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New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

The New Balance FuelCell Rebel is a brand new shoe from New Balance. In fact, it was released on July 1st.  There will be several different shoes released with the FuelCell line, including another carbon plated shoe.  The shoe isn’t called the “FuelCell,” it’s called the “FuelCell Rebel.” Like any brand, there will be many shoes called the “FuelCell [name]. (Like the Asics Gel Cumulus or Nike Air Pegasus).

When I first saw the shoe, I thought, “what a beautiful white shoe.” I’m in a white-shoe phase right now and can’t seem to have enough.

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

Right out of the box, the Rebel looked sleek and fast. The FuelCell Rebel is designed for running fast, workouts, or races. There is minimal protection if you strike at the heal and more for the forefront of the shoe. If you are a forefront striker and maybe even underpronate, this shoe is built for you (which is extremely rare in the running world.)

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

The FuelCell line was designed in collaboration with American distance-runner Jenny Simpson.

Quick Stats:
Weight: 6.1 Ounces
Drop: 6mm 

Fit:

The FuelCell has Trace Fiber Stitching and reinforced the engineered mesh.  This means there is minimal stitching with less weight. If you have a wide foot or have bunions, there isn’t additional stitching to rub.

There have been several brands try and create a high cut socklike upper, and they miss their (like the Brooks Levitate 2).  This is the first sock-like upper I’ve attempted to, that doesn’t irritate. You should still wear socks, but even though it’s coming up to the ankle, you aren’t going to find irritation.

The shoe fits true to size. I typically wear a women’s size 10-11 wide and the 10.5 is fine.

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

Ride:

The outsole of the New Balance Rebel is something I’ve never seen in a running shoe before (which says a lot because I’ve reviewed dozens of shoes). It has support on the outer corners of the shoe and with a wider platform (for say, someone who supinates). It doesn’t correct anything, but there is a wider platform if you strike on the outer edges of your foot.

For the actual ride it’s fast, and light.  I have run several distances, including easy runs, long runs, and workouts. For me, it fits best for a long run or workout shoe. The FuelCell foam itself is the most responsive from New Balance yet.

I will note, to remove weight there isn’t a lot of traction. Like many “fast” shoes this year, I would advise against running in it in the rain.

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

Conclusion:

I like this shoe a lot. I’ve already run about a hundred miles in them. They are a great fast run shoe, and I feel supported from mile 1 to 17. Tied with the Hoka Cavu 2, this is my favorite shoe of 2019. If this is the debut of their FuelCell line, I think we will see a lot of good things to come.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6,  Hoka Mach 2,

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Mizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races:  Reebok Run fast Pro

You can see all current shoe reviews here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked all about hydration.

In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite shoe? 

What is your “go-to” fast shoe?

 

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Hoka Carbon X Shoe Review

Hoka Carbon X Shoe Review

The Hoka Carbon X is the most requested shoe review I’ve ever had. Keep in mind, I’m not a Hoka athlete (or “sponsored” by any running shoe brand) so just because a shoe comes out doesn’t mean I immediately get a pair. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Luckily our local running store carries them. The Carbon X came out in early May during the Project Carbon X in Folsom, California. Ultramarathoners and elite runners debuted the shoe while chasing the 100k and 50-mile world records.

The Carbon X is designed to be ultra-cushioned while still be very light. It’s intended to be a distance shoe for half marathons, marathons or ultras.

Hoka One One Carbon X Shoe Review

Upper:

Like the Cavu (my favorite shoe),  I appreciate how the upper is light and simple. It’s just a single layer of breathable mesh. I wear anywhere between a women’s size 10-11 wide and the women’s 10.5 fits well. There is minimal structure to the upper, so your foot floats around. Your running shoe should always have space. Most “racing shoes” fit much more narrow, so this is the first racer that has plenty of room.

One thing to keep in mind is there is no heal counter. Your heel might not feel as secure as other shoes, but I’ve run just over 50 miles in the shoe and haven’t had an issue with sliding.  It does take patience the first time you put the shoe on. There is still the back eyelet that you can use to secure your heel more into place if you find it to be an issue.

Hoka One One Carbon X Shoe Review

Ride:

This is what I was most curious about. Would I feel the carbon plate like the Vaporfly? The ride is smooth, and you feel the cushion but also feel the propulsion of the carbon plate.

There is foam both above the plate and below (think of it like a sandwich). With the carbon plate, it feels much stiffer than many brands. If you love the Hoka Clifton, this is a very different feel. If you’ve been running in the Hoka Bondi or the Mach, it will feel more similar but faster.

I’ve run tempo runs, easy runs, and workouts. Do I feel faster in the shoe? Yes. Would I race a 5k in it? Probably not, but I would be more likely to do a longer race or workout in it. I am curious to see how the Carbon Rocket compares.

Finally, to reduce weight in the shoe, there is minimal traction. On a typical day with no moisture on the ground, this is fine. When it’s rainy or wet, I’m not sure how the shoe would respond without sliding (just like the 4%).

Conclusion

Debut shoes can be tricky. Sometimes, they are fantastic, and sometimes they miss their mark. For me, I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s the best for a 5k but do believe for a half marathon or above it’s an excellent option. I do feel faster when I run in the shoe. Like the Cavu, I appreciate the minimal upper with less seams to irritate.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6Topo Magnifly 2Hoka Mach 2,

Speed Work: Topo Fli-Lyte 3, Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: Mizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Fly, Reebok Run fast Pro

You can see all current shoe reviews here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about getting the most out of your running store.  In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Have you tried the Hoka Carbon X?

What shoe do you like to race in? 

Topo Fli-Lyte 3 Shoe Review

Topo Fli-Lyte 3 Shoe Review

The Topo Fli-Lyte is one of Topos most popular road shoes. I haven’t tried previous versions but tried the Topo Magnifly 2. Topo is a newer brand to me, and I’ve only started running in them recently. I was lucky enough to be sent a pair of Fli-Lyte 3s to try.

Quick Stats:

Weight  7 oz
Drop: (3mm drop)

Topo Fli-Lyte 3 Shoe Review

Fit:

The Topo Fli-Lyte 3 uses engineered mesh. There are no printed overlays or seams, which makes it great for someone with a wider forefront or bunions. While it doesn’t come in wide, the standard width is much wider than several brands.

The mesh has much larger holes, so it’s more breathable than previous versions. Typically I wear between a women’s size 10 and 11 wide, and the 10.5 fit well.

Topo Fli-Lyte 3 Shoe Review

Ride:

The Fli-Lyte 3 is extremely light. At just 7 ounces for women and 8 for men, it’s one of the lighter trainers out there. If you prefer minimalist or lighter shoes, it works as a trainer. For me, it fits well as a speedwork shoe.

To reduce weight, Topo has removed rubber from the bottom. Removing rubber also removes overall traction.  There is still rubber in critical areas such as the toes, forefront, and heel.  That allows for traction upon contact. Many brands have removed most, if not all rubber to reduce weight. That, in turn, makes the shoe much less durable and it won’t have good traction on a rainy day.

Topo Fli-Lyte 3 Shoe Review

Summary:

In all,  I like the Topo Fli-Lyte 3, and I will continue to use it as a speedwork or faster long run shoe.  The more full toe box and lower drop area makes it a good shoe for anyone running in Altra as well.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6Topo Magnifly 2Hoka Mach 2,

Speed Work: Topo Fli-Lyte 3, Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: Mizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Fly, Reebok Run fast Pro

You can see all current shoe reviews here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about getting the most out of your running store.  In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Have you tried Topo?

What is your favorite shoe? 

Mizuno Waveknit R2 Shoe Review

Mizuno Waveknit R2 Shoe Review

It’s been a long, long, long, time since I ran in a Mizuno shoe. Typically I like softer brands, while Mizuno is more firm. The last shoe I ran in was the Mizuno Wave Engima. 

The Waveknit R2 is a specialized version of the Mizuno Wave Rider 22. Similar to the Nike Pegasus and Nike Pegasus Turbo (Both Nikes, just slightly different). The Waveknit R2 isn’t a “faster” shoe, but it does have a different knit upper to it. I’ve found the knit upper to be more forgiving to wider feet like mine. If you like the Waverider and want something different, try the Waveknit. You’re getting the same bottom of a shoe but a fun change to the top.

Several years ago, the Mizuno Waverider went through a few drastic changes. It lost several people. Since then, our Mizuno rep has told me that they won’t be making any “big changes” to the shoe and will keep it relatively consistent from year to year.

mizuno waveknit r2 shoe review

Fit:

While I haven’t run in the Mizuno Wave Rider in several years, a significant issue people had last year was how “breathable” the upper was.  It isn’t an issue in the Waveknit, and we haven’t had it as an issue with the Wave Rider 22 either.

By nature, Mizuno is one of the more narrow brands for the last few years. Typically I wear a women’s 10-11 wide and the 11 fits and felt the best. The knit is more forgiving than the traditional upper, and there are no seems. If you have wider feet, you will appreciate the knit being so forgiving.

mizuno waveknit r2 shoe review

Ride:

As mentioned, Mizuno is much more firm and responsive brand. Mizuno technology uses a wave plate which disperses energy. This year, it’s softer than previous versions. The softness allows you to roll through from heel to toe without the shoe feeling clunky.

How did they soften it up? The sole is made up of a mix of two different foams.  Essentially a soft and firm foam. The soft foam is found right under the heel to add a more cushioned feeling and to reduce impact.

The signature wave plate keeps Mizuno on the firmer side and more responsive. It’s known to be a firm, everyday trainer, and that is exactly where it fits in for me. I have used it for most running from everyday runs to recovery, and long runs. The best sport for me is long runs, or a daily run. For recovery runs, I prefer something with more cushion.

Just something to note, I did notice was when running on a rocky or gravel road was the amount of rocks that got stuck in the shoe.

mizuno waveknit r2 shoe review

Conclusion:

The Mizuno Waveknit R2 is a great shoe if you are looking for a neutral trainer to add to your rotation. It is more firm than several brands but worth trying on.

If you have run in the Wave Rider and are looking for a slight change, the Waveknit R2 is the way to go. Since the bottom is the same in both the Waverider 22 and Waveknit R2, you’re getting the same technology but a different upper. Personally, I like the fit of the R2 better because it allows for more space for those of us with wider feet. From previous versions of the Waverider, the Waverider 22 and Waveknit R2 will feel softer, but it’s not a drastic change.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6, Topo Magnifly 2Hoka Mach 2Brooks Glycerin 17,

Speed Work: Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: Mizuno R2, Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Fly, Reebok Run fast Pro

You can see all current shoe reviews here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about tying your shoe.  In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Have you tried Mizuno before?

Do you like white running shoes?

Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review

Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review

Recently, I started running in Topo shoes. I’ve had a few friends that love them.  Since this is my first time trying Topo, I have no previous versions to compare it too. I was lucky enough that Topo sent me two pairs of shoes to test out.

Quick Stats: 

Weight: 8.3 oz
Drop: 0

Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review

Fit:

The upper has minimal seams and has plenty of space. Topo is not available in wides; the regular width seems to be enough space for me.  If you are looking for a wider forefront shoe, Topo is excellent for that.

I typically wear a women’s size 10-11 wide. The women’s size 10.5 fit well. It fits similar to the Altra Escalante and shares a lot of characteristics, including zero drop.

Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review

Ride:

The Topo Magnifly 2 has a lot of cushion for a zero drop shoe. Before running in it, I thought it would be a minimal shoe, but I was surprised that it did have an ample amount of cushion. The cushion from Topo has a mix of a softer layer on the top and a much more firm and responsive bottom layer.  This allows it to protect your feet but also still spring you forward.

Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review

Like any zero drop shoe, if you are not used to running in a zero drop shoe, it’s important to work into the shoe. If you jump into a longer run, you might be more likely to get injured or have tight calves.

Conclusion:

The Topo Magnifly 2 was a surprise for me. I expected less cushion but I like the ride and that I can use the shoe for longer and easier runs. It will probably stay in my rotation as an easy run or long run shoe. If you like Altra or Altra Escalante, it’s a great shoe to alternate with.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6, Topo Magnifly 2, Hoka Mach 2Brooks Glycerin 17,

Speed Work: Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Fly, Reebok Run fast Pro

You can see all current shoe reviews here.

Questions for you:

Have you tried Topo before?

What is your favorite shoe? 

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