For nearly three years, Romaine Soh struggled with getting back to pain-free running after suffering a major injury in 2014. She had a fibula fracture that put her in crutches and a boot for a few months, and later faced complications that left her out of running for a while.
“I was watching others I had previously raced as well as up-and-coming talent improving their times. They were making full use of their prime years and there I was trying to figure out what was wrong with me. It was frustrating, to say the least,” said the 25-year-old sports editor.
This injury, however frustrating, became a break that Romaine needed and it helped her grow as a person, allowing her to return to the sport with a much fresher state of mind and a more rational thought process.
“I have developed a healthier mindset towards running. If a race doesn't go my way, I learn from it and take them to the next one. If I feel tired, I feel less guilty about taking swapping in an easy session or taking a day off. If I feel like an injury is about to flare up, I head straight to non-impact activities and park myself there until I've sorted out the issue,” she added.
One of her goals upon returning to the sport was to go under five minutes for 1500m – which she did at the 2019 Singapore Open where she clocked a time of 4:58.87 in the New Balance LD5000 spikes.
Her personal bests (PB) were all achieved in New Balance shoes – her 5,000m PB of 20:02.63 was done with the New Balance Hanzo S and her 10km road race PB of 44:14 was with the New Balance 1500T2.
Romaine’s first experience with New Balance goes back to her schooling days where she wore the occasional pair, but she picked up New Balance for her running pursuits proper about four years ago.
“I got a pair of Fresh Foam Vongos and the 1500v1 when I was doing a bit of running during my university days. Through the years and many experiments later, I gravitated back to New Balance because their wider widths are a godsend for me and their foam technology sits right with my feet,” she shared.
Her latest pair of New Balance is the FuelCell Prism, featuring the FuelCell foam that delivers a propulsive feel to drive you forward and the highest energy return of any New Balance performance foam today. Using the Prism primarily for speed sessions (that previously were done with the 1500s), Romaine likes how the FuelCell foam awards her rebound like never before.
The responsive outsole of the Prism is engineered for propulsion, giving additional cushioning and response, whilst the co-moulded stability post provides medial security. A breathable upper and secure fit through the midfoot allows for flexibility in the forefoot.
“What sets the Prism apart is the FuelCell technology. On step-in, the shoe feels harsh to walk around in or to go at recovery pace, but once you turn it up, the cushioning kicks in and can easily take you through the longer speed sessions like fartlek or intervals exceeding 8km in total,” Romaine elaborated.
“The rebound factor reduces ground contact time and encourages higher turnover. What I'm most excited about the Prism is that it's the first stability shoe in the FuelCell line-up, perfect for my over-pronating self who is a sucker for stability features.”
Runners with overpronation will benefit from shoes with added stability as they help prevent the ankle from rolling excessively inward, thus preventing potential pain and injury.
The New Balance FuelCell Prism is available online at newbalance.com.sg and all Lighthouse & Experience stores at SGD 189.