New Balance Fuelcell Impulse

8.4
8.4 score
(TheGearHunt) score (8.4)/10

Our TheGearHunt score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
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Editor rating: 8.7 / 10
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New Balance Fuelcell Impulse Review Facts

Running shoes are the primary piece of equipment required when running but they are also used in the gym. There is more to running than simply their fit. Running shoes have different components to them that work together in order to offer breathability, support, stability, impact reduction, comfort, and energy return. The top of the shoe, referred to as the upper is the area that typically controls the breathability of the shoe. It does this through the mesh (typically) in order to encourage ventilation and airflow to keep feet cool and dry while the body is working up a sweat. The upper is the area that usually offers overlays which are strips made of either a leather or synthetic material that connect to the lacing system of the shoe. The overlays also connect to the bottom of the shoe or under the outsole which helps offer stability to the sides of the feet. The lacing system is the area that typically houses the laces, now some lacing systems are elastic closures and others are velcro. There are different types of lacing systems, but the ultimate goal of the lacing system is to tighten the shoe to the foot. Because feet are all shaped differently, lacing systems allow differently shaped feet to fit comfortably and tight depending on the user’s preference. The lacing system also offers stability by tightening the upper, sides and bottom of the shoe to the foot in order to get the most out of the energy return, flexibility, responsiveness, and support. Though shoes may only seem to be something to keep feel from hurting during activity, they are made of complex little systems that ultimately work together to keep wearers safe and comfortable.

This article is a single product review on a pair of New Balance running shoes, specifically the Fuelcell Impulse. We did research through customer reviews to determine what all activity levels thought of these runners. We looked at how they performed, how they looked and how long they lasted to determine not only if they are worth buying but also if they are competitive with today’s market. We also looked at the construction of the shoe in order to determine its quality and style. This is our analysis of the New Balance Fuelcell Impulse.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • These runners are listed as being quite comfortable by buyers
  • They also offer a really nice, polished design 
  • They are quite lightweight in design 
  • There are also quite a few positive reviews about how well the bootie lining fits the foot
Cons
  • The integrated tongue of these runners makes the shoe impossible to get on the foot 
  • They may require sizing up due to their narrow design 
  • The heel is high on the back of these runners causing it to cut in on some runners heels
OUTSOLE

OUTSOLE

There isn't much listed in regards to the outsole of this product. Those who bought these runners found that the traction of the outsole was adequate for running in the gym and on the road, though this is not much of a marathon shoe. This is due to the cushioning, though and is discussed later in this article.
MIDSOLE

MIDSOLE

The midsole of these shoes offers an innovative REVlite (specific to New Balance) which is supposed to provide better responsiveness as well as durability. The most inner layer of this shoe offers a bootie fit which works hand in hand with the midsole of this product. The midsole works with the bootie of these shoes to offer a close and contoured fit. This, therefore, offers better support to the bottom of the foot. The midsole is also on the thinner side, allowing those wearing the shoe to feel closer to the ground which helps with the responsiveness of these shoes.
UPPER

UPPER

The New Balance Fuelcell Impulse offers both synthetic and mesh throughout its upper which offers both support and breathability. The tongue of these runners offers the 'non-tongue' tongue design meaning that the "tongue" of these runners isn't an independent piece of material but rather attached to the sides of the shoe. Though this could potentially offer better stability and support, it seems frustrating for those simply attempting to put these shoes on. Rather, this makes the shoe nearly impossible to get on. That said, once these shoes are actually on the feet they seem to fit very well. There were a fair amount of complaints about this design for obvious reasons.
WEIGHT

WEIGHT

The manufacturer's website does note that these runners are 30% lighter than other comparable shoes with other types of foams. Those who bought these runners were pleased with their lightweight design.
BREATHABILITY

BREATHABILITY

These shoes have an all synthetic upper. Those who bought these shoes found that their feet stayed cool and dry when in motion. Those who bought these shoes were happy with the level of ventilation offered by these runners.
COMFORT

COMFORT

The New Balance Fuelcell Impulse also offers bootie construction for a more customized fit for the wearer. It also offers FuelCell which is a nitrogen-infused foam through its midsole in order to offer more cushioning and impact reduction. Those who tried these shoes out were impressed by the bootie construction of these runners, noting that they felt really snug to the foot as a result of the addition. They noted that because these fit so snuggly that they either wear a sock liner or no sock at all which is fairly impressive considering runners will typically move around a bit when working out or running and therefore cause blistering. The bootie seems to offer a fit that won't cause this common issue. Some reviewers did note that the heel of these shoes is a little high and caused some discomfort to the heel of the foot. There were also notes that these shoes do not fit true to size and may require sizing up.
STYLE

STYLE

These shoes offer a newly designed sleek design. Because the tongue of the shoe is stitched in (which many took issue with) they fit closer to the foot. They are also offered in trendy colors and have interesting upper material. They can easily be worn out and about as well as at the gym or on the track.
DURABILITY

DURABILITY

The REVlite midsole not only is supposed to be ultra light but according to the website is supposed to offer superior durability as well. There were several reviews that noted that these shoes did last them a long time but the reviewers didn't seem to be marathon runners. There was one reviewer that said these runners didn't even last them three months. These shoes should not be mistaken for high impact, long distance trainers. These are better suited for gym workouts and light runs (nothing over 5 K) and they should last the buyer a little longer. There were no specific complaints about wear in particular areas so it doesn't seem to be a flaw in design so much as a runner that is intended for less strenuous activities and less aggressive terrains.
PROTECTION

PROTECTION

These shoes don't have any specific protection additional features. They have a stronger outsole which doesn't deteriorate quickly. The upper, however, is quite thin and mostly made of a light fabric that would not protect the foot from drops or rolls. Though this is the case, there were no complaints about the protective features of these runners which is positive.
RESPONSIVENESS

RESPONSIVENESS

The Innovative REVlite used to construct the midsole of these shoes, is supposed to help provide premium responsiveness. The FuelCell technology offered by these shoes is also supposed to help the forefoot of these shoes to offer a more powerful launch in order to improve performance as well. Though those who bought these shoes found them incredibly comfortable these shoes don't have enough cushioning or energy return for long races. Those who wore these runners said that they would be fine for short races but not ideal for anything longer than a 5 K unfortunately. Outside of this comment, those who wore these shoes found them quite responsive and easy to move around in, which is positive.
SUPPORT

SUPPORT

As mentioned above, the midsole of these runners is contoured to the bottom of the foot in order to offer protection and support the foot. The heel is higher on these shoes which allows for some support to the heel and ankle as well. Though this was the case, some found that the heel is so high caused some blistering around the ankle. These seemed to be fairly isolated complaints as they were far and few between. Because the upper is made mostly of synthetic fabric and doesn't offer traditional overlays for support there could be some issues for those who potentially have weaker ankles or have a slight off step. These runners are neutral and should be used on that foot type in order to avoid rolled ankles.
TERRAIN

TERRAIN

These runners are meant for running in the gym or on urban streets. Better yet, they are a great gym companion. The traction isn't superior to other runners but the shoe itself is more fashionably designed and made more for everyday wear. They are not ideal for trail runs or more aggressive terrains as the durability just isn't there.
PRICE

PRICE

These shoes are actually really quite reasonably priced. When considering running shoes we look at the shoes durability and versatility. If the price tag is high the shoes should last for long as replacement of the shoe will happen more frequently. Additionally, if the durability is low then the aesthetic of the shoe will dwindle down more quickly. The versatility of the shoe comes from whether the shoe can be worn in more than one scenario in order to avoid having to buy multiple pairs of shoes. These shoes are luckily fairly durable when worn correctly, which helps maintain the aesthetic of the shoe. They are also attractive in design too. On top of this, the shoes are quite low in price range especially when looking at comparable products on the market. Overall, the cost and value line up which is fantastic.
TRACTION

TRACTION

These shoes offer adequate traction. They are not meant for running on terrains that require super sticky traction. In fact, those who bought these shoes did find them a little stiff through the outsole of these shoes which means they are a little less sticky then trail runners, for instance. They are great as a gym companion or an urban streets runner. They are great for quick runs (under 5 K) but nothing much longer. One reviewer did note that they are great for the day of a long run (the day of a marathon) and because there were few complaints about blistering, they may make a great day of the runner but definitely not training up to.
FLEXIBILITY

FLEXIBILITY

The manufacturer notes that the upper is made of dynamic materials which are supposed to help promote better flexibility throughout this shoes upper. This is supposed to help push the performance of the runner. The outsole is noted as being a little stiff, that said those who wore these shoes said that because the bottom of the shoe is on the thinner side, that they liked that they could really feel the ground which added a more flexible and responsive reaction to the shoe. They appreciated this.
STABILITY

STABILITY

As mentioned in the support section, these shoes do offer a bit of stability and support under the foot but due to the light and weak upper, they don't offer the right stability for those who might have an off-step. They are neutral runners and if they are being used with those who have weaker ankles there is definitely a potential for rolling the ankle. Luckily because of the bootie fit in the shoe they do fit closer to the foot and offer slightly more enhanced stability when compared to other products with similar uppers. They offer medium stability, for sure and this should be considered before buying these runners.
DROP

DROP

The New Balance Fuelcell Impulse offers a 6 mm drop but the website notes that due to variances which happened during development and their manufacturing process the 6 mm drop is only approximate which is an interesting note. Regardless, it offers close to a 6 mm drop.
KEY FEATURES

KEY FEATURES

- These runners offer a 6 mm drop for better performance
- They offer bootie construction for a more customized fit
- They offer FuelCell which is a nitrogen-infused foam which offers cushioning
- They have innovative REVlite throughout the midsole for better responsiveness
- They are 30% lighter than other foams of competitive products
- They offer a stylish design
- They offer a synthetic and mesh upper for superior breathability
- The forefoot of this runner offers a power launch, as well, for better performance
BOTTOM LINE

BOTTOM LINE

Overall these shoes are pretty impressive. They are not an aggressive runner by any means but they are great as a stylish gym companion. And at this price, you really cannot go wrong. Again, not a marathon runner but definitely a great gym companion or a short run buddy. They are definitely worth consideration for your next running shoe purchase.