The New Balance, FuelCell SuperComp Trainer was one of the brightest stars in last year’s running lineup. It helped introduce this new wave of plated distance training options with its massive stack and sandwiched plate, but still led with a comfortable upper experience,. It delivered something enjoyable for most who ran in them. We got a glimpse of the SC Trainer v2 back at TRE in the Fall, but we were still nervous that New Balance may mess with it too much and we’d lose some of that initial appeal. The good news is, it’s still runs really well, but we do have a couple gripes about the changes.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Weight – 10.1oz or 286g for a US Men’s 9, 8oz or 227g for a US Women’s 7
- Cushion – 40mm of cushion and a 6mm heel/toe drop
- Pricing – $179.99 USD
- Colors – 3 colors
The tough part about reviewing a second version is that you are constantly comparing it to the initial version, and that is very much the case with the SC Trainer v2. There was something so exciting about what New Balance had introduced with the original SuperComp Trainer, that it’s hard to not be affected by it and to find yourself measuring this new version against that. People who are new to the platform might have a very different experience from ours, so don’t let us deter you much if at all.
First off, let’s focus on the good here because there is a lot to like. The shoe is almost an ounce lighter and the reason for this is a new reformulation of the midsole, but also there is a reduction in the overall stack height. So it is a lower shoe than before but it is still 40mm, so not a huge deal, but there is less foam than there was before, which does affect feel. By lowering it a bit, the shoe also feels more stable than the initial version, so the SC Trainer v2 should feel a bit better if you felt the original wasn’t supportive enough for you.
The upper has also been fully redesigned, and the move to this new engineered mesh is a winner in most aspects. The shoe breathes better, it runs cooler, and the overall thinning out of the upper does improve the fit a bit. However, the tongue has also been thinned down a bit as well and that is something to keep an eye on because it is quite thin. There is a potential for a bit of lace bite depending on your foot and how sensitive it is to this.
One of the stranger parts of the shoe is one that makes it run really well, but is just a little awkward. We are talking about the EnergyArc design within the midsole. Basically as your foot hits the ground, the lateral and medial sides of the midsole spread, and then in combination with that plate, the shoe tries to rebound you forward, giving you a much larger area of compression, and in theory delivers a faster run. This works pretty well and leads to a pretty efficient run. However, it is incredibly loud. Something we have noticed with some plated shoes, especially those at lower stack heights. It doesn’t seem like a big deal nor does it affect your run, but there is a pretty large amount of slapping generated by the shoe that we didn’t see prior, because the older model had more stack to it. Small knock, informational only.
The SuperComp Trainer v2 still makes for a really good run. It just seems to have lost the wow factor that the original had. Losing even such a small amount of stack height, and the overall slendering of the shoe has made it a little more average and comparable to a lot of other shoes at that same level. Before, it felt like more of a stand out. For runners who are new to the SC Trainer v2, it will probably be a different story. We just missed some of the elements from that initial shoe that made it so nice.
Construction and Materials
The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2 incorporates engineered mesh with no-sew overlays, resulting in a well-ventilated and comfortable fit that minimizes irritation and provides a sleek and streamlined aesthetic.
The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2 features a stacked height midsole that ingeniously incorporates an arched carbon fiber plate, sandwiched between two layers of FuelCell cushioning, resulting in a unique design that creates a hollow channel through the middle of the shoe. With each foot strike, the plate flattens into the void and dynamically reshapes, effectively harnessing and returning energy to provide a remarkable sense of high rebound propulsion, making every stride efficient and exhilarating.
New Balance didn’t mess up the SuperComp Trainer v2, which was our initial worry. In fact, some areas are much improved, including the weight loss, and the move that engineered mesh up top. We think shaving down the stack height was probably the biggest miss here because we were so happy with it before, and while they wanted to lose some weight, it wasn’t really a necessity. It still remains a solid training shoe, and if you are in the market for one of these new distance training plated road shoes, this should be at the top of your list to try. Don’t let our comparison to the original skew you if you haven’t run in these before, because they may be a perfect fit for you.
These shoes were provided by the manufacturer or its partners for the sole use of review. No implied or explicit guarantees were provided as it relates to the provision of these products and all editorial commentary is strictly the property of Running Northwest. In short, the fact they allowed us to test these shoes does not mean we are required to give it a favorable review… every product must earn it. We appreciate our manufacturer partnerships and if you have any questions, you can read our Disclosure Policy in further detail.
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.