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New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 Review (2022): Lightest Trainer?

New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 review

Published on: 11/28/2022

A performance trainer that offers a little bit of everything for every runner, the third version New Balance Rebel shoes moves fast, gives bounce and maintains a light weight, while being a great candidate performance shoe for midpack athletes.

The Consensus

8.6Overall Score

A fast, lightweight everyday running shoe with soft cushioning and a comfortable foot feel, but not great in wet weather

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

If you liked the second version of the New Balance Rebel, with its cushioning and speed combination, then you’ll love the v3, which delivers an excellent all-rounder, enjoyable shoe for all types of runs. Lightweight and comfortable, the new Rebel v3 is a relatively fun shoe that provides great breathability, a more stable ride, and good value for money.

This is a perfect road running shoe for everyday training, versatile enough to see you through speed workouts but also cushioned enough for more relaxed, longer runs. You can save money and enjoy a great shoe by spending only $129.99 on the NB FC Rebel v3 – you can even choose them as your race-day running shoes!

While they may not be the ideal shoe for someone looking for a more supportive ride (or stability shoe) or for seriously long runs of over 4 hours, the Rebel will satisfy most athletes looking for a lightweight daily trainer that can provide a perfect combination of cushioning and responsiveness come race day. Excellent for many, the Rebel keeps the best features of its predecessors and can be relied upon to as an all-rounder.

Carry on reading to see more details about every aspect of the New Balance FC Rebel v3.

Please read our full review of the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 for more information.

Comfort
9
Responsiveness
9
Foot lockdown and protection
9
Stability
8.5
Durability
8
Value
9
Design
8

PROS

  • Light and soft ride
  • Bouncy without too much cushioning
  • Versatile for different paces
  • Improved stability and fit from v2
  • Good value for money
  • Breathable

CONS

  • Not good on wet roads
  • Smooth and soft outsole will most likely wear out quickly
  • Questionable durability

New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 Complete Review Analysis

Introduction

New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 reviews performance shoe

New Balance has long been the brand of choice for runners looking for good value, stable, all-around good shoes. But, with its FuelCell Rebel range, it’s pushing the envelope and developing more performance trainers with a faster, responsive feel to them. The Rebel v3 builds on this progress. It offers a fast ride with a good amount of cushioning and a fairly fun experience.

New Balance Rebel 3 midsole foam

This non-plated, flexible trainer gives you a good ground feel while keeping your feet well-protected and comfortable. Is it the right shoe for you? Read our detailed analysis to see how the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 performs from all points of view!

Cushioning (midsole)

New Balance Rebel v3 fuelcell midsole cushioning

A plush and relatively bouncy shoe, the new Rebel features New Balance’s high-rebound FuelCell foam in the midsole. This gives it a light and responsive feel with a nice bounce while comfortably supporting longer runs. The aim is also to get some extra propulsion from the midsole foam, which most users report to be the case.

A men’s size 9 weighs only 7.4 oz (women’s size 8 shoes weigh 5.8 oz/164 g). That’s remarkable, considering it comes with a 1.5 mm thick midsole cushion and a stack height of 29.5 mm in the heel and 23.5 mm under the toes. The 6 mm drop further enhances the accessibility of the shoe and its comfort levels.

New Balance Rebel 3 midsole

The lightweight foam works wonder for midpack runners. Also, there are no stability issues, making it a good pick to train and improve speed in everyday workouts. However, the soft ride lets more advanced runners down in terms of propulsion, according to most testers. The speed has to come from you, so don’t expect miracles!

Shock absorption is great for an everyday road shoe without providing max cushioning either. You can confidently pick the Rebel v3 for longer runs, 5ks, or an easy day out.

Foot lockdown (upper)

New Balance Rebel v3 engineered mesh upper

The new FuelCell Rebel v3 brings a notable improvement in the upper compared to previous models: better durability. While a bit more traditional in design, it will last longer than last year’s version, which saw bad reviews in this area.

Still quite light, the “lace knit” upper is breathable and comfortable. The simple construction allows it to tighten for a good fit, with a gusseted tongue and a lightly padded collar for extra comfort.

Rebel v3 lace knit upper

For runners with wide feet, the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 adjusts well. The toe box is spacious enough with a good amount of room.

In general, the snug fit is comfortable, but if you need a looser lockdown, you could go for a half-size up.

Finally, heel lockdown is extremely good on this shoe. The nice, plushy heel collar lifts up at the back, giving it an aerodynamic look.

Grip and durability (outsole)

Rebel v3 rubber outsole

One of the few complaints about the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 is that it seems to lack outsole durability. However, it’s a substantial improvement from the previous version. The outsole is better thanks to the extra rubber in comparison to v2.

The outsole pattern is rather flat, without protruding lugs. This means it’s not a brilliant shoe for wet conditions because of its lesser traction. However, the Rebel performs very well in most dry and medium-dry conditions. Therefore, it would remain a great choice of everyday shoe for those runners living in good-weather areas.

New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 outsole rubber

Looking at runners’ reviews, the outsole rubber feels soft and can wear down quite quickly, especially with prolonged use. Also, there’s not that much protection for the foot from this material, so we would not advise running on dirt or gravel with the Rebel v3.

The ride

New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 road running shoes

The New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3’s design is inspired by “classic” racing shoes to give it a more aerodynamic, fast look. But it’s not all looks: it also delivers on the ride. The shoes deliver a good balance of comfort and speed. Indeed, the lightweight and the soft foams come together to create a smooth, enjoyable ride for all kinds of runners.

FuelCell Rebel v3 heel tab

That said, these shoes need to be worn on road and in relatively good weather conditions to get the most out of them. The 6mm drop and the decent cushioning make them suitable for longer runs as well as for faster workouts. But keep in mind that the outsole’s durability is questionable and that there isn’t a great grip for wet surfaces.

All in all, the Rebel is a very good daily trainer that will appeal to those looking for lighter-weight shoes with a medium level of durability and a good level of comfort.

Conclusion

New Balance Rebel v3 with forefoot rocker

Offering great value for money and good comfort vs. speed, the New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 is a perfect everyday trainer that improves on the previous iteration adding better foot lockdown, improved outsole, and overall an extremely comfortable feel. With its breathable upper and relaxed feel, coupled with a wide-toe bumper and enough cushioning, it’s a mode that will see you through longer runs. Not only that, it delivers a bouncy ride and versatility for the average runner.

New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 heel counter of the new upper

This light everyday trainer will make a great partner for midpack runners training for a half or full marathon.

Facts

New Balance FuelCell Rebel 3

Technical Specs

TerrainRoad
Pronation typeNeutral
Drop6 mm
Heel height29.5 mm
Forefoot height23.5 mm
Weight (men)209 g/7.4 oz
Weight (women)164 g/5.8 oz
FeaturesRocker
Athletes
Release year2022
PriceCheck prices

Cushioning

SoftnessSoft
ResponsivenessMedium

Technologies

OutsoleNDURANCE
MidsoleFuelCell
UpperLightweight Engineered mesh, No Sew Overlays

Use

SpeedSlow, Moderate, Fast
DistanceShort, 5K, Mid, 10K, Half marathon, Long, Marathon
WorkoutDaily running

Reference: New Balance's official site

Comparisons – NB FuelCell Rebel v3 vs.:

FuelCell Rebel v2

The new version of the FuelCell Rebel is not an entirely new shoe but brings significant improvements to set it apart from v2. It provides a much better lockdown, a versatile ride, and a more comfortable, slightly higher stack and thicker foam. This makes the Rebel v3 a good choice for those looking to upgrade.

Alecsa Stewart

Alecsa Stewart

Alecsa is an ultra-trailer, mountain guide, and freelance writer living in the Pyrenees-Orientales (France). She is passionate about the mountains and life in the wilderness and also practices cycling, climbing, and skiing from time to time. Her passion is to share her adventures with others and inspire them to spend more time outdoors.

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