Just like other brands in the running shoe world, New Balance has been taking a page out of Hoka’s super-cushy foam offerings with some marshmellow-y versions of their own. Though not as high stacked as some Hoka shoes, New Balance’s FuelCell Prism uses their super bouncy FuelCell foam to create a shoe that not only compresses on impact but is meant to give a springy ride (but without the otherwise ubiquitous carbon plate that so many models have right now). Springiness and cush aside, the Prism also has a moderate amount of medial stability due to dense foam under the arch. Add in a few tri-friendly details like a high achilles tab for easy on/off with a really impressive seamless and smooth foot opening, and the Prism looks like a shoe that’s worth trying.
Check out our video above for the full unboxing, or scroll down for some quick takeaways.
New Balance FuelCell Prism: $120; rei.com
What I Like About The New Balance FuelCell Prism
- Ultra bouncy and cushy foam that feels both lightweight and super compressive
- A really nice foot opening, particularly for triathletes who might be interested in racing sockless
- A different-density medial section of the midsole makes me think that this shoe will have adequate support that some cush-kings often miss
What Makes Me Worried About The New Balance FuelCell Prism
- Soft + light foam sometimes = a shoe that’s lacking in durability, especially for bigger runners
- Even if my speculation about durability is accurate, that doesn’t mean these aren’t great fast-day trainers or something for longer races.
- Squishiness is definitely not something that New Balance is traditionally known for, but it seems like they’ve gone all in here.
- Hopefully New Balance will be the brand to strike that squishy + support sweet spot that a few other offerings have either come up short on or overshot.