Wednesday, August 24, 2022

New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4: Is Yet More Too Much?

Article by Peter Stuart, Dominique and Sam Winebaum

New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 ($150)


The Fresh Foam More is aptly named. We said so for the prior version and for sure we can say it again here in v4 and then some.. 

It gains 2mm more stack height of cushion/outsole, about 5mm more platform width on the ground, and as a result about 0.74 oz / 22g in my US8.5 to come in at about 10.74 oz /305g. 

New Balance tells us the midsole has  “80% more displacement (cushioning).” Not sure how they calculate this but there is a lot of cushioning here!

In the mix is a softer yet Fresh Foam X, a new more flexible easier transitioning geometry and a new and roomy engineered mesh upper. For sure deep plush cushion, easy fit and mellow ride were in the product brief. 

There is clearly a method to the super sizing as the shoe is now clearly positioned as the big and soft slower paces mellow trainer (and walking shoe) in the New Balance line up with the yet higher stacked, carbon plated and lighter superb new SuperComp Trainer (RTR Multi Tester Review) as the "faster" option. Did New Balance go too far? Let’s find out. 


High stacked, broad and soft midsole for those who seek ultimate protection & a plush ride Sam

Improved slower paces transitions, more front flex: Sam

50% or more of upper is recycled materials: Sam/Dominique/Peter

Comfortable and secure fit, on the roomy high volume side even in regular width Sam/Peter

Great walking shoe Sam/Dominique


How much more is too much more? Sam/Dominique/Peter

On the heavier side for a trainer Dominique/Sam/Peter

Width of the shoe on the ground helps with stability but is cumbersome Dominique/Sam

Outsole with its soft rubber front pads dulls the toe off feel  Dominique/Sam/Peter


Estimated Weight: men's oz 11.05 / g (US9)  /  women's oz / g (US8)


      men’s 10.79 oz  /  g US8.5 (left: 10.64 oz  right: 10.93 oz) v3 10.2 oz/289 US8.5

      women’s 9.6 oz / 272g US9 

Stack Height: men’s 35mm heel (measured) / 31 mm forefoot (spec), 4mm drop

+2 mm stack height over v3, +5mm more platform width

$150. Available now including at our partners including Running Warehouse HERE

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Dominique: The More v4 is a first for me, namely a maximalist shoe from New Balance, and I was surprised by the “maximality” of the Fresh Foam X More v4.  It almost feels that the foam is bursting at the seams at the forefoot, especially on the inside as the thickness of the foam tapers outward.  By all means, I like maximalist shoes, but more is not necessarily better.  Perhaps my outlook will change with mileage, however, those are my first impressions after running 3 times in them for fairly short distances (5 miles).  

After slimming down back to my pre-Covid weight, and ten pounds lighter, I feel the shoe might be better suited for runners in need of extra protective cushioning and those striving for that plush feel experience above all.   

This said, the fit is perfect and extremely comfortable with a toe box that is roomy but not overly so. The engineered mesh upper is well designed with a high breathability factor in the toe box along with a secure and comfortable hold. To be noted, the reflective details are sizable in the back and exterior side of the shoe to enhance visibility when running in the dark. The heel counter is particularly well designed keeping my foot comfortably and securely grounded. 

Sam: Massive in appearance the midsole sidewalls ride prominently especially a midfoot with more stylized rounded hexagons and bulbous split tail. The bulk is a bit of an optical illusion, the foot sits deeply in those side walls to help stablize. 

While very broad on the ground the 35mm heel 31mm forefoot stack is actually almost modest for what is seen these days.  The stack is less than the 39/35, but less broad on the ground competitors (The Hoka Bondi 8 and Saucony Endorphin Shift 3), or even its speedy sibling the SC Trainer sitting at 45mm at the heel and 37 at the forefoot all of which we will closely look at in our Comparisons section below. 

The fit is generous with a high volume midfoot and soft broad unstructured mesh toe box of somewhat lighter softer mesh than v3’s.  

There is no gusset to the lightly padded tongue and the heel counter is relatively pliable.  

I am happy New Balance got rid of the comical ridged tongue. 

The toe bumper now is more substantial and raises the front volume off the toes. This was clearly felt during my A/B test run and a positive

There is no pretension here this is a performance fit even in regular width for my relatively narrow feet.  My sample pair is true to size if roomy mid to front whereas in v3 I was sent a half size up and even on my wider left foot it was snugger overall and especially in the toe box during my A/B test run. 

So, if you were on the edge of the available wide in v3 and sized up, I suggest staying  true to size in V4. The More is also available in 2E Wide and 4E Extra Wide if you really need it.

Light in feel, adequately supportive (mainly from those high midsole sidewalls), for sure roomy this upper is all about comfort.

Peter:Well, there sure is a lot of shoe here. Fit is true to size and the upper is extremely comfortable. They actually don’t feel as heavy in hand as they look. After my surprise love affair with the NB SC Trainer (RTR Review), I’m hopeful that these might be a terrific easy day and recovery shoe. This is for sure a comfort shoe.


Sam: The More v4 gets 2mm more stack heightand 5mm more platform width (heel/midfoot/forefoot) of slightly softer Fresh Foam X. 

The platform width is now V4 105 mm heel 90 mid 120 front as I measure it with the broadest heel and especially midfoot of its closest competitors the Bondi 8 and Endorphin Shift 3. It approaches the forefoot width of the Bondi 8 which has 0.5 more width but less flex relying more on the rocker. 

This combination delivers a highly cushioned, softer ride with improved inherent rear stability. 

The heel width is clearly felt as a broad stable platform but is actually easier to transition due to the deep broad decoupling groove a nod to the yet deeper “Energy Arc” groove and plate in the SC Trainer. I clearly felt more support at midfoot from the additional width and high side walls so mild or even not so mild pronators may find enough support here.

Upfront the cushion feel is clearly somewhat softer with now in the mix a pretty distinct more forward flex point which for such a big soft stack without a plate or a very prominent rocker helps move things along at the slower paces the shoe is best suited for. 

Unfortunately, the front rubber also feels softer to pressing and on the run and the grooves into the midsole are deeper which I think takes any pop off the front out of the mix. 

The overall feel is of tons and tons of forgiving softer cushion, so much soft cushion and just too much really for my preferences.

Dominique: New Balance’s highest stacked height Fresh Foam X -  and commensurate platform width - is a definite selling point for the Fresh Foam X More 4, as the name of the shoe implies.  All that cushioning is indeed super protective and extremely comfortable.  What’s more, stability is not compromised by the high stack height given the width of the shoe even though the wide forefoot is somewhat cumbersome when running but fine when walking.  As per specs, the shoe is designed for both runners and walkers and would characterize it as a great fit for those who like a lot of cushioning  but don’t necessarily want to run fast.  


Peter: On the positive side, the midsole is remarkably flexible considering just how much of it there is. The shoe flexes well through the stride. Unfortunately, for me, the overall softness of the midsole robs the ride of efficiency. The shoe is so soft that, for me, I feel like I’m working harder on easy runs than I want to. It is more stable than it looks, as the foot sits down below the outer sidewalls. 


Dominique: The outsole is just as impressive as the midsole in terms of maximizing shock absorption and delivering a cushy feeling.  

Sam: Dominique has it right! Of course lots of rubber and in a configuration which contributes to the cushioning and easy riding vibe. 

Left: More v3      Right: More v4

The firm rear rubber is now more extensive helping with rear stability while the deep groove helps to transition off the heel and this improvement was felt. 

Upfront we also have broader pads and deeper grooves into the midsole as described above. I think the soft rubber and/or in combination the deep grooves go too far in terms of mellowing the toe off feel for me. 

Peter: Not too much to add here. Plenty of rubber and the shoe should last a good long time. 


Dominique: The ride is super cushioned and protective, however, lacks bounciness.  I am not overly enthusiastic about the ride given the width of the shoe which I find to be a bit cumbersome when running.  Also, the shoe is on the heavier side for a trainer and noticeably noisy when pounding the pavement.  I am fine with the width of the shoe when walking and feel good about walking in such protective and comfortable shoes.  

Sam: A lot of shoe here, a lot of softness. I found the ride fine for slower shorter recovery runs as they were so stable and cushioned. The new rear geometry improved the slower pace runs for me as I found the v3 overly soft and heel low unless I picked up the pace. The new front geometry with more flex also assisted in moving things along when paces were slower but maybe due to the additional stack, the softer rubber, and deep grooves  tended to hold things up a bit a faster paces when in the v3 I really could feel the advantages of the stiffer flex and lower stack with the front a bouncier platform. At 10.74 oz / 305g the weight is felt. I question from a ride and weight feel standpoint if both 5mm more platform width and 2mm more stack height were both necessary. I think the same new platform width on the v3 lower stack height might have helped give the ride more pep. 

Peter: Have you ever taken a ride on the shoulders of the Sta-Puf Marshmallow man while he’s walking on sand? Of course you haven’t, that’s not a thing. But if you can imagine that, you might get close to what the More V4 feels like. It’s soft. So soft. Too soft. For me, it robs me of energy and I feel that I’m working too hard on easy runs. There’a a stalled out feeling I get on toe-off that I just don’t love. I have a feeling that if you’re a bigger runner you might really like the cushion, but I can’t be totally sure. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Dominique: The Fresh Foam X More v4 is a well designed running shoe in its own category, namely as a running and walking shoe for people who are looking for a super protective and plush shoe that is extremely comfortable and stable.  I think this  is a shoe designed for runners who tend to run at a slower pace and/or who might benefit from an extra protective midsole where heavier body weight may be a factor.  I am going to keep running in them, and certainly do plenty of walking in them, as they are very comfortable and protective, and will try them on long runs. 

Dominique’s Score: 9/10

Sam: I agree with Dominique’s conclusions. Yet More is a bit too much for me for runs beyond mellow and slow where they were most pleasant. That is OK but I wish the More v4 had a bit more pop and energy to go with its softness, great stability, and superb underfoot and upper comfort. A little bit less of a single minded focus on softness and comfort might improve the ride and value for me. Firmer up front rubber and shallower grooves might be in order. More stack or more width but not both, keeping the excellent new rear geometry might also be a good way to improve the More as would potentially a lighter foam. 

This said If cush is on your radar and you need the mellowest of rides for some or all of your runs (or walks) all in great comfort top to bottom, they can be a solid option.

Sam’s Score: 8.83 /10

Ride: 8.6 Fit 9.2 Value 8.8 Style: 9

Peter: The More V4 is too much more for me. The softness and sheer amount of cushion leave me feeling tired at the end of runs. It’s very comfortable and I may wander around town in it, but I probably won’t run very much in it. The SC Trainer is also a big, cushioned shoe but it ROLLS through the gait cycle and I pick them up for runs nearly every day. I’ll get to this in comparisons, but the More reminds me most of the Nike Invincible 2 and some older Hoka Bondi’s. 

Peter’s score 7/10

Ride 5, Fit 10, Style 7.5


Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Fresh Foam More v3 (RTR Review)

Covered in detail in the review.  If you didn’t mind the lower feeling heel of the v3 and want a bit less shoe, relatively speaking, stay with v3. If you want yet “More” cushion stack and platform width and softer head over to More v4.

Left to Right Outsoles: Endorphin Shift 3, More v4, Bondi 8

Hoka Bondi 8  (RTR Review) (Sam’s Video Review)

Sam: The Bondi 8 is a very close competitor. It weighs almost exactly the same.  It is the OG OG in the max cushion road category dating back to 2011. I actually ran Boston in the original, an interesting but not great idea!  It has a 4mm more stack height and sits on a comparatively “narrower” platform with only its forefoot area wider than More (by 5mm). Unlike the more flexible More it relies on a rocker and an effective one and is a stiffer shoe. The Bondi is a touch firmer and more responsive with better vibration absorption.

Its upper is more locked down, a little denser in feel with a touch less toe box volume and width. I think Hoka, given they also offer wide and extra wide, does a better job with upper fit for my narrower fit than the NB.  I lean towards the OG in this match up

Saucony Endorphin Shift 3 (RTR Review)

Sam: Not known its first two versions for plush but for lots of responsive cushion the Shift 3 gets softer and more flexible and is a close comparison.  The big big difference is weight as it 1.4 oz / 40g lighter  and has 4mm more stack height on a narrower platform. Not quite as stable as More, it is clearly a faster big shoe now softer and closer in feel to the More than before but not as “pillowy” and clearly snappier and more agile. Its upper is of similar mesh but more secure and performance oriented with More clearly roomier all around.  Depends on what you need. If softer, broader, more mellow is it and you don’t care much about weight More, but for utility and faster paces for long runs Shift 3.

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer (RTR Review)

Sam: New Balance other max shoe the SC Trainer is 0.3 oz lighter and sits on a yet higher 45mm heel / 37mm forefoot platform of lighter and livelier FuelCell foam with a higher drop of 8mm vs 4mm for the More. In the mix New Balance’s Energy Arc tech  with tis deeper yet rear groove and carbon plate and sits on a narrower yet stable enough platform.  Its upper is more performance oriented and less plush. If faster running in a big shoe is your goal clearly the Trainer, one of the best of the year and maybe one of the best ever in beyond max cushion fast shoes, right up there with the Tempo Next for me. Clearly different uses and focus for these two as the Trainer is not a great choice for slow and mellow and More not a great choice for uptempo.

Peter: The SC trainer is the ticket for me this year. Fine for uptempo in a pinch, but really shines on long runs, recovery runs and every day runs. It’s heavy (but not quite as heavy as the MOre V4), but rolls through the gait cycle and pops off the toe. It’s also very cushioned and protective, but in a way that doesn’t rob efficiency from the run. I’m a size 11 in both, though the fit of the SC is slightly more dialed in for performance.

The Fresh Foam X More v4 is available now including from our partners below

Nike Zoom X Invincible Run Fk 2 (RTR Review)

Peter: Another highly cushioned mushfest. These shoes are very similar for me. I know some folks who love the Invincible, and if you’re one of those folks, you’re bound to love the More V4 too. Both are shoes I’d rather stand around in to coach my kids than go out on a run in.

Tester Profiles

Peter lives in Austin, Texas and has been a sub 3 hour marathoner as well as a 1:21 half marathoner in recent years

Dominique has run for over 40 years, consistently about 25 miles per week at paces between 10 and 11 minute miles. She races rarely, but always surprises more hard core runners in her age group when she does. She has a 1985 marathon PR of 3:16 in her second marathon which at the time put her on the top 10 Swiss women’s lists. She is the mother of two grown children, both runners post college, and enjoys nordic and alpine skiing, hiking and trekking, and gardening. 

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 65 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2022 will be Sam’s 50th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range if he is lucky, training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
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Anonymous said...

Could you please provide some insight when compared against the latest Nike invincible?

Anonymous said...

Having tried an earlier generation, I felt that they were closing in on enough foam for absorbing the blows. I sort of compare this to a low-profile tire and a taller sidewall. The lower profile sidewall has better handling, the taller tire a better ride. These shoes remind me of monster truck tires. They boarder more on being niche status symbol shoes then practical shoes. Now maybe that's really what NB was going for??

Ben said...

I bought these for walking a few days ago after trying on cloudsurfer (too unstable), 1080 v13 (too warm), ASICS nimbus 26 (very nice). In the store I found the rocker really nice and the stability was excellent. They also weren't quite as mushy as the 1080. Now that I've worn them for a few kms though, they feel quite mushy. I'm currently unsure if I'm gonna like them long term: could go either way. I suspect the nimbus might have been a safer buy, but time will tell.