New Balance has made lots of changes in the past few years and advanced their technologies to become one of the top offerings on the market. Part of these updates is offering more of their premium materials on more shoes. In this instance they created the Fresh Foam More v3 to feature their top-level technologies and create a superb max cushion trainer.
At $165, the FF More v3 is toward the top of offered trainers, but it provides a lot of features. At this price point, the Mores will compete against shoes such as Saucony Triumph and Endorphin Shift, Brooks Glycerin, ASICS Nimbus, Hoka One One Bondi, and more.
However, other than the Hoka offering, none of those shoes will have the stack that the Mores will offer.
New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 First Impressions
When these shoes showed up, I compared them to the v2 and saw quite a bit had changed. Although the sole unit was mostly the same, the upper was completely updated and the shoe overall looked more like a traditional offering there. However, I couldn’t help but thing it looked like a tank of a shoe. With a wide base, and a ton of foam, the shoe looks very big.
During the first run, I truly enjoyed the shoes as they were soft and bouncy. They offered a good amount of support and had a very comfortable upper. It was super bouncy and made for a great 10k first run. They promised many happy miles to come in the future. It just left me wondering if they could actually live up to the promise.
New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 Sole Unit
The first thing anyone will notice with the New Balance More is the sole unit. At 38mm in the heel and 34mm in the toe (4mm drop), the cushion is substantial. Using their premium Fresh Foam X material, the sole unit provides a ton of cushion, but also a good amount of bounce.
On the outsole, they use a mixture of targeted rubber and ground contact foam. The foam helps lower the weight, which was obviously used to offset the amount of foam.
New to the v3 is a rocker design that enhances your transition and makes for a smoother ride, and a more exaggerated heel bevel to help brace impact in the heel for heel-strikers.
To go along with the more exaggerated rocker design, New Balance continued adding the flex grooves that help the shoe flex as you toe off. And for those who have a wider (or enjoy a natural feel) they’ll enjoy the fact that New Balance decided to use a wide base platform on which to stack all this foam, a feature that I believe adds needed stability to such a high stack and soft/bouncy foam material.
New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 Upper Unit
The upper was completely redesigned from the v2. Many other runners complained about the upper on the v2 as “insubstantial” and “awkward”. The upper on that version actually worked really well for me, and I loved the heel cup design which alleviated pressure from my Achilles Tendon. But bowing the pressure of most runners, that design was scrapped and New Balance moved back to a more traditional upper design.
This redesign moved back to a dual-layered engineered mesh that helps block dust and other dirt from entering the shoe, a padded and traditional heel cup, and tongue. My complaint on the v2 was a tongue that was too thin and could result in upper foot pressure on long runs, but the new tongue takes care of that concern. They also included a semi-rigid letter N as the logo in the midfoot to help provide some structure to the upper and help lock in the foot.
The fit of this upper is true-to-size, but a bit on the wide side. That was perfect for me, as I don’t need a wide size, but also I am slightly wider than an average foot. The wide base allows room for your toes to splay, but it is able to be fairly snug in the midfoot and locks the heel in well with the redesigned heel cup. Although I personally wish the heel would still include the tab to take pressure away from the Achilles Tendon, the overall update is a good one for the upper.
New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 Conclusion
I have run in every version of the New Balance More, and have come to the conclusion that it may be my favorite line of running shoes available. I have loved each version for different reasons, and have yet to be disappointed by them.
Each update they have made in v2 and v3 have been successful for me. Although I wish they’d have left the heel tab the same as the v2, I know I am in the minority there.
These shoes are great for almost every run that I put them through, including speed on the track (a huge surprise for me) because of the bounce from the Fresh Foam X. Where they really shine, however, is in the long run and the recovery run. When you need the cushion, this shoe is there with all of it that you could ever need.
With all that said, this shoe is not perfect. There are some things that need to be addressed.
First, the price tag is huge. It is hard for many runners to justify a $165 price for a pair of shoes. Yes, you get a lot for the price, and mine have lasted for more than 200 miles so far with only outsole wear as a concern, but that is a lot of money to put down.
Second and third go together but are separate complaints. The shoe, due to its stack height, and overall tank-like design, can be a little clunky. This is especially true as you get tired and perhaps struggle to get your legs in the air. If you revert to more of a shuffle running form, these shoes can scrape the ground and become uncomfortable.
Also, due to the amount of cushion, the shoe is rather heavy. On a men’s size 9, they weigh in at 10.8oz, and my 13s weighed 13oz out of the box. It’s logical that this would be the case, but as shoes get lighter as a whole, and offering this heavy can stand out in a not-so-positive way. Again, this only was an issue when I became tired on my runs, but anyone going on long runs, or logging lots of miles in recovery will know, tired legs are bound to happen.
Although there are things that New Balance will have to continue to address as they continue the line, overall this shoe has been a great addition to the company’s lineup and is something I would happily recommend to my runner friends looking for cushioning. If you can afford the price, this is definitely a great shoe in which to run.
As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 at Running Warehouse with our own money.