Monday, January 08, 2024

New Balance FuelCell Rebel v4 Multi Tester Review: 9 Comparisons

Article by Zach Dunn, Renee Krusemark, Derek Li, Jamie Hershfang, Sally Reiley, and Adam Glueck

New Balance FuelCell Rebel v4 ($140)


Introduction

The FuelCell Rebel v4, New Balance’s fast and fun un plated trainer gets a new 20% PEBA / 80% EVA blend FuelCell midsole foam, a considerably broader platform with 5mm more stack height by our measurements, a sculpted angular geometry, a new more extensive outsole, a Phantom Fit upper and even loses 9 g in weight. What’s not to like? Right? Is it still a Rebel? Our testers put it to the test and share what they discovered their review

Pros:

Zack/Renee/Sally/Jamie/Adam: Lightweight (and about 9g lighter than v3 in a US9.5) with more stack height and a broader platform

Zack/Renee/Sally/Jamie/Derek/Adam: Versatile for many types of runs

Zack/Sally/Jamie/Derek/Adam: Very good upper construction

Zack/Sally/Jamie/Adam: Outsole works great (and does it quietly!)

Sally/Derek/Adam: Well fitting TTS upper that is breathable and secure


Cons:

Renee: loses some flex and ground feel from the previous versions


Weight FuelCell Rebel v4 US men's 9.5

Stats

Approx. Weight: men's 7.3 oz  / 207g (US9)  /  women's 6.3 oz / 179 g(US8)

Sample Weights:       

 men’s 8.08 oz / 229 g (10.5 US),  7.58oz / 215g (US9.5) v3: 7.90 / 224g

 women’s:  6.3 oz / 179 g (US W8) v3: 6.46 oz / 186g US8


Measured Men’s Stack Height (Derek): V4 33 mm heel / 27 mm forefoot, 6mm drop

                                                  V3 : 28 mm heel / 22 mm forefoot,, 6mm drop

Platform Widths (men's US9.5 samples): 

V4: 97mm heel / 80.5mm midfoot / 120mm forefoot

V3: 76mm heel / 72mm midfoot / 110mm forefoot

Video Review

$140. Available Now at our partner REI HERE. Globally March 1, 2024


First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Renee: At the 2023 The Running Event, the Rebel v4 was hidden under a mystery box and was the only New Balance of many for 2024 (RTR New Balance Previews) that was not discussed or shown. Big expectations!. 

I was a bit worried the newest Rebel would have a plate and a ridiculous stack height. Version 2 of the Rebel is one of my favorite shoes in all categories because of the light weight, flexible midsole, and low stack height. I enjoy v3 too, just not as much as v2. When the v4 arrived, I was not sure about it. Although the stack is listed at 30/24, same as before it feels (and looks) at least 2 mm higher than the previous version which it is according to Derek's measurement, with for sure a wider platform.  More stack and a wider platform is a trend, and it’s becoming hard to find a lightweight responsive trainer without a plate that has good ground feel. After 60 miles, I’m confident to say that the Rebel remains one of the best (if not the best) do-it-all road shoes. The shoe is different from the previous version though, so preference will strongly depend on the individual runner.

The upper is FANTOMFIT an engineered mesh with overlays and underlays and is very similar to upper of the Super Comp Elite v4 (RTR Review). 

The fit is comfortable and light on the foot. The toebox is roomy and overall the fit is the same experience as the previous version to some extent. The lacing sits farther down on the toebox as compared to the previous version, which does slightly change the feel over the foot during toe off. 

[above: v4 left, v3 right]

I had issues with the Elite v4 tongue slipping (no gusset), but the gusseted tongue on the Rebel v4 seems to fix that issue. For a good heel lock, I laced through the top eyelet and back through (not a runner’s knot). The material of the v3 upper worked a bit better for my low volume foot; pulling the laces tight on the v4 causes some bunging of the material over the toebox (see photo), although it was not an issue while running. 


Derek: I’ve had the privilege of testing every version of the New Balance Rebel so far, and I can tell you right now that version 4 is by far the most versatile of the lot for me. Fit is true to size for me. Much like previous versions of the Rebel, the length is ever so marginally shorter than for other NB models, including the recently reviewed SC Elite v4 marathon racer (RTR Review). I point this out because both shoes use essentially the same sort of synthetic mesh upper (the material is quite similar to the one on Rebel v2, but a little bit more structured), and a lot of the small imprints across the top box and toe guard are identical.


 In terms of volume, I think it’s fair to say that Rebel volume has been slowly creeping up from v2 to v3 and now v4. It’s still a fairly snug feel at midfoot, but now the toe box is noticeably roomier compared to v2 and v3. As others have already mentioned, lockdown is very good, with 6 main rows of eyelets nicely situated. 



The suede tongue is thin and perforated with neatly aligned triangles punched into the fabric (in my opinion, an unnecessary move for such a thin upper). There is a central slot in the tongue for the laces to traverse so the tongue stays centered. 


The tongue is gusseted, and attaches to both sides of the platform with broad elastic bands. The heel counter is lightly padded with a semi-rigid heel counter that really holds the foot well. No runner’s loop needed for this model. 


Zack: I was very happy with my first impressions of the upper which is not surprising as it resembled the previous iteration. It  is true-to-size in terms of both width and length. There were many things I enjoyed about the upper, such as its breathability, and how comfortable it is while still being lightweight in areas such as the forefoot. 

This also applies to the tongue, as it has just enough cushioning to be comfortable, while it is not too plush or doesn’t have enough cushioning. The lockdown was great, as the laces and eyelet chain were placed just fine, as well as the tongue gusseted which provided a little more security at the midfoot. In all, I really enjoyed the upper and think it performed great as it was intended. 


Jamie: As someone who has loved the Rebel v2 and v3, I was hoping this update wouldn’t change that. Needless to say, the Rebel v4 is the update I didn’t know I needed. In terms of the fit, it feels much more accommodating, and the wider platform fits my wide foot just perfectly. While it feels like it has more volume, the lockdown is secure with zero issues. The upper is light and feels like it will be much more durable than previous versions. 

Sally:  The mystery box at November’s The Running Event that hid the Rebel 4 from sight with the simple comment “Coming Soon” had me intrigued. I have thoroughly enjoyed training miles in the earlier versions of the Rebel and was looking forward to what New Balance would be unveiling under that box. 


I was pleasantly surprised to find a pair on my doorstep so soon as I was assuming the Rebel 4 would be later in 2024. And it does not disappoint! 

The fit is immediately comfortable and true to size, the feel softer and more stable with a wider base than the past. I also think this version has a more accommodating toe box, good for high volume feet, but not too roomy for a narrow foot such as mine. Lockdown was secure in midfoot and heel for me. A 14 mile run leads me to agree with Derek that it once again runs a tad short in length (big toenails a bit tender) though not so much that I would feel a need to size up. Other than the front of the big toe after a long run, I felt no hotspots or areas of concern. Even on long and steep uphills the heel hold was solid. The lightness of the total package is noticeable and welcomed.


Adam: The Rebel V2 was one of my favorite unplated shoes for everyday and tempo running, and I was hoping the V4 would keep the delightful upper and lightness of the prior version while adding a bit more cushion, responsiveness and grip.  After a variety of test runs, the Rebel V4 far exceeded my expectations.  

The upper is true to size, seamless, and comfortable yet precisely controls the foot.the gusseted tongue says centered well on the foot.  The laces can bite in if overtightened due to the thin tongue, but when adjusted were super comfortable for longer runs.  


Overall the feel is delightfully lightweight with a responsive foam.  .  


Midsole & Platform

Zack: The midsole was definitely a highlight of Rebel v4. I believe it is one of the things that make this shoe so great, as it allows the shoe to be so versatile. The fact that it is cushioned, responsive, and so lightweight, all at the same time, can allow it to be used for many different types of runs. As well as that, the platform of the shoe is much wider, which makes it much more stable while running, while not sacrificing weight in comparison to the previous iteration.

Renee: New Balance states the midsole is a new material with a PEBA/EVA blend, all on a taller, wider platform. I’m measuring 2 mm more stack (although the spec says it's the same), and during my initial miles, the shoe felt significantly higher and a bit firmer as compared to the previous version. The platform is considerably broader yet weight is about the same as v3. 


As result of a broader and higher platform and the new outsole design, I did not have the same flex or ground feel in v4 as I have enjoyed in the previous two versions. Now that I have 60 miles in the shoe, I’m starting to appreciate the midsole more. I had no issues with 20 milers in the previous version, and for most runners, the Rebel v4 is yet more long distance friendly thanks to the added height and considerably wider platform. These changes make the shoe a bit less nimble and not as fun for shorter, faster intervals. 


Jamie: The midsole is definitely one of the most significant updates to this shoe. With a bit of a higher and wider platform, the Rebel v4 has only increased in versatility. While I was able to run all kinds of workouts in the Rebel v2 and v3, v4 has proven to do just the same and even more. I believe it will attract people to wear this shoe more for longer miles, especially those who don’t want a very high stack super shoe to run in often. The wider platform feels much more stable, while the midsole still proves to handle anything from speed work, to tempo miles, to easy long runs, all with comfort and ease. 


Derek: The midsole looks quite thick in this shoe, but it’s a bit misleading as the sidewalls are raised up around the heel and midfoot. I was surprised when my measurements came out 33/27 for stack as it looks more like a 36-38mm sort of heel stack. That said it gains 5mm in stack height over v3 per my measurements. 33/27 actually puts it in line with shoes such as the Puma Deviate Nitro Elite v1, ASICS Metaspeed Edge OG, both of which are not really known to be particularly plush rides. Even the Saucony Ride sits at 35/27 for stack. 


Be that as it may, the PEBA/EVA foam is quite energetic in this shoe, and I think people will appreciate the increased stack over its predecessors. One thing I found with earlier Rebels was that the balls of my feet would get sore for longer runs as the forefoot tended to bottom out a little. There is none of that here as the ground feel is significantly reduced, especially at forefoot which is 5mm higher and 10m wider than v3, while still maintaining some decent natural flex through the toebox. To give you an idea of what the foam feels like, I’d say it’s closest to Lightstrike Pro from Adidas. It is soft but not excessively so. The underfoot cushioning and ground feel definitely exceeds what the numbers suggest likely influenced by the broad platform of 97mm heel / 80.5mm midfoot / 120mm forefoot in my US9.5 . The scalloped midsole design and wider heel gives a very stable feel to the shoe, as others have already mentioned. 


Sally: As the others have said, the PEBA/EVA midsole stars in the leading role in this update. It feels higher and broader and softer than its predecessors, well cushioned yet so lightweight with noticeable energy return. It excelled for me on a long easy run as well as on tempo intervals, proving its versatility. It has bounce and responsiveness yet not to the extent of its carbon plated cousins.


Adam:  Echoing everyone else here, I absolutely love this midsole.  The Rebel V2 was responsive but the foam was very soft leading to a bottoming out feel on longer runs.  It felt good at everyday and tempo pace but when really pushed, it didn’t give back as much energy at sub 6:30 mile paces.  


The PEBA blend in the Rebel V4 reminds me of some of my favorite racing midsole, somewhere between ASICS’s FlyeFoam Turbo and Saucony’s Powerrun Pb.  


It’s firmer than the previous FuelCell foam in the Rebel V2 and RC elite V2, but with a thicker midsole it dampens shock beautifully, rebounding energy while maintaining stability.  


The stability is good enough that I’ve run this shoe on wet trails, and felt in perfect control at all times.  On the track and on roads, it’s not as responsive as a carbon plated racing shoe at speed, but it handles a variety of paces from 11:00 per mile cruising to sub 5:00 per mile intervals.  


This is my favorite non-carbon plated midsole, with impressive versatility from the trails to the track.


Outsole

Zack: In terms of the outsole, I enjoy it and think it served its purpose just fine. It has rubber covering all the high-wear areas (at least for me). Maybe it is just me, but the rubber seems to be quite thick, which means that the wear should not affect it, at least in terms of outsole durability. With that being said it performed just fine and had enough to work well but not too much where it was overbearing. 


Jamie: After nearly 100 miles, the outsole has already shown to be more durable than previous versions. The rubber in the most high impact areas has handled all surfaces very well, from road, to trail, to track, and turf. I would have never worn the previous Rebels for winter runs in Chicago, but v4 has been a pleasant experience. 


Renee: Like the rest of the shoe, the outsole looks very similar to the Elite v4. The rubber coverage is just enough for durability without any additional, unnecessary weight. At 60 miles, I have no wear on the rubber itself, just black discoloration from a treadmill run. During testing, most of my miles were on gravel, dirt, or crushed rock

.

[v3 left, v4 right]


The wider platform is noticeable between the v3 and v4. The wider forefoot will help with stability, but it does deter from flex and nimbleness. Same with the wide heel area, which might help for heel strikers, but causes a slower-feeling ride when striking at midfoot. 


Derek: Rebels have historically had relatively low durability outsoles, as they used mainly blown rubber for the forefoot, but the current compound, at least in my initial testing, seems to be resisting wear better than its predecessors. Grip is a little weak on wet roads, but pretty good on dry roads.  


Sally:  There is a surprising amount of rubber underfoot given the light weight of this shoe. I found the outsole to work really well: good traction, quiet footstrikes, no gravel grabbers, and good durability. 



This is obviously a road outsole, but I was happy with the durability and grip.  The wider platform leads to good stability on trails, and the grip is excellent on dry roads and tracks.  The outsole runs quietly and hasn’t worn down at all on my testing


Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations


Zack: In all, this shoe was pretty great. I love do-it-all versatile shoes such as the Rebel that can be used for so many different types of runs. I used mine for normal runs, long runs, and a tempo run, where it performed very well across all of them ! I personally loved it the most for long runs or progressive type runs, as I mentioned previously, as it has such a nice blend of cushion and responsiveness, which is perfect for those kinds of runs. To be honest, there is nothing I do not enjoy about this shoe, as everything about it was constructed and engineered really well. I do think it would obviously be improved in some ways, such as being lighter yet in weight, or slightly less expensive, but that said all together it is a great shoe! I would certainly recommend this shoe to everyone, regardless of what kind of running they plan on doing. 

Zack’s Score: 9.5 / 10 

Smiles Score: 😊😊😊😊😊


Jamie: The Rebel v4 is my favorite shoe of 2024, so far. The update in versatility, from stack height to the wider platform, has made this shoe my go to for everything. Considering that it isn’t plated, the responsiveness and cushioning makes it a fun ride. I do not have any cons. While I personally loved v2, and v3, v4 is even better. From workouts to long runs and everything in between, this is a shoe that many will enjoy. 

Jamie’s Score: 10/10 (this rarely happens!) 

Smiles Score: 😊😊😊😊😊


Renee: Now that I have 60 miles in the Rebel v4, I still consider it to be the best do-it-all road shoe available. The shoe is super lightweight, especially for the stack height. My longest run for review was a 19-miler (on crushed rock). I had two mid distance runs, tempo runs, and short intervals. 


The newest version of the Rebel loses some of the flex and ground feel I enjoyed in the previous versions because of the additional stack and wider platform. However, it still performs well at all speeds, from easy/slow long runs to 0.25 mile repeats, strides, and everything in between. For runners who like more flex and good ground feel, the Rebel v2 or v3 might still be a preference, but in comparison to other non-plated road shoes on the market now, the Rebel v4 reigns supreme. 

Renee’s Score: 9.6/10 (-.40 loses some ground feel and flex)

😊😊😊😊😊


Derek: I’ve put the Rebel through a series of short intervals, moderate intensity runs and a longer easy run. It handles all the paces very well. There is no plate here, so don’t expect any special rocker effect with this shoe, and it still performs in a more traditional fashion at workout paces. 


What you get is a moderate amount of springiness that is very perceptible in mid- and forefoot, when then compresses into a firmer and more stable base. 


The forefoot rocker is still quite flexible and not particularly aggressive, making it very smooth at easier paces. When I first ran in the shoe, the first comparison that came to mind was the ASICS Superblast. Very similar sort of mild compression and rebound with a very stable base. The Rebel 4 is a bit nimbler though, because it is less shoe and significantly lighter than the Superblast. 


I think the Rebel is a great daily trainer / uptempo trainer for neutral runners and runners needing a bit more heel stability. The shoe is relatively snug at midfoot but should still work fine for most feet. 


Anyone who wants a slightly more traditional flexing shoe with a superfoam feel will definitely want to consider the Rebel 4. For me, the shoe does everything that I could want in a non-plated trainer, and my only wish was that the foam was a tad softer. This is purely a personal preference as I also find e.g. ASICS Superblast to be a little too firm, especially for longer runs.  

Derek’s Score: 9.75 / 10

Ride (50%): 9.5 Fit (30%): 10 Value (15%): 10 Style (5%): 10

Smiles Score: 😊😊😊😊1/2 


Sally: It is fun starting out the year 2024 with a home run right off the bat. The Rebel 4 quickly proved to me to be a versatile do-it-all shoe with a nice amount of cushioning, impressive responsiveness, and secure and comfortable fit in an incredibly lightweight package. The broader platform increased stack height and new PEBA/EVA foam all work in unison to make this a FUN shoe to do any of your runs in (and look good doing it). This Rebel 4 will hold a  key spot in my rotation!

Sally’s score: 9.8/10.0 (slight deduction for loose fit on my narrow feet) 

Smiles Fun Score: 😊😊😊😊1/2 


Adam:  The Rebel V4 is my favorite non-plated shoe I’ve ever tested.  Its versatility stands out with the shoe being fit for light trails, track days, long runs, tempo runs, and everything in between.  This shoe puts a smile on my face and I’ll be putting a lot of miles onto them in the future.  

Adam’s Score:  9.7/10 

Adam’s Smile Score:  😊😊😊😊😊


Jamie and Steven's Rebel v4 Video Review



7 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE 


New Balance FuelCell Rebel v3 (RTR Review)

Zack: With both of these shoes, I definitely think the 4 has improved on the 3 in every aspect. It to me was such a better experience, which is saying a lot considering that I enjoyed the v3 alot, but did not consider it one of my favorite shoes when it was released. However, I can say the v4  is one of my favorite shoes of the last year. If I had to choose between the two, I would obviously choose the v4 9 times out of 10, however if the v3 is on a major sale, I would probably get the v3 then wait for v4 to drop in price (but if price is no issue, definitely get the v4). 

Renee: I have comparisons throughout. For longer runs, the v4 is a better choice given the higher stack. I prefer v2 and v3 for short or mid distance runs because of the lower stack and more nimble underfoot feel. I run gravel more than pavement, so having a ground feel is useful. I think most runners, especially those who like stack and wide platforms, will prefer v4. Sizing is comparable. 

Jamie: The Rebel v4 is the update I didn’t know I needed. I loved the previous versions, and had multiple pairs of v2 and v3. While I thought the versatility was great on both of those, v4 is even better, and updated even more. The overall fit and feel is much more comfortable for my wider foot. Sizing still remains the same in terms of length. I look forward to running in many pairs of v4 in 2024. It’s become my go to shoe. 

Derek: I am true to size in both v3 and v4 (and indeed v2 as well). The length of the Rebel has stayed very consistent from v2 to v4, in that it is marginally on the shorter side, which used to give a snug race fit up front, but which also meant that some people had to size up in the shoe. I like Rebel 4 more than prior versions because the added cushioning while maintaining a very low weight makes it a better option for longer runs, in addition to what it was already good at: being an excellent un-plated speed and interval workout shoe. Another plus point with the v4 seems to be better outsole durability than prior versions. Rebel 4 is also more stable at the heel, a neutral point for me, but could be something that appeals to people who found the earlier Rebels too soft and unstable at the heel. 


Adidas Adizero SL (RTR Review)

Zack: I decided to compare as they both fall into the lightweight trainer category. However, they are quite different in how they are executed and feel, yet I enjoyed both. The Rebelis much more cushioned and quite softer which allows longer runs and probably for most a more enjoyable ride. While I found the SL to be quite firm underfoot, that for me made it a little better for quicker paced runs, such as tempos, but I did even use it for long runs, for which it was fine for. So if you prefer a firmer ride, definitely the SL (which I might add is also much cheaper then the Rebel), but if you prefer a softer ride then definitely the Rebel.


ASICS Novablast 4 (RTR Review)

Renee: Compared to their previous versions, both the Novablast and Rebel gain stack and wider platforms. For a bouncy ride, the Novablast is best, especially if a runner needs a higher drop. The Rebel is a much lighter weight shoe, with the same comfort for long runs (if not more). If I had to choose only one of the two, I’d choose the Rebel v4 overwhelmingly. Sizing is comparable, although I have a bit more length in the Novablast. 

Sally: I really like the Novablast 4 for daily training, but I think I like the lighter Rebel 4 more. Both great options that have gained in stack height and platform width from their predecessors. Rebel 4’s fit is  more voluminous in the toe box, Novablast a bit longer in length for me. 


Saucony Ride 17 (RTR Review)

Renee: While I found the previous versions of these comparable, they are now very different. Both shoes now have more stack and wider platforms, but the Ride 17 is a heavier shoe with a firmer midsole. Its higher drop offers a good roll forward though. For performance at a variety of paces and distances, I’d choose the Rebel. Sizing is comparable. 

Jamie: The Ride 17 now has a wider platform as does the Rebel v4. The Ride is much firmer underneath the forefoot and definitely a shoe I wouldn’t choose for workouts. While it has decent responsiveness, the Rebel is much more versatile and more performance oriented. Both shoes fit very similar. 


Saucony Kinvara 14 (RTR Review)

Renee: Both shoes are very lightweight, with the Kinvara being slightly lighter (6.0 oz compared to 6.4 oz in my women’s size 8). The Kinvara 14 is $20 less. The Kinvara 14 rocker and sidewalls felt a bit restricting to me. Generally I find the Rebel more comfortable. Both shoes are well priced for their versatility in terms of paces and distances. Sizing is comparable. 

Derek: I am true to size in both shoes. I agree with Renee that the Rebel has the more comfortable fit. The Rebel is also significantly softer and more cushioned underfoot, which in my book, makes it a more versatile shoe. Given the extensive exposed midsole on the K14 vs the rubber coverage of the Rebel, I expect most people will find the Rebel to be more durable as well. 


Skechers Razor 4 (RTR Review)

Renee: I have a strong preference for the Razor 3 over the Razor 4, which added a carbon infused H-plate to the midsole. For shorter, faster runs, the Razor 4 might work better because it’s less shoe in terms of stack height and remains lightweight. For comfort and overall versatility, the Rebel v4 is a better shoe. Sizing is comparable. 


ASICS Superblast (RTR Review)

Derek: I am true to size in the Rebel 4, and went down a half size in the ASICS Superblast. The underfoot experience and mild rocker of the Rebel 4 reminds me a lot of the Superblast, even though they have quite different stack numbers with the Superblast being considerably higher. I have done a few runs in them one after another, and while the Superblast sits noticeably higher off the ground, the amount of compression and rebound are quite similar between the two shoes. I would call Rebel 4 a lighter and nimbler version of the Superblast. People who like Superblast but find it a bit too costly ($200), or who want something similar but in a more streamlined package also suitable for workouts, the Rebel 4 is the shoe for you.  

Renee: I agree with Derek: the Rebel is a lighter and more nimble version of the Superblast.  The Superblast feels higher (because it is) and might be better for long or ultra distances. The midsole is firmer. The Rebel is more versatile. I wear the same size in both, with a tad more length in the Superblast. 


New Balance FuelCell Super Comp Elite v4 (RTR Review)

Renee: The Rebel looks similar to the Elite v4. The upper is the same FANTOMFIT look and feel, although the Elite has no gusset on the tongue which caused some slipping for me. I found the Elite upper to be better for my low volume feet (race oriented). The Elite has more stack and less drop plus the Carbon plate. I think the Rebel is a good training companion for the Elite. The Rebel is lighter in weight but with the plate, the Elite can be the faster shoe at the longer distances. Sizing is similar. 


Hoka Mach X (RTR Review)

Adam:  The Hoka Mach X is a similarly stable and cushioned and comfortable shoe, with part of its midsole being responsive PEBA.  I do find the Rebel V4 significantly lighter, and with a full PEBA blend midsole far more responsive.  The rubber outsole coverage on the Rebel V4 also provides better grip.  Although the upper on the Mach X is very comfortable and with a more cushioned tongue, I’d pick the Rebel V4 hands down for smiles per mile.  


Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 (RTR Review)  

Adam: The Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 has become one of my go to everyday, tempo, light trail, and racing shoes, in a similar vein to the Rebel V4.  As a plated shoe, I appreciate the efficiency of the Endorphin, but the Rebel V4 is more stable and versatile for a variety of paces.  These are both great shoes and you can’t go wrong with either.  


 Available Now at our partner 

REI HERE


The Rebel v4 will be available globally March 1, 2024


Tester Profiles

Zack Dunn: is a college runner at Lewis University. I’ve been running for 8 years, and focused solely on running after giving up on years of baseball and wrestling. I race distances between 800 meters and 10K  whether it be on the track, the roads, or on cross country courses. I do most of my training on the roads, some training on the track, and occasionally run trails logging anywhere from 65-80 miles a week. My typical training consists of easy days, long days, workouts (fartleks, tempos, interval training, etc.). My typical training paces range from 7’30 a mile on easy days to sub-5 minutes a mile on fast interval days, and with many paces in between. My personal bests are 4:20 for 1600m, 8:42 for 3000m, 14:51 for 5K, and 25:24 for 8k.  


Renee is a former U.S.Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.


Jamie is 30 years old and runs about 70-100+ miles per week. She has run many marathons, with a PR of 2:49 and has more recently moved up to ultra distances. She completed a solo 100k in 7:36:40 and set the Chicago Lakefront Trail FKT. In 2021 she was the fastest US woman on road for 50 miles with a  time of 6:07:11. She is training to qualify to represent team USA at a world championship. Outside of training, she is the store manager at Fleet Feet Lakeview in Chicago.


Derek is in his 40’s and trains 70-80 miles per week at 7 to 8 minute pace in mostly tropical conditions in Singapore. He has a 2:39 marathon PR from the 2022 Zurich Marathon.


Sally is a lifelong runner and mother of five who agreed against her better judgment to run her first marathon at age 54; she has since run the past ten Boston Marathons, two NYC Marathons, one Chicago, and one London with the WMM Six Star Medal now in her sights. With a Boston PR of 3:25:55 in 2022 (9th place in AG) and two consecutive 2nd place in Age Group W60 awards in NYC, she competed in the Abbott World Marathon Majors Age Group World Championships at the 2022 London Marathon and ran an all-time PR of 3:24:02, placing 6th in the world in her women’s 60-64 age group.  She also competes in USATF races with the Greater Lowell Road Runners team. To add meaning to her Boston Marathon races she runs with Team Eye and Ear and has raised over $275,000 for Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital. Sally is 5’2’’ and 105 pounds and lives in Marblehead, MA, training outdoors year round. She blames her love of skiing out West for any and all Boston Marathon training challenges.


Adam is a cross country skier, runner, cyclist, and fan of outdoor adventures.  He grew up in New Hampshire, where he competed at NCAAs for Dartmouth Skiing, but is now based out of the Bay Area in California, where he enjoys the trails, cuisine, and engineering.  Adam enjoys running and racing track, road, and trail over a variety of distances.  He is 24 years old, 6ft /183 cm tall, and 197 lbs/ 89 kg.  Check out my Strava


Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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12 comments:

Carl said...

Appreciate the detailed review as always, RTR! I was curious to hear thoughts on the Rebel vs. the Topo Cyclone 2 (as I would have put the v3 in the same or similar category as the Cyclone), but given the updated platform and stack height of the Rebel v4 do you feel as though the two shoes (v4 vs. Cyclone 2) are now geared toward different categories?

Anonymous said...

Comp to Brooks Hyperion Max? Stats look identical. Cheers!
RTR is the best!

Anonymous said...

The Hyperion Max has that apparent forefoot rocker that the Rebel does not. I like the Max for speed workouts to get that nimble, fast forefoot/toe takeoff. The Rebel is lighter, softer, has more stack and is generally more versatile. The upcoming version of the Max for 2024 has some changes though so watch for that review.

Anonymous said...

Curious of this comparison as well! Just bought the Topo Cyclone 2 and previously enjoyed the Rebel v2 as a speed workout shoe.

Anonymous said...

Rebel V2 used to wreck my achilles for easy runs. Are these easier on the calves / achilles?

Joe Radzif said...

V2 had been my favourite but not the narrowed V3...

I wish the V4 will come quick to Malaysia

Anonymous said...

Funny, I was thinking about a comparison to the Specter! But yes, interested in Topo comparisons too.

Sam Winebaum said...

@carl, @anonymous, none of the testers so far have run both Rebel v4 and Cyclone 2 but Peter Stuart has and will join the review soon.
By the numbers
Approx Weight: Cyclone2 men's 6.5 oz (US9) Rebel v4 Weight: men's 7.3 oz (US9)
Stack Height:Cyclone 2- 28 mm heel / 23 mm forefoot Rebel v4: 33 mm heel / 27 mm forefoot
The additional weight of the Rebel most likely from additional stack height
PEBA for Cyclone 2 vs PEBA/EVA blend for Rebel indicates Rebel will be a bit firmer and more responsive as well as more cushioned.
Upper fit likely Cyclone will better accommodate wider feet
Sam, Editor

ohforserious said...

Any thoughts between Mach 5 and Rebel 4?

70's Teen said...

Cielo Road is another analog - same stack and weight + plateless PEBA

Krischen said...

20% PEBA? Is that a joke? New Balance is being disingenuous when they refer to the midsole as a "PEBA blend". If the midsole is 80% EVA it will not last long. My V3s lost most of their bounce by 100 miles. The V4 is going to suffer from the same midsole durability problem. Putting a teensy bit of PEBA in the midsole is not going to change things.

Krischen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.