Shoe Review: New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3
Treat your feet to a springy, energetic ride in a lightweight package with the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3.
The New Balance FuelCell Rebel is just in its third iteration, but it’s already become a favorite amongst runners seeking peppy cushioning for speedwork, races and everyday runs. New Balance’s FuelCell foam, an EVA-based midsole foam, delivers a responsive ride to make each stride feel nearly effortless.
Fleet Feet reviewers put the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 to the test during tempo runs, long runs and even HIIT classes. Here’s what you can expect.
New Balance Rebel v3
New Balance Rebel v2
5.8 oz (W), 7.4 oz (M)
5.8 oz (W), 7.3 oz (M)
FuelCell Cushioning Handles All Your Miles
The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 is built to stand out. With a soft yet lively midsole, this shoe can handle just about anything you throw at it.
New Balance’s proprietary FuelCell midsole technology is built for speed. In fact, New Balance touts this unique midsole foam as providing the highest energy return in their lineup. It was created using data from the biomechanics of world-class runners by analyzing their stride patterns during landings and takeoffs.
You may have experienced this springy, lightweight FuelCell midsole foam in the New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 racing shoes or the FuelCell SuperComp Trainer. Unlike the two aforementioned shoes, the Rebel v3 doesn’t have a carbon-fiber plate. This gives it a soft, smooth and natural feeling no matter your pace. Plus, it’s more affordable than its carbon-plated counterparts.
“The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 feels very straightforward even with the innovative midsole material,” Kate says. “It’s soft and flexible, without a stiff carbon or nylon plate.”
The FuelCell Rebel v3 offers a slightly wider base underfoot, so you can feel more stable and secure while you run.
“I love the shape of the shoe, I feel supported which makes me feel like I can run faster,” Mandy says.
Thanks to a grippy rubber outsole, the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 handles slick roads with ease.
The latest version of the FuelCell Rebel also features a taller stack height -- 1.5 millimeters more, to be exact -- than the previous version, offering more soft, springy cushioning than before. Despite this, the shoe didn’t get any heavier (thanks to a new, lightweight mesh upper).
“These shoes feel great. They’re feather light and feather soft underfoot, all while being capable of supporting any pace. I’ll wear these for any and every run,” Alex says.
Featherlight Upper Creates Snug, Breathable Fit
The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 is built for speed from top to bottom. In addition to the energetic FuelCell midsole, the Rebel v3 offers a sleek, lightweight upper that cradles your foot.
“The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 has a comfortable amount of space in the toe-box, but the material stays snug against my foot so there’s no unnecessary wiggling or shifting around,” Alex says.
The engineered mesh upper is topped off with a smooth, gusseted tongue that sits comfortably atop your foot and an adjustable lace closure to secure the fit. A soft, flexible heel collar provides enough support to prevent heel slippage without feeling obtrusive.
Reviewers enjoyed the fit and feel of the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3, although some noted that the shoe runs slightly short.
“The upper hugs my midfoot comfortably but the shoes feel a little short on me. If you’re in between sizes, I would recommend going with the larger size,” Mandy says.
If you’re unsure about sizing, head into your local Fleet Feet for an expert one-on-one outfitting. Fleet Feet outfitters use 3D fit id® foot scanning technology to gather information about your feet and the support they need by taking precise measurements of your foot length, width and arch height. Not only does the outfitting experience provide you with the right shoes and insoles, outfitters can make recommendations on apparel, accessories and nutrition to help you reach your goals.
New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 vs Rebel v2
The New Balance FuelCell Rebel is becoming a staple for runners of all levels taking on speed workouts, races and even long runs.
The latest version of the Rebel makes the most of energetic FuelCell midsole foam with a higher stack height to deliver a soft yet bouncy ride.
“These shoes are so comfortable on the run. They’re light and peppy. While I usually like stiffer shoes for speedwork, these are soft and I still love them,” Kate says.
The Rebel v3 also features a sleek upper that Alex describes as “ridiculously light on my feet.”
The Rebel v3 stays true to form as a lightweight, snappy trainer for all distances. If you enjoyed the Rebel v2, you’ll probably like the latest version, too.
What is the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 Best For?
Thanks to a generous bed of plush yet bouncy FuelCell foam in the midsole, the New Balance Rebel v3 is a terrific choice for just about any run. While there’s plenty of cushioning to keep you comfortable on the run, it offers a moderate stack height and relatively low heel-to-toe drop. This makes it a good choice for cross-training, too. One of our reviewers even wore it for a challenging HIIT workout.
“The FuelCell Rebel is lightweight, snappy and cushioned. It’s incredibly versatile and a great road shoe that you can use for speedwork, long runs, recovery runs or even some cross-training.,” Mandy says. “Plus, it’s sleek enough to dress it up with jeans after your run.”