We love a good full cushion shoe over here, something with a nice deep midsole and we have always been fans of the larger stack movement. While New Balance has tried to play in the space in the past, the prior iterations of the Fresh Foam More have left something to be desired. There was always something quirky about the shoe and the biggest problem came down to the fact that the underfoot experience was always too firm given the amount of foam they were using, it just wasn’t really comfortable. With the New Balance Fresh Foam More V3, New Balance has started from scratch and delivered one of the best full cushion shoes you can buy. This shoe truly puts HOKA dead in the sights of New Balance and it is hard not to gush over the shoe, but that won’t stop us from trying.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- A full redesign from before (thankfully), literally better in every way,
- If you are a HOKA fan or considering max cushion, then these are worth a look.
- Weighs in at 10.6oz or 301g for a US Men’s 9, 8.9z or 252g for a US Women’s 7.
- Features 33mm of cushion and has a 4mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $165.00USD and comes in 3 colors for Men and Women.
When the first Fresh Foam More launched, we were excited to see New Balance getting into that max cushion market, but the shoe ended up being a huge letdown. The second generation came and our hopes were high again because it felt like a full redesign, but those changes just didn’t work that well either. The shoe was too firm overall for what was supposed to be a cushioned comfortable experience. So we were nervous going in to this review, to say the least, because we weren’t sure what New Balance was going to do with the third iteration.
We are happy to say the Fresh Foam More V3 is a full redo and honestly just purges the first two from our minds instantly. This shoe is simply one of the best shoes in our lineup right now. Every single test run was a pleasant experience and it is hard to tell if it is the Fresh Foam blend, the width of the midsole, the feel of the upper or what, but it just all clicks together and it’s very rare when that happens. From the first time you put it on, you will notice it without question, the shoe just feels good on your foot. It might feel a little bigger/wider than people are used to, but that goes away almost instantly in a run. If you are worried about it being pillowy, then note that it balances that really well with a solid rocker which improves transition and allows for decent performance.
The shoe is designed for every day running and whether you want to think of that as recovery running or assume it means slower, just know it is the perfect shoe for “easy” days. It is gentle on your legs, has just a touch of pop when you’re out there and honestly it’s hard to find spots to nitpick. If we look at the upper by itself, then we would say it’s successful on that alone. The mesh is soft and breathable whereas prior iterations were very rigid and firm. It features a more typical heel than something like the 1080v11 which has been hit-or-miss for people, this will work for a larger audience. Even the lacing system and tongue have been redesigned for a more pleasant experience. Simply put, it is firing on all cylinders.
So who is this for you might be asking. The answer is, everyone, and here is how we break it down. If you are a faster runner who is going hard in something like the new Rebel V2 or even using a carbon plated shoe, then this is your recovery shoe or even your easy long distance shoe. If you are a mid-level runner then again it joins the repertoire focusing on comfort and distance and lower speeds. For the general mass market, it will work for almost anyone. It is easy on the knees and provides ample cushioning for anyone who is newer to running. It is a gateway shoe to get people to enjoy running without hurting themselves. It is exactly what we wanted the Fresh Foam More to be from day one.
The upper tends to be very boring on a lot of shoes. Normally, it is some sort of mesh with a padded collar and a counter and boom, done… New Balance has improved on this by making it less boring. They have made use of a very soft mesh with a silky smooth interior finish and as you get to mid-foot things evolve quite a bit. They have added stability elements and a heel counter which is not super rigid, but still cradles you really well and holds you in place. The heel and collar are moderately cushioned and the heel does flip out of it to improve on and off. The tongue is also really well handled. It is a two piece construction with the bottom being an aerated breathable softer material and then the top is grooved with much more structure that allows the tongue to adapt to the shape of your foot.
So yes, the Fresh Foam More V3 uses more Fresh Foam than any New Balance shoe ever, but it’s the width that really makes the shoe work. Because the platform is so much wider overall, you get an inherent stability throughout your run regardless of the way you foot strike. They have also increased the overall rocker and that balance together leads to a nice smooth foot transition. The midsole also does come up a bit on to the upper which provides a bit of cradle to the lateral and medial sides of your rear foot.
The outsole gets a full rethink and New Balance has used more targeted rubber placement on key contact points which helps bring some of the weight down while still gripping well. The exposed midsole will break down, but it shouldn’t affect the overall run.
Style & Aesthetics
Styling on prior iterations of the Fresh Foam More have been blah to say the least, but the V3 feels just a bit better overall. It does feel like a more traditional New Balance shoe, but then it has these material and aesthetic choices that give it a more future forward design. There is no missing that big chunky midsole, but there’s something almost playful about it.
If it isn’t clear from everything you just read, we are truly in love with the New Balance Fresh Foam More V3. New Balance took a shoe that we honestly really couldn’t stand and rethought every aspect of it to produce something that works in almost every way. The upper fits really well and the shoe kind of cradles you in place, even the two-piece tongue design is a nice balance of breathability and cushioning. The Fresh Foam midsole formulation on here also works in every way and some of it might be due to its wider overall base which provides inherent stability throughout your run, but there is also this feel to it that is almost indescribable. The bottom line is if you are looking for a well cushioned shoe, usable at any distance, or just want something you can throw on any day and go for an easy run, then this is a perfect shoe for you. We can’t recommend these enough and if you are a HOKA fan, then it will feel very reminiscent of things like the Clifton, the Bondi, and even the new Mach 4. It is just a solid solid shoe.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.