We truly never expected a shoe like the Fresh Foam More out of New Balance as they have always remained very true to their lineup. This is a clear attempt to see them enter the maximum cushion shoe market and start to compete with brands like Hoka, so it was really interesting to see how they would shape up.
The upper is a fully seamless engineered mesh and is really soft and flexible on the foot. They have an integrated heel cup that holds you well and this progresses into a roomier (than normal for an NB shoe) toe box which does provide solid toe splay.
The midsole is just massive and is really just 33mm of straight Fresh Foam which is typically soft and yet still responsive and this implementation is no different. They did add some grooves to the midsole to increase the flexibility of the larger stack which does help a bit and maintains some level of springiness.
The outsole is really just more EVA but reinforced for ground contact. They did this to decrease weight while it still tracks and grips well, this will wear the shoe down much quicker and is similar to how other high cushioned brands have handled it.
Style & Aesthetics
The Fresh Foam More comes in 3 color options for men and women and none are particularly striking with the women’s models definitely having a better palette selection.
I was pretty shocked pulling these out of the box. The midsole at first glance looks a little are chunky and the shoe overall is actually quite simplistic visually. The interesting part is on foot, they are actually quite comfortable. The toe box is wider you will expect from a New Balance shoe. The chunkiness all but disappears quite quickly and it definitely strikes a nice balance of cushion and responsiveness. On the weight side, the fact these are roughly the same as something like the 1080v9 (10.3oz vs 10.4oz) is pretty amazing. In terms of actual performance, the shoe is highly successful as a recreational cushioned road shoe. It is not a shoe you are going to put up low numbers in, but as a nice easy ride shoe it will definitely put up the miles. That roomy toe box keeps your foot comfortable and almost feels like something from Altra or Topo Athletic instead of New Balance. The flex grooves NB added into the midsole definitely helps with flexibility of the midsole and while the outsole is just more EVA, I am glad they opted for a lighter weight here over durability because these things could be a beast.
Overall, the Fresh Foam More is a solid first step for New Balance into the high cushioned market. We do think the price tag is a little suspect given what you are getting and the competitive landscape, but in terms of feel and performance, the shoe does deliver on the expectation. You won’t run these things for a speed workout, but distance will be a lot easier for you.
Technical Stats, Pricing & Availability
- Weight: 10.3oz (size 9)
- Drop: 4mm heel/toe
- Cushion: 33mm
- Type: Neutral Cushioned Road
- MSRP: $159.99
- Available: Now