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The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4.

You may have seen some images of the high stack, low profile super shoe that follows a very successful V3.

A basic summary of the SuperComp Elite v4 is that this new, very different looking iteration, contains a lightweight deep stack FuelCell midsole made with PEBA. A flatter Energy Arc pairs a sport-specific carbon fibre plate geometry with a strategic midsole void, designed to multiply stored energy to provide competitive runners with a greater amount of total energy returned. A rocker profile delivers a smooth, natural feeling roll from heel strike to toe off. A solid rubber outsole creates a more stable platform under a soft midsole and the ‘FantomFit’ upper offers ultra-light bonded support. The shoe has a rear foot stack of 37mm and a 33mm fore foot stack creating a 4mm drop.Despite so much cushioning the re-engineered v4 weighs just 227 grams in size 8.5

So what does all this mean in layman’s terms?

With the introduction of version 4, New Balance has taken a big step up in performance with the SuperComp Elite. The deeper 100% PEBA midsole increases energy return and makes for a soft ride. The re-designed carbon plate with energy arc, where the plate and the deer like gap in the midsole are designed to work together to increase energy return, makes for an even faster transition to toe off.

With a wider and firmer outer sole the SC Elite is designed to be faster but also more stable, which is good news for those bigger boned saffas who aren’t able to match Kenyan level marathon pace. The wide platform underfoot gives a decent amount of support to regular runners who need the occasional recovery or aid station walk.

The V4 upper is more like the kind you have on your training shoes than traditional plated racing super shoes. The shorter tongue is now paired with a flat eyelet lace platform which should stop any sensation of lace pressure on the top of your foot. The upper space provides enough room for a bigger, meatier foot than the more typical tight, narrow, elite-runner inspired super shoes - so should be more accommodating of a wider range of foot shapes. For those of us who grew up kaalvoet often and have wider than European feet, SC Elite v4 comes in a wide size option for both men and women. Adhering to NB’s legacy of width options, there are very few other shoes in this category that come in widths.

Closing thoughts: 

We have yet to test them, but based on the technical engineering, this deep stack shoe should not be overly spongy or unstable. Effective rebound/energy return and upper comfort despite swelling feet means athlete comfort and stability should continue longer into races as form falters. 

Now available here

Price R5399


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