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New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v2 Review: Is Bigger Better?
By Senior Contributor David Salas

High stack rockered shoes have been gaining a lot of popularity in recent years. In the trail world, this has been a design usually reserved for ultra marathons. The New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v2 aims to balance ultra marathon usage with daily training usage. The weight and ride of the shoe certainly gives this model good appeal for versatile usage, even with road to trail potential.

Price: $164.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 11.6 oz, 329 g (men's size 9), 9.3 oz, 263 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: Not Provided
Drop: 4mm
Classification: Trail Running Shoe


The New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v2 gives the Fresh Foam lovers a solid all terrain option. For having a high stack and rockered geometry, the shoe feels quite nimble and responsive underfoot when running through trail conditions. The Vibram lug design is not the most aggressive but does allow the shoe to lean into a large variety of conditions even including road. The ride underfoot is a highly protective and rockered ride with a surprising amount of bounce at toe off. 


The More Trail v2 fits true to size in my normal Men's 9.5. The heel is normal width, midfoot normal to perhaps slightly narrow, with the forefoot and toe box being normal width. For those used to New Balance fits this may be a tiny bit more narrow than some of their other shoes, though still riding the "normal width" category. I normally find New Balance to run a tad wider than other companies. The material of the upper is a double jacquard mesh and feels pretty plush on foot while still being reinforced well throughout. The material has a very small amount of stretch and locks down pretty well throughout, not requiring a heel lock for me. The tongue is padded and allows you to lace the shoe down well with no issues. I did notice that the shoe would collect some debris from the back swing in looser woodchip like conditions through the heel so perhaps filling in the heel collar slightly may help. 


I was really surprised with the responsiveness of the More Trail v2. The shoe demonstrates a relatively predictable high stack and largely rockered ride but has a nice amount of bounce at the toe off. I think in some part this is due to the larger flex grooves and shallower Vibram lugs. The forefoot has a nice balance of rigidity and flexibility. The ride has maintained well in a good amount of conditions for me including mild to moderate technical trails, soft mulchy trails, and even road. The shoe is a little high for me to feel comfortable in really technical terrain but performs quite well in all other conditions. The ride has maintained well and there is plenty of protection underfoot. I could easily see this being an ultra marathon racing option or daily training option for someone. The shoe is still north of 11 ounces and does run on the heavier end, but feels like it runs much lighter than that. For those that don't mind some weight and would like maximum cushioning and a rocker for runnable trails this may be a shoe worth looking into. 


For being as high stack as it is, the More Trail v2 was surprisingly stable. The bevel on the heel is really well done and the moderate toe spring combined with the flex grooves is done well. The midsole also has sidewall integration with the upper along the medial and lateral aspect of the shoe and does seem to keep a linear moving profile. I like that the medial aspect of the midfoot has outsole coverage as well for this does seem to provide some rigidity and less platform collapse through this region. Upper lockdown is also very good and the foot feels secure when running through trails. With all of this said the shoe still provides a really high stack height and does take some adjusting. Initially my ground feel was slightly altered and I needed to learn how to run in this shoe because of the impaired proprioception. After a couple runs I settled right in.


The New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail V2 is an example of a high stack height rockered trail shoe. This category has been growing a lot of popularity and we have seen some success in the HOKA Speedgoat series as well as the Altra Lone Peak series. There certainly is a little bit of adjustment that one must have once wearing a higher platformed trail shoe due to proprioceptive loss but once adjusted these shoes may work quite well for someone depending on their individual mechanics. Today on the DPT section I want to talk about rocker designs and what they may do for biomechanics. A rocker essentially is a shoe design that integrates a rounded design through both the heel and the forefoot. This creates a rolling sensation when you are either running or walking. For some this geometry can have beneficial effects in unloading the Achilles tendon and the calves at the toe off phase of gait. Sobhani, et al. (2017) found that rockered running shoes compared to standard shoes resulted in decreased plantar flexion moment peak, impulse, as well as decreased work at the ankle joint. However, force cannot be created or destroyed. They also found that the positive work, extension moment peak, and extension moment impulse did indeed increase in the knee concurrently in the stance phases of gait. For those that may lack strength in the calves or lack range of motion in that region, these shoes may work well. It is important to consider forces moving further up the chain though.


Sobhani, S., Heuvel, E., Dekker, R., Postema, K., Kluitenberg, B., Bredeweg, S., & Hijmans, J. (2017). Biomechanics of running with rocker shoes. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 20 (1). 38-44.  

Visit our Sub 2 on the Fresh Foam X More Trail v2 by Matt Klein for details on the rocker.


My main recommendation for the New Balance More Trail v2 is in the heel fit. I did not get heel slippage but I do seem to get pebbles and woodchips collecting in the region a little more often than I would like. It feels like the heel collar may widen slightly at loading response and perhaps just a small lining at the top of the heel cup to pad the calcaneus could also double as a stopper for debris. The shoe does still lean on the heavier end and any efforts to reduce weight further would also benefit the shoe, as it is still a tad heavier than some of the other high stack shoes on the market. 


The New Balance More Trail v2 is for someone looking to have high stack and rockered ride that runs really well on both trail and road. The Vibram lugs on the More Trail v2 are a little more shallow than say, the Speedgoat, but does run smoother when in surface packed situations like road or fire road. If you don't need to run in highly technical terrain and looking for something rockered still having decent traction, it could provide a nice alternative to a shoe similar to the Speedgoat where the lugs are much more aggressive. The More Trail v2 does run heavy being north of 11 ounces and so the runner must not mind a little bit of added weight either.


Fit: B+ (Good dialed in fit throughout, however debris always finds a way into the heel for me.)
A- (A tad heavy but highly responsive and bouncy toe off for the weight and geometry, a well done maximum stack height rockered trail shoe)
Stability: B+ (Very high stack that does impair ground feel some but other features like geometry and traction/outsole placement does seem to help)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (I like introducing elements like the medial aspect midfoot outsole coverage, deep flex grooves on a high stack rockered shoe, and good sidewall integration)
Personal: A- (I really enjoyed my time with the More Trail v2. The shoe is a little heavy but the transitions are really nice throughout and work well as a good road to trail shoe)
Overall: B+/A- (A well done high stack and rockered shoe for the trails. The Vibram outsole provides pretty good traction throughout without having overly aggressive lugs.)

Price: $164.95 at Running Warehouse

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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at New Balance and Running Warehouse for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run run as well as a warm up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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