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New Balance FuelCell Propel v3 Review (2022): Should You Get It?

New Balance FuelCell Propel v3 review

Last update: 11/30/2022

The New Balance FuelCell Propel v3 is a simple, effective, and lightweight entry-level shoe for your daily runs.

The Consensus

8.7Overall score
An inexpensive, lightweight daily trainer that offers responsive cushioning despite some comfort issues.
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.

The New Balance FuelCell Propel v3 running shoes are more in the entry-level athletic shoe segment. Yet, they are surprising! Their appearance is neat and reminiscent of more plush models.

The cushioned ride is quite comfortable and lively, with a good energy return when hitting the ground. Runs become fun. However, according to some athletes, you shouldn’t consider running more than 5 km in these shoes. Beyond that, they seem to become less enjoyable.

NDurance rubber covers their outsole. It provides good grip, even on a wet sidewalk, according to testers. Mind you, they don’t all seem to agree on this. On the other hand, the sole seems to be quite durable.

The ride feels good with these shoes. They are balanced and stable. The takeoff from the ground is fast, with a pleasant feeling of forward projection.

The upper of the Propel v3 renews that of v2. Its sock-like design correctly wraps the foot. It fits well, but wide feet should beware of a toe box that is a little narrow.

This lightweight upper is breathable. The collar is a bit high and sometimes rubs on the ankle. It’s a defect that can be redhibitory. The heel benefits from a shell that prevents the foot from sliding. This upper supports the foot well overall.

The New Balance FuelCell Propel v3 running shoes are for runners who are looking for a responsive, inexpensive daily versatile trainer.

Read our full review of the New Balance FuelCell Propel v3 for more information.
Foot lockdown
Value for money
  • Breathable and comfortable running shoes
  • Versatile shoes
  • A renewed upper
  • Affordable shoe
  • A toe box that is a little narrow
  • A little high collar that rubs on the ankle

New Balance FuelCell Propel v3 Complete Review Analysis


New Balance FuelCell Propel v3 review

New Balance is one of the leaders in the athletic shoe market. This brand offers excellent models for running in all price ranges. In the FuelCell series, they offer the Rebel and the Propel. While the Rebel is more geared toward racing, the Propel is a daily trainer.

The Propel v3 comes with a great design and promises great performance. Its real plus is that it’s fairly affordable. Does it provide great value overall? Should you consider this trainer in your rotation? Read on to find out.


New Balance Propel v3 with FuelCell foam

The New Balance FuelCell Propel v3 running shoes come with a 30-mm heel stack height (24 mm in the forefoot). With a heel-to-toe drop of 6mm, it feels like a balanced daily trainer with a low rocker. It has enough cushioning and responsiveness to promote a good midfoot stride.

We find a full-length FuelCell midsole on this this shoe. It already equips many models of the brand. Therefore, there’s nothing new here. The underfoot feel is a bit firm, but it delivers a high rebound when your foot hits the ground. Many testers noted it made their running sessions fun.

However, there’s a caveat. Some runners note that this shoe is a good pick for runs up to 5K. Beyond that, they found comfort to be lacking.

Foot lockdown (upper)

New Balance FuelCell Propel v3 mesh upper with no sew overlays

The New Balance FuelCell Propel v3 weighs 250 g/8.8 oz for a medium size, making them lightweight trainers.

The upper of these shoes is different compared to Propel v2. The Propel v3 has a new design that many runners enjoy. The bold graphics of the N-logo act as a subtle overlay with mesh fabric.

NB Propel v3 unboxing: good shoe with a springy ride

Testers say that when they put on the New Balance FuelCell Propel v3, they feel like they are putting on comfy slippers. The upper made them feel secure. For them, the fit is right. However, they found the toe box to be a bit narrow. They recommend an extra half-size for those who want to wear thick socks or have wider feet.

These shoes are breathable. As a result, they don’t get hot, and moisture wicks away properly. The thin tongue gets the job done. The fit with a lace-up closure is secure. Testers did not notice any heating up when wearing these shoes for short distances.

However, some reviewers had concerns about the ankle. The Propel v3 has the tendency to rub in this area, which can quickly become very unpleasant.

Grip and durability

New Balance FuelCell Propel v3 rubber outsole

NDurance rubber covers the outsole of the New Balance FuelCell Propel v3. This rubber has a good reputation and has proven to be able to go a good number of miles without wearing out. So the Propel v3 seems to have good durability. Those who have run over 100 miles with them have not noticed any particularly significant wear on this outsole.

There are numerous flex grooves on the sole of the Propel v3. They run from the toe box to the heel to increase flexibility. The soft and smooth ride is quite easy! For a daily trainer, it’s pretty good.

In terms of grip, the sole of the New Balance FuelCell Propel v3 is as secure as they come. It’s comfortable and grippy on the road, even in wet conditions. Testers who have used it in the rain report, for the most part, that they didn’t feel like they were slipping. This kind of excellent traction is quite rare on a model at this price, so it’s worth noting! However, there are a few dissident voices on the topic, so make sure to give them a try to make sure they match your expectations and practice.

The Ride

FuelCell Propel v3 road running shoe

First, let’s mention that testers find the New Balance FuelCell Propel v3 anything but dull! They find them comfortable and really fun. The shoes allow for a quick take-off; as soon as the foot touches the ground, forward propulsion is triggered.

The ride of the Propel v3 is surprisingly smooth. These are stable running shoes, and it’s easy to maintain a good balance.

Lightweight, the Propel v3 can easily allow accelerations during your faster workouts. However, according to the reviews, these shoes may not be suitable for long distances like the marathon. Their ideal use is short distances.

The 6mm drop makes these shoes a good choice for neutral runners looking for a lightweight shoe that is built for speed.

However, as mentioned previously, the shoe can rub on the ankles for some runners, which can be quite unpleasant. However, this problem doesn’t concern everyone. It’s a matter of luck (or lack there of), so make sure you give them a good try before committing!


FuelCell Propel v3 New Balance: shoes with sleek style!

The New Balance FuelCell Propel v3 are excellent everyday trainers with a great grip. They are perfect for those who don’t want to pay too much for a performance shoe. They are pleasantly surprising in their durability and clean look.

The drop and stack height delivers softness, comfort, and versatility. Also, its easy ride makes it accessible to beginners and advanced athletes alike.

However, stay clear if you have wide feet. The toe box is a bit narrow and can quickly become uncomfortable. Also, designed for speed training, they are unfortunately unsuitable for long-distance running. They are best for short sessions.


Technical Specs

Pronation typeNeutral
Drop6 mm
Heel stack height30 mm
Forefoot stack height24 mm
Weight (men)252 g/8.9 oz
Weight (women)218 g/7.7 oz
Release year2021


Softness (1-5)3 – Moderate
Bounce (1-5)3 – Moderate


UpperEngineered mesh, VL-6


SpeedModerate, fast
DistanceShort, mid, 5k, 10k
WorkoutDaily runs

Reference: New Balance

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How’s the fit of the NB Propel v3?

This shoe runs true to size. However, the front of the shoe is a bit narrow. So be careful if you have wide feet.

Kevin Le Gall

Kevin Le Gall

Kevin is the founder and editor of Runner's Lab. He started running in 2015 and completed his first marathon in Rotterdam in 2016. He's also worked for Under Armour from 2016 to 2018 and helped launch their running collection in Europe (in particular the HOVR shoes). In addition, Kevin is a 300-hour certified yoga teacher (Sivananda) and uses this experience to run more mindfully with a focus on well-being over performance.

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