New Balance Fresh Foam More – Intro
The New Balance Fresh Foam More is a new shoe offered by NB this season. It is their attempt at a maximal shoe — a la Hoka — that will provide the high levels of cushion while not adding too much weight.
However, with a price tag of $160, this is a shoe you’ll really have to think about before pulling the trigger.
New Balance Fresh Foam More – First Impressions
When these shoes showed up, I was impressed with the look, but was taken aback by the sheer size of the midsole. The black upper is nice, and the knit design is clean. This shoe is offered in three colorways (as of now), but none of them are super exciting.
When I first put them on, I was surprised. Although the midsole is gigantic, and the shoe advertised “the highest levels of cushion” from New Balance, they didn’t feel extra soft.
They felt soft, but not overly soft. I didn’t feel like I was sinking into them, there was actually some firmness in there. Upon getting them, I put them through the all-day test, and they were amazing. 17,000+ steps in that busy day, and my legs and feet felt fresh.
On the first run, they were awesome. I got them the day before a long run, so I took them straight out of the box and did 10 miles on them the next day. It was great. They were light, responsive, cushioned and seemed to push me forward with my pace. Really good first impression.
New Balance Fresh Foam More – Sole Unit
The first thing you notice about this shoe is the sole unit. The Fresh Foam More is substantial. Sitting at a whopping 34mm on the heel and 30mm on the forefoot, this puts it between the the Hoka Clifton and Bondi lines in terms of stack height. You’ll certainly feel and run taller than before.
Starting off with the topsole, it is a firmer, more responsive material. This is really evident when you want to push the pace and get the blood pumping.
The midsole uses New Balance’s signature Fresh Foam, which is quite soft and responsive. They have coupled it with flex grooves that help with compression of the foam and ease the transition from heel to toe. This adds a little bounce and helps you move forward.
On the outsole, they used a heel bevel to help with the ease of your heel strike (if you are a heel striker). That bevel, when mixed with the substantial foam and flex groove combo made for a soft landing and transition when my legs were getting tired and my form changed.
However, the outsole is also where my least favorite aspect of the shoe is present. On the outsole, to cut down on weight, New Balance uses a ground contact foam instead of rubber. This material did well when it came to grip, however, it begins to show wear fairly quickly. By the time I had put about 60 miles on the shoes, they looked a little rubbed off, and when I finished my trial (150+ miles) the foam was peeling off.
With that said, the foam still held up and I have been comfortably running in them (including a 20k race recently) without loss of any grip. It seems it is mostly cosmetic, but I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to run on wet ground in the last 30 miles or so.
New Balance Fresh Foam More – Upper Unit
The upper is great! It fits true to size in length on my size 13. There was just a little room left over in the toebox for foot movement while running. As has become standard, the upper is seamless and the upper mesh is soft to allow for great movement throughout your stride.
The heel cup is rigid and supportive, really feels like it locks in your foot from the heel moving forward. From there, the midfoot is narrow-to-normal keeping a little pressure and locked-in feeling. This shape also helps to give you a supported feeling. At the end, the upper widens out into a roomy toebox. There is ample room in there for your toes to spread out a little as you run.
The material used on the upper is a double jacquard mesh which is flexible, and very breathable. However, as I found out while running during a rain storm halfway through my tests, they let all the water in. And they were not great at expunging the water that got in. So on those runs in the rain, your feet are going to get very wet.
New Balance Fresh Foam More – Conclusion
It feels weird to run in such a high-stack shoe, but it was refreshing the way the FF More wasn’t just cushion. The firmness that the topsole provided meant that this shoe was more than just cushion.
I especially enjoyed that when it came to longer tempo runs. On one workout in particular I did 9 miles total with 10k tempo as the goal, and hit every goal (or went faster) while feeling fresh.
Honestly, I am still running in these shoes and have used them in multiple races. However, I can see that this might be a bit hard for some people to pull the trigger with a price tag of $160. .
If you’re in the market for a maximal trainer that can still push the pace, then maybe give these a look.
We bought a pair of New Balance Fresh Foam More at running warehouse with our own money, to ensure complete independence in our tests and review.