The Fuelcell Rebel is a new addition to the running range of New Balance Fall-Winter 2019. For the first time, it is a master stroke! Lightness, dynamism, comfort, the Rebel is my running favorite this year.
We are already in a new decade! After a few healthy days of rest, we must already prepare for the new racing season. The holidays were an opportunity to slow down, recover, before resuming again. The opportunity for me to remember the last intense sporting year. In 2019, I had the pleasure of testing more than a dozen pairs of running shoes for your favorite webzine: From drop zero to raised soles, minimalist models, to pairs of great comfort, sneakers intended for performance , those intended for an audience more adept at morning jogging on Sunday mornings… I believe I have tested almost the whole range of models available on the market. But it was not until my last test of the year to reach the Grail, the pair that satisfied almost all my expectations as a light runner, adept at fast road tempos. But what is this model? The New Balance Fuelcell Rebel (easy is the title of this article!).
I had already told you all the good things I had thought of the 1080 V9 model tested last spring. The comfort of the FreshFoam foam accompanied me during my long road trips for a few months. It was an opportunity to rediscover this emblematic brand of the running universe, which makes a resounding comeback among the best equipment manufacturers on the market.
The FuelCell Rebel is a performance model released shortly before the end of the summer. It is part of the new New Balance FuelCore range, bringing together shoes cut for speed, light and responsive. As usual, I have experienced them on numerous outings and under multiple conditions; whether on the asphalt of Paris, the coastal paths of Mauritius or the steep roads of the circuses of Reunion Island.
An aggressive design with curves and finesse
The Rebel’s look is certainly aggressive, very successful. New Balance now offers us performance shoes that can be worn easily in lifestyle, as evidenced by the new 1080 V10 or the magnificent Hierro V5 (which I will be pleased to show you in a few weeks). The Fuelcell Rebel sports a curved and refined look. Although messy during winter outings, the white color is sublime with its little touches of blue and pink.
The Rebel is made with an elastic ventilated double mesh liner. The upper hugs the foot, so much so that it didn’t seem necessary to tie the laces. The footwear is extremely comfortable, while allowing very great freedom of movement of the foot. The elastic neck of the stem prevents possible intrusion of small stones and other twigs. The invisible socks are ideal if you decide, like me, to wear the Rebel in lifsetyle mode. On the other hand, I can only advise you against it when you run. The elastic collar is likely to create unpleasant friction at the ankle. The double jacquard mesh ensures excellent ventilation and evacuation of perspiration at very high temperatures. The design of the heel is a model of its kind, because it is fully supported and improves the feeling of comfort. The imposing curved sole, like all new running models, displays a very measured drop of 6 mm.
Lightness, comfort and dynamism
The strong point of the Fulcell Rebel is its lightness, barely 207 grams for the men’s model in size 42 and 174 grams for the women’s model. We are on a very light model. At this point in the article, I can already hear you thinking “yes but if the shoe is light, comfort should not be there and inevitably the cushioning will be lacking over time”. Well no, and that’s all the prowess of the Rebel, combining lightness, dynamism and comfort.
For this, the midsole is made up of new cushioning called FuelCell developed by New Balance. This nitrogen injected foam combines perfectly cushioning and energy return. A plate has also been integrated in the forefoot to improve comfort and dynamism. Runners who, like me, attack their stride with the midfoot, will be delighted to find a shoe that can give them comfort and dynamism.
Intended for speed for light runners
From the first strides, I appreciated the comfort and the softness of the FuelCell foam. The impact on the midfoot is absorbed and restored immediately without any unpleasant impact. The dynamism and fluidity of the stride is improved. The fairly wide toe box contributes to the smooth running of the foot. Even over time, the foam does not lose its softness and its reactivity. I did not run beyond semi distance, but at no time did I have the impression of discomfort linked to the compaction of the midsole.
The outsole grip is level thanks to a series of crampons placed at strategic locations. The grip is effective on wet surfaces, even during interval training on the track. On the other hand, I’m not sure if they’re sufficient on a rainy day… like many models designed for speed.
In the end, the New Balance Fuelcell Rebel is my favorite this year and I do not hesitate to award him the chocolate medal of my favorite running shoe. Very comfortable, dynamic and light, they are perfect for my light, fast runner profile, attacking on the midfoot. A shoe intended for the performance of runners under 75 kg.
Their price? 140 €