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Home / Reviews / New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite V3 review - Run shoes - Run

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite V3 review

The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite V3s are worn by pro triathletes Alex Yee and Georgia Taylor-Brown, but are they worth the money for age-groupers? It's time to find out...

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite V3
Credit: Dave Caudery/Our Media

The tri-specific running shoe genre isn’t a thing anymore, but if it was the FuelCell SC Elite v3 from New Balance would tick plenty of the boxes to gain acceptance.

We’ll get to those in a minute, but first let us tell you that these shoes are worn than none other than British aces Alex Yee and Georgia Taylor-Brown.

In fact, the duo were both wearing these shoes when they ran to victory at this year’s WTCS Cagliari, so they clearly have pedigree. But should you part with £220 to buy them for yourself?

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite V3 review

Let’s start with those tri credentials. There are both heel and tongue loops for transition speed, while the mesh knit upper and builtin fabric tongue will scream sockless running until the finishing chute.

In fact, it’s so sock-like itself (New Balance rightly calls it a ‘bootie construction’) that the lacing system around it feels a little tepid, as if its job has already been mostly done.

New Balance FuelCell SC Elite V3 lacing
Credit: Dave Caudery/Our Media

That upper is noticeably thicker than many here, though, and the likes of the On, Saucony and Nike offer more ventilation.

Out of transition and onto the race track, and the snappily-titled FuelCell SC (‘Super Comp’) Elite v3 continue to deliver the goods.

The move to a 4mm heel-to-toe drop from v2’s 8mm drop promotes a forefoot strike, while the full-length carbon sole is instantly evident – but crucially not too evident – for propulsion gains.

The feel is more forgiving than many here (helped by the maximum 40mm stack height), making these our contenders for Ironman-distance racing, but there’s still enough pep and nimbleness for short-course speed seekers.

New Balance FuelCell SC Elite V3 sole

The Elite v3 also hit the sweetspot between agility and stability, helped by the lean 208g weight, a wide platform and a patch of outsole on the bed of the carbon that offers both control and protection of the plate.

Out of the shoes on test, these were our picks for some cheeky trail runs on a barren South West Coast Path thanks to the stability, reinforced areas of outsole protection and relatively decent traction (and, yes, we forgot our trail shoes).

Admittedly, there are bouncier foams than New Balance’s FuelCell midsole construction, the obvious candidate being the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 3, but we like the multi-distance versatility offered by the more neutral FuelCell SC that’s more gentle nudge than aggressive shove.

Their performance later on in the run, when our technique was starting to break down, was also favourable and forgiving – it never felt like the shoes were battling with us.


There’s also an array of colours, many more appealing than the slightly tepid and prone-to-staining ‘White with Victory Blue’ seen here (the London and NYC marathon versions are worth a gander, the latter worn by German star Laura Philipp during a 3:01:33 split at Kona 2022).

The fit is snug, but we’d suggest going up half a size if you usually sit between the two. On that note, there’s a massive array of sizes (from UK 3.5 to a mighty 13.5, including men’s and women’s), with NB also offering its ‘standard’ and ‘wide’ options on the FuelCell SC.

The price puts them £90-100 higher than the non-carbon FuelCell shoes, but when compared to the others here, the £220 tag feels about right.

Verdict: Stability and agility, speed and support. A winning shoe for many triathletes.

Score: 91%

Pair these with…

Boot Bananas Original Shoe Deodoriser

Boot Bananas Original Shoe Deodorisers

If you’re planning to go sockless on race day, you may well save yourself some time in transition, however, you may also take a much quicker path to smelly shoes.

That’s when a shoe deodoriser can come in and help. These Boot Bananas, made with a combination of activated bamboo charcoal, salts, volcanic minerals and real plant extracts, work by being slid into your shoes in between runs and absorbing and neutralising odours.

Like real bananas, they’ll gradually turn brown as you use them, indicating when they might need replacing.

The brand suggests each product should last between six and 12 months.

See our list of the best shoe deodorisers for more.

Profile image of Matt Baird Matt Baird Editor of Cycling Plus magazine


Matt is a regular contributor to 220 Triathlon, having joined the magazine in 2008. He’s raced everything from super-sprint to Ironman, duathlons and off-road triathlons, and can regularly be seen on the roads and trails around Bristol. Matt is the author of Triathlon! from Aurum Press and is now the editor of Cycling Plus magazine.