New Balance FuelCell RC Elite Review

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Type of supportUniversal (neutral)
Inclination of the sole10mm
Sole thickness (heel)35mm
Sole thickness (forefoot)25mm
Weight (men’s model)207g
Weight (female model)173g
Great comfortUpper a little too loose at the midfoot
Very pleasant soft cushioningPerhaps not as “explosive” as its direct competitors
Discreet carbon blade that offers good dynamism
Loose and flexible upper
Good versatility that makes it accessible and suitable for both competition and training


After the FuelCell TC — New Balance’s first shoe to be equipped with a carbon blade — here is the New Balance FuelCell RC Elite, a shoe whose watchwords are comfort, versatility and accessibility.

It offers a thick sole with 35 mm under the heel and 25 mm under the forefoot. The New Balance FuelCell foam gives rather soft cushioning with a hint of firmness under the heel. We thus find a foam very similar to that of the Adidas Adios Pro. This gives good comfort but the testers found the rebound to be moderate in the end. The carbon blade – discreet under the foot – does its job and helps to smooth out the stride, but not as much as on other similar models (randomly the AlphaFly from Nike). Thus, the configuration is a little closer to a traditional shoe, which can make it an interesting option for runners looking for a more accessible, more comfortable carbon shoe.

Second, the mesh is soft and relatively thick for a running shoe. This reinforces the general impression of comfort. The shoe fits exactly as advertised, but the support is a little loose in the midfoot according to several runners. They worry that it may not be strict enough for competition such as the marathon. For the rest, the toes have space and the heel counter secures the foot well in the shoe. The design is also pretty with a slender profile and garish fluorescent colors, although of course that depends on taste.

Finally, the Dynaride outsole with its small triangular rubber lugs gives good traction and feels durable — testers didn’t notice any signs of wear after several workouts. In addition, the studs go up on the tip of the shoe to form a stone guard that protects the foot and makes the shoe more solid.

In summary, the FuelCell TC is a very good running shoe with a carbon blade that bets on a soft and flexible configuration. This allows it to reconcile performance and comfort to make it more versatile. Make no mistake about it: it’s a shoe cut for the marathon but which is also very well suited for vigorous daily training.



  • First of all, we find the Dynaride technology at the level of the outsole of the New Balance FuelCell RC Elite. It is a light and robust rubber that offers effective grip. Under the forefoot, Dynaride takes the form of thin studs to improve traction.


  • The midsole uses FuelCell technology . It is a light and flexible foam based on EVA and TPU. It promises a 39% higher rebound than REVlite, another signature New Balance cushioning technology.
  • On the other hand, there is a multidirectional carbon propulsion blade that flexes when the foot comes into contact with the ground and contracts at the moment of propulsion to better launch the body.

Upper part (upper)

  • The upper of the New Balance FuelCell RC Elite features a synthetic mesh that keeps your foot snug and lets it breathe throughout the effort, especially when it’s hot.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How big is the New Balance FuelCell RC Elite?

To date, we haven’t seen any athlete reviews that this shoe runs too small or too big. So you can order your normal size for running sneakers. That said, if this is your first New Balance model, a visit to the store may be wise to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Is the FuelCell RC Elite suitable for pronator athletes?

Yes, because this shoe is a model for neutral stride (also called universal). Thus, it is designed to adapt to all athletes regardless of their stride. It does not display any specific aid to better balance the foot and avoid excessive pronation. It is worth remembering here that in any case shoes for pronators are not more effective than neutral (universal) shoes in reducing the risk of injury (see our article on the subject). We therefore advise to select your running shoes according to their comfort, the most important criterion. In other words, you can choose this model whatever your stride, as long as it is comfortable.

Is this road shoe recommended for heavy athletes (85 kg or more)?

Yes, this model should be suitable whatever your weight. Only one scientific research study so far has investigated the link between sole thickness, injury risk and athlete weight. According to the results of this one, shoes with a very thin sole (minimalists) could increase the risk of injury for runners whose weight is greater than 71 kilos. The FuelCell RC Elite has a generous sole thickness and is therefore not a minimalist shoe. It should therefore be suitable for you, regardless of your weight.

Is it possible to run a marathon or a half marathon with these shoes?

This New Balance road shoe is very suitable for different types of training and distances. In addition to shining for its versatility and comfort, it is a shoe designed specifically for the marathon with its generous and dynamic cushioning. A very good choice, then!

Comparisons – New Balance FuelCell RC Elite vs:

New Balance FuelCell TC

The FuelCell TC was New Balance’s first shoe to use a carbon plate. Thus, the RC Elite is in a way its successor. It’s lighter (50g less!) and more versatile with softer cushioning. 

Saucony Endorphin Pro

The Saucony Endorphin Pro displays much firmer and more Spartan cushioning but also more impressive in terms of dynamism. Thus, it seems more efficient even if it is paid for in terms of comfort. It is therefore above all a question of preference. 

Adidas Adizero Adios Pro

These two shoes have similar cushioning: soft and flexible. The blades under the forefoot (EnergyRods) give a slight advantage to the Adidas model by allowing a more efficient and explosive push off. Conversely, the carbon fiber blade of the RC Elite is efficient but gives more modest racing sensations. Note however that the Adios Pro has a much narrower profile under the heel which makes it less stable, especially at low speeds, and therefore less versatile. 

Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%

These two shoes offer rather different configurations although they are both very light and equipped with a propulsion plate. The Alphafly is a little gem of technology that has nothing to do with a classic running shoe. It offers breathtaking propulsion to smash your best marathon time. Conversely, the FuelCell RC Elite is more versatile and offers a more traditional feel, while allowing you to experience the benefits of a carbon blade. 

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