Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Odlo Running Zeroweight Jackets Reviews: Pro Warm Reflect, Dual Dry Waterproof

 Article by Adam Glueck, Jeff Valliere, and Sam Winebaum

We love Odlo at RoadTrailRun. This Norwegian heritage now Swiss based brand is known for their base layers for all seasons which equip many national ski teams. But they don't just leave it at base layers as we found out in our intensive testing of the their run focused jackets.

Men's ZEROWEIGHT PRO WARM REFLECT Running Jacket ($190)

Sunday, February 28, 2021

New Balance Fresh Foam More Multi Tester Review

Article by Jeff Beck and Sam Winebaum

New Balance Fresh Foam More v3 ($165)


Jeff: The Fresh Foam More has been New Balance’s attempt to make a Hoka trainer - and not one of the pared down Hokas like the Clifton or Rincon, welcome to Bondi Country. Unapologetically cushioned, the FFMv3 gets closer to that dream than either of its two predecessors, by taking it’s already well-cushioned sibling the 1080 and adding even more to the midsole. The result is one of the softest shoes on the market, with a pillowy midsole made to pamper the legs and feet during the run. If you’ve been looking for the softest shoe around, this shoe needs to be up for consideration..

Sam: The More is clearly New Balance’s most massively cushioned trainer with a giant 29mm forefoot / 33mm heel stack height. It is well named! 

Quite frankly it is a model I struggled with in its first two editions. Version 1 was flat and ponderous. Version 2 improved the ride with more flex but its thin engineered mesh upper was quite crude in feel for a $160 shoe. It had a minimal molded heel counter which help reduce weight to an admirable 9.25 oz for what is a giant stack but it wasn’t quite as smooth running or polished as I would like, even for a giant stack shoe not to speak of a premium priced one. 

More v3  gets a soft engineered mesh upper, a real heel counter, a yet wider platform, an increased rocker, and a far more zonal outsole pattern than the slab like outsoles of prior versions. The weight returns to the reasonable 10 oz / 284 g weight of the original in my US size 9 sample. Fearing an overly soft and mushy ride I went into the testing with some trepidation but came out very pleased with the update. Please read on to find out more!

Women’s launch colorway


Massive cushion Sam/Jeff

Inherent stability from broad platform Sam/Jeff

Very decent weight to cushion ratio Sam/Jeff

Upper worthy of a $165 premium shoe Sam

Smooth and fast for such a broad, massive, soft and bouncy shoe. Sam


Gains weight (0.75 oz ) but still only 10 oz  Sam

Requires a few runs of break in for flex to get past the broad midfoot  Sam

Inherent stability is overdone for me but those seeking a non posted approach will be very happy.  Jeff

Tons of soft squish but very little rebound/bounce back   Jeff


Weight: men's 10 oz  / 284g (US9)  /  women's 8.7 oz / 246 g  (US8)

  Samples: men’s 10 oz / 284g (US9) | 10.9 / 308g (US10.5)

                  women’s: 8.7 oz / 246 g (US8)

More v2 weighed 9.25 oz / 262g (US9)

Stack Height: 29mm forefoot / 33mm heel (4mm drop)

Available May 2021. $165

Tester Profiles

Jeff B. is the token slow runner of the RTR lineup as such his viewpoints on shoe and gear can differ from those who routinely finish marathons in three hours or less. Jeff runs 40 miles per week, both roads and desert trails in Phoenix, Arizona. He has a PR's of 4:07 marathon and 5K at 23:39. In December 2019 he raced his first 50 mile trail ultra. 

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 63 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 48 years and has a 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range 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.

First Impressions and Fit

Jeff: “It’s like the 1080 got stung by a bee.” There’s no denying it, the Fresh Foam More v3 (or FFMv3) is nearly the spitting image of its much more popular little brother (RTR Review), just much, much bigger as it has 3mm more heel stack and 7mm more forefoot stack and is a 4mm drop shoe vs the 8mm drop 1080 . 

New Balance may have recently learned the phrase “bigger is better” because they leaned hard into bigger. I reviewed the 1st iteration of the FFM, and it was an interesting shoe in a number of ways - big stack but pretty firm - this shoe is very different. There’s no ambiguity here, the FFMv3 doesn’t try for high performance, it’s all about the comfort.

Sam: Massive in appearance with a giant stack height and broader platform, my More is in shades of blue with yellow highlights which are similar to the 880v11 and has a similar yet softer and very pliable feel to the thin upper mesh. Deluxe! 

This pleasant feeling and fitting new upper is in sharp contrast to the rough and kind of crude feel of More v2’s thin engineered mesh upper, gusset tongue to hold it to the foot and its mostly un padded molded heel and collars 

The molded front of the tongue and cord loops for two of the eyelets are nice luxe highlights. I wondered how the tongue would stay put in such a soft upper with no gusset tongue in the mix. 

The stack height appearance is toned down by a lighter blue at the top of the midsole which is also used to highlight the corded lace loops. All in all the look and feel is luxurious and seems worthy of its now $165 price tag ($5 more than v2).

I was sent a half size up from my normal US8.5 and while the fit is fine I would stay true to size in a next pair. 

My first run was not great. The broad midfoot platform was really noticed and seemed to get in the way of transitions. This changed to a smooth flow and no sense of an overly broad midfoot by the 3d run as the More got some flex.


Jeff: The best uppers disappear on the foot, and this one is nearly transparent in that regard. New Balance got this one right. The heel cup is nicely shaped (something I no longer take for granted after the 1080v11), midfoot hold is good, toebox is plenty wide and tall, the tongue is well cushioned without feeling bulky, and it’s breathable enough. I don’t have any gripes about the upper, every element works well. 

Sam:  I agree with Jeff above. 

A mighty fine premium upper here with the crude and rough feeling v2's and minimal heel counter replaced by a very soft engineered mesh and a stout and comfortable heel counter and collars.

My only gripe is some tongue rotation for my narrower right foot. Given how soft and pliable the upper is,  I think the More might benefit from either a gusset or moving  the lace holder loop up for narrower feet. 


Jeff: It’s big, it’s wide, it’s soft. There has never been this much FreshFoam X put underneath the foot, and the result is exactly what you think it might be. Few shoes are this soft, yet, I don’t believe many runners will have stability complaints. The platform width takes care of that, as well as a substantial rubber outsole strip along the medial side of the midfoot. 

It’s not a post by any means, but it’s much more structured than the lateral side. Many of the other big-volume/high-stacked shoes that have been on the market for the last few years create a stable platform with a firmer midsole material. New Balance went soft and squishy, with the right placement of rubber to combat any issues.

Sam: Indeed very wide on the ground, soft and squishy with yet more platform width than v2. The More has truly bottomless forgiving cushion.

While I don’t think the Fresh Foam X is softer than v2’s foam, the more zonal rubber vs the near full coverage outsole of the prior version clearly makes the shoe softer and more flexible. 

More v2 outsole

And softer and more flexible than the 1080v11 which while lower stack also has the more full coverage outsole. 

The inherent stability is there but in no way noticed, after the first couple runs that is until the shoe starts to get a long flex with a distinct near midfoot quite snappy flex point, nice.

The medial side stability (above) is achieved by the broad platform but also through the use of large convex shapes on the medial midsole sidewalls with the lateral (below) having large laser engraved concave ones for some give. Classic Fresh Foam geometry amplified here I found the combination highly effective. 

This is the bounciest and softest Fresh Foam trainer I have tested. It is not super, super bouncy as say the Invincible or Rebel v2 but it is very pleasant and noticeable in its energy “return” particularly as the pace picks up (for me 9:20 per mile and below) when the shoe flexes just ahead of midfoot and you are off the heel. In a more muted, broader and considerably more stable way it reminds me somewhat of the bounce of the Skechers Max Road at faster paces. 

I did not find the softness energy sapping or overdone although at slower paces it is a bit more ponderous in feel with the heel feeling lower but not nearly as low feeling as the Skechers Max Road at the same heel to toe drop I think due to the More's wrap around bulging heel geometry.


Jeff: The outsole has a mixture of exposed midsole and segmented rubber. In theory that helps the shoe with flexibility, but the massive midsole stack is the bigger part of that equation. What the outsole does provide is pretty good traction, with sticky rubber that wasn’t slippery, even on wet pavement. Unfortunately, like many other shoes it has exposed midsole along the lateral side of the midfoot, right where I tend to land, so in time I could see that being a premature failure point for me - but if you aren’t a midfoot supinator it shouldn’t be an issue for you.

Sam: Finally a segmented more zonal outsole from New Balance in this model and in a Fresh Foam trainer. The full coverage outsoles contributed to stiffness and early on excessive firmness in just about every model. Not only does this zonal outsole help keep the weight in check but I think it clearly also contributes to the bounce and flex of the shoe compared to the stiffer, harder to move earlier More’s full coverage outsole which tried to get more flex through some grooves. 


Jeff: This is where the shoe is lacking for me, because it’s soft and squishy, but that’s it. There’s very little bounce to it, and the gait cycle feels incomplete. Especially coming right on the heels of the Nike Invincible (it’s legendary bounce is so pronounced it makes many other shoes feel flat), the lack of response in this shoe is disappointing. As a result, it’s a great shoe when you want to run especially slow and easy, because anything more than that feels like trying to hammer in a nail with the handle of a screwdriver.

Sam: Strange...I disagree with Jeff for a change. While a bit ponderous at easy paces when I get to my slower to moderate tempo paces (sub 9 minute miles down to higher 7’s), the shoe comes alive with lots of bounce to go with great forefoot stability. With a 4mm drop and the very broad platform getting a long flex early is vital to keep the shoe from being ponderous and here New Balance pulled it off very well and especially so at  faster paces. 

A super fun ride. I agree with Jeff that the More is not the most responsive-usually response for me is brought on by outsole rubber coverage and firmness as well as midsole firmness. New Balance tried for more response in the v2 (through the outsole coverage) and for me it didn’t work as well as the bounce here with the new more segmented outsole in the mix. It is unusual for me that such a massively cushioned shoe can serve multiple purposes but this one does from daily training to moderate tempo although I would reach for something firmer for more back on the heels recovery runs (due mainly to the low drop and broad platform)  and for faster tempo runs say the mighty fine Rebel v2 (RTR Review) and for longer runs the TC.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Jeff: The Fresh Foam More v3 is a major step forward from previous iterations of the Fresh Foam More, but it lacks the versatility to make it regular big mileage daily trainer. The upper is well designed and executed, and the midsole is soft with tons of squish, creating a soft ride. My issue is that it’s too soft of a ride, and creates a very niche role for this shoe - a few recovery miles the day after a marathon - and that’s it. I’m usually the one clamoring for a softer and more protected ride, but in this case, too much of a good thing is still too much. And with a $165 price tag, that’s a lot of money for a very limited shoe.

Jeff’s Score 7.8 / 10

Ride: 7 (50%) Fit: 10 (30%) Value: 6 (15%) Style: 8 (5%)

Sam: With a superb deluxe upper truly worthy of its premium pricing, a soft, bouncy and fast ride with endless cushion and enough flex (from the geometry and outsole) to get past the inherent stability and with a more pronounced and effective rocker, the More v3 is a very fine update which at long last puts the model squarely in the top tier of the max cushion game, with both daily training and recovery run capabilities, all at a weight of barely over  10 oz.  

Neutral runners (such as I am) should have no problem with the “inherent stability” from the broader platform (after a few runs of break in and particularly as pace picks up) while those seeking a postless, gimmick less stability option should find decent stability here. Heavier runners may struggle with the softness. I weigh about 165 lbs and tend to heel strike but only momentarily.

At $165 they are up there in price for a single slab of foam type shoe even though you do get a lot of fine Fresh Foam X for the money!  I do wonder if the increased platform width and its weight (although we are still barely over 10oz) is worth it, at least for me as a more neutral runner. For stability purposes and narrower feet such as mine a bit more upper support might also be a relatively minor improvement.

Sam’s Score: 9.2 / 10 

Ride: 9.4 (50%) Fit: 9.2  (30%) Value: 8.5 (15%) Style: 9 (5%)


Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

New Balance 1080v11 (RTR Review)

Jeff:There might not be a clearer Big Brother/Little Brother lineup in the running shoe world than these two. Similar construction materials, even looks, they can be a solid 1-2 punch of every day trainer (1080) and easy day recovery shoe (FFM). Not for me, the shape of the heel of the 1080v11 changed just enough from the v10 to make it painful to run in, but the v10 is a solid daily trainer.

Sam: The More is.. more shoe than the 1080 while based on a similar rocker based geometry and Fresh Foam midosole  It has a better fit with no minimal molded heel counter. At 30/22 stack for the 1080 vs. 33 /29 for the More is more (that word again) cushioned, softer and bouncier, with a bit easier and longer flex and toe off in large part which I think is due to its longer rocker from its segmented outsole. The 1080 never inspired me much and sits in between max cushion and more agile daily trainer while the More is resolutely big cush (recovery)  with the ability to move along (daily training).

adidas Ultraboost 21 (RTR Review)

Jeff: The dual of big stack high-dollar flawed daily trainers. The UB21 downfall is the geometry (and the extreme weight, but that’s not my gripe) and placement of a plastic plate just inside of the outsole, the FFMv3 is ultimately too soft. In this battle? Go FFMv3, at least the easy runs will be enjoyable.

Sam: So much heavier the UB 21… I don’t mind its aggressive stiff geometry and firmer ride at all but the weight at 2.7 oz more than More  is the showstopper in this comparison. 

Hoka Bondi 7 (RTR Review)

Hard to have a list of comparisons without the original “No compromises/tons of cushion” running shoe. They have the same 29/33 stack height, but the the Bondi 7 weighs 1.4 oz / 40 g more, and while Hoka has some interesting midsole materials, the current Bondi, especially compared to the FFMv3, feels a little dated. Not to mention, it’s still a Hoka toebox, so at best it’s...okay. The FFMv3 is softer, and has a better platform - if you want pure cushioning, there’s a new king of the hill, and has a giant N on the side.

Brooks Glycerin 19  (RTR Review)

Jeff: While the Brooks doesn’t have nearly the stack height of the NB, it is almost as soft and plush as the FFM - but it has a great bounce to it. The Glycerin 19 is one of the best big daily trainers ever made, and brings much more versatility than the FFM.

Mizuno Wave Sky Neo (RTR Review)

Jeff: Both big cushion premium trainers, but they come at it from different angles. NB is softer and has a looser fitting upper, but bottoms out. Mizuno, true to form, is firmer, more responsive, but heavier. If you want exclusively an easy day shoe, hard to go wrong with the FFM, but if you want an easy day shoe that can also be an everyday trainer, check out the WSN.

Nike React Infinity Flyknit 2 (RTR Review)

Jeff: Released last year, the React Infinity has a litany of issues for me - major arch pressure and heel slip are the majors - and while I’d prefer a more versatile shoe in the FFM, it takes the cake for me over the problematic Nike.

Sam: Same as Jeff. The long side rails on both sides of the Infinity are supposed to stabilize the knees more than the feet (pronations) on what is already a broad platform. The rails and especially the lateral side ones are are in the way of transitions for me, and noticeably so.  More delivers some stability for my neutral needs with a touch of stability far more elegantly. No contest.

Nike ZoomX Invincible Flyknit (RTR Review)

Jeff: If you have been paying attention to various social media platforms, you’ve likely seen me making a lot of noise about just how good this shoe is. It’s virtually as soft and plush as the FFM, but there’s a bounce back that happens right as you bottom out that makes it an incredible shoe for virtually all paces, instead of the Lincoln Town Car designed for leisurely Sunday strolls. No comparison, the Invincible is in a different class for only a $15 increase in price.

Sam: The Invincible is softer, springier, and essentially as cushioned at about the same weight. It has a super fun and exciting ride which the More doesn’t quite deliver as decisively. Invincible’s upper isn’t quite as polished but is a touch more secure. It relies on a far forward very flexible and soft final toe off, while More has a long rocker with a further to the rear flex point. Invincible is more dynamic and exciting if you don’t need the touch of stability the More can provide. 

Saucony Endorphin Shift (RTR Review)

Jeff: This one’s a bit of a wildcard - the Endorphin Shift is very similar stack height to the FFM, but very firm with a pronounced rocker. I normally prefer a softer shoe, but the Endorphin Shift works, and works well for most runs, though not great for the super easy stuff that the FFM excels at.

Sam: Jeff describes the match up and differences well. I prefer the Shift quick and snappy final toe off and yet superior heel area stability. The More’s advantage is its softer bouncier feel at moderately fast paces while Shift’s more responsive feel, consistent stride after stride rolling geometry and firmer midsole makes it a better choice for longer hard runs. 

Saucony Triumph 18 (RTR Review)

Jeff: Saucony’s other high stacked trainer, the Triumph uses their more premium midsole material, PWRRUN+ and the cushioning is very effective. The FFM has a much softer forefoot, which is more comfortable, but doesn’t have the same smooth ride the T18 has. 

Sam: I find the 1 ounce heavier T18 flat feeling and ponderous in comparison to the More.

The Fresh Foam More v3 releases May 2021

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. No other compensation was received by RTR or the authors from New Balance. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
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Saturday, February 27, 2021

ON Running Cloudswift 2021 Multi Tester Review: Always Very Fine Looking, Finally Very Fine Running!

Article by Michael Ellenberger, Sally Reiley, and Sam Winebaum

ON Cloudswift 2021 ($150)


Sam: ON a Swiss company has stuck to its original DNA as the brand’s popularity has grown tremendously in recent year and especially for stylish athleisure uses. That DNA includes:

  • Beautiful highly engineered uppe which are clearly “Swiss Engineered”

  • The “Speedboard” a semi rigid full length plate that has been less about creating a rocker effect and more to prescribe the gait towards a mid foot type of strike and flow

  • Of course the distinctive CloudTec see through Cloud elements which deform and return under load.

I have found almost all ON I have tested to be quite firm, stiff, and not quite frankly not much fun to run for this heel striker with a “locked in” gait that didn’t always want to be redirected the “ON Way “. My favorite ON to date was the original Cloud X with its firm fast feel for short distances, followed by v1 of the Cloudswift which brought a more rockered profile into the mix.

The Cloudswift 1 with its more pronounced actual rocker geometry was more to my liking but was still firm, especially at the heel, and not as smooth flowing as I would like yet it was the best ON trainer for me to that point but not a great one or one I reached for much at all after review testing.

ON kindly offered free samples of the 2nd edition of the Cloudswift to the RTR and in their email described changes they thought we would appreciate: 

“ I think you'll be happy with the updates as they address some of your cons with the first gen: lighter weight, more cushion, an even more pronounced rocker, and an integrated tongue and upper for a sock-like fit (which also happens to be 100% recycled mesh). 

Just like the original Cloudswift the second-gen is designed for our city runners - built for high impact on hard surfaces. Temperature resistant Helion foam combats hot/cold conditions while rubber reinforcements provide traction when it's wet. 

The SS21 model also features enhanced forefoot cushioning, a re-engineered Speedboard (greater flex in the heel and a more rigid mid/forefoot for a snappy response), and an updated design and colorway. “

This all sounded great but examining the shoe it looked almost identical to the original so I wondered if these changes would actually be significant enough to make a difference in ride feel or fit. Time to test!

Michael: Newton was once heralded as the most polarizing running brand - I’d hypothesize that ON has now usurped that opposition, with dynamic, often fashionable offerings that run well, but turn off many athletes who want a more “traditional” profile. ON’s move into the elite running world - hiring Dathan Ritzenhein to build the ON Athletics Club (“OAC”) - was a distinct move to counteract their reputation as a fashion-first brand. I loved last year’s CloudSwift and where I felt it fell short - the laces and the upper - have been totally overhauled by the team at ON for 2021, as if they listened directly to my feedback. The result? You’ll have to read to learn it all, but man - this is a rock-solid trainer.


  • 100% recycled upper is snug comfortable; nearly the best I’ve tried  Michael/Sam/Sally
  • Speedboard provides a nice “boost,” without getting in your way All Testers
  • Helion midsole remains one of the best available, especially in cold weather Michael
  • More cushioned at the heel, more forgiving, easier to transition/toe off than v1 Sam
  • Uniquely ON styling with a beautifully engineered great looking upper Sally
  • Comfortable and attractive for everyday athleisure wear Sally


  • Especially in winter, the flaws of the exposed midsole and Cloud elements are clear (ice, rocks, slush, salt) Michael 
  • A slightly more flexible profile may improve peppiness underfoot Michael/Sam 
  • Helion foam could use a bit more rebound and be slightly softer and the Speedboard could be a touch more flexible Sam/Sally


Estimated Weight: men's 9.9 oz / 281g (US9,) 8.5 oz / 241 g  (US8

men 9.63 oz  /  273g (US 8.5)   /  (US    /  (US

women  8.5 oz / 241 g  (US8)    /  (US

Sample US8.5 Cloudswift 1 weighed 10 oz /  283g

Drop: 7mm

Available now. $150