I have been waiting for the New Balance Fuelcell Rebel 2 shoe for what seems like forever (is that a common theme with my shoe reviews?). I loved the original NB Rebel, so I was too excited for the NB Fuelcell Rebel 2.
I went through 3-4 pairs and even ran my last marathon in them. It feels like forever ago that the first versions came out. Due to my enjoyment of the first version, I had high expectations for the New Balance Fuelcell Rebel 2, so I was excited to try it out.
What is different with the New Balance Fuelcell Rebel 2?
The NB Rebel 2 has a more compressive midsole. In my opinion, it’s made more for training versus running fast. It is different. I can’t really say in a good or bad way, but in a different way.
New Balance Fuelcell Rebel 2 Quick Facts:
Weight: 7.3 oz
Heel to toe drop: 6 mm
New Balance Fuelcell Rebel 2 Intro:
In my opinion, New Balance has too many lightweight trainers. Between the Beacon, the Tempo, and the 880, I think the bases are covered. Why transform another one of their shoes into something so similar?
New Balance Fuelcell Rebel 2 Upper:
The look of the NB Fuelcell Rebel 2 has a fun and 1980s retro vibe to it. As you can see, the entire upper is different and is now made from an engineered mesh. Like the previous model, the engineered mesh is seamless, so it shouldn’t rub against any bunions.
I don’t understand the current trend of long shoelaces, but this is yet another shoe with too long of laces.
I wish the NB Fuelcell Rebel 2 had was the final eyelet to lock down the heel. I don’t know why they didn’t add it, especially as some might prefer a snugger heel fit in a faster-paced shoe.
As far as fit, the NB Fuelcell Rebel 2 fits true to size in length, but it is more narrow than the first version. If you have wide feet like me, this could be a problem. It’s on the more narrow side of how I like my shoes, but it isn’t a huge problem. Typically in running shoes, I wear between a size 10-11 wide. The NB Rebel 2 size 10.5 fits well, but I would probably choose that if there was a widely available one.
New Balance Fuelcell Rebel 2 Ride:
The ride of the NB Fuelcell Rebel 2 feels much different. Even just walking around. It actually reminds me a lot of how the Nike Pegasus Turbo felt. Extremely soft and peppy but without a carbon plate. This feels like the New Balance RC Elite without a carbon plate. I can’t get over how soft the NB Fuelcell Rebel 2 is.
So what is Fuelcell foam?
According to New Balance, the Fuelcell foam provides more energy return and is more bouncy than most brands like Brooks DNA and Saucony Pwrun.
Durability: There is a lot of rubber in the New Balance Fuelcell Rebel 2, but there are also exposed pieces of the midsole. So, who cares? In running shoes having too much exposed midsole is what makes shoes not last. It causes the shoe to have less traction but also be less durable. I’ve run about 100 miles in the New Balance Fuelcell Rebel 2, and while I don’t see any major signs of wear, I worry I won’t get 300-400 miles in them.
Traction-wise, they are fine for rainy and inclement weather.
I’ve used the New Balance Rebel 2 for various runs, including workouts, easy runs, and daily runs. For me, it works best daily runs. It’s a shoe I would bring with me when I don’t know what I will be doing that day.
New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2 Conclusion:
I’ve now run about 100 miles in the NB Rebel 2. I want to love it as I did with the original Rebel, but I do not. It’s not made for the same types of runs. It’s still a great lightweight trainer, but I think New Balance already has so many lightweight trainers. The closest shoe to the original Rebel is probably the Fuelcell TC (a shoe I also love).
Is the NB Rebel 2 a bad shoe? Absolutely not; it’s been good for daily runs. It’s just different! It’s a good shoe to keep when you aren’t quite sure what kind of run you’re going to do, but it can handle most kinds. If you liked (or loved) the Nike Pegasus Turbo, I would consider trying the New Balance FuelCell Rebel 2 because it is fairly similar.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.
Looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths of running shoes.
Questions for you:
Have you tried the New Balance Fuelcell Rebel 2?
What is your current favorite shoe?