New Balance Fresh Foam More V3 Performance Review
AUSTIN: The New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 is proof that bricks bounce. Yes, version 3 still looks like a behemoth based on the stack (33/29), but I believe that it’s a sleeper shoe for 2021. Before proceeding, revisit the More v2 performance review from last March for a refresher. Next, drop that shoe from memory altogether because the More v3 is streets ahead.
THOMAS: The running brands have been trying to unravel the mystery behind the HOKA Clifton for awhile now. News flash: they’re catching up. That perfect mix of cushion, weight, and ride seemed to be as elusive as a Peloton owner that doesn’t post about their Peloton. But New Balance finally cracked the code. It took them three tries, but they nailed it. This next statement may be a stunner, but I’m gonna say it – they may have out-HOKA-ed HOKA.
MEAGHAN: I’ll keep this short: The HOKA Clifton has been my ride-or-die for the last several years. The ride, the cushion, the comfort – it was all there for me in a daily trainer. That said, I may have a new spring fling in the More v3.
BEN: Everyone else already said it all. Let’s get this thing moving.
AUSTIN: The More 3 looks like an Army tank, much like the More v2 from 2020. In fact, the More v3 shot up a full ounce to 10.6 in a men’s nine. But the rocker in there is sick. Unlike last year’s model, which exhibited a surprisingly stiff, firm ride, the More v3 exudes softness. Like, better than the HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 soft.
Step-in comfort is superb, and by no means is it too mushy for fast efforts. I stuck with easy runs, but every time I bolted, the More v3 kept pace. The final mile of one easy run was sub-7-minute. I don’t know if that says much, but the rocker yielded such smooth transitions across the pace spectrum. Obviously, it’s not the ideal track shoe, but I’m all for trying a short-ish tempo run to see what unfolds.
The midfoot and forefoot are super spacious, attributes that Wide Foot Jarrett will appreciate, especially if this comes in a 2E. New Balance calls the upper construction a “no-fuss fit.” I agree. Engineers dropped the 3D ultra heel featured in the More 2 and returned to a traditional look with extra padding. Tongue padding is equally generous. The mesh upper, complemented by the “N” logo on the medial and lateral sides of the midfoot for a touch of structure, round out an irritation-free design. The exposed rubber on the outsole shows some minor wear, but the carbon stuff is holding strong.
THOMAS: Oh, baby. The Fresh Foam More v3 is dreamy on foot. If you want soft landings and a rockered ride with just enough pep, this is that shoe.
The upper is your basic mesh that allows air to reach the foot. My size 10.5 fit true to size and held my foot securely. This surprised me since I have a narrow low volume foot and I felt secure without any bagginess or extra material. The padded tongue and collar keep the More 3 in the comfort zone.
Now that you’re secured to the midsole, the magic of the Fresh Foam can start doing work. The shoe isn’t light on the scale, as the Fresh Foam More 3 is actually over an ounce heavier than the Clifton. My size 10.5 weighs 10.9oz/310g but feels lighter on foot. I was actually shocked when we put it on the scale. Between the bounce and the rocker, the More 3 is smooth and faster than expected. The midsole is finished with just the right amount of rubber on the outsole to make sure you can get loads of miles out of these trainers.
MEAGHAN: You guys, the New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 is the Lovesac of running shoes. It’s a booster cushion for your feet. It’s everything I want in a daily trainer, and exactly what my legs crave in the middle of marathon training.
The step-in feel is just a delight. It’s built on a broad platform and accommodates my wide feet really well. The mesh upper is soft and stretchy, with a touch of support through the midfoot. The flat laces and embroidered eyelets do a great job of locking the foot down. But it’s everything under the foot that really makes this shoe lust-worthy. So. much. Fresh. Foam. In fact, there’s more Fresh Foam in this shoe than any other New Balance shoe out there. And I love every millimeter of it (33 mm/29 mm). All that plush cush is paired with a rocker geometry to keep you rolling through your stride with ease. It’s the shoe I want to lace up for just about every easy day and long run.
BEN: The More v3 dropped the molded heel and opted for a more standard padded heel, and it feels great. Where the molded designs can look cool, they tend to be hit or miss on fit and lockdown. In my standard size 9.5, this upper works great and is true to size. I also have a wider foot and I loved the fit. It’s an overall very wide platform, very accommodating, and inherently stable. The upper is breathable and a little stretchy. Perfect step-in feel for me.
The midsole is where this shoe shines. Super comfortable from the first step, the gobs of Fresh Foam are soft, but not squishy or wobbly. The More 3 feels great for putting in those daily miles. The shoe isn’t lightweight, but not horrible for how much cushion you get. My size 9.5 is over 10 oz., but it doesn’t feel like it, mostly due to a perfect rocker. This forefoot curve manages to take a clunky-looking shoe and have it feeling great while turning over at a variety of paces. Super enjoyable overall and very appealing as an easy day go-to pick.Shop New Balance – Men Shop New Balance – Women
AUSTIN: Since the More 3 has a wider platform, my narrow foot felt a touch loose at times. However, this never led to any hot spots or blisters. Other than that, I’ve got no gripes.
THOMAS: If it’s possible, drop an ounce or two off these and let’s see what happens. Or maybe don’t. It’s pretty perfect.
MEAGHAN: I have to agree with Thomas. Maybe, just maybe, if this shoe was a tad lighter it could be even better. My W7.5 came in at 8.75 oz, not a fattened cow by any means, but I’ve been spoiled with daily trainers under 8oz.
BEN: Weight didn’t bother me, but cutting a few ounces never hurts. Although I don’t think I’d trade the stable platform for a weight drop.
A minor downside I saw was a lack of aggressive tread. The outsole has strategically placed rubber, and it’s grippy enough and doesn’t seem to be visibly wearing, but it has no bite on loose surfaces. I’d stick to the pavement in these.
Another drawback could be the price. It’s a crowded market, and the More 3 isn’t cheap at $165, but I think it’s worth spending a few more bucks compared to your average shoe.Shop New Balance – Men Shop New Balance – Women
AUSTIN: Jarrett and I both disliked the More v2. He talked about correcting the internal ankle heel padding and adding a rocker for better transitions. Done and done. Priced at $165, there are a lot of daily trainers in the marketplace alongside the More v3. I loved running in this shoe, and I regularly bypassed the Saucony Ride 14 to lace up the More and experience the joys of that marshmallow rocker.
THOMAS: This is my pick for the best max cushioned shoe right now. Pair this with the New Balance Rebel v2 and you have all bases covered for your training needs. For race day, I’d still go with a certain industry behemoth, but if you want to stay in the New Balance locale, grab the RC and you’ve got a full rotation. The Fresh Foam More v3 is a treat for your feet.
MEAGHAN: If you can’t tell from the beginning of my review, I freakin’ love the New Balance Fresh Foam More v3. I love the aesthetics and how it feels out on the road. I love it for easy, short days. I love it for long runs and even picking up the pace here and there. If you’re a max cushion fan (i.e. HOKA Bondi/Clifton) this is definitely a shoe to check out.
BEN: Thomas kind of spoiled this one in the intro. It’s like a HOKA with an “N” on the side, and also better. It takes the formula (bottomless cushion with a nice rocker) and makes it even more comfortable. For me, HOKAs are almost always too narrow on my forefoot, and that’s definitely not the case here. New Balance really nailed this one for the premium cushioned cruiser. I totally agree with Thomas, it pairs perfectly with the Rebel v2 as a 1-2 combo.
You can pick up the New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) on April 1, 2021 (tentative, because shoe releases are crazy these days) by using the shop link below.Shop New Balance – Men Shop New Balance – Women
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When does this shoe come out? Doesn’t appear to be available online.
How would you compare this with the Nike Invincible? Thanks so much!