Home » New Balance FuelCell Shift TR Review | Good Budget Shoe for HIIT?

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR Review | Good Budget Shoe for HIIT?

The New Balance FuelCell Shift TR is a training shoe designed to excel for HIIT workouts and class-style training. This shoe has a budget-friendly price point, and few proprietary New Balance features.

Every week, I tackle a lot of HIIT and athletic-style workouts, so I’m always on the lookout for new cross-training shoes to test and train in. The New Balance FuelCell Shift TR was subtly surprising with its performance.

This shoe is comfortable and responsive, and I think it can be a viable option for anyone wanting a training shoe for a little bit of everything. I do have a few complaints with this model, though, and I’ll discuss those below.

In this New Balance FuelCell Shift TR review, I’ll cover a plethora of topics to help you decide if this shoe is a good fit for your training needs.

 

Looking for new cross-training shoes? Try my Cross-Training Shoe Finder. My calculator matches you with shoes I’ve reviewed that fit your training needs best.

Who Should Invest In the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR?

The New Balance FuelCell Shift TR is a good budget-friendly training shoe for anyone wanting a model for classes, HIIT workouts, light lifting and running, and daily wear.

Honestly, this training shoe surprised me with its consistent performance and pretty good durability. For its price point, I feel as though this can be a good budget-friendly HIIT-focused shoe for someone that wants a model for a little bit of everything.

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR Try On Review

I think the FuelCell foam midsole does a good job at being responsive for jumping and comfortable for daily wear, and the FitWeave Lite upper provides a locked down and secure fit and feel.

That being said, I do have some issues with this shoe, like its sizing and fit. It runs small, and its upper volume is pretty minuscule, which could be a drawback for those that want to use these with custom inserts or orthotics.

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR

$99.99

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR Review
4.2
Stability
4.1
Versatility
4.4
Durability
4.3

Best For

  • Light Lifting
  • Class-Style Training
  • HIIT Workouts
  • Light Running
  • Walking/Daily Wear

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet
  • For Heavy Lifting

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR Pros

Over the course of training and testing with the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR, I found a few things to like and enjoy about this model.

  1. Good Shoe for HIIT and Class-Style Workouts
  2. Pretty Fair Price Point
  3. FuelCell Midsole Is Comfortable and Responsive
  4. Upper Is Lightweight and Breathable

The first pro with the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR is that it’s a strong shoe for HIIT workouts, classes, and athletic-style training. If you’re investing in this shoe for these reasons, then I could see you enjoying the performance of this model.

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR for HIIT

The rubber outsole provides good levels of traction on different surfaces, and it grips the floor well for multi-directional training. When doing plyometrics and agility work, I didn’t have slip issues, and this model gripped turf surfaces pretty well. 

The second aspect to like about the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR is its price point. At a price of $99.99, I thought this shoe delivered a strong performance in the gym, and its durability seems pretty good for the price.

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR Outsole Construction

This model is more cost-efficient than other premium HIIT-focused shoes like the LANE EIGHT HIIT Trainer, and it’s in line with other companies’ core HIIT shoes like Reebok’s Speed 22 TR.

The third thing to like about this model is the FuelCell foam in the midsole. I was surprised at how comfortable and responsive this midsole is, especially for this shoe’s more budget-friendly price.

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR Midsole Construction

When walking long distances and using this shoe for daily wear, I thought the midsole did a good job at providing a comfortable ride. In the gym, this midsole also did an adequate job for plyometrics and explosive training, and it cushioned landings pretty well.

I could see this model being a good option for someone wanting a shoe for daily wear and then wearing it to the gym or a class. It does a good job in both of these contexts and it looks pretty good, too.

My last thing to like about the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR is the upper. This model features New Balance’s FitWeave Lite construction through the upper.

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR Upper Construction

Essentially it’s a mesh upper designed to form-fit the foot well and be void of additional sewing. The upper in this model is smooth with no additional hemming or areas where sewing could be an issue for durability.

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR Cons

Despite enjoying the performance and price of the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR, there are a few cons to note about this model.

  1. Sizing Isn’t the Best, Not Great for Orthotics
  2. Not a Great Court Shoe
  3. Not the Best Shoe for Heavy Lifting

The first drawback to the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR is its sizing. This model’s sizing is all over the place, and I hope New Balance reworks the FuelCell Shift TR’s for its next pass.

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR Normal Vs Wide

This shoe’s length runs short, and they don’t have the greatest width, even with the “wide” option. Don’t get me wrong, the wide option will be better for most, but it’s still not a shoe that I would put into an exclusively “wide training shoe” category.

If you’re considering this model, I’d suggest sizing up at least a half size. If you have wider feet, then you’ll want to choose the wide option and size up either a half or full size to ensure you have enough room in the toe box.

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR for custom orthotics

On top of their odd sizing, this model will also not be your best bet if you have custom insoles and orthotics. This shoe’s upper has a pretty low volume, and using thicker orthotics will likely make this shoe super uncomfortable for you.

Another drawback to the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR is that it will not be your best court shoe if that’s a big reason why you’re buying these. While this model was inspired by New Balance tennis athlete Coco Gauff, they’re not great court shoes.

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR as court shoes

I’m a fairly adamant pickleball player, and I wouldn’t wear these on the court due to their midsole and upper lacking long-term durability from the stress of court sports. Additionally, I think the midsole can be pretty limiting when making hard digs on the court.

The final potential drawback that I could see others having with the FuelCell Shift TR is that it will be limited in its lifting performance. This shoe should be reserved for lighter lifting, and if you’re investing in this model, I’d make sure you understand its limitations. 

Performance

To break down the performance of the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR, I’m going to discuss how this shoe does in a variety of training contexts. I’ll discuss the FuelCell Shift TR’s performance for lifting, versatile training, running, and daily wear.

This way, if you’re considering this model for your training, you can cross-reference this shoe’s performance to make sure it fits your individual training needs.

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR Performance Overview

Testing the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR for Lifting

When it comes to lifting, the FuelCell Shift TR will have its limitations. This model works for light lifting, but it won’t be your best shoe for heavy machine lifts or barbell training.

I think for very general strength work, this shoe should be fine, especially for those very recreational in nature. For example, this shoe worked well for walking lunges with 50 lb dumbbells, and it also did a fine job for some lighter kettlebell exercises.

Testing the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR for lifting

The reason I’m not a fan of this shoe for heavier lifting is due to its stack height and how the midsole lacks stability for heavier workouts. Regarding barbell training, I started to notice midsole compression around 225 lbs, so I’d suggest capping your lifting to around there.

The takeaway here is that this shoe will work fine for those in need of a training shoe that can suffice for light general strength workouts. I think beginners will be fine in this shoe for lifting, and it will work for those that need a model for more general strength training.

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR for lifting

Testing the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR for Versatile Training

For versatile training, I’ve really enjoyed the performance of the FuelCell Shift TR for three key reasons. First, the midsole is the star player of this shoe for this training context.

I thought it did a good job at providing a responsive base for jumping, and when doing things like jump rope, the forefoot was mobile and had a nice level of “bounce”. This midsole also does a good job at supporting and cushioning landing.

Testing the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR for HIIT

The second reason is the upper construction. The upper in this model, while yes, feeling pretty tight when breaking them this shoe, does a good job with foot security. I never had issues with foot overhang during multi-directional exercises, and heel slip was never a concern.

The third reason why I like this model is due to its outsole construction. This shoe features a grooved rubber outsole on the forefoot and heel, while the midfoot has some exposed foam.

Testing the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR for classes

I like how much rubber this shoe’s outsole has because it does a good job of providing grip on different surfaces for different exercises. Some HIIT-focused shoes have so much exposed foam that they lose grip properties. Even when doing heavier sled work on turf, I never had traction issues.

Testing the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR for Running, Walking, and Daily Wear

In the context of running, the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR will work best for runs that range from 1-3 miles. This shoe can be a great option for anyone wanting a training shoe for a couple of miles pre or post-workout.

Testing the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR for running

This model will also work well for cardio-style classes, too, where you’ll be doing more interval or sprint-style running work. For long runs, this model is pretty sub-par, and you’ll want to find shoes that are more specific for that style of running.

For walking and daily wear, I’ve enjoyed the FuelCell Shift TR. It’s comfortable and easy to wear for long periods, and the upper does a good job with breathability. I’ll rock my pair with and without socks and in both settings this shoe is comfortable.

Testing the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR for walking

If you want a shoe that you can beat up with daily wear, then wear to train, this model can be a good option. Plus, its price point is pretty budget-friendly, so you don’t have to feel guilty if this model takes a beating with daily wear.

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR Sizing

The New Balance FuelCell Shift TR’s sizing is a little all over the place, and it’s my biggest complaint with this model. The length runs short, the width is what I would describe as neutral with a bias towards narrow, and the upper volume is limited.

For narrow feet that like a snug fit, go true to size. For literally everyone else, go up a half size. If you have wide feet, you’ll likely want to go up a full size and select the “wide” option to ensure these shoes can accommodate your foot’s anatomy.

If New Balance could get the sizing right on this model and increase its upper volume, then the FuelCell Shift TR would be a much stronger shoe. Right, now, the sizing can be a little polarizing.

  • New Balance Shift TR Sizing Thoughts: Most should go up at least a half size.

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR Sizing and Fit

If you have additional sizing and fit questions about the New Balance FuelCell TR, drop a comment below.

Price Breakdown

For the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR, you can expect to pay $99.99 USD. Compared to other HIIT-focused training shoes, I think this price point is pretty fair for what this shoe has to offer.

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR Insole Construction

For example, it’s comparable to the Reebok Speed 22 TR and the Nike SuperRep Go 3 Next Nature Flyknit which have similar price points. If anything, I like the New Balance model better than the Nike shoe and put it neck-and-neck with the Reebok shoe.

That said, this will not be the best model for heavy lifting, wide feet, and those needing a shoe to accommodate orthotics. In these contexts, this shoe’s price isn’t worth it because it will be sub-par.

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR

$99.99

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR Review
4.2
Stability
4.1
Versatility
4.4
Durability
4.3

Best For

  • Light Lifting
  • Class-Style Training
  • HIIT Workouts
  • Light Running
  • Walking/Daily Wear

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet
  • For Heavy Lifting

Construction Details

Below, I’m going to outline the most important construction details that influence the performance and durability of the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR.

New Balance FuelCell Shift TR Review

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm
  • Weight: 8.80 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • FuelCell Foam Midsole
  • FitWeave Lite Upper
  • Mesh Upper
  • Grooved Rubber Outsole On Forefoot/Heel
  • 6 Core Eyelets With a 7th for Lace Lock

If you have additional New Balance FuelCell Shift TR construction questions, drop a comment below, and I can help accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Are the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR true to size?

A:
If you have narrow feet, you should be safe going true to size in the New Balance Fuel Cell Shift TR if you like a snug fit. For everyone else, you'll want to size up at least a half size in this model. Wide feet, size up a full size.

Q:
Can you use orthotics in the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR?

A:
The upper volume in the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR is pretty limiting. If you have orthotics, then you may want to explore other models because this model will likely fit too tight with custom inserts.

Q:
Is the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR good for HIIT?

A:
The New Balance FuelCell Shift TR does an exceptional job for HIIT workouts and class-style training. This shoe's FuelCell foam midsole is responsive, and the outsole provides good traction.

Q:
Is the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR good for running?

A:
If you want to run a couple of miles pre or post-workout, you should be fine doing so in the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR. This shoe is not the best for long runs, but it's also not built for this context.

Takeaway Thoughts

As a budget-friendly training shoe for HIIT workouts, light lifting, and versatile training, the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR does an exceptional job. This model’s lightweight construction makes it easy to wear in these settings.

I also like the FuelCell foam midsole in this model and how it performed for plyometrics and agility-focused training. The price point is also a perk with this model.

My main gripe with the FuelCell Shift TR is how tight this model runs. For most, you’ll want to size up in this model, and even the “wide” option isn’t that wide.

If you have additional questions on the New Balance FuelCell Shift TR, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

That Fit Friend is a site that is supported by myself (Jake Boly) and its readers. If you purchase products through affiliates links on this site, then I may receive a small commission on the sale. These commissions help keep the lights on here at That Fit Friend so I can continue to create content and they help me purchase new models to review!

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Jake Boly

I've been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I've trained hundreds of clients, written thousands of articles, reviewed over 100+ pairs of training shoes, and have produced a large list of training videos. I live and breathe fitness and training gear, and I think it's important that reviewers walk the walk with the gear they're testing. As for my educational background, I have my Masters in Sports Science, Bachelors in Exercise Science, and have my CSCS.

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