Trail Shoes

Shoe of the Week: New Balance Fresh Foam More Trail v1

New Balance offers more underfoot for the trail, in a shoe that balances maximal cushioning with stability and ground feel.

New Balance Fresh Foam More Trail v1 Review

Weight: M10.8oz, W 8.9oz

Offset: 4mm (34mm heel / 30mm forefoot)

Price: $165

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Top Line

New Balance Fresh Foam More Trail v1 on wooden table.

New Balance has joined the maximalist movement and gone big with its all-new, cushy More Trail v1, the brand’s thickest Fresh Foam midsole.

What’s New

This shoe is completely new to New Balance’s lineup, taking the Fresh Foam More road shoe to the trails. It employs FRESH FOAMx, New Balance’s data application approach used in the design process to focus the midsole for targeted, precise underfoot cushioning so it is exactly, and only, where needed.

This is the shoe for you if…

New Balance Fresh Foam More Trail v1 eagle-eye shot on wood table

You want to gain trail confidence through muffled impact yet still have some underfoot sensation that isn’t overly muted to help guide your way through rugged terrain.

First Runs

The Fresh Foam More Trail v1 is New Balance’s answer to trail maximalism, the new off-road normal that has swept the category, due largely to the emergence of HOKA’s arsenal of puffy-midsoled shoes. The More Trail takes it up a notch from the Fresh Foam Hierro with a higher volume of cushion yet less weight. 

The More Trail impressed our testers with its performance on trails, where it wasn’t so plush as to numb all underfoot sensation, yet thick enough to prevent push-through intrusions and dampen bone-bruising impact. With its stack height of at least 30mm, the More Trail muffled but didn’t completely eclipse “feel” for the trail. The platform was stable, with the cushioning firm enough to avoid the squishy slop of some max models, while contouring nicely and coddling foot bones.

The outsole held up well, except where there’s a mid-heel cut-out, allowing the Fresh Foam peeking out to get torn up and punctured by rocks and thorns, but primarily as mere cosmetic flesh wounds, as the minor degradation in that area of the shoe doesn’t really cause deterioration or otherwise negatively impact the performance. The outsole rubber’s grip did fine on most all surfaces, including wet rock, and the moderate lugs provide traction on par with most other trail shoes. 

New Balance Fresh Foam More Trail v1.

The synthetic mesh upper is treated with a water repellant that beads well and keeps out snow and slush while still allowing the shoe to drain, eliminating the sensation of running in a bucket that you get with many waterproof shoes. The upper also shields against debris and is burly enough to withstand some abusive scuffs. On the negative side, however, testers suffered pressure pain and abrasion along the lace lines. The fit is small, except for the spacious toe box, so you may want to try these on before purchasing to see if you should go up a half size.

The flex grooves and turned-up toe smoothed out the heel-to-toe roll of the More Trail, especially on ascents, providing an even flow in what might have been a blocky shoe, given the thickness of the midsole. And the Fresh Foam’s resilience held up well on longer trail runs, not deadening like some competitors that rely largely on compacting EVA compositions. On pavement, however, the midsole felt more lethargic, sucking rather than returning energy.

In sum, the More TR is a nice model for those who want more underfoot without losing the feel for the trail.

Visit our friends at Trail Runner for an overview and comparison of most of the trail shoes on the market today.