Weight: 282g/10oz (M), 225g/8oz (W)
The original New Balance SuperComp Trainer quickly became one of my favorite running shoes. Sure, it had a monster stack-height and was a little unstable around corners, but it had a huge amount of bounce, and was a fun shoe to head out the door in on days where I really didn’t want to get that long run done. The second iteration of the shoe, the New Balance SuperComp Trainer V2, has a decreased stack height, an improved upper, and is a lot lighter than the first version. But has it lost some of its magic?
Plus, how does it compare to some of the best running shoes on the market or some of the best carbon fiber running shoes on the market? To find out more, I’ve put the shoes to the test on a number of different runs — from easy miles and long runs, to faster tempo sessions and speedwork on the track. Read my full New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer V2 review below to find out more.
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer V2 review: Price and availability
The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer V2 is out now and available from New Balance directly, or third-party retailers like Sportsshoes.com. The shoe costs £210/$179, which is the same price as the original version of the shoe, released in October 2022.
The shoe comes in men’s and women’s sizing. The shoe is available in men’s sizes US 7- US 14 in a standard and wide width. At the time of writing, it comes in an ice-blue and a black colorway. In the women’s, the shoe comes in sizes US 5- US 12, again in a standard and a wide width. Right now, it comes in a neon red and a black colorway.
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer V2 review: Design and fit
The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer V2 looks pretty different from its predecessor, which had a huge stack height and a massive wedge of FuelCell midsole foam. The V2 still has FuelCell foam and a full-length carbon-fiber plate, which is sandwiched between the layers of foam, designed to give the shoe a decent amount of bounce underfoot. New Balance says the shoe has its ‘Energy Arc’ technology, which is effectively a hollow channel through the middle of the shoe, designed to improve energy return.
Fit-wise, I wore my usual New Balance size — a UK 5.5/ US 7.5 — and found I had enough room in the toe box of the shoe. It’s worth noting that I do go up half a size in New Balance compared to most of my other running shoes, which are usually a UK 5/US 7, as I find in general, New Balance comes up short in the foot.
The upper of the SuperComp Trainer V2 has changed from the slightly stiffer, almost see-through upper on the first version, and it’s an improvement. I found the upper sat nicely on the foot, and I had no issues with rubbing or chafing when wearing the shoe. I was able to wrap the laces tightly around the foot for a locked-in feel on the run. The upper is similar to that used on the New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite V3, although slightly less performance-based. The Elite V3 is the brand’s premium carbon fiber racing shoe, designed for marathons.
New Balance has obviously put work in to reduce the shoe's weight. The first version weighed in at 11.3 oz in the men’s shoes and 9.3 oz in the women’s. The V2 is slightly lighter at 10 oz in the men’s and 8 oz in the women’s.
As mentioned above, the midsole of the shoe contains New Balance’s FuelCell midsole foam, which is the same as that used in the brand’s faster shoes, like the Elite V3. The FuelCell foam is soft and bouncy, however, it isn’t overly plush — you don’t sink into this shoe, and there’s still a firmer base to spring off from, as the carbon plate sits pretty high in the shoe.
That said, it’s by no means too firm — this still has the plushness and cushioning you’d expect from a shoe designed for training miles. The shoe has a 4mm drop, but if you’re here for a dramatic rocker, you won’t find it here — there’s no aggressive toe spring, and it feels more relaxed than the the last SuperComp Trainer.
The outsole of the SuperComp Trainer V2 remains unchanged — it’s still designed to be worn on the road or light trail. There’s not an awful lot of grip, and the outsole has two strips of rubber on the forefoot and at the heel, which sit around the midsole cut-out. I didn’t have any issues with the shoe slipping on wet concrete or on the track, but still wouldn’t reach for this shoe for trail miles.
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer V2 review: Performance
Compared to the first iteration of the shoe, the midsole has definitely lost some of its magic. While it’s definitely lighter, it’s not quite as exciting to run in, and has lost some of its pop. For that reason, I’d argue this shoe is now best suited for easy miles and long runs, which, arguably, you don’t need a carbon fiber plate for.
I still enjoyed running in this shoe — it’s soft, it’s bouncy, and it does make running on tired legs a little bit easier. That said, I didn’t love it as much as the first iteration. Sure, it’s more stable, but I don’t think the fact it’s lower and lighter makes it more versatile. While I was able to wear this shoe for a tempo session, it wouldn’t be the shoe I reach for when trying to run fast on race day. I wore the first SuperComp Trainer for a half marathon race, but the SuperComp Trainer V2 definitely feels much more of a training shoe, and I’d argue there are cheaper training shoes on the market. The new New Balance 1080v13, for example, stands out.
That said, this shoe still has a soft, cushioned feel underfoot, and I’ve enjoyed running in it. If you’re looking for a shoe to complete most of your training miles in, this can cope with easy miles, and the carbon plate allows you to pick up the pace when you want to.
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer V2 review: Verdict
The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer V2 has undergone some pretty big changes, and while it’s not quite as big, it’s still definitely in the max-cushioned shoe camp. If you’re training for a marathon and you want a shoe that’ll get you around easy runs, long runs, and speed sessions, this shoe can wear all of those hats.
That said, fans of the first shoe might be a little disappointed. The lower stack height and the lighter midsole mean this shoe isn’t quite as big and bouncy as it once was. It’s definitely more of a training shoe than a racing shoe now. If you’re looking for a cheaper everyday running shoe, the New Balance 1080v13 is an excellent, highly-cushioned choice. If you’re looking for a racing shoe, I’d probably opt for the New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite V3 over the SuperComp Trainer V2.