Unboxed: New Balance FuelCell Prism

New Balance's latest offering, the FuelCell Prism, is a bouncy ball of cushy foam with some decent stability chops and some fun tri-friendly details.

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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.

First Impressions

New Balance FuelCell Prism: $120; rei.com

What I Like About The New Balance FuelCell Prism

  1. Ultra bouncy and cushy foam that feels both lightweight and super compressive
  2. A really nice foot opening, particularly for triathletes who might be interested in racing sockless
  3. 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

  1. Soft + light foam sometimes = a shoe that’s lacking in durability, especially for bigger runners

Final Thoughts

  1. Even if my speculation about durability is accurate, that doesn’t mean these aren’t great fast-day trainers or something for longer races.
  2. Squishiness is definitely not something that New Balance is traditionally known for, but it seems like they’ve gone all in here.
  3. 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.

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