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Meet the New Balance SuperComp Elite v3! New Balance says to leave all other shoes behind on race day claiming this is THE shoe. The Energy Arc system allows for a quick energy return paired with a knit upper keeping the shoe light weight, it is everything you need in a race day shoe. Let's see what our wear tester, Aidan has to say about it.
Weight: 7.6 oz (215 g) men’s, 6.6 oz (187 g) women’s
Stack Height: 40 mm (heel), 36 mm (forefoot)
Heel to Toe Offset: 4 mm
Best use: Racing
Surface: Road & Pavement
Aidan: WOW what a first run. The first run I did in these shoes was a workout on the track. I had some mile repeats at a nice tempo effort scheduled and decided that it would be a great maiden voyage for the shoes. I laced them up, got on the track, and immediately felt my decision become validated. The ride underfoot was incredibly smooth, bouncy, and fun. The upper was super comfortable and the flashy colors didn't hurt either! Later that week, I took the shoes out for a long run and was blitzing through the miles with half the effort I was used to. I can't say enough about how smooth the ride felt underfoot. The Energy Arc technology is far superior to the ride of any other "super shoes" out there and creates a very smooth transition that I can honestly say isn't replicated by anything else on the market.These things are a blast!
Aidan: The fit of the shoes was good, but not necessarily my favorite. The length was perfect. The toebox felt fairly standard, but I would have loved a slightly more rounded shape. I generally prefer a wider toebox and felt my pinky toes start to rub on longer efforts or in warmer weather when my feet swelled more. The midfoot felt great and had a solid amount of arch support (moreso than I'm used to in a super shoe) without feeling intrusive. The heel cup wasn't my favorite, to be honest. I love a booty upper on shoes and was looking forward to the feel of this one (the tongue was great!), but couldn't seem to get a solid lockdown. I use the runner's knot / heel lock lacing a fair amount of the time in my shoes and was certainly mourning the lack of an extra eyelet on these. A tight enough tie seemed to do the trick most of the time, but it would have been nice to spend less time and hassle over a secure lockdown.
I would say this runs pretty true to size. Though I wish the toebox was a hair rounder and the heel lockdown was a bit better, I think I would have more slippage in a bigger size and feel much too cramped in a smaller size.
Aidan: The cushioning is unreal. Amongst comparable "super foams," the Fuelcell midsole is by far the most comfortable, while still providing a great amount of energy return. There's a lot of compression once you put your weight into the shoe, which creates an amazingly cushioned sensation with each step. This compression is matched by a very springy rebound in the foam, which returns all your weight back to the foot in a way that doesn't feel like a pogo stick underfoot, but instead like a smooth, buttery transition that effortlessly propels you forward.
Aidan: This shoe feels surprisingly stable for being a race day option, especially in the heel and midfoot! Most competitor shoes tend to feel somewhat unstable once you venture into the uber-soft foams and crazy high stack heights, but the Energy Arc technology kept me feeling very stable underfoot. The void in the midsole made it feel much more steady by eliminating a big, mushy block of foam, though they probably still aren't as stable as most traditional daily trainers.
Aidan: This would be an excellent shoe for those longer race days. I would recommend it for any race 5k or longer, though some may prefer something slightly snappier for a 5k or shorter. This shoe would also make an excellent training companion for someone who uses "super shoes" for workout days or for faster runs. These shoes can crush tempos, race days, and long runs, but wouldn't be the most comfortable for a casual or easy run.
Aidan: This shoe compares pretty favorably to shoes like the Nike Vaporfly Next%, the Hoka Rocket X 2, and the Asics Metaspeed Edge. The FuelCell midsole feels softer than these other options and has slightly less of a springy, poppy feeling, but the ride and the transition of the SC Elite is by far the best of any super shoe I've tried out so far. Nothing else holds up to how effortless the underfoot sensation is. I do wish that this had an upper that was a bit better fitting, however, and would love to see a similar knit upper to something like the Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit from some years ago.
Aidan: I didn't run much in the last version of this shoe, but I can tell that it's a lot faster feeling. The foam is similar in that it's very soft and squishy, but this version seems to have a lot more pop without sacrificing that same comfort. The Energy Arc does a lot of work here and really drives the ride of the third iteration. The upper seems to be a slight downgrade with the heel slippage issue, but the rest of the shoe is definitely an improvement in my eyes.
Aidan: I would strongly recommend this shoe to anyone looking for a crazy fast trainer or an elite race day shoe. This is for anyone looking to go fast and far, without making any sacrifices on weight or responsiveness.
22 year old
Wears men’s size 10
Started running track in 8th grade chasing a girl I liked and now it's my only personality trait! I ran cross country and track first at Brighton High School and continued in college with the Michigan State University Running Club. You'll most often find me running around the dirt roads and trails of Brighton, whether it be around Huron Meadows or the Brighton Recreation Area. I love the woods and peaceful runs where the pace doesn't matter, but I also love ripping on the track whenever I can! I also love to talk about shoe technology and how what we wear can impact our bodies, which is why I started working at Running Lab in early 2021.