SuperComp Elite v4 vs SuperComp Elite v3

The SuperComp Elite is the most expensive, most premium long-distance super shoe that New Balance offers. It’s equipped with a full-length carbon plate, a super foam and and Energy Arc Technology. It costs $250.

Version 4 is a massive update. This comparison will tell you which version is better for you.

FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4


$249.00

FuellCell SuperComp Elite v3


$130.00

Verdict

The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4 is a fun, stable long-distance racer. It has one of the softest and most cushioned rides of any super shoe but it lacks a high level propulsion. This is due to its cushioning still being too soft and its gentle forefoot rocker which doesn’t give you a big forward tipping sensation.

Version 4 has a vastly improved upper which has better heel lockdown and doesn’t poke into your ankles. It also has a firmer ride and thicker midsole which makes it feel more efficient.

The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 is a soft-riding, carbon-plated racer with a bouncy, energetic ride. It has a flexible plate and non-aggressive rocker which make it not as fast as the competition. Version 3 has Energy Arc technology which makes it more energetic than version 2. It also has a more stable ride but a heavier weight than last year’s version and its new bootie construction upper is a step backward.

Recommended for

Racing, speedwork, long distance racing

Racing, speedwork

Cushioning type

Balanced/plush

Balanced

Cushioning amount

Highly cushioned

Highly cushioned

Stability

some stability

some stability

Sizing

true to size

true to size

Retail price

US$249.95

US$230

The latest version of the Elite, the v4 has a more modern, PEBA based midsole which is firmer but returns more energy. The ride of the v4 feels more efficient than v3 because your foot doesn’t sink into the foam as much.

V3 has a nitrogen injected EVA + TPU blend midsole. It feels more squishy underfoot but doesn’t feel as energetic as the PEBA midsole of v4.

The Elite v4 is better for shorter, faster efforts because it’s lighter and it compresses less. The Elite v3 is better for longer efforts which are slower because of its softer ride which feels more comfortable.

Stability is better in the 4 than the 3 because there is less lean bias. V4 also has a wider platform which makes your foot strikes feel more planted.

There’s a larger groove underneath the v3 which allows the entire midsole to splay more than v4. This increases the cushioning and makes it feel like your foot is sinking down more.

When it comes to outsoles, v4 has better grip and better durability because its outsole is flatter. The wear is distributed more evenly.

The uppers of these 2 racers couldn’t be more different. The Elite v4 has a traditional upper with mesh while the Elite v3 has a bootie construction knitted upper. Foot lockdown is better in the 4 due to the fact that the material doesn’t stretch as much and because you can do a runner’s knot in the 4.

Version 4 absorbs less liquid than version 3 so it’s better for wet conditions. The 3 has a more snug fit which isn’t as accommodating as the 4. Both uppers fit true to size. Breathability is better in the 4.

If you prefer a firmer ride with more energy return, get the Elite v4. It has a PEBA midsole which feels more energetic and more bouncy underfoot. If you want a traditional upper, the Elite v4 is also the better choice for you. The Elite v4 is better for you if you’re looking for a shorter distance racer which feels more responsive.

If you want a softer ride, get the Elite v3. Its midsole compresses more so it feels more plush. If you prefer a more relaxed upper which is knitted, get the Elite v3. The Elite v3 is better for you if you want a long-distance racer with more long-distance comfort.

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