The New Balance FuelCell Prism in a really interesting intersection of stability and performance. New Balance has taken their solidly performing FuelCell midsole which has been historically designed for their speed oriented shoes and introduced support elements to create a shoe that is both fast and structured. It’s an interesting blend and honestly a lot of fun to run in, finally a speed shoe for those who need a little more support.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- A support shoe with some real speed behind it, finally!
- Weighs in at 8.1oz or 230g for a US Men’s 9, 7.3oz or 207g for a US Women’s 7.
- Features 28mm of cushion and has a 6mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $119.99 USD and comes in 4 colors for Men and Women.
First off, can we say how much we love the direction New Balance is gone with some of their newer shoes starting with the launch of the FuelCell TC. This race inspired design feels so future forward for New Balance and is definitely shaping their speed lineup for this year. The idea that they took this styling and built a support shoe out of it really had us impressed so we were excited to take it for a spin.
If you have run in the FuelCell TC, then it’s almost astonishing if not just impressive how much the Prism feels the same as that shoe. For the most part, it feels like exactly the same platform just with additional support on that medial arch. The upper breathes really well and holds you in place once locked down sufficiently so even at speeds you have maximum support up top. The FuelCell midsole kind of molds under your foot and after numerous runs you can almost feel the footbed working like memory foam to remember your position.
Out in the run, the similarities don’t stop to its neutral counterpart as the shoe just pops and you almost don’t notice the support at all. The only concern we might have here is that there isn’t enough support. If you truly had a need for a ton of stability and have a massive pronation/supination/arch issue, then this won’t provide that level of support for you. However, if you just wanted to use the shoe for those race days or for your speed days, then potentially you can still use it in your line up along with your normal more structured shoe. Note they can really move in them and barring a carbon plate, they could probably take on the TC head-to-head without a problem. One other item it shares with the TC is that flanged midsole design. It gives you a much larger area for ground contact which takes away the “running on rails” feeling you get from a lot of racing shoes.
Overall, we give New Balance real props here for building a stability style racer that also feels really comfortable. It may not be enough support for some people, but for those who need a touch of stability, this will be a welcome addition. It holds you really well and definitely allows you to turn it on when you want to.
The upper on here is all engineered mesh with support overlays that sit around the laces and then extend back around the heel. The overlays at the midfoot provide a touch of medial side to side stability to increase support. The toebox provides ample width, but it definitely does have more of a racing-style design. There is a moderate internal heel counter which holds you in place and the elf ear at the top of the heel makes for easy on-and-off while also reducing abrasion against the Achilles.
The midsole on the Prism is primarily the same FuelCell design we have seen on other New Balance shoes. It flanges out from the upper to the outsole creating a wider landing platform. To increase stability in this version however they have added a medial post giving you quite a bit of rigidity on that inside line. Despite the stability elements, the shoe overall remains highly flexible, more so than expected.
The Prism’s outsole is ground contact EVA and this really helps them keep the weight down overall. It still tracks well and remains highly durable even after numerous runs.
Style & Aesthetics
Styling on the shoe is great in that it looks really fast for a stability-oriented shoe. Most in this category feel a little orthopedic and left out to dry aesthetically. Many also come in only one color, but New Balance has provided four solid color ways for this offering. They didn’t hold back in making it look just as fast as its neutral running counterparts.
The FuelCell Prism is a really solid look at how someone can design a fast shoe for those runners who need a little extra support. There are only a few brands taking stability seriously and New Balance is clearly one of them. If you are looking for a race day shoe or a tempo shoe and you need that support, then the Prism is an easy choice for you. The drop comes in perfectly at 6mm and there is ample cushion in the shoe coupled with a responsiveness that really allows you to turn it on.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.