New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 Review (2021): Should You Get It? (2023)

New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 Review (2021): Should You Get It? (1)

Last update: December 2022

Less famous than its competitors, the NB RC Elite 2 is a little gem of responsiveness and versatility to run in comfort.

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The consensus

9.4total score

A very good carbon plate running shoe: light and versatile to run faster with less effort

Don't have time to read the full review? Here's what you need to know.

The FuelCell RC Elite v2 is the latest version from New Balancegreat shoeand comes with significant improvements. The FuelCell midsole keeps getting bigger and still works wonders. reach now36mm under the heel, runners found it even lighter and more responsive. the integratedcarbon fiber platestill works great and offers aBreathtaking but versatile and fun ridewith great energy return.

The mesh upper of the New Balance RC Elite v2 has also been updated. It looks amazing and the purple colorway is stunning. Not only does it look good, it also fits really well and should besuitable for most foot shapes and sizeswith its spacious toe cap.

While many brands are opting for a rubber-free sole to shed weight and improve flexibility, New Balance did the right thing.Choice of durability and traction🇧🇷 Although the small bumps under the forefoot are gone, the RC Elite 2 is still very grippy. In addition, the overall designresistantand testers report that it can go well over 100 miles without showing any signs of wear.

The New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 running shoe is ideal for athletes looking for a high-quality carbon shoe. Its fast and light configuration has managed to seduce most runners who have tried it. What's more, while it's pretty goodrunning shoe, you can also use it asdaily trainerthanks to its superior outsole durability and forgiving cushioning with slower strides. It is excellent for marathon distances and may also be suitable for beginners looking for a first carbon shoe.


Please readourNew Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 Full ReviewFor more information.





foot lock







(Video) New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 Review | The Ginger Runner





  • very good design
  • quality construction
  • perfect cushioning
  • Perhaps the most versatile of all super shoes (can also be used as a training shoe)
  • Good grip on wet surfaces


  • Be careful on sharp turns; may lack stability
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Full Test Test New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2


New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 Review (2021): Should You Get It? (2)

The first carbon-coated RC Elite shoe was released by New Balance in 2020. As Messiah expected, this shoe didn't disappoint with its compelling features. The lack of inventory also added to the hype. Thankfully, the 2021 New Balance RC Elite v2 was released just in time for the Tokyo Olympics and without any out of print issues!

Instead of just repeating the formula of the previous version, RC Elite v2 takes it one step further. The stack increases slightly with an additional 1mm under the heel to reach 36mm. The drop is reduced to 8mm (compared to 10mm on the original version), giving you a 3mm higher stack in the forefoot. This new configuration takes the RC Elite range to the next level for running longer distances like half or full marathons.

Will the RC Elite v2 allow New Balance to compete against Nike, Adidas and Asics? We find out in our test.


New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 Review (2021): Should You Get It? (3)

FuelCell foam technology, which translates into a blend of EVA and PTU foam, powers the midsole of the New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2. This material is exactly the same as found on models like the Rebel v2. The midsole's thick layer of soft foam sits atop the stiff carbon plate. The base is wider to compensate for the high pile. According to testers, it has everything they want in a competitive road running shoe!

This feeling underfoot is incredibly soft. The ride gives a feeling of plush comfort while providing great bounce. The increased cushioning under the forefoot is particularly noticeable. According to runners, it's the softest forefoot they've ever experienced in a carbon shoe.

However, not the entire platform is soft: the part under the heel feels a bit firmer. This facilitates quick and effortless back-to-front transitions. The fact that the carbon plate is curved in the heel and closer to the foot than the forefoot also improves propulsion and allows for a quick and energetic exit.

(Video) New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 Review: The most comfortable carbon racing shoe?

The RC Elite v2's forefoot rocker is noticeable but not as sharp as other carbon shoes. The ride is very responsive while remaining forgiving.

foot lock (top)

New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 Review (2021): Should You Get It? (4)

A fine, unstructured mesh forms the upper of the RC Elite v2. It has a very breathable and airy design. The foot closure is ideal and offers a comfortable, almost relaxed fit. Most runners will notice some stiff elements in this upper, but they're just there for stability. In fact, the brand describes it as "almost unsupported".

For some testers, adjusting the RC Elite 2 running shoe's asymmetrical laces may take a few tries. The tongue is thin and some runners have had the tongue slip down a bit. If you have narrow feet and need a snug fit, the fit can be difficult. Some people even report having stability issues in tight turns despite the effective heel lacing. However, they couldn't tell if it came from the upper or the high height of the shoe.

This engineered mesh upper has a roomy fit with a comfortable toe cap. Additionally, runners find that despite the impression of a roomy fit, the upper always adequately secures the foot in the shoe.

At 7.8o/220g for a medium men's size, the RC Elite v2 is a lightweight shoe.

In addition, the top part of the New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2, although a bit flimsy, is durable. Its glossy finish gives it shine and can even help protect it from the rain!

adhesion and durability

New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 Review (2021): Should You Get It? (5)

The RC Elite v2 sole doesn't revolutionize the genre, it just works. It is reminiscent of the soles of various FuelCell models. A blown rubber pad covers the entire forefoot. The midsole is exposed in the midfoot and center of the heel. Two rubber strips on the back protect the areas most likely to come into contact with the ground.

The deep flex groove in the midfoot allows a look into the carbon plate and increases the flexibility of the sole. It also helps reduce weight.

The robust, flexible construction of the sole promotes a smooth, stable ride. It's also great for durability: runners say they haven't seen any signs of premature wear even after 100 miles. Last but not least, traction is excellent even in wet conditions. We expected nothing less from a top-notch New Balance on this front.

the trip

New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 Review (2021): Should You Get It? (6)

The New Balance RC Elite v2 is designed for marathons and competitions in general. They don't disappoint and are ideal for runners looking for a sleek, lightweight running shoe.

The cushioning of the New Balance RC Elite v2 is excellent, and the springy ride it offers results in a smooth, responsive running experience with every step. Frontloaded promotes an effective boost for smoother transitions to increase running economy.

For many, the RC Elite 2 is a good choice, suitable not only for racing but also for daily training and long runs. After all, that's exactly what your robust sole is for!


New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 Review (2021): Should You Get It? (7)

The New Balance Elite RC v2 is a great shoe for competitive marathons. They look stunning and their performance has more than one runner dreaming of a new half marathon.

However, while many other carbon racers focus on performance at the expense of comfort, durability and versatility, the RC Elite v2 includes all of this in its formula to suit as many runners and paces as possible, even the slowest (we I'm not pointing fingers at anyone here).

Experienced athletes (and Seth James De Moor says so!) love the New Balance RC Elite v2, and while it can be bumpy at times, it's also a great choice for beginners looking to level up.

(Video) Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2 Versus New Balance FuelCell RC Elite V2

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Technical specifications

type of pronationNeutral
heel height36mm
weight (men)221 g / 7,8 oz
weight (women)184 g / 6,5 oz
resourcesRocker, carbon plate
athleteJim Walmsley
Publishing year2021


Smoothness (1-5)4 – Polite
Jump (1-5)4 - Hopping


midsolefuel cell, carbon plate
Superiorconstructed network


speedmoderate, fast
distanceMedium, long, 10 km, half marathon, marathon
TrainingCompetition, daily races

Reference:New Balance official website

Vergleiche – New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 vs.:

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2

Can the NB shoe compete with Nike's high-end running shoe that many top athletes appreciate? While the Vaporfly's handling is far more impressive, it's also less versatile. To seethe detailed comparison.

Saucony Endorphin Pro 2


Asics MetaSpeed ​​​​Sky


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is the New Balance Fuelcell RC Elite 2 perfectly sized?

Yes, this shoe fits true to size - no surprises! The toe box is also relatively roomy for these running shoes.

What does RC stand for at New Balance?

RC stands for Race and Competition while TC stands for Training and Competition. Therefore, the RC Elite is suitable for race day, while the TC is better suited for your long-term training.

Is the FuelCell RC Elite good for runners with flat feet?

While not the most stable of shoes, this shoe can work depending on how much support you really need. We encourage you to try them and consult your healthcare professional.

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How durable is the New Balance FuelCell RC Elite 2? ›

Also, the overall design is sturdy and testers report that it can go very well over 100 miles without any sign of wear. The New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 running shoe is ideal for athletes looking for a quality carbon shoe. Its fast and light configuration managed to seduce most runners who tried it.

Are FuelCell RC Elite true to size? ›

New Balance FuelCell RC Elite Upper Unit

The fit is a lot more snug though, like a true racing shoe. It's true to size but you may find the fit uncomfortable if you have wide feet.

What is the difference between New Balance FuelCell TC and RC Elite? ›

New Balance FuelCell TC

The TC, while soft, feels firmer and has less bounce compared to the RC Elite. The RC Elite has a more untamed midsole feel and is more fun to run in. The TC, however, has a more stable medial section and a more durable outsole.

How tall are New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2 heels? ›

The New Balance RC Elite 2 not only sparkles in the sunshine (literally), but it's built on 39 mm of this bouncy, delightful goodness known as FuelCell. If you've read any of my shoe reviews, you know I love a healthy stack height. This one is 39 mm in the heel and 31 mm in the forefoot for an 8 mm drop.

Are New Balance shoes worth? ›

New Balance shoes offer excellent support for the heel, arch, and forefoot,” Tyler Miranda, DPM, a New York-based podiatrist, says. “They also have a wide toe box, which is especially important for people who need extra space to avoid friction and pressure on bunions and hammer toes.”

Are new balances really comfortable? ›

Because they're made with EVA foam cushioning in the midsole and rubber on the outsole, New Balance's 515s are not just lightweight—they're also super comfy on your heels.

What does RC stand for New Balance? ›

Drew: The RC in the New Balance FuelCell RC Elite stands for Racing and Competition. New Balance's racing shoe builds on the foundation of the New Balance FuelCell TC, New Balance's high end training shoe. In that one, TC stands for Training and Competition.

Are new balances cool now? ›

Their universal appeal seems to only have grown since. New Balance has become one of the most in-demand sneaker brands of the moment — according to Google trends, search interest in the brand reached an all-time high in Dec. 2022.

Are New Balance FuelCell running shoes? ›

New Balance Men's FuelCell SuperComp Elite

The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite is a carbon fiber plated running shoe designed to help you reach your marathon racing goals.

How long does New Balance shoes last? ›

The answer depends on both how often you are using the shoes and what terrain you are using them on. If you run 3 times a week or more, we recommend you replace your shoes every 6 months. Better yet, you should consider buying 2 pairs and rotating them throughout the week.

How many miles do New Balance running shoes last? ›

You should generally replace your running shoes every 300–500 miles. That's because it's around this point that the midsole cushioning on most shoes will lose resiliency and stop absorbing shock as well as when newer, which can cause more impact on your muscles and joints.

How many miles do New Balance Fresh Foam last? ›

The outsole of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V6 flexes with the motion of your foot, but is durable and will last the standard 400-500 miles for most runners.

Do New Balance shoes break in? ›

New Balance shoes are made to fit directly out of the box, meaning that – unlike so many sneaker brands – they do not need to be broken in. Choose the larger size if your feet are between sizes.


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