Law Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
164 other reviews

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2 Verdict

The New Balance SuperComp Trainer v2 is an excellent, versatile maximalist trainer which delivers a plush, energetic ride. It’s capable of recovery, easy, long runs and uptempo workouts but it feels more comfortable at slower paces. Version 2 has a brand new upper and midsole which makes it more comfortable, and lighter but less cushioned.

The pros

  • Improved upper comfort
  • Weight reduction
  • Better versatility
  • More stable ride

The cons

  • More suited to slow paces than fast paces
  • Less of a rockered ride
  • Less bouncy than v1

Where to buy

Best offers today in United States, all prices in USD

Rating breakdown

Comfort
9.0
Build quality
9.0
Upper
9.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
7.0
Durability
7.0
Value / Price
8.0

Facts / Specs

Model
FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2
Weight
9.7 oz (275 g)
MSRP
$180.00

Heel
40 mm.
Toe
34 mm.
Heel drop
6 mm.
Carbon plate
Full length carbon plate

Size/Fit

Sizing
True to size
Heel fit
Normal
Midfoot fit
Normal
Toebox fit
Normal

Cushioning & ride

Type of cushioning
Balanced/plush
Amount of cushioning
Highly cushioned
Stability
Very stable
Flexibility
Medium

Usage

Racing
Speedwork  
Daily training  
Long distance racing
Ultra distance racing

Who should buy the New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2 ?

If you are looking for a speed trainer which has a very soft, cushioned ride, the SuperComp Trainer is a great option. If you want a cheaper, more durable version of the SuperComp Elite v3, it’s also a great option.

Who should not buy the New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2 ?

If you enjoy minimal speed trainers which have lots of ground feel, the SuperComp Trainer v2 is not for you.

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2 Introduction

Picture of New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2

One of the most unique shoes to launch last year, the SuperComp Trainer v1 was one of the few running shoes to break the 40 mm midsole stack height competition rule imposed by World Athletics.

It also had a convex-shaped carbon plate and a deep decoupled groove, resulting in an incredibly fun, bouncy ride.

The SuperComp Trainer was one of my favourite running shoes last year: it was super soft but also very stable and not sluggish. I could use it for recovery, easy, steady and long runs due to its superb energy return and high level of cushioning.

The SuperComp Trainer is supposed to be the training version of the SuperComp Elite racer; a more durable, cheaper option for training runs however, version 1 was more of a multi-purpose shoe than a speed trainer. It didn’t specialise in speedwork.

It also had a semi-bootie construction upper with a stiff collar that poked into your ankles so it wasn’t the most comfortable shoe.

The SuperComp Trainer v2 has been completely redone. Its upper is now a traditional one, its midsole is thinner and it has a modified midsole foam.

It now weighs 9.7 oz (275 g) for a men’s US9 which is 0.7 oz lighter than version 1. It’s also 7 mm lower in the heel and 5 mm lower in the forefoot but it still costs $180.

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2 First Impressions

Picture of New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2


My first run was a 7 km hill repeats workout. The first thing that I noticed was how much more comfortable the upper was. The traditional upper of this version felt a lot more performance oriented than the last version.

The SuperComp Trainer v2 felt soft, energetic and stable. It made the run feel effortless. I felt like it was giving me a boost during the uphill surges when I needed it.

The shoe that it reminded me of was the New Balance More v4. Both shoes are maximalist trainers and have deep decoupled grooves underneath their outsoles. I can feel and hear the void underneath the shoe during foot strikes.

Compared to version 1, it felt less cushioned, slightly softer and more stable. It felt more agile and more capable of picking up the pace than v1.

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2 Upper

Picture of New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2

Version 1 had a stiff, hard upper which didn’t conform to your feet. I’m glad that they’ve changed the upper to a more traditional one because it fits better and is more comfortable. The new mesh feels more pliable and there’s now cushioning in the collar and heel tab.

The tongue is flat and semi-gusseted. It slides down a bit during runs but it’s not a major issue. There’s no heel slippage but I use a runner’s knot to get a good lockdown.

It has a spacious, accommodating fit in the midfoot, forefoot and toe box so this is a shoe that I would recommend for wide-footed runners. It runs true to size and it works best for me with thin or medium thickness socks.

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2 Sole Unit

Picture of New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2

There could only be 1 reason for the reduction in midsole stack height: a thinner midsole results in a lower weight and better versatility.

New Balance probably felt like the SuperComp Trainer v2 needed to be faster than v1. After testing it, I can conclude that it definitely is faster.

I did various tempo and threshold sessions in the SuperComp v2, and it passed with flying colours. I can do marathon paced efforts in it relatively easily compared to the first version and it feels like it’s lost some of the bloat.

Even though it has lost significant stack height, the SuperComp Trainer v2 still feels very well cushioned and very soft. It’s one of the softest shoes I’ve tried this year so if you enjoy squishy, plush rides, it will be right up your alley.

Picture of New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2

The sole setup is quite similar in geometry to the previous version. The carbon plate is cambered, so when you land, it flattens and then propels you forward when released. The plate has some flexibility and the forefoot isn’t extremely rigid. This gives the trainer a more relaxed ride than the SuperComp Elite.

The SuperComp Trainer v2 is great for long runs, easy, recovery and steady paced runs. I used it for 2 speed interval workouts but it was a bit too clunky and soft for those types of sprinting paces.

My favourite thing about it is how energetic it feels underfoot. The ride feels bouncy and dynamic because of the plate and the wide channel underneath the shoe which splays upon impact. This is one of the bounciest shoes on the market although it has lost some of the extreme bounce that was present in v1 due to the lower stack height.

The rocker is not as prominent in v2 compared to v1. This is because of the lower heel stack height and the softer foam of v2 so v2 doesn’t feel as energy-saving on long runs.

Picture of New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2

The formulation of FuelCell in the SuperComp Trainer v2 has changed: it’s lighter and less dense. It has better durability and is less susceptible to scuffing. I remember seeing a lot of outsole wear after testing v1 but v2 has held up much better.

The outsole has decent rubber coverage on the high wear areas but because of how the outsole is designed with the deep groove in the middle, there’s a lot of exposed midsole foam so you can expect lower durability than most trainers. The rubber used is also a softer, less durable type of rubber. Traction is average and it wouldn’t be my first choice for wet conditions.

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2 Conclusions

Picture of New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2

I didn’t think that I would enjoy this version as much as the first version because of the reduced stack height but it surprised me.

I think it’s a good update and it feels more like a speed trainer.

They fixed the most important thing, the upper. The collar no longer pokes into your ankles and the upper is now a traditional one which fits me better.

At $180, it’s $20 more than the average plated speed trainer, but I still think it’s worth the price.

This is a $180 running shoe which feels like a $180 running shoe. You can use it for a variety of different runs and paces, and it has a really fun, engaging ride.

The SuperComp Trainer v2 will definitely stay in my rotation for a while and I’ll use it for steady-paced and long runs when I’m craving a plush ride but I also want energy return.

Compared to the Hoka Mach X, which is currently my favourite speed trainer, the SuperComp Trainer v2 isn’t as fast or durable but it has a much plusher ride. I think slower runners will prefer the SuperComp Trainer v2.

I still prefer the Mach X because it feels snappier and more punchy during workouts.

How does the FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2 compare?

Hoka One One Mach X
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2
Brooks Hyperion Tempo
Expert score
9
8
9
User score
Best price
Retail price
US$180
US$179.95
US$150
Weight
9.4 oz
9.7 oz
7.2 oz
Heel Drop
5 mm
6 mm
8 mm
Recommended for
Racing, speedwork
Speedwork, daily training
Speedwork, daily training, long distance racing
Cushioning type
balanced
balanced/plush
responsive
Cushioning amount
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
Little cushioning
Flexibility
medium
medium
medium
Stability
very stable
very stable
very stable
Sizing
buy half size bigger
true to size
true to size

Why you can trust us

As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of New Balance at Running Warehouse  with our own money.

This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about our policy.
Lowest price:

$109

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2 price comparison

Best offers today in United States, all prices in USD

Reviewed by Brandon

This review was written by Brandon Law on 09th August.
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.

User feedback (5)

  • avatar-comment-1035634
    Tyler
    4 months ago
    5 score

    I love everything about these shoes except for one crucial aspect: they have no traction at my faster paces. I bought these to use for my weekly tempo workouts. When I’m doing the warm-up/cool-down at ~8:40/mi pace they’re fine, but any pace below 7:30 they start to slip and I’m left fighting the shoes the whole way (four runs now, all with the same result). I think the reason for this is that the rubber under the forefoot is basically flush with the foam in the center, so when I push the pace I’m pushing down harder on that section, and the foam ends up contacting the ground and slipping. I’m a heavy runner (5′ 10″, 200lbs) so maybe it wouldn’t do this for lighter folks, but for me I just can’t use these for what I wanted. They cost too much to be an easy-day only shoe. Less than 50 miles on them so I guess I’ll save them for bad-weather treadmill days? Looks like the rubber on the V3s will have better forefoot coverage so I’ll be excited to try those as everything else with the shoe is great..

  • avatar-comment-1032579
    Yifty
    8 months ago

    are they any good as a stabilty shoe?

  • avatar-comment-1031539
    JD
    10 months ago
    9 score

    I originally bought these for speedwork, but I found they were more suited to easy to tempo efforts. Enjoy them very much

  • avatar-comment-1031134
    Bob S
    10 months ago

    Thx for the review. I have the NB More v4 and had the v3 also. You mentioned it is most similar to the More V4. Are there any differences that you would note versus the More V4? Pros or cons?

    • avatar-comment-1031284
      Brandon
      10 months ago

      The SuperComp Trainer is much more versatile and can pick up the pace easier. The More is mostly for easy runs.

Lowest price:
$109

Where to buy

Best offers today in United States, all prices in USD

Similar shoes to New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2

New Balance Fresh Foam X 860 v14 Review

The New Balance 860v14 is a moderate stability shoe built to be a daily ... (Read expert review)

New Balance FuelCell Rebel v4 Review

The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v4 is an excellent lightweight speed trainer ... (Read expert review)

New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 Review

The New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 is a neutral daily trainer that has many ... (Read expert review)