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The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4 offers an enjoyable and stable experience for long-distance racing. It boasts one of the most plush and cushioned rides among super shoes, yet it falls short in terms of high-level propulsion.

The upper of the SC Elite V4 has embraced a sportier and more attention-grabbing design. In contrast to the relatively plain aesthetic of the V3, the V4 features a bold and dynamic appearance.

Geometric edges accentuate the midsole, while a vibrant array of triangular shapes decorates the brightly colored upper in various sizes and hues, giving the shoe a distinct and eye-catching look.

The midsole undergoes significant changes from version 3 to version 4. Version 3 was highly regarded, especially among less experienced marathon runners, for its smooth and forgiving midsole.

However, version 4 introduces a 100% PEBA midsole and a new carbon plate design, resulting in a much livelier feel. While some may miss the softness of version 3, the SC Elite is now better tailored for speed, making it a more suitable option for those seeking increased performance.

The outsole exhibits excellent grip, making it suitable for faster race-day runs. However, the exposed midsole/outsole contains a sizable cutout that may collect small rocks, requiring runners to remain vigilant and avoid non-paved surfaces.

Nonetheless, the outsole is expected to perform adequately on race day, and its durability is anticipated to be competitive with other marathon racing shoes.

The SC Elite v4 presents itself as a viable choice for those seeking a supremely soft and durable long-distance racing shoe. It offers a gentler alternative compared to other super shoes, providing a more forgiving experience for the legs.

However, if you prefer a stiff, aggressive, and firm ride, the SC Elite v4 may not meet your expectations. Likewise, this shoe may not align with your preferences if you prioritise ultra-lightweight design in a racer.

The SC Elite v4 offers increased responsiveness and snappiness compared to its predecessor, resulting in a more aggressive and faster running experience overall.

Despite my affinity for the SC Elite v3, which provided a soft and protective feel with efficient rolling suited for longer, faster efforts, I never encountered any upper-related issues, unlike some other runners.

Considering that the SC Elite v4 offers a heightened sense of readiness for racing while maintaining comfort during wear, I would suggest it for seasoned racers familiar with the marathon distance aiming to improve their race-day personal records.

Conversely, for less experienced racers who are acclimating to the marathon distance and require a protective ride to ensure they reach the finish line comfortably, I would recommend version 3.

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