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New Balance releases carbon-plated shoe

Meet the newest carbon-plated shoe on the block

New Balance has announced their highest performance racing shoe yet – the FuelCell 5280. While the full release isn’t coming until September, they will be rolling out the shoe to a select few over the coming months.

RELATED: Project Carbon X: Breaking2, Hoka-style

The FuelCell 5280 is named after the 5280 feet in a mile, and designed for the runner who wants to go fast. The new shoe is made with a multidirectional carbon fiber plate which is designed to accept the runner at initial contact and stiffen at toe-off. The midsole is an updated version of New Balance’s FuelCell foam which will be featured across their newest line up of shoes. The upper is made of a lightweight knit and is almost identical in shape to the upper of their middle distance spike. This shoe is essentially spikes for the road.


Nike first introduced the carbon-plated shoe back in 2017 when they attempted to break two hours for the marathon. Since, they’ve made several versions of the infamous carbon-plated Vaporfly 4% along with several other speed shoes with a plated midsole. Just weeks ago, Hoka One One also released a plated shoe called the Carbon X.  The super lightweight, carbon-fibre-plate-enhanced shoe was deemed fast enough to challenge the 100K world record of 6:09:14.

RELATED: Walmsley breaks 50-mile world record at Hoka race

It was only a matter of time until New Balance released their answer, and the company’s shoe is quite different that what was released by Nike or Hoka. Nike’s shoe was targeted at the marathon distance, Hoke targeted the 100K and New Balance has targeted the road mile. Each company is approaching very different events, but they’re all using a carbon plate to try and get to the finish as fast as possible.

RELATED: Jenny Simpson wins her record-breaking 7th New Balance 5th Avenue Mile

Jenny Simpson wore the prototype during the NYRR 5th Avenue Mile in September 2018, winning the race for a history-making seventh consecutive time. She won the 38th running of the event in 4:19. As the shoe is rolled out to more professional runners, we’ll be able to see how it stacks up against traditional spikes and other road racing shoes. The shoe will retail for $200 USD.