For years, the “super shoe” discussion has been one heavily-dominated by Nike. Since the introduction of its Vaporfly Next% and Alphafly Next% in 2017, the brand’s carbon-infused footwear has been at the forefront of sporting innovation, and dressed the feet of countless record breakers along the way.

Despite adidas’ recent rise (see the Adios Pro 3) – and the likes of On and Saucony throwing their hats into the “super shoe” ring – the conversation always tends to find its way back to the brand with the Swoosh.

This season though, New Balance has emerged as a major player once again, after dropping its most advanced running shoe to-date in the FuelCell SuperComp Trainer – a silhouette that has the potential to change the running landscape as we know it.

Designed predominantly as a “daily training shoe,” the FuelCell SuperComp Trainer – which is available online now across Europe (with a US drop slated for late summer) – comes equipped with NB’s newest underfoot technology in the Energy Arc, which houses an arched carbon fiber plate between two layers of FuelCell Foam.

Here’s the catch: while the FuelCell SuperComp Trainer looks good and delivers (something I can vouch for), its stack height – 47mm at its highest point – makes it technically ineligible for athletes to wear on race day.

That being the case, we sat down with Chris Morfesi, Product Manager of Performance Running Footwear at New Balance, to find out more about the shoe, the tech inside it, and who exactly it's targeted at.

Let’s start with the basics: can you tell us a little bit about the FuelCell SuperComp Trainer?

Our goal was to create a daily training solution. The trainer has a two-part FuelCell midsole with a cambered carbon fiber plate, while a large midsole void is strategically placed in order to maximize displacement and allow the plate to flatten out and then spring back into shape as the runner moves through their gait cycle. On the upper, we utilized a lace knit material that brings the breathable, lightweight material you’d want in a racing product, but with the creature comforts you’d want in a training shoe.

What makes the FuelCell SuperComp Trainer different from any other "super shoe"?

Access to our athletes and our Sports Research Lab has helped us create our pinnacle Energy Arc technology, but what really sets the Trainer apart are the additional benefits of the height of the shoe and the high rebound foam that provides runners with metabolic economy benefits. This can help a runner exert less energy throughout the course of their training run.

As a technically ineligible shoe, who’s it actually for?

The FuelCell SuperComp Trainer redefines what the everyday runner can expect from a high-performance training shoe. Today, 90% of runners race in some kind of “super shoe,” so to set all runners up for their best performance on race-day, the FuelCell SuperComp Trainer was created to provide maximum energy return and speed in a daily training model.

Was making an illegible race shoe the aim from the outset?

The goal of this shoe was to create an exceptional, technologically-advanced training product that any runner could benefit from on a training run. We wanted to bring superior energy return and energy storage to a product, so that come race-day, pros can lace up in other New Balance runners with the same Energy Arc technology and FuelCell, but within the legal race height requirements.

What’s the overall goal of the FuelCell SuperComp Trainer?

There were two primary goals with the trainer: we really wanted to take the features, technology, and design philosophy of our most elite racing product and bring it to the masses as an everyday training shoe, but we also wanted to push the boundaries of the FuelCell platform. We want the launch to validate us as leaders in performance innovations with runners and elite athletes alike.

What To Read Next

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Britches Get Stitches: PROLETA RE ART's Artisanal Saga

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    ESSENTIALS' Fall 2022 Collection Is Huge

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Giving Tanks for Prada's $1,000 Top

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Bianca Chandôn's Vans Come Pre-Thrashed

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Kid Cudi Clarifies: He & Kanye Are Over

    Culture
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    mfpen Is Almost Too Low-Key for Its Own Good

    Style
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.