Wednesday, September 29, 2021

New Balance Fresh Foam More Trail v2 Multi Tester Review: Soft, Max Cushion, Long-Run Friendly. Now More Technical Trails Ready!

Article by Renee Krusemark and Beto Hughes

New Balance Fresh Foam More Trail v2 ($165)


Introduction

Renee: The New Balance Trail More is back and beefier than ever. The second edition of the max cushion trail shoe addresses some issues from the first version. With a better lock down on the upper and a much improved outsole, the v2 is now much more trail ready than the first version. Does that make this version better? Maybe. As always, that depends on the runner and his/her trail terrains. 


The first version (RTR Review) was my favorite max cushion trail shoe because it weighed less than other max cushion trail shoes. However, that low weight came at a cost. The v1 outsole could not handle a variety of terrain and the upper was too voluminous (for me) to get a solid lockdown. Versions 1 and 2 of the Trail More are different shoes, in my opinion, and each runner will need to decide if the new version is worth the cost of $165 and might work for them..


Beto: The New Balance More Trail V2 and I think is improved over the previous More Trail V1. Let’s start with the main differences: it has a better lockdown and I mean it really holds my mid foot in place and has a good but not roomy toe box so no issues there. The outsole is now Vibram XT Trek EVO so more traction on wet rocks and the lugs are suitable for both compact and loose trails. 

But is it worth the upgrade? We'll see! Please read on.


Pros:

Outsole is great for almost all trail terrain: Renee/Beto

Upper provides a solid lockdown: Renee/Beto

Midsole provides soft comfort for long runs: Renee/Beto

Toe protection is stout so good when accidentally kicking rocks or roots: Beto

Runs great on loose and compact trails also not bad on roads too: Beto


Cons:

Heavy shoe and significant weight gain from version 1: Renee

High stack and soft midsole not ideal for uneven surfaces: Renee

Tongue slides down during long runs: Renee

May fit slightly narrower than version 1: Renee


Tester Profiles

Renee is a former U. S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.


Beto Hughes: Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico

31 yrs old, Height: 5’10,, Weight: 195lbs

I started Running in 2016 and training to lose weight. I used to weight 295 lbs and between running and Crossfit began my love for the fitness life and for running. I am now aiming to be a Boston Qualifier. Weekly mileage: 60 - 75 miles on Road

Favorite distance: Marathon and Half Marathon also Ultra Marathon.

You can follow me on Instagram @betohughes  https://www.instagram.com/betohughes/


Stats

Weight: men’s 11.3 oz / 323g women’s 9.1 oz / 258g 

  Samples: men’s 13.6oz / 386g (US12.5)  /women’s 9.57oz / 271g (US8)

Version 1 weighed men's 10.1 oz/ 286g (US9) 8.92 oz /253g women's / (US8)

4mm drop.

$165. We await an update on release date which is scheduled for October.

 

First Impressions and Fit

Renee: My first impression was positive. I enjoyed the first version of the Trail More because it was light as compared to my other max cushion options (i.e. Nike Trail 2, Brooks Caldera 5, Saucony Endorphin Trail/Peregrine 11/Canyon TR). That said, the shoe had its faults. I couldn’t get a solid lockdown with the voluminous upper and unfortunately the outsole did not work for me during the winter months on slush, mud, and snow (I tried!). The first version was much more of a buffed trail/path shoe than a technical terrain shoe. 


The second version clearly addresses any concerns about more technical trail readiness: the upper provides a better lockdown and the Vibram outsole provides grip and traction for a variety of terrain. However, those improvements come at a cost. The Trail More v2 is considerably heavier than the first version, about 0.60oz in my women’s size 8 (the weight gain is noticeable underfoot). The fit is true-to-size. I recommend choosing the same size as any other New Balance shoe. 


I have 57 miles currently on the Trail More v2. My shortest run was 3 miles and my longest run was 25 miles with a mix of single track, gravel and dirt roads, and uneven grass. 


Beto: The first thing I noticed is how soft the shoe is, especially if you are looking for a soft and comfortable ride on the trails. Second the upper makes it a really good looking shoe and in terms of fit it has solid lockdown of the mid foot, no issues there. The shoe feels tall but on my first run I had zero issues. The foot held great and the ride is very soft with some bounce to it with the traction great.


Upper

Renee: The lockdown is improved from the first version, which was too voluminous for my foot. The upper material is far less pliable than version 1, which creates a snugger fit around my foot. The toe box appears to be of the same size/volume as the first version, although on foot, the toe box seemed slightly more narrow, particularly around my little toe. The toe bumper is firmer than v1, giving more protection but also limiting room. 

New Balance More Trail : Version 1 (left), Version 2 (right)

Speaking of the first version, most reviewers experienced the tongue moving to the side while running. I’m happy to say that is not an issue with the second version, but I did experience another “tongue issue.” During runs longer than 10 miles, the tongue bunched downwards, which caused the laces to sit on my sock instead of on the tongue. I stopped twice during my 25-mile run (at mile 13 and mile 20) to pull the tongue up to prevent irritation across my foot from the laces. I’m hoping this is a fit issue unique to me and not a shoe fault (I have a low volume foot). 


Otherwise, the upper is comfortable and aside potentially for runners who have wide feet, the second version’s upper is much improved from version 1. Durability should be good, although I have a slight tear between the upper and the midsole, which I think is a result of my 25-miler on uneven terrain. With the high stack height, landing on uneven surfaces caused the upper to move with my foot but the outsole to move with the terrain; I’m guessing this caused separating between the upper and midsole. 


Beto: The upper is really nice. Great and solid lockdown that’s the thing I like the most about this upper. This said the toe box is a tiny bit narrow maybe due to the dense materials and toe bumper, so I went with thin socks and had no issues then. The toe bumper is firm and very protective. You can even notice with your big toe how firm the toe protection feels. 


The tongue has enough padding to protect the midfoot if you tighten your laces  too much or do a runners knot. On my second run the tongue moved to the side a little bit but I had no issues and didn’t even notice until I finished the run. 

The heel counter is very well structured and held my heel in place and also has good padding inside for comfort. The overlays on the shoe give a lot of structure and because of that the lockdown is way better than the More Trail V1.


Midsole

Renee: Underfoot lies a massive amount of Fresh Foam. While walking or power hiking, the softness of the foam is apparent and very comfortable. During long runs, the midsole provides plenty of comfort without being too squishy. Aside from very uneven landings/surfaces, the soft high-stack midsole did not feel uncomfortable on single track (part of that comfort is from a good lockdown on the upper and the great traction of the outsole).

New Balance More Trail : Version 1 (left), Version 2 (right)


Both versions 1 and 2 are stable, especially for such high stack midsoles. I do not have the official measurements, but version 1 feels and runs lower to the ground (slight advantage to version 1 for me).

New Balance More Trail : Version 1 (left), Version 2 (right)

Beto: Fresh Foam X so New Balance basically used the same midsole foam as the road More V3. Thank you for that NB!  

The soft and bouncy foam really performed great on the More Trail v2. It works amazingly well for long runs as it is soft but does not have a sink in feel or squishy as some other shoes can feel like the Xodus 11 or Ultra Boost. 


The More Trail v2 ran well at different paces on all terrains and even on uphills or downhills. The midsole is very stable riding too and that that can help if you plan to run a really long race that is not too technical or rocky. 


Because the midsole is so high that may be an issue for some, feeling a little unstable but because of the wide platform I felt really secure on some rocky terrains. 


As Renee said the great lockdown and the midsole worked really well together with a comfortable ride with great lockdown where you can feel really secure on just about any trail.


Outsole

Renee: According to New Balance, the Vibram XT Trek EVO has “strategically positioned lugs . . . [for] off-road traction and durability.” I agree. Trail runners looking for a technical outsole will enjoy what the Trail More v2 provides, especially compared to version 1.

Outsole-New Balance More Trail : Version 2 (left), Version 1 (right)


The outsole works well on buffed surfaces too, making it diverse and friendly for a variety of runners. With the high stack, runners won’t feel any roots or rocks underfoot. The grip is great on gravel, grass, and dirt/debris. Given the high stack, the shoe runs fine for short distances of road/pavement. 


Mud will stick to the outsole.

Given the heavy weight of the shoe, carrying extra mud is not ideal, but eventually the mud falls off (eventually, but not immediately). 


Beto: The More Trail v2 comes with Vibram XT Trek EVO which has a great traction on wet rocks and the lugs have different sizes that give great traction on any trail surface. This outsole is oriented to technical terrain and with the protection of the hugh stack of FFX from the midsole it surely can do the job. The outsole and midsole will protect your foot from any pointy rocks or roots. 


I really liked the downhill traction. I felt really secure and for that I can also give thanks to the wide platform of the shoe.  The outsole also bites compacted trails really well where you have sections of up and downs. I didn’t get a lot of mud on mine but when I did I really felt the weight of the mud but the outsole started to release all the mud after some meters.



Ride


Renee: Soft, max cushion, long-run friendly. The ride is smooth despite the high stack. I was able to comfortably land on my forefoot and found that my stride length was longer on average as compared to similar weighted shoes. Despite the weight, I could run on my toes during steep ascents and through rolling hills. 


My personal complaint about the ride is the weight. I’m not the biggest or strongest runner, and the Trail More is A LOT of shoe for my short legs. The wide outsole platform provides a stable landing, although between the overall high stack and soft midsole, the shoes are not comfortable on uneven terrain for long distances. 


Beto: This is a trail shoe that feels so comfortable and with the lockdown of the upper it feels like an extension of my foot and I enjoy that. The shoe performed better that I thought it was going to. It has a soft ride and is well protected from rocks.  I did some hill repeats to test the lugs and they bite the ground really well. My only issue is the More Trail’s weight but that is to be expected from a max cushion trail shoe. It would not be the fastest shoe to race a 50k with but it is a very comfortable option especially if you’re looking for protection and a soft responsive ride.


Conclusions and Recommendations


Renee: The Trail More v2 joins the ranks of top-quality max cushion trail shoes. Runners may want to review the  RTR comparisons below to decide if the Trail More v2 is a good option. The shoe is best suited for runners who need a high-stack, soft midsole. The outsole makes the Trail More a good option for runners on technical terrain or buffed paths. 


For me, the shoe is almost too high and too heavy to work on uneven terrain. I’d love the same shoe with a slightly lower stack (and thus less weight). I’m not sure if other runners will experience the tongue sliding down, but it was a comfort issue during long runs. For easy, buffed trail runs, I’ll still choose version 1 because of the lower weight.

Renee’s Score: 9/10 

(-0.80 weight/weight gain from v1, -0.20 bunching tongue)




Beto: The More Trail V2 Is what I like to call a Soft, Stable, Max Cushion trail shoe made for the distance. This is a high stack shoe and I think many can benefit from the soft foam,  its rocker and the great traction on any terrain. This said some may prefer something lower to the ground to feel more in control. The More Trail v2 is a solid shoe with all the updates from its previous version and I can say the shoe is well worth the upgrade. It has really high quality materials in its upper with a solid lockdown, great toe protection, a wide stable platform, and amazing traction.  


This shoe can easily go the distance.  I can see runners doing 50k in this shoe or even further, with the weight penalty in my opinion well worth the better traction with the new upper is always welcoming so I can only say the More Trail v2 is a solid choice if you are looking for a very comfortable and stable ride for those longer trail sessions and even some hiking too.

Beto’s Score: 9.2/10 (-0.5 more padded tongue, -0.3 need a bit more space for wider feet).


Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE


New Balance Fresh FoamTrail More v1 (RTR Review)

Renee: For buffed paths, the lighter v1 is my choice. For more technical terrain, the upper and the outsole of v2 is better. Version 1 is a max cushion cruiser whereas Version 2 is even more cushioned, albeit with a notable weight gain. The sizing is similar, although the upper material and firmer toe bumper of Version 2 give it a slightly narrower feel. 


Beto: I agree with Renee. The V1 is a good trail shoe but the outsole lugs are less effective on technical terrain and the upper is looser compared to the More Trail v2’s. Especially on technical terrain, the V2 feels more secure and the new lugs gave a lot more traction.


Hoka Speedgoat 4 (RTR Review)

Renee: I would like to say the Trail More v2 is the Speedgoat 4 with a wider toebox, but that’s not the case. The Speedgoat 4 is the better choice for faster, more technical terrain thanks to the lower sitting ride and firmer midsole. For a softer, more cushioned ride, the Trail More v2 is the better choice. Both have great Vibram outsoles. The toebox is roomier in the Trail More v2, but not by much. I wore a size 7.5 in the Speedgoat 4 and a size 8 in the Trail More v2 (sizing up in the Speedgoat 4 does not give more room to my little toe). Overall, I think the Speedgoat 4 is the better shoe, but for comfort and a (slightly) better toebox, I’d choose the More Trail. 


Beto: I think of the More Trail v2 as a trainer companion to the Speedgoat 4. The More Trail v2 is way softer and more comfortable to run and works great on any terrain.  Both have Vibram outsoles, so great traction, but the Speedgoat 4 is better for race day in my opinion because I feel more in control. But if I have to choose one I will need to consider what I want the shoe for, to race or to train? I’ll take the More Trail v2 just because it's more comfortable on my foot for training and for race day I’ll choose the Speedgoat 4.


Brooks Caldera 5 (RTR Review)

Renee: The Caldera 5 is slightly lighter (and it runs lighter) than the Trail More v2. Both are max cushion, soft rides that provide a solid upper lockdown. I like the Vibram outsole of the Trail More on a wider variety of surfaces, but the Caldera 5 outsole works well too, especially on mud. The Caldera 5 was narrow in the forefoot, especially on the medial side and I had irritation on short runs. For that reason, I’d choose the Trail More v2. I wore a women’s size 8 in both. 


Saucony Endorphin Trail (RTR Review)

Renee: The Endorphin Trail is slightly heavier than the Trail More, although it’s not noticeable. The upper lockdown is far better on the Trail More v2. The outsole of the Endorphin is better for mud, with the Trail More v2 outsole better for everything else. Overall, the Trail More v2 works better for me. For stability on uneven surfaces, I’d choose the Endorphin Trail because of the firm midsole and lower feeling stack height. I wore a women’s size 8 in both. 


Nike Pegasus Trail 2 (RTR Review)

Renee: I have not run the Pegasus Trail 3 yet. The Pegasus Trail 2 was unstable for me, even on buffed surfaces because of the voluminous upper. It is lighter and runs much lighter. For buffed terrain at cruising paces, I’d choose the Trail 2. For more technical terrain, I’d choose the Trail More v2. The outsole of the Trail More v2 is far better. I wore a womens’ size 8 in both. The Nike Trail 2 has a roomier toe box. 


Saucony Peregrine 11 (RTR Review)

Renee: The Peregrine 11 is similar in weight but provides a more stable ride with better ground feel because of its firm midsole and rock plate (no plate in the More Trails). The balance between the secure upper and the midsole is great in the Peregrine 11. For technical trails (or race efforts), I’d choose the Peregrine. For easy days when comfort is key, I’d choose the Trail More v2. I wore a women’s size 8 in both. 


Saucony Canyon TR  (RTR Review)

Renee: The Canyon TR is slightly heavier, but provides a stable ride with a higher drop (and a rock plate). My foot hits the ground like a brick in the Canyon TR whereas the Trail More v2 has a nice roll forward. For stability on long runs, I’d choose the Canyon TR. For comfort underfoot, I’d choose the Trail More v2. 


Topo MTN Racer 2 (RTR Review)

Beto: The MTN Racer 2 is a lighter shoe that has enough cushion and comfort to go the distance especially for ultras. Its lockdown of the midfoot is amazing with a roomy toe box with Topo’s anatomical toe box making this shoe very comfortable and enjoyable for longer runs. The toe bumper is not as stiff as the More Trail v2’s. Both shoes have Vibram outsoles, The MTN Racer 2 uses Vibram MegaGrip with a more aggressive lug pattern especially for technical terrains and wet rocks while its midsole uses a post to help with stability on uneven surfaces. The post isn’t really felt so it is a very neutral feeling shoe.


I will use the More Trail v2 for long runs and 50k races due to the comfort of the midsole, its stability and  great traction. I will use the MTN Racer 2 for races longer than a 50 miler or a fast 50k just because the MTN Racer 2 is lighter and has a more aggressive lug pattern but if I want more comfort on a 50 miler I’ll easily go with the More Trail V2.


Renee: Beto makes a good comparison. The MTN Racer 2 outsole might work better for technical terrain or mud because of the aggressive lug pattern. With the lower stack and better ground feel, the MTN Racer 2 is better on uneven terrain and for faster paces (the shoe is much lighter too). For comfort and distance, I would choose the Trail More 2. While I think some runners can use the MTN Racer 2 for ultras, I am not one of them. The firm outsole and aggressive lugs caused some discomfort for me during long runs (15+ miles). 


New Balance Hierro V6 

Beto: The Hierro V6, a similar shoe in the NB trail line has a great and comfortable upper, great heel and midfoot lockdown with a breathable upper. It uses the same Fresh Foam X but in a lower stack keeping it lower to the ground and stable too. It is very soft and has a flexible toe off. The outsole uses Vibram MegaGrip with less pronounced lugs. The Hierro V6 is very good on compacted and dirt trails and works really good on technical terrains but  just needs a few millimeters more lug depth to be more aggressive in traction. These two shoes are similar but the Hierro V6 is a bit heavier than the More Trail v2 and with a bit lower to the ground feel while still very protective. It has a more padded tongue and heel counter and that’s where the comfort and I think additional. weight comes from, so between these two I will go with the More Trail v2. It offers more comfort for longer miles and performs better on technical terrains with that new outsole with the lockdown of the upper making it more secure than the Hierro.

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content

The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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9 comments:

70's Teen said...

How does the midsole compare to the Fuji-Lyte 2's re softness and bounce? Are the outsole grips comparable (esp. in wet conditions)?

Anonymous said...

Does the shoe breath well? Also do softer midsole foams flatten out sooner than a more firmer foam ? I’ve seen a few trail running reviews commenting on this. One example would be the ultra glide from Salomon seeming to flatten out after 100 miles.

70's Teen said...

My Go Run Ultra Trail 3's were very soft, and remain so after 500 miles - it just depends on the particular foam.

Anonymous said...

@70's Teen, The Fuji-Lite 2 is a much lighter, faster shoe. The midsole is soft, but has a good combination of bounce/responsiveness. The Trail More 2 provides more cushion because of stack height/midsole combo, but it's not a fast shoe. For runners who do NOT need or like high stack/max cushion shoes, The Fuji Lite 2 is a good choice for 20+ milers, maybe a 50k depending on terrain. The Fuji works for short distances too. The Trail More 2 outsole might work better on rock/hard surfaces in wet conditions (Vibram), but both shoes have decent outsoles. The grib and traction are great with the Fuji too.

Skidad said...

You did not mention when these will be available? A running warehouse video mentioned Oct. I tried every angle I know to obtain a pair of the V2’s for a 50 mile ultra I have 10/9-10. I’m having a foot issue and my Speedgoats will be to stiff and confining for this race which has a fair bit of road miles. The V1 fit the bill but I really liked the improvements they made over the V1 (sadly not MegaGrip which is superior in grip over XT trek compound irregardless of tread pattern) but you can’t get em yet. Luckily I live close to a NB factory outlet in MA and was able to grab a pair of the V1’s for $99 so a no brainer to try to coddle that ailing foot. V2 looks good but IMO to much exposed midsole foam at the rear of the shoe just like so many manufacturers do now. Those exposed spots should have Vibram on them but oh dear it might add a few grams of weight. Really??? (Topo has an awesome full coverage Vibram MegaGrip sole on the Mtn. Racer and some of their other shoes but Mtn. Racer for an ultra though no way. Just to firm for this old guy)
Yeah, so when is the V2 going to be available is what I’m coming back to?

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Skidad,,
As far as availability I hope soon but there is much uncertainty and delays in the supply chains for all brands. Best of luck with your 50 miler.
Sam, Editor

Anonymous said...

Anybody got a comparison between these and the outwardly pretty similar Altra Olympus 4?

JASON said...

Suddenly I can't buy V2 on the website, is it removed? Or is there a problematic recall in the design?

Sam Winebaum said...

Jason, Not sure but do know all brands having huge supply chain problems getting the goods to retail and in some cases with quality as factories have been shut or operating with difficulties. Sam,Editor