Shoe Review: New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2

The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2 sits sideways on a slab of concrete.

The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer burst onto the scene last summer as a mean, “Vibrant Spring Glo” green fighting machine. Fleet Feet reviewers loved it so much, they voted it as their pick for the Most Energetic Daily Trainer of 2022. With its ultra-thick (and technically illegal by World Athletic Standards) stack height and bouncy carbon-fiber plate, it created a buzz around the running community. Would this shoe, and its temptingly illicit cushioning, be the new forbidden fruit in the racing world?

Fleet Feet reviewers got a sneak peek at the SuperComp Trainer v2 at the end of 2022, featuring a first hand look at the updates to the buzzworthy model. The latest version features a drop in stack height and a completely redesigned upper. How do these changes translate to the fit and feel of the shoe? Read on to find out.

Tech Specs

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer v2

Weight 8 oz (W), 10.1 oz (M)
Heel-to-toe drop 6 mm
Stack height 40 mm/34 mm
Category Neutral
Surface Road, track
Comparable to... Saucony Endorphin Speed 3, HOKA Mach X




SuperComp Trainer v2 is soft, springy and…stable?

The overwhelming trend across the industry has been for running shoes to offer more of everything. More bounce, more speed and more cushioning. After all, more cushioning equals more comfort, right?

When the SuperComp Trainer launched last August, it offered a whopping 47-millimeter stack height under the heel and 39 under the foot–way more than any other shoe of its kind at the time. But with such a high stack height and such a soft foam (New Balance’s FuelCell foam offers a unique blend of soft and springy), some runners felt unstable running in the SuperComp Trainer.

New Balance answered the call by dropping the stack height to a much more manageable level, and reviewers appreciated the update. “I found the SuperComp Trainer v2 to be more practical for me during my runs,” says Max. “The lower stack height makes me feel more stable and confident. Even with the reduced cushioning, the latest version feels more responsive and has more pop than most other competing shoes.”

Outsole of a running shoe

While the SuperComp Trainer v2 technically has less cushioning than its predecessor, it’s still on the maximal side when compared to running shoes across the board. In addition to the plush, bouncy FuelCell foam, the midsole comes equipped with a carbon-fiber plate and New Balance’s proprietary Energy Arc technology. Energy Arc uses a hollow channel through the middle of the midsole to increase energy return. It acts as a void for the arched carbon-fiber plate to flatten into during landings and rebound out of during take-offs, resulting in a propulsive ride.

“When I run in the SuperComp Trainer v2, I feel like Cinderella at the ball,” Mandy says. “They’re everything I love in a shoe. The carbon plate propels me forward, especially when running uphill or down. On my normal six-mile route, I ran all of the uphills with ease and, given that it was 90 degrees with a ton of humidity, that was quite a feat. I like the lower stack height compared to the previous version, it makes the shoe feel more stable and really enhances the energy and pop.”

Even better than a glass slipper, the combination of thick, soft midsole foam and a peppy carbon-plate in the SuperComp Trainer create a versatile ride that reviewers enjoyed for long runs, speed workouts and recovery days.

“My first run in the SuperComp Trainer v2 was a 12-mile progression run, which happened to be the longest run I’ve done so far since having a baby,” Kate says. “It was the perfect shoe for the job. The bouncy cushion and rocker shape are really efficient for pushing me forward, whether I’m running easy or fast. Plus, I like to have a highly cushioned shoe to protect me from the impact on my longer runs. I love the feeling of energy return in these shoes!”

Redesigned upper adds comfort and security

A pair of the New Balance SuperComp Trainer v2 sits on a concrete road.

The New Balance SuperComp Trainer v2 underwent a complete transformation, not just on the bottom but on the top, too. The shoe is topped off with a redesigned mesh upper, replacing the previous knit material and offering a more traditional fit than the previous version.

“The upper in this shoe feels a lot different than its predecessor,” Caroline says. “Where the original SuperComp Trainer looked like a mysterious craft sent from another world, this one feels and looks much more normal. The first improvement I noticed is the fit around the ankle. The SC Trainer v1 had this stiff material that rubbed the inside of my ankle the wrong way, to the point where it would feel sore during a long run. New Balance fixed that issue, reverting to a tried-and-true shape and fit.”

A tapered heel collar in the back of the shoe reduces chafing and blistering while making it easier to pull on and slip out of the shoe. Admit it, we’ve all been guilty of forcefully sliding our feet out of our shoes rather than just bending down and untying them.

“I love the new heel in the SuperComp Trainer v2,” Mandy says. “I’m a huge fan of the flared heel because it grips my narrow heel better and doesn't give me any issues with any heel slippage.”

Reviewers also appreciated the structured material of the upper, adding more stability to the overall feel of the shoe.

“The mesh feels very secure around my foot, which helps provide a nice, locked-down feel. This is much appreciated when I’m standing on top of such a huge pile of cushion,” Nate says.

New Balance SuperComp Trainer v2 vs SuperComp Trainer

A side by side comparison of the New Balance SuperComp Trainer v2 versus the original version.

Tech Specs

New Balance SC Trainer v2

New Balance SC Trainer


8 oz (W), 10.1 oz (M)

9.3 oz (W), 11.3 oz (M)

Stack height

40 mm/34 mm

47 mm/39 mm

Heel-to-toe drop

6 mm

8 mm

The New Balance SuperComp Trainer v2 is a lighter, sleeker version of the original. Shoe designers shaved weight by reducing the stack height, which also created a more stable feel. But reviewers remain divided about the updates.

“With the drop in stack height, this shoe has lost a lot of its spring and pep,” Caroline says. “Where the previous version felt like running on literal trampolines, the latest version feels much more moderate. They offered a normal amount of peppiness and springiness, about what you’d expect from a carbon-plated trainer. While I personally prefer the original SuperComp Trainer to this version, I think the update will feel more accessible to a larger group of runners. Not everyone wants to feel like they’re running on pogo sticks, and I can respect that.”

“Where I thought the first version of the SuperComp Trainer felt soft, spongy and a little unstable, I’m very impressed with the v2,” Nate says. “The midsole feels a touch firmer while still retaining its trademark energy and spring. This shoe hits that perfect balance for me—stable underfoot with a hefty dose of responsiveness.”

Kate served as our voice of neutrality as someone who enjoyed both versions of the shoe equally.

“The cushion in the v2 feels almost as bouncy and responsive as the original, but it’s lost some of the pep that the original shoe had,” Kate says. “With that said, the difference in performance is subtle. Both iterations of the shoe are comfortable to me, and I’ll definitely wear these when I need an extra boost.”

How does the New Balance SuperComp Trainer v2 compare?

We took a look at some competing models to see how they stack up against the New Balance SuperComp Trainer v2. Here’s what we found.

Tech Specs

New Balance SuperComp Trainer v2

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3



8 oz (W), 10.1 oz (M)

7.2 oz (W), 8.1 oz (M)

8 oz (W), 9.4 oz (M)

Heel-to-toe drop

6 mm

8 mm

5 mm

Stack height

40 mm/34 mm

36 mm/28 mm

42 mm/37 mm









What do the New Balance SuperComp Trainer v2, the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 and the HOKA Mach X have in common? As it turns out, a lot! All three shoes are the result of consumer demand for an elevated daily trainer—a shoe offering more pep and bounce than a traditional trainer but not quite as high in energy return (or in price). While these three shoes aren’t their respective brands’ race-day super shoe, they offer just the right amount of responsiveness for workouts and enough durability to rack up the miles.

While the SuperComp Trainer v2 is slightly heavier than the other two models, it more than makes up for that in softness and springiness. Reviewers noticed that the midsole foam feels much softer than other shoes in its class, it’s the only shoe out of the three aforementioned models to feature a carbon-fiber plate rather than a plastic one.

“Is it legal for shoes this fast to feel this good? The SuperComp Trainer v2 is soft yet supportive, and both the midsole foam and the carbon plate feel like they’re propelling me forward,” says Alex. “If I have to choose comfort or performance, I’m generally going to go for comfort, but I appreciate how these shoes are aiming to give me both. They’re soft all the way around and make me feel like I’m walking on a planet with 15 percent less gravity.”

A pair of the New Balance SuperComp Trainer v2 sits against a wall.

Who is the New Balance SuperComp Trainer v2 best for?

If you’ve read all the way to the bottom of this review, you’ll know by now that the latest version of the SuperComp Trainer is still soft, still springy yet slightly toned down from the previous version. This makes it more versatile for different types of runs and different types of runners.

When asked who he would recommend this shoe to, Alex simply said, “People who want to go fast and feel good all the time.”

Because of the SuperComp Trainer’s thick, comfortable cushioning and snappy carbon plate, it can be used as a do-it-all shoe for everyday training, speedwork, long runs and even racing. Thanks to a sturdy rubber outsole, it’s likely durable enough to handle all of those runs with ease.

“The SuperComp Trainer v2 is the perfect shoe to reach for any time I want a little boost, whether it’s because I’m tired or because I’m trying to hit a challenging target pace,” Kate says.

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