A premium maximally cushioned trainer, the neutral-oriented New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 is one of the softest and most comfortable running shoes available this season.
The Fresh Foam midsole serves up a marshmallowly soft, moderately energetic ride that absorbs shock, reduces impact and allows your feet to smoothly roll through the gait cycle from heel-strike to toe-off.
New Balance retooled this shoe to improve the fit, flexibility, feel and ride. Among the key upgrades are a new soft and supportive engineered mesh upper, a more curvy rocker profile, a firm interior heel counter and a wider overall platform for added stability.
New Balance really improved the fit of this shoe, and it all starts with the smooth, soft and slightly stretchy upper. The molded tongue, padded heel collar, improved heel counter and upgraded lacing eyelets all contribute to an accommodating and secure fit for a wide range of foot shapes and gait patterns.
There’s a unique outsole rubber pattern on the bottom of the shoe, but it’s a huge improvement from the previous edition of the Fresh Foam More. It has firm, stabilizing rubber around the perimeter of the outsole, with slightly more structure on the medial (interior) side to help offset over-pronation.
Small segments of strategically placed grippy rubber on the interior provide good traction on wet and dry surfaces, while a large section of exposed foam and lateral and horizonal flex grooves work in concern to smooth out the ride.
The updated rocker profile and added flexibility of the Fresh Foam More v3 have really improved the ride. The midsole/outsole chassis has a pronounced convex shape that creates a rolling sensation that helps guide your feet from touchdown to toe-off.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 fits true to size with a medium interior and a slightly spacious forefoot. The step-in feeling is luxurious, akin to the comfiest bedroom slippers you’ve ever worn.
Once you lace these shoes up, you’ll feel a nice wrap-like sensation from the much-improved soft, stretchy engineered mesh upper.
Combined with the secure and well-padded heel support, you will feel in control of what will feel like oversized marshmallows strapped to your feet.
There’s very little “feel” for the ground, but that’s not what this shoe is about. This shoe is about maximum cush! The ride feels squishy soft, slightly bouncy, moderately flexible and yet surprisingly stable and consistent.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
The Fresh Foam More v3 is for runners who appreciate and enjoy running in soft, well-cushioned shoes that offer some inherent stability. (For runners who like the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 shoes, you’ll find some fit and feel similarities and a lot more cush under your feet.)
It could be an everyday training shoe, but that depends on the runner. It’s great for consistent slow and moderate paces, but it lacks the giddy-up for up-tempo running (not nearly as much as the 1080s) and trying to run faster in it for long distances can feel fatiguing.
It’s not a race-day shoe unless your goal is aimed at finishing and not reaching a performance-oriented training goal.
PROS: NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM MORE V3
The key element of this shoe is the Fresh Foam midsole compound. It’s the softest and most compliant foam New Balance has developed, but it also provides enhanced cushioning and a little stability via the large laser-engraved concave shapes and the convex cutaways in the medial and lateral sidewalls of the midsole.
The overall footprint of this shoe is impressively wide — one of the widest available in 2021. That generally creates a feeling of inherent stability for most runners, but it does limit the shoe’s agility a bit.
Overall the Fresh Foam More v3 feels more soft and stable than it does lively and bouncy. In other words, it’s more like a luxury SUV than a rev-ed up sports car. It has loads of plush comfort and a smooth, consistent ride, but lacks agility and energetic pop.
For comparison’s sake, the Fresh Foam More v3 might be what you would get if you mixed the HOKA One One Bondi 7 and the New Balance 1080v11 into cake batter and put it in the oven. The result is a sweet, tasty and soft shoe and the frosting on top is its long-haul comfort.
CONS: NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM MORE V3
There’s not much to dislike if you like cushy shoes, but there is no way around that the Fresh Foam More v3 is a big, wide shoe with a lot of girth. If you prefer lighter, more agile shoes with more “feel” for the ground, this is not a shoe for you.
NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM MORE V3 COMING SOON