JARRETT: Everyone wants more. More money. More friends. More donuts. More friends with money and donuts. More foam, I guess. New Balance heard us loud and clear (unfortunately not about donuts…) and said “Ok, you want more? Here ya go!”
I’m 95% sure that’s how the Fresh Foam More, a max cushioned, relatively lightweight shoe, was born. Fast forward to 2020 and it’s still going strong with the Fresh Foam More V2: a neutral shoe with a 4 mm drop (34 mm stack in the heel/30 mm in the forefoot).
New Balance overhauled most of the shoe. The upper is a newly designed engineered mesh to make it more breathable, while the heel switched from a traditional style to the 3D-molded “ultra heel.” The midsole has been upgraded to Fresh Foam X and the outsole is an updated pattern and includes some flex grooves.
AUSTIN: The New Balance Fresh Foam More 2 looks like an M1 Abrams tank (minus the 68 tons of weight). Designed to compete with the likes of HOKA and other models in the max-cushion category, the More 2 is surprisingly light given the hefty appearance. That said, does the ride deliver or fall short?
JARRETT: A well-engineered mesh is a dime a dozen these days. As with most NB shoes, I don’t have much to complain about with the breathable upper. With some tight cinching of the laces, I was able to get a good midfoot lockdown. The toe box is very spacious and has plenty of height.
The tongue is lightly padded and is attached so that it stays put during a run. When looking at the shoe from the side, it appears as if the midsole sidewall is crazy high, but just like mine and Robbe’s friendship, don’t believe everything you see (just kidding, bestie!!!).
(EDITOR’S NOTE: a friendship implies that at some point we were friends, Jarrett).
My heel sits down in the shoe and the sidewall acts like a cup to keep my heel from shifting much to either side.
The amount of Fresh Foam X feels fantastic while uhh… walking around. To be continued.
The More V2 is surprisingly light. New Balance actually cut some weight from the previous model by using Fresh Foam X. My 10.5 2E More V2 weighed 10.2 oz. For reference, my 880v10, which also used Fresh Foam X but looks way smaller, weighed 11.5 oz. Did New Balance hire David Blaine?! This is the devil’s work!
AUSTIN: The magic of Fresh Foam X is evident. In fact, I love seeing this new midsole iteration across the New Balance line. Adding the letter “X” to stuff initiates interest from runners for sure. Step-in comfort is nice, though I’m surprised that the engineers decided to replace the padded heel with a molded heel (I’m guessing to cut weight). Width is more than generous (more on that below) and there’s plenty of space for toe splay. Although I didn’t run in the first Fresh Foam More, which utilizes a double jacquard mesh, I do like the breathability of the engineered mesh in the More 2.
I decided to make my first run in the More 2 a four-miler. It felt good until the final half-mile. I started noticing some pain near the ankle and suspect that it was my posterior tibial tendonitis. I don’t wear orthotics much, but in the rare times I notice this targeted pain flare up in a run, I instantly pull out the CURREX RUNPRO insoles (my preference) for an arch lift. The pain usually subsides in a few days. I tell fellow runners that orthotics are worth exploring if you are experiencing foot pain of any kind. They aren’t the cure, but a tool in the toolbox that may help in combination with other products and therapies. So, to reiterate, the shoe did well; my foot didn’t that day.Shop FF More V2
JARRETT: My biggest complaint with the More V2 is the protruding padding that sits at ankle height on each side inside the heel collar. This is supposed to provide a better and more secure fit, but if there is any heel slip at all (which there will be because the shoe is pretty stiff), then it will constantly scratch at the heel.
Here is an instance where I wish the heel was traditionally padded or was similar to the Beacon 2 or FuelCell TC. Get rid of the protruding padding! Boy am I flustered right now.
For a high cushioned shoe, the More V2 felt rather firm while running. It just seemed like night and day between walking around vs. running. I wanted to use the shoe for some recovery miles, but it just wasn’t comfortable on my beat-up legs.
Along with the firm feeling, the More V2 felt pretty stiff. Yes, there are four flex grooves in the forefoot, but it doesn’t really help that much. My stride wasn’t smooth and a friend running with me commented that my shoes were loud. I should have told him that his mouth (or his mom’s) was loud.
The More V2’s are huge. I laid them out next to the 880v10 and it looked like the More V2 was stung by a bee and had an allergic reaction like an Instagram model’s pursed selfie lips. FWIW I know how to use an EpiPen if you’re allergic to Instagram models and/or bees.
The bulky size gives off a clunky sensation while running, which is weird because they are way lighter than they look. Every once in a while, my foot would scrape the ground like I wasn’t picking it up.
AUSTIN: I don’t consider this a gripe, but I needed to pull the laces tight to lock down the midfoot. Conversely, if you’re in the market for a max-cushioned trainer that accommodates wider feet, the More 2 is capable. Though the shoe is light, push off is harder with so much midsole between the feet and the ground. Accordingly, I would only pull it for long runs and recovery runs.
At 37 miles, the outsole is already shredding. I focus hard at staying light on my feet, but the wear is quick—which makes me wonder if the outsole will yield before the midsole. I’ve regularly experienced heel slippage in older New Balance running shoes, but my feet stayed put in the More 2.
Finally, I figured the More 2 would deliver a ride somewhat similar to the 1080v10, but it skewed on the stiff side. Not harsh, per se, but not the pillow or cloud sensation I expected from such a mountainous midsole.Shop FF More V2
JARRETT: I’m a New Balance fan and this pains me to say, but I really just don’t enjoy the Fresh Foam More V2. The clunky and firm feel coupled with my ankles getting continually rubbed from the protruding heel pads provided a frustrating review experience.
If V3 fixes the ankle debacle and provides some sort of a rocker for easier transitioning, it could be way better in my opinion. Sorry guys and gals, this one doesn’t do it for me.
AUSTIN: The New Balance 1080v10 is still my favorite New Balance model for longer distances. The (comparatively) lower stack height, HYPOKNIT upper, and soft ride will not be dethroned by the Fresh Foam More 2. The More 2 is fantastic for walking, but it’s too much shoe for my liking as a trainer. 2020 continues to be a strong year for New Balance, but the More 2, surprisingly, is less.
You can pick up the New Balance Fresh Foam More V2 for $165 by using the shop link below.Shop FF More V2