At WearTesters, we are often asked which new balance the shoe has the most cushioning. The answer depends on what you want from the cushioning of your shoe. To find out, we must compare the two core cushioning technologies from New Balance, FuelCell and Fresh Foam. Both midsole technologies are designed to provide a comfortable, responsive and supportive ride, but they differ in their construction and features.
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New Balance believes that if you run, you’re a runner. And to run your way It means that whether you’re a new runner, marathoner, or basketball player, you can enjoy running because of what it does for you. New Balance shoes can help you run in the way that suits you best. Running is not exclusive… everyone can do it. And New Balance wants to meet the needs of runners, whatever they may be, with the right shoe and the right amount of cushioning.
Here are our favorite New Balance cushioning options:
FuelCell is a relatively new cushioning technology that New Balance introduced in 2019 with the reintroduction of the New Balance basketball and OMN1S (worn by Kawhi Leonard) and followed shortly thereafter by various running models, including the New Balance FuelCell Propel. It is a high energy foam that is designed to give a fast and responsive ride. FuelCell is made from a mixture of nitrogen-injected TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) and EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) foams. This combination provides a durable, lightweight cushioning system that can withstand high-impact forces.
FuelCell is designed to provide a responsive and energetic ride. It’s a bit firmer on New Balance basketball models to help with side-to-side stability needs on the court. In New Balance running models, it’s more comfortable and stretchy to help runners keep their pace and propel them forward with every step. In both cases, FuelCell wants the user to feel fast and responsive in order to go faster.
Fresh Foam cushioning, on the other hand, is a more established technology that New Balance has used since 2014. It’s a proprietary blend of EVA designed to provide a plush and comfortable ride. It’s made from a single piece of foam that is zoned to provide cushioning and support where it’s needed most.
Fresh Foam is soft and luxurious. It is generally heavier and less responsive or springy than FuelCell. It is designed to provide a cushioned and comfortable ride that reduces impact forces and leg fatigue. Despite having been around since 2014, Fresh Foam was only recently introduced to basketball with New Balance Fresh Foam BB. In both running and basketball, Fresh Foam aims to provide a smooth and stable ride. Fresh Foam also appears in baseball, softball, tennis, and golf shoes.
FuelCell vs. Fresh Foam
As we mentioned earlier, the key differences between FuelCell and Fresh Foam are the raw materials and construction. New Balance uses different processes to create these foam cushions, and the end result is a very different feel underfoot. New Balance also modifies these processes for different sports. We mentioned basketball and running earlier, but FuelCell, for example, can also be found in training, tennis, baseball, and lifestyle shoes.
And while we could keep talking about these foams on a macro level, it’ll be more helpful if we dig into current New Balance shoes that use Fresh Foam and FuelCell so you can figure out which model will best help you run your way.
The best New Balance shoes with neutral cushioning
New Balance FuelCell SC Shoes
The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer is a high-rise, neutral training shoe perfect for long runs and minimizes wear and tear on tired legs. It packs copious amounts of FuelCell cushioning underneath one of the best uppers of the year. The engineered knit upper is comfortable and adapts to all types of feet. And while it may seem heavy, the SC Trainer is more stable than a shoe of this height should be. If you run long distances frequently and want to protect your legs, or if you’re a bigger, taller or heavier runner, the SuperComp Trainer’s plush rebounding FuelCell midsole is worth considering. Read the full review.
Fit: True to Size, Drop: 8mm, Price: $180
New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4
The New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 is a comfortable, affordable and excellently executed running shoe. The fit of the upper is very comfortable, and any foot shape will enjoy it, especially those hard-to-please wide, flat footers. The Fresh Foam X feels great on foot for any number of miles or chores. It’s also the perfect shoe for an all-day theme park visit.
Stability is excellent due to the Fresh Foam midsole geometry and the foot that sits within the midsole walls. The lockdown is solid, so even narrow feet can be sure their foot will stay in place through even the tightest turns or bumpiest roads. And style, chunktastic is in these days, so this shoe will work just as well for running. Read the full review.
Fit: True to Size, Drop: 4mm, Price: $150
See the rest of the Best New Balance Running Shoes
Best New Balance Basketball Shoes
New Balance DOS WXY V3
He New Balance DOS WXY V3 it is an upgrade from the latest version and is even better than its flagship model for Klaw. Traction is fantastic while it lasts. From the start, we know you’ll stop on a dime on these. The FuelCell cushion works well for most positions. The FitWeave upper is comfortable and moves well with your feet. A very solid offering from New Balance. Read the full review.
Fit: True to Size, Price: $120
New Balance Fresh Foam BB
The New Balance Fresh Foam BB is the introduction of New Balance’s luxurious Fresh Foam to their basketball line. The Fresh Foam BB is the kind of shoe you try on in the store and wonder how comfortable it is for only $130. The radial-style traction pattern grips the ground well and is thick enough to be quite durable. The FitWeave upper helps lock down and holds your foot in the insole while flexing well with your foot. As for the fit, go down a half size if you want a true 1:1 fit, but if you want a little more room, the true size will work. We’re glad Fresh Foam has such a high-performance basketball shoe. See the full review.
Fit: Half size smaller, Price: $130
See the rest of our New Balance sneaker reviews
What is your favorite New Balance cushioning, FuelCell or Fresh Foam? Let us know in the comments or hit us up on Instagram or TikTok.