The Nike Vaporfly could finally have a serious competitor. It's not the FuelCell TC, but based on the performance of the TC, it should be New Balance's FuelCell RC, due later this year. The even more race-focused model will save a little weight, but will retain the combination of the TC's FuelCell foam and carbon plate, so the RC with the Vaporfly should be just right.
New Balance designed the TC as a partner shoe for the RC, a shoe with a similar feeling that you can use to log your training miles before you switch to the easier option on race day. The TC weighs 264 g for a men's size 8 and we expect the RC to drop below 200 g. However, this does not mean selling the TC. It's a very fast shoe in itself and would be a great option for racing days, especially in half marathons and marathons.
As more and more brands bring out shoes with carbon plates, it is becoming increasingly clear that the foam used is just as important as if not more than the plate itself. The magic of the Vaporfly comes from the ZoomX foam, which is light, soft and springy . The same three words are the first that come to my mind to describe the FuelCell foam used in the TC.
Compared to other FuelCell shoes like the Rebel, the TC has a higher foam stack on the underside, which increases the softness of the pinch with each landing before being propelled by the combination of the plate and the rebound in the foam. It feels more like the Vaporfly than any other shoe I've tried, including the Nike Zoom Fly 3, which uses React foam next to a carbon plate. The response is somewhat springy, but not at the level of FuelCell or ZoomX.
I used the TC for all of my runs over a three week period when I came back from a minor injury, from slow and short strides to building up to a few sharp 1
There, however, this could be the case if you do not use it in every training run. Although it's pretty stable, the high pile of upholstery makes it a little shaky, and I'm not sure if it would make sense to do every run on this platform if you did more than 80 km a week. This is speculation since I haven't had any problems so far, but I would be careful if I used it for all my easy runs – especially if I usually do it on uneven trails in a forest where the high stack feels unstable.  The upper of the shoe is more comfortable and roomy than an out-and-out racer. This is another aspect that makes the TC more suitable for frequent runs. The outsole doesn't have a lot of rubber and I would stay on the asphalt instead of risking lack of grip on trails, but after about 80 km I saw no signs of wear on the sole.  A possible sticking point with the TC is the price. It costs £ 179.99, which is a lot less than the £ 240 Vaporfly NEXT%, but still a lot. You may prefer to save your pennies for a few months until New Balance releases the Racier RC.
On the other hand, the TC offers a Vaporfly-Lite experience at a not inconsiderable 25% lower cost than the NEXT%. The TC is also a better coach racer than the Nike Zoom Fly 3 and Hoka One One Carbon X, other options with a carbon plate that are a little cheaper than the TC.
Of course, shoes with carbon plates are not the only ones to be seen in the city, and there are also excellent all-round options such as the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2, the Brooks Hyperion Tempo and the Hoka One One Rincon. The pace and Rincon are much easier than the TC, and the Rincon is also much cheaper.
However, I think that the FuelCell TC is a cut above the competition and is the first shoe that is intended for training and really captures the feeling of a "super shoe" like the Vaporfly. If you have the latter, the TC is a brilliant partner shoe for training. And if you don't have the Vaporfly, the TC is a great trainer and racer of its own.
Buy Men at New Balance | Women buy from sports shoes £ 179.99