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New Balance Fuelcell Rebel vs. Propel vs. Prism: Differences and Reviews 2024

New Balance Fuelcell Rebel vs. Propel vs. Prism: Differences and Reviews 2024

    Today, in the relentless pursuit of ultimate rWith the first implementation of revolutionary FuelCell foam in 2019, the brand set out to lead from the front once again helping all runners find their fast.FuelCell is a relatively new cushioning technology that was introduced by New Balance in 2019 with the reintroduction of New Balance basketball and the OMN1S (which was worn by Kawhi Leonard) and followed shortly thereafter by several running models including the New Balance FuelCell Propel.It is a nitrogen infused TPU foam compound offering incredible verstility with enough protection for the long run whilst remaining responsive enough for track sessions.Let' s take a look at the current crop from the New Balance FuelCell line - the Rebel,Propel and Prism.The three shoes are quite different but continue the trend of each respective model.What is the difference between New Balance Propel and Rebel?What is the difference between New Balance Propel and Prism?What's the difference between New Balance Rebel and Prism?New Balance Fuelcell Rebel vs. Propel vs. Prism:which is the best shoe fou you?In this article,you will find a very detailed comparison of newest version of New Balance Fuelcell Rebel vs. Propel vs. Prism. I have compared all the major features and how it would feel to run in them.Keep reading and you will know which pair of trainers is right for you.

Cover Photo:newbalance.com
 

  • New Balance Fuelcell Rebel 

New Balance first released the Rebel in the summer of 2019. At a time when the shoe industry was still making its shift towards bouncier foams with an emphasis on energy return, the Rebel was, indeed, a rebel.The FuelCell Rebel is a fan favorite and one of the most versatile shoes New Balance build. It’s a light, energy-efficient shoe that’s made for all levels of runners who want to train faster. This shoe is a neutral shoe, which means it’s best for those who have neutral pronation and are biomechanically efficient runners. You’ll get the shock absorption you need to relieve pressure on your knees and joints and the right amount of arch-side support. Runners who enjoy a lightweight running experience will be especially pleased with the Fuelcell Rebel .

New Balance FuelCell Rebel v4 Review

Price: $139.99

Released Year: 2024

Updates to the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v4 make it a great shoe for fast workouts and even some racing.The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v4 launched in the US in January 2024, with the global launch on February 29. It costs $140 in the US and £140 in the UK, which is a rise of $10/£10 on the price of the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3.

The Rebel v4 introduces a new PEBA and FuelCell blended foam midsole with a higher stack and a broader overall platform, which not only makes the Rebel more protective and more inherently stable but better suited to long-distance runs as well. PEBA is an ultra-light, high-performance foam that’s typically seen in carbon-plated supershoes.Atop the newly formulated midsole is a reconfigured Fantom Fit engineered upper.Fantom Fit is an engineered mesh upper created by fusing two pieces of thin material together, creating ultralight support.And with an updated forefoot design, the Rebel v4 is more spacious than ever, allowing more than enough room for toes to splay comfortably. So even if you are a runner with a wider foot shape, the Rebel v4 has you covered. 

The Rebel v4 features a partially exposed outsole, meaning some sections of the midsole foam are left uncovered. This is done to reduce weightThe rest of the outsole is covered in a grippy rubber, with the forefoot area being a tad firmer for propulsive toe-offs.With a shoe this light, durability is always a concern.

Overall,the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v4 is a more stable and comfortable shoe than its predecessors, but still very light, making it one of the most versatile plate-free running shoes available.

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Source:newbalance.com

New Balance FuelCell Rebel v4 Pros and Cons

ProsCons
  • Stylish aesthetic.

  • Good value.

  • Lightweight upper with a roomy toebox.

  • Slightly taller and broader stack of lightweight cushioning.

  • Geometric midsole design is made with a new PEBA/EVA blend.

  • Improved protection with smooth transitions.

  • Responsive and fun ride for a variety of training runs.

  • Long-term durability.

  • Slightly unstable.

  • Some may want more cushioning.

  • Spacious upper might not work for narrower feet.

  • Some may want more cushioning.

  • No plate for faster runs.


Where to Buy New Balance FuelCell Rebel v4?

Newbalance.com (up to 2% cash back)

Dickssportinggoods.com (up to 2% cash back)

Sports Direct (up to 5% cash back) 

Amazon

Rei.com

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  • New Balance Fuelcell Propel 

The Propel, which was launched alongside the Rebel back in 2019 has been largely overshadowed by the faster, lighter, and more flashy Rebel.The Propel was designed to be the daily trainer while the Rebel was designed to be the speed shoe in this FuelCell training range. However, the Propel has a much wider upper over a softer midsole.

New Balance FuelCell Propel v4 Review

Price: $109.99

Released Year: 2023

The New Balance Propel v4 brings high-budget features to a low-budget shoe. It is a running shoe that’s on par price-wise with most entry-mid-level running shoes on the market, but with some features that might also please more seasoned runners looking for a rotational pair.

The Propel v4’s main, headline feature is a brand-new TPU plate in its midsole. It has a new formulation of FuelCell, which is the same density that’s in the much higher-priced New Balance SC Trainer. The upper and outsole have also been redesigned.The fit remains a little snug with an upper that stretches over time, providing a slightly performance-oriented fit.

Performance aside, it’s also worth noting that these shoes function pretty well as a pair of daily trainers, not only for running but also for other casual situations (university, office, etc), considering that they feature a silhouette that doesn’t look too flashy despite retaining a sporty appeal.Another major plus is that they also wear extremely comfortably, and feel extremely solid despite the foamy feel that’s present when on solid surfaces. I reckon I could wear these as an everyday pair if needed.

New and experienced runners alike will appreciate the underfoot ride and innovative technology packed into the New Balance FuelCell Propel v4. Featuring a thick FuelCell midsole combined with a TPU plate, this running shoe is designed to maximize comfort and traction to help keep you moving at top speeds.

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Source:newbalance.com

New Balance FuelCell Propel v4 Pros and Cons

ProsCons
  • Seamlessly integrated TPU plate.

  • Well cushioned.

  • Stable, cushioned ride with some pep.

  • Wide toebox and forefoot.

  • High-quality upper material.

  • Great value for money.

  • Long-lasting outsole.

  • Perfect for midfoot and forefoot strikers.

  • Incredible versatility.

  • Weight increase.

  • Warm upper.

  • Not the best for heel strikers.

  • Tongue not gusseted.

  • Upper reflects the price.

Where to Buy New Balance FuelCell Propel v4?

Newbalance.com (up to 2% cash back)

Joesnewbalanceoutlet.com (up to 8% cash back)

Dickssportinggoods.com (up to 2% cash back)

Amazon

  • New Balance FuelCell Prism

New Balance FuelCell Prism was a perplexing shoe.  It featured a number of stability elements but somehow seemed to run better than a lot of its counterparts within the neutral category.  Its design was pretty basic though and the colorways were lacking, but people still love the shoe. The Prism is designed as a light support shoe to help people who require some arch support although it has to be said it functions extremely well as a daily trainer if you like a bit of structure in your shoes even if you dont overpronate. 

The Prism was a drastic change with the introduction of FuelCell foam. The ride softened an incredible amount to the point that it was a very neutral shoe until the pace picked up. The stiffer medial post has the effect of stabilising the freshfoam heel and if you are a heel striker this will certainly be welcomed.

New Balance FuelCell Prism v2 Review

Price: $59.95-$129.95

Released Year: 2021

The Prism V2 is the perfect follow-up for that original edition because it maintains all of the performance and moderate stability elements but add a whole new upper and packages it in a much better-looking way.The updated engineered mesh upper is more breathable and promises to feel light on foot. The upper is very light, fitting slightly snug with or without socks. Adjustments to the midsole and outsole configurations raise the Prism's level of grip and deliver a smooth, responsive ride that won't beat up your legs throughout your daily runs.A mild medial post provided guidance, although the incredibly firm sole and aggressive toe spring provided more. 

Overall, this highly functional daily trainer is well worth the ride, especially given its accessible price point.

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Source:marathonsports.com

New Balance FuelCell Prism v2 Pros and Cons

ProsCons
  • Comfortable fit and feel.

  • It feels lighter than its weight suggests. 

  • A relatively light shoe for overpronation runners.

  • A revised sole for even better cushioning while stabilizing the foot.

  • Soft and fast ride.

  • Gusseted tongue.

  • Affordable price.

  • Good durability.

  • Not stable for moderate to severe overpronators.

  • Slightly firmer than v1.

  • Insole construction not great. Scrunched up.

  • Be careful for those who need strong foot support.

  • Does not appear to be suitable for long distances.


Where to Buy New Balance FuelCell Prism v2?

Dickssportinggoods.com (up to 2% cash back)

KICKS CREW (up to 3.5% cash back)

Amazon

Marathon Sports

New Balance Fuelcell Rebel vs. Propel vs. Prism: Comparison Side by Side

1. Shoe Specs


Rebel v4Propel v4Prism v2
Weight5.9 oz (W), 7.5 oz (M)8.1 oz (W), 10.7 oz (M)7.7 oz (W), 9.5 oz (M)
Heel-to-toe drop6 mm6 mm6 mm
Stack height30 mm31 mm30 mm
StabilityNeutralNeutralMinimum Stability
TerrainRoadRoadRoad

2. The Upper

Rebel v4 - Atop the newly formulated midsole is a reconfigured Fantom Fit engineered upper.Fantom Fit is an engineered mesh upper created by fusing two pieces of thin material together, creating ultralight support.The upper is so sleek that it creates a really nice lockdown fit.All reviewers agreed that the upper’s breathability and light weight stand out amongst competitors. Plus, the modern design with bold logos and bright colors will certainly help you stand out on the roads.

Propel v4 - The Propel has a cushioned Engineered upper which you would find on a typical daily trainer. It’s padded enough to make long runs comfortable and it has no major flaws.The padded tongue is not gusseted so it slides around during runs. The upper is also not that breathable so it’s on the warm side. 

Prism v2 - The New Balance FuelCell Prism v2 have a redesigned upper in this new version. There is breathable, weather proof mesh in the toe box with synthetic overlays through the rest., allowing you to do without socks.The new upper, even if short, seems to be exceptionally comfortable. The laces are perfectly integrated into the upper and are easy to adjust.The lacing is not segmented and is one unit. It gives an even fit and does not constrict or over compensate any part of my foot. 

3. The Midsole

Rebel v4 - The Rebel v4 offers a completely redesigned midsole compound. The latest blend combines both New Balance’s proprietary FuelCell foam (a mix of TPU and EVA) with PEBA foam for an even bouncier ride. PEBA is an ultra-light, high-performance foam that’s typically seen in carbon-plated supershoes.You can easily feel how the Rebel v4 propels me forward with each step, even without a carbon plate, thanks to the soft yet bouncy foam.Not only does the Rebel v4 have a new midsole compound, it offers more foam underfoot to cushion each stride. 

Propel v4 - The FuelCell foam in the Propel is soft. That makes landings comfortable on all surfaces. Thanks to the TPU plate, the thick stack of FuelCell makes this shoe more stable than expected.While the TPU plate is not stiff and it doesn’t give as much propulsion as a super shoe, it has more pop than your average daily trainer.The midsole of the Propel v4 has a large cavity or void underneath it, similar to the size of the one in the NB SC Pacer. This feature is designed to return more energy as the midsole foam and plate deform during footstrikes. 

Prism v2 - The FuelCell Prism v2 running shoe’s midsole delivers a springy, flexible feel while still feeling like it holds the foot well.Runners who tried the shoe report that the FuelCell foam is much less spongy than last year’s model. It helps reduce foot roll throughout the stride. It is very comfortable.

4. The Outsole

Rebel v4 - The Rebel v4 features a partially exposed outsole, meaning some sections of the midsole foam are left uncovered. This is done to reduce weightThe rest of the outsole is covered in a grippy rubber, with the forefoot area being a tad firmer for propulsive toe-offs.With a shoe this light, durability is always a concern.

Propel v4 - New Balance redesigned the outsole in the Propel v4 to be more durable.The outsole of this shoe is pretty simple, with thin layers of rubber placed in high-contact areas.

Prism v2 - The outsole of the New Balance FuelCell Prism v2 running shoe comes with a new design from the previous model. Made of N-Durance, this outsole has excellent traction and durability.It is comfortable everywhere, even on wet roads. Reinforced in all the right places, it doesn’t wear out quickly. It brings a little more stability to a shoe with already plenty of it.

5. Fit and Sizing

Rebel v4 - With an updated forefoot design, the Rebel v4 is more spacious than ever, allowing more than enough room for toes to splay comfortably. So even if you are a runner with a wider foot shape, the Rebel v4 has you covered. Like many of the lighter shoes it has an attached tongue for a bit more sock like fit and reduces worries about it moving around on the foot. 

Propel v4 - It fits true to size and should be fine for most foot shapes except extremely wide feet. The forefoot is normal to slightly snug in width with some extra volume that adds a little extra stretch. The midfoot is snug with a thicker non-gusseted tongue. Surprisingly I had no issues with tongue slippage. The heel is normal in width with a solid amount of heel collar cushioning and a moderately flexible heel counter. Although the upper is fairly comfortable, this is one that I would suggest using socks with. The inner aspect of the engineered mesh is a bit scratchy, making some protection on your skin preferable. 

Prism v2 - The shoe is true to size.The width is fairly normal in the heel and midfoot. There is a small flexible heel counter located in the rearmost section of the heel. As with the previous model, the toe box is spacious and suitable for wide feet. The laces, which are perfect in size although slightly long, integrate very well with the upper. It is easy to get a secure fit that holds my foot on the platform even while trail running.

6. The Ride

Rebel v4 - It’s not as nimble a shoe as its predecessor, in that you notice the extra ground contact of the wider design. You can feel the support on either side of your foot, which is great for easy runs, and it doesn’t diminish the shoe’s performance for fast stuff.The Rebel v4 matches the performance of the Rebel v3 for short stuff, while adding comfort and stability for long runs. 

Propel v4 - The ride overall is somewhat relaxed, with the Propel v4 feeling comfortable for daily training and easy miles. It does not do well at hard faster efforts but can do long runs and uptempo efforts. It feels on the heavier side for tempo runs but for mid-range efforts it feels great. This makes it a great option for those who do not want a super aggressive racing shoe but want to get a feel for what a shoe with a bit more performance feels like. 

Prism v2 - These new shoes offer a pleasant ride overall. The transition is smooth to the forefoot and offers good flexibility.Most of those who have tested this new version find it offers more responsiveness and comfort than its predecessor. They recommend it to all those who are looking for a light daily trainer to train on various distances, except maybe the marathon.This flexibility does seem to reduce in the forefoot, which feels firmer, but that’s not a significant issue. The heel-to-toe drop of the shoe is low, so many runners recommend that those used to a higher drop take time to transition.

In short, the Propel is a cushioned daily trainer for the easy runs, whereas the tighter-fitting Rebel has a wider repertoire of acts, faster runs included.

Comparison Table


Rebel v4Propel v4Prism v2
UpperFantomFit upper

Engineered upper,Synthetic/mesh construction

Mesh upper
Midsole
FuelCell foam (a mix of TPU and EVA) with PEBA foamFuelCell foam,TPU plateFuelCell foam
OutsoleRubberThin layers of rubberN-Durance
SizeTrue to size
True to sizeTrue to size
Best forDaily training, tempo miles, budget race shoeDaily training on a budget,long runs and pace pick-upsDaily training,Interval training, tempo runs, and even races over moderate distances

Conclusion: Which Is Best for You?

The New Balance Rebel v4 is a suitable choice for runners seeking a lightweight, responsive trainer. ’d say $140/£140 is pretty good value too, given that the super-trainers you’d use for the same kind of runs can now cost more than $200/£200.This shoe is actually going to work for a lot of different needs. If you want a racing shoe without a plate this is an excellent option. If you want a daily trainer that’s really light and you aren’t putting in massive miles, again this is a really great option.

If you want a well-cushioned, budget trainer that is great for easy-to-moderate paces, consider the Propel.The fit is slightly snug yet comfortable, providing some stretch and volume that accommodates well for a performance shoe. The ride is comfortable with mild stiffness, making it great for daily training and uptempo training.It is not the fastest or the lightest shoe, but may be a great transitional shoe for those interested in getting into faster running and more aggressive racing shoes.

The New Balance FuelCell Prism v2 is for those looking for a slightly lower drop, lightweight trainer with mild stability. The FuelCell is a little firmer in this version, which allows for better stability but solid responsiveness for workouts.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What does New Balance FuelCell do?

FuelCell technology allows greater responsiveness and improves running performance. New Balance has improved this material by adding more compression capacity to provide a responsive, soft and lightweight cushioning.

What is the stack height of the NB Rebel v4?

The stack height did increase from 27.5 mm to 30mm.

How much does the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v4 weight?

5.9 oz for women, 7.5 oz for men.

Are FuelCell Propel v4 good for running?

The New Balance Propel v4 brings high-budget features to a low-budget shoe. As a soft and comfortable daily trainer that happens to have a TPU plate, this shoe is ideal for hammering long runs or testing out a plated shoe for the first time.

What is the stack height of the NB Fuelcell propel v4?

The stack height is 31mm in the heel and 25mm in the forefoot. 

Is New Balance Prism a stability shoe?

The New Balance Fuelcell Prism is a lightweight stability shoe with respsonsive cushioning and a stable ride.

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2024-03-31 20:32148