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New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 review

5 expert score
2 user's score
As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples. We purchased this pair at Running Warehouse with our own money.
Review written on 08th May by Michael Mason-D'Croz Long distance runner, shoe expert.
90 other reviews

New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 Verdict

The New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 is one of the most disappointing offerings I've run in a in a while. The v3 was my second favorite shoe I'd sampled in the past 3-4 years (behind the Saucony Axon 2), and this update was miles behind the previous offering.

The pros

  • Tons of cushion.
  • Very well constructed.
  • Rocker midsole allows you to push the pace

The cons

  • The upper pinches from midfoot to toe-box.
  • The heel cup didn't fully secure my heel and caused blisters.


Rating breakdown

Comfort
6.0
Build quality
9.0
Upper
5.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
7.0
Toe-off
7.0
Traction
7.0
Durability
8.0
Value / Price
7.0

Facts / Specs

Model
Fresh Foam X More v4
Previous model
Weight
10.9 oz (309 g)
MSRP
$150.00

Heel
38 mm.
Toe
34 mm.
Heel drop
4 mm.
Carbon plate
No plate

Size/Fit

Sizing
True to size
Heel fit
Normal
Midfoot fit
Tight
Toebox fit
Normal

Cushioning & ride

Type of cushioning
Balanced/plush
Amount of cushioning
Highly cushioned
Stability
Some stability
Flexibility
Medium

Usage

Racing
Speedwork
Daily training  
Long distance racing
Ultra distance racing

Who should buy the New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 ?

The More v4 is designed for regular and larger runners. It is also specifically for those who are going to log long miles.

Who should not buy the New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 ?

This shoe is meant for neutral runners, and stability runners will struggle in this shoe. Also, people with wide midfoot or toes will find this shoe challenging.

New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 Introduction

Picture of New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4


Four years ago, New Balance saw the trend of more brands offering maximal cushion offerings and introduced the Fresh Foam More. The name says it all, there’s just more to this shoe.

The stack height was formidable, and designed with a rocker midsole, the runner could land and roll into their next step.

Each year since being introduced, New Balance has completely redesigned the shoe, and this offering is no different.

At $150, the More v4s compete against shoes such as the Saucony Endorphin Shift 3, Skechers GoRun Max Road 6, Puma ForeverRun Nitro, Hoka One One Clifton 9, and the ASICS GlideRide 3.

This group of high-to-max cushioned shoes offer some of the more popular trainers on the market right now, and the Fresh Foam More are firmly in that discussion.

New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 First Impressions

Picture of New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4

I was very excited to see what New Balance would do to update one of my favorite shoes of the past few years. When they arrived I was impressed by the visual and the construction. They felt solid and the upper looks comfortable.

When I first put them on, they were incredibly comfortable, and felt very solid underfoot. The aggressive rocker design made me want to move. However, on the first run – a five mile regular run – I developed blisters on both feet where the midfoot and the toe-box meet.

I hoped this was just a break in period, but it was the first shoe I’ve experienced blisters with in a few years.

New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 Upper

Picture of New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4

The upper is an engineered mesh which is breathable and soft. It is well made and has some great details, while staying fairly simple. The upper uses a printed design of the New Balance logo on the outer midfoot to help lock you in.

This is also accomplished through the design and construction of the shoe. The heel is fairly tight, the midfoot is very tight, then the upper flares out to a regular width toe-box. The upper fits true-to-size in length, and is very comfortable for everyday wear.

The design of the upper, however, is also a major flaw that saw me dreading wearing these shoes on runs. The transition from the midfoot into the toebox was so severe that I developed blisters on every run I had in this shoe, no matter the distance. I tried to see if it was only longer runs, and still developed blisters and red spots on the ball of my big toe on both feet after 1.5 miles.

Beyond the midfoot blisters, I also developed blisters on the heel of my foot on longer runs as my heel was moving around throughout the run. I tried different lacing patterns to take care of the issue, but none of them worked. To be fair, I never felt my heel slipping, but did feel the hot spots and blisters forming on any run longer than 10km.

New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 Sole Unit

Picture of New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4

New Balance utilizes their top-line Fresh Foam X which provides incredible cushion and energy return. It feels firmer under foot that some other foam offerings out there, such as those offered by Brooks and Saucony, however the combination of cushion and energy return from Fresh Foam X is perhaps the best out there at the moment.

This midsole uses strategically placed flex grooves to help the transition from heel to toe. This coupled with an aggressive rocker design helps you push the pace while having the cushion underfoot for longer miles. This aspect creates a very smooth ride that is quite enjoyable. This rocker design starts with a heel bevel designed to aid in shock absorption for heel-strikers, and transitions into a wide toe area that gives a stable contact zone on which to push.

The outsole uses a Ground Contact Foam to help cut down on weight while giving a good amount of traction. However, this material can struggle on wet surfaces if you have to turn a lot of corners.

At 38mm under the heel, transitioning 4mm to 34mm under the toes, this shoe has the cushion to log all the miles you’ll want to run.

New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 Conclusions

Picture of New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4

This shoe is one of the most disappointing I’ve run in years. I absolutely loved the More v3, and logged more than 300 miles in them. They were my go-to shoe for long runs all of last year. The combination of a soft, wide – yet supportive – upper and the Fresh Foam X midsole that offered great cushion and energy return made the v3 one heck of a ride.

Unfortunately, New Balance decided they needed to change a great thing in a way that ruined the shoe for me. I do not have particularly wide feet, they might be wider than some, but I usually wear regular width with no issues. Yet, this shoe caused width-related blisters at every distance.

I can see if you have narrow feet that this shoe could be amazing for you. The sole unit is still top notch, the construction is immaculate, and the technologies make a great shoe on paper. If your feet fit in the upper in the correct way, this shoe would be a joy.

However, for me that just wasn’t the case. Unlike previous models, this is not a shoe I can, or will, recommend to any of my friends or acquaintances.

I really hope that in the next iteration, New Balance goes back and fixes some of the changes for the v5s. I’ll be interested to see where they go from here.

How does the Fresh Foam X More v4 compare?

Brooks Glycerin 20
New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4
Saucony Triumph 20
Expert score
8
5
9
User score
Best price
Retail price
US$159.95
US$149.95
US$160
Weight
10.6 oz
10.9 oz
9.7 oz
Heel Drop
10 mm
4 mm
10 mm
Recommended for
Daily training
Daily training
Daily training, long distance racing
Cushioning type
balanced/plush
balanced/plush
responsive
Cushioning amount
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
Flexibility
medium
medium
medium
Stability
not particularly stable
some stability
some stability
Sizing
true to size
true to size
true to size

Why you can trust us

As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of New Balance at Running Warehouse  with our own money.

This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about our policy.
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$131

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Reviewed by Michael

This review was written by Michael Mason-D'Croz on 08th May.
Michael Mason-D’Croz lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, working as a Spanish Teacher and soccer coach. Because training isn’t enough, he gets to chase around his almost 2-year-old daughter when he gets home from work and runs. On his free time — what little of it there is — he likes to play board games and sample tasty local beers.

User feedback (1)

  • avatar-comment-1028029
    Bryn Clarke
    1 year ago
    2 score

    I thought it was just me. Loved v3 but v4 killed my feet. The added stack and aggressive rocker caused my toes to be painful and numb and I had the same terrible inner heel blisters. Moved them on bought Triumph 20, glad I did live that shie.

Lowest price:
$131

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