Specifications (per New Balance)
Stack Height: 26mm/20mm
Category: Road/Everyday Trainer
Lighter, bouncier midsole
Added tradition tongue and updated upper
What You’ll Love:
Ultra light-weight, perfect for tempo and speed
Squishy, responsive midsole
Breathable mesh upper
The highly anticipated sequel to New Balance’s Fuel Cell Rebel has finally arrived. The v2 has quite a different look than its predecessor, most notably is the switch from a totally knit upper to a more supportive mesh with a supportive foam heel collar. We also see a new outsole in the v2 with NDURANCE rubber tech strategically placed in high-use areas.
Thanks to New Balance, we were able to get our hands on this pair to test ourselves. The first thing I’ll say is that pictures really don’t do justice to the beauty and lightweight of this shoe. Aesthetically, it passes with flying colors but we’ll jump into how the shoes performed.
The first thing we noticed is how soft and squishy the FuelCell midsole really is. Just walking around in these is a treat. Some of us have wider feet than most, but the mesh upper contoured well around the foot, perhaps a little snug but not tight or uncomfortable by any means. NB’s 1080v11 might feel narrow to those with wider feet, but the Rebel is true to size. Once going on our run, we finally understood why everyone is in love with the soft, yet very responsive, FuelCell midsole on the Rebel v2. The higher stack definitely gives it a bouncy feel.
One of our reviewers said: "The Rebel 2 has a smaller drop than some other kicks, so I felt my footstrike adjust to the midsole just a little. This was a welcome change as each stride landed right in the sweet spot of the midsole and thoughtfully placed NDURANCE outsole. I was going right at my normal pace but it felt like I was exerting less effort to get there. I really didn’t feel much of the pavement at all, this might be a downside for some but I was ok with it."
Durability-wise, this shoe has held up well over the course of 60-80 miles worth of distance and tempo runs. Even with such lightweight materials, it has remained supportive. When deciding to go for a tempo or speed run this is usually the shoe I grab for.
Overall, if you’re looking to get elite performance out of a carbon plate-less everyday trainer this is the shoe for you, especially at a $130 price point.