New Balance Fresh Foam X More V4 Review
by iRUN Singapore on September 16, 2022
Weight: 300grams / 10.58oz (Men’s US 9)
Price: $259 SGD
Stack Height: 34/30mm (4mm drop)
Pros & Cons
Soft, Well-Cushioned Ride
Prior to this 4th version of the Fresh Foam X More, I have not tried previous iterations. I heard many mixed reviews of the More v3, with some hailing the max cushioned trainer as their shoe of the year, while others criticising the stiff and lifeless ride of its midsole.
That being said, New Balance has made some upgrades in the upper and midsole in this 4th iteration, aimed to bring about improved foot security, breathability and a softer midsole ride. Read on to see what I think of these changes!
Upper & Fit
New Balance focused on streamlining the upper materials in the More v4. It utilizes an engineered mesh that is slightly lighter, thinner and more breathable than its predecessor. Internal overlays and a more minimal tongue are added to improve midfoot lockdown and provide a better fit.
As this is my first experience in the Fresh Foam X More series, I cannot comment if the v4 is more comfortable than previous versions. However, I find that it works really well for me. The main gripe I have about max cushioned trainers is the overly padded ankle collar and tongue. The More v4 manages to find the balance between providing plush comfort while not going over the top. I went true to size in a D width. While I might have preferred a 2E width for my wide feet, The D width isn’t constricting like those from other brands (especially Hoka).
The upper is still relatively thick and doesn’t perform well in really hot weather (past 9:30am in SG), but is on the better side compared to other max cushioned trainers from competing brands. Lockdown has been great. I still used the last lace hole, not so much more added security but because the laces were SO long!
Midsole & Ride
The midsole uses New Balance’s signature Fresh Foam X midsole. This midsole is an EVA compound, which is usually soft but lacks liveliness and bounce. New Balance states that this is their softest version of Fresh Foam X.
Interestingly, the ride character is noticeably different from the last New Balance shoe I tested with Fresh Foam X. I found the application of Fresh Foam X was dull in the 1080v12. There is a slight rebound feeling in the More v4, while also being softer than the 1080v12.
New Balance uses a modified heel camber system to soften heel landings. I’ve heard some stability concerns for heel strikers, but as a midfoot striker I did notice that this heel camber provided a softer landing while remaining very stable. The slightly wider platform in this version complimented the heel camber, leading to a surprisingly stable ride with this level of stack. The increased rocker also aided my foot transitions without the ride feeling blocky. While I would still have preferred a higher drop of 6-10mm in my easy day shoes, the 4mm drop isn’t punishing on my calves.
I’ve got to say, other than the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run 2, this is my favourite max cushioned trainer. Sure, it isn’t nearly as bouncy as other market offerings, but the soft cushion with its slight bounce reminds me of the old Hoka Cliftons (pre-4). I’m not too sure if this ranking will hold, considering the arrival of the Saucony Triumph 20, a highly anticipated max cushioned trainer. Compared to other max cushioned trainers that use EVA foam, the More v4 does it better (looking at you Hoka Bondi 8). Though, I would prefer if New Balance could infuse nitrogen in their EVA for a more bouncy ride.
Outsole & Durability
The outsole uses a generous coverage of durable rubber. You can expect high amounts of durability in this workhorse. I’ve heard of high mileage numbers in the V3, so you can expect similar levels here!
Grip wise is decent in all weather conditions, though like many outsoles you might want to be careful on drain covers. Nothing too special in the outsole in terms of grip, though the zonal pods help to increase flexibility in the ride.
Areas of Improvement
Usage of a Livelier Foam Compound
Slightly Shorter Laces
The New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 is a max cushioned trainer that works really well at easy and recovery runs. It has one of the most luxurious rides underfoot that responds well to easy paces.
Reviewed by Xtride Running
Check out New Balance Fresh Foam X More V4 here