The More trail V2 is a solid all terrain option for lovers of the road shoe. V2 returns with the same max cushion midsole but with a new Vibram outsole that provides better traction and durability than V1. Improvements to the upper have enhanced the overall fit and lock down from the voluminous upper of the first iteration.
When I first unboxed the shoe I was al little taken back by the size of it especially the midsole and its stack height. I have traditionally not been a maximal shoe runner and was a bit turned off, but after my first run in the shoe I was sold. The rocketed geometry and the traction of the outsole kept the shoe nimble and responsive underfoot over the varying types of terrain I put them in. The shoe is very soft with a nice amount of bounce, and despite feeling tall in the shoe I never felt unstable. The biggest issue I had with the shoe is it ran small and I had to go up a 1/2 size which has never had an issue with New Balance for me.
The Max Cushioning and stack height of the More Trail V2 provides great protection without the use of plates or anything additional. Jagged rocks etc. can be felt underfoot but I have yet to take any sort of punishing jab that would limit the type of terrain I would run on. V2 has a dense overlayed toe bumper similar to the first version that provided great protection and has saved both my big toes many a time especially in very cobbled and technical trail sections.
New balance has done a great job selecting some nice dense and heavy materials that so far are very resilient and show no wear. I have noticed a defined crease on either side of the forefoot caused by the positioning of the overlays that may cause premature wear and something to keep an eye on but at this time is a non-issue.
The switch to a Vibram outsole was possibly the best thing New Balance could have done to this shoe. Not only is the traction outstanding but it is incredibly durable showing no signs of wear after 70+ miles of use.
The soft and bouncy foam performs very well and is awesome for long runs. The ride is soft but not sinking or squishy like many maximal shoes which can be a turn off for some runners, myself included. I. Was impressed with he responsiveness of the shoe and the rockered ride which was smooth and fast on runnable trails and I was able to open up nicely on rolling descents which was surprising due to its weight. While I was skeptical about the height of the shoe it is very stable and after a bit of learning how to run in it and some adjusting I felt nimble and confident over any terrain.
In researching this shoe a common problem that I kept popping up was the fit of the upper which many found to be voluminous and sloppy. I did not run in the first version but what I can tell you is the new upper is really nice. The thing that I noticed right away and appreciated most was the solid lockdown. The tighter material used in V2 is not very pliable which created a nice snug fit around my foot especially the mid foot. The toe box is also snug but not uncomfortable which may be caused by the density of the toe bumper. Not a deal breaker but it would be nice to see it widened a bit in future versions. The tongue has just the right amount of padding to protect the mid foot without feeling bulky or spongy, and is also gusseted which helped keep out debris and eliminated it from migrating off to one side. The overlays used give the shoe a lot of structure but when paired with he dense material of the upper the shoe doesn’t breathe well. This may also lead to draining issues when running in wet conditions and crossing streams, unfortunately I did not have the chance to test out this theory and is still subjective at this point. As I touched on earlier my initial pair of size 10 was too small and my toes were firmly pressed against the front of the shoe. After going up a 1/2 size the shoe felt great with no other issues. I had the opportunity to speak with a former NB rep that said I am not alone with this issue and many other runners have had to go a 1/2 size up for a good fit.
I have to say that in the end I really enjoyed logging miles in the More Trail V2 and have really made me rethink my distaste for and preconceived ideas ideas about maximal cushioned trail shoes. These shoes are insanely comfortable, nimble with the best grip compared to any traditional trail shoe. Despite’s its size and weight the shoe remains nimble and more than capable of handling any paces that’s pushed its way. The rockered sole keeps the ride smooth and suited not only for those long miles but shorter daily outings with the added benefit of being able to transition easily between road and trail. I have no problem recommending this shoe to any trail runner especially those with my same mindset. I most certainly will be keeping the More Trail V2 within arms reach for my next trail adventure.
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