New Balance FuelCell Propel v2
The New Balance FuelCell Propel v2 is a daily trainer that offers good value for money.
The midsole of the V2 lends itself to a smooth ride that performs on fast days. In fact, the "pop" of this shoe calls to mind the phrase, "...a spring in your step!" Drastically different from its V1 forerunner—no pun intended—this midsole is an entirely different beast. Where its soft, cushiony midsole characterized the V1, the firmer design of the V2 has true rocker appeal. Another noticeable modification is the upper's new design, which has meant a thinner tongue and a stiffer fit for runners. While it still gets the job done, users of the V2 say that the new upper is a step in the wrong direction. Fortunately, the outsole is engineered with NDurance rubber, which provides enhanced durability. The V2 is a road shoe but provides enough traction to grip terrain well on light trails.
While the V2 has many strong qualities for its price point, there are a few downsides to Propel's latest model. For one thing, while it's a great shoe for normal to fast days, it may not be the best recovery option. If shoes were a race, the V1 would be a marathon, and the V2 would be a sprint. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing—it all depends on what you're looking for. Also, as mentioned, the upper is described as a "definite step backward" by users, who preferred the more comfortable V1 design. The overall engineering of the V2 is less flexible and clunkier than its predecessor.
Ultimately, with a very affordable price point of $100, the attractive Propel V2 performs in all the ways it should. For those seeking a shoe that performs well at a value, the V2 might be a fantastic option. However, runners seeking shoes for longer rides should consider other options, as should runners who prefer a softer, more flexible design. Maybe a future V3 model will combine the best of both the V1 and V2!
- Sturdy shoe at this price point
- Firm cushioning that will appeal to runners who prefer this type of padding
- Reasonable weight
- Fast and smooth transitions
- Comfortable cushioning but perhaps not as responsive as it was on v1
- Stiffness of the new upper
Model: New Balance FuelCell Propel v2
- The outsole of the New Balance FuelCell Propel v2 features N-Durance, a reinforced rubber that can resist wear and tear to ensure the shoe is durable. This design also ensures good traction on city surfaces.
- FuelCell equips the midsole. It’s a soft and lightweight foam that gives a springy ride. According to the brand, it provides 39% more spring than REVlite, another flagship but older padding technology of the brand.
- The New Balance FuelCell Propel v2’s upper features an engineered mesh that gives a secure and comfortable foot lockdown while offering airflow, especially in the summer.
- The bootie construction allows the upper to comfortably wrap around the foot and makes it easier to put on and take off the shoes.
- The VL-6 is a special last designed by New Balance to virtually suit all shapes of foot out there.