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New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4: Stable Max Cushioning!
By Matthew Klein, David Salas, and Andrea Myers

While Hoka may have made the concept of maximal stack running shoes more mainstream, other brands are catching up. The New Balance Fresh Foam More series has been a significant standout in the maximal shoe world just on size alone. Its prior designs were somewhat clunky and never quite attained the traction necessary for many people to talk about. The Fresh Foam X More v4 turns that completely around with a complete overhaul that creates an incredible maximal shoe that is highly cushioned, smoothed, runs lighter than expected, and is extremely comfortable. Unlike previous versions, the More v4 is one that MORE people should be talking about. 

Price: $149.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 10.4 oz, 295 g (men's size 9), 8.4 oz, 238 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: Not Provided
Drop: 4mm
Classification: Maximal Stack Height Daily Trainer/Running Shoe


Matt: The New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 is a maximal stack height/cushioned stable neutral daily trainer for long road miles. A ton of Fresh Foam X midsole sits underfoot providing a cushioned, but resilient/response ride underfoot that bounces and rolls along well. A wider upper sits on top with a lower volume, providing width and security at the same time. Well-integrated high sidewalls and sole flare provided a guided ride without being intrusive. The Fresh Foam X More v4 is an excellent daily trainer and long-run shoe that can comfortably eat up miles on the road.

David: The New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 is a maximum cushioned daily trainer that provides a plush underfoot feel in combination with decent stability. The shoe uses a lot of sole flaring throughout the platform to create a trusted amount of surface area underfoot. The upper has good security as well. The result is a maximal cushioned training shoe for clicking off easy miles.

Andrea: The New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 is a max stack, highly cushioned, and low drop daily trainer. It has a wide base that runs the entire length of the shoe, which contributes a decent amount of stability to its cushioned ride. I have really enjoyed running in the shoe as my marathon training has ramped up, as it provides a soft ride that does not bottom out or feel unstable. This shoe is a great easy day option when your feet and legs needs maximal protection and cushioning from the pavement.

SIMILAR SHOES: Hoka Bondi 8, Saucony Endorphin Shift 3, On Cloudmonster


Matt: The Fresh Foam X More v4 fits me true to size length-wise in my normal men's US Size 10. The width is normal to wide with a wider forefoot and a normal heel and midfoot. The height is fairly low in the forefoot, which almost made it feel short initially. This combined with a quick taper on the lateral toebox did give me blistering on my 3 and 4th toes the first 30-40 miles. This has since stopped as the upper as finally broken in, but additional lacing at the front of the shoe may be necessary to open the toe box more.

Security-wise I did not have much trouble. My feet stayed fairly secure although I had to tie down the laces at the midfoot for a secure fit. I did not have to lack lock the shoe, but after 80 miles in these would encourage people to lace lock the heel just for additional security. The tongue is not gusseted but is secured by the laces. The heel and heel collar are well padded with fairly flexible heel counter. The counter is flexible enough and the collar is cushioned enough that I had no issues with the counter. Those sensitive to them should be fine, but should still try these on first. The flexible counter is barely needed given how high the rearfoot sidewalls are and my heels felt well secure. Overall, a solid upper that is comfortable, but the toebox needed some time to break in.

David: The More v4 fits true to size in my men's 9.5. The mesh material of the upper is cozy and pretty comparable with the softness and sock like feeling of the previous New Balance models like the Vongo and 1080. The volume throughout the shoe is normal to slightly snug. The upper integrates well with the sidewalls and midsole and provides good security throughout. The width is normal through the heel and midfoot and slightly wide in the forefoot. The tongue is padded moderately and allows for good lockdown from the laces. It runs a little on the warm side, but is decently comfortable throughout. A good upper overall that provides quality security for such a tall, rockered shoe.

Andrea: The More v4 fits true to size in my usual women's 9.5. It is a little shorter and narrower in the toe box as compared to the 9.5 Beacon, but not so much that I would want to go up 1/2 size. The mesh upper is soft and has a little bit of stretch to it, and I found it to be both comfortable and breathable. I did not have any big toe irritation from the sidewalls (as I often do in HOKAs) and I liked the feeling of my foot sitting deeper in the shoe instead of on top of it. There is a flexible heel counter and a moderately padded heel collar that I also found comfortable and non-intrusive. The tongue is not gusseted, but is partially held in place by a lace loop over the midfoot. I did have to be careful when putting the shoe on to ensure that the edge of the tongue did not fold over due to the lack of gusseting, but this was not a major issue. The combination of the flexible and padded rearfoot, the mesh upper, and the sidewalls makes the shoe feel like it hugs the foot. I was very pleased with the fit and quality of lockdown of the More v4. 


Matt: The New Balance Fresh Foam More v4 is a maximal stack height, highly-rockered, surprisingly bouncy daily trainer. The Fresh Foam X midsole is both cushioned and resilient, meaning it bounces back as you load it. This makes the ride fun, lively, and feels like it is lighter than its listed 10.4 oz weight (men's size 9). The foam works well with the highly rockered geometry. There is a large heel bevel that is slightly posterior, providing an incredibly smooth heel transition. The roll off the front of the shoe is also extremely smooth thanks to the longer forefoot rocker that also features some mild flexibility. There is a 4mm drop, which is noticeable upon initial try but the rocker and geometry take press off the calf muscles and Achilles tendon. Although it feels lighter and bouncier than it is listed, the New Balance Fresh Foam More v4 is best for daily miles and long runs. It feels best hitting a consistent pace over long periods and is a shoe that easily eats up miles. The durability of this shoe matches its function. I have over 80 miles in my pair and while there is some wear, the outsole is still intact. The foam has broken in and actually feels better with additional miles. Thus, the New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 is a smooth-riding, maximal shoe with excellent durability for longer/easy miles.

David: The More V4 is an interesting shoe for the maximalist category. The geometry is similar to other rockered shoes before it, though the usage of sole flaring is much different in the More V4. The More V4 has more sole flaring through the forefoot than probably any shoe I have run in. The shoe does feel pretty stable on foot throughout because of this. The Fresh Foam X midsole is really soft underfoot, but does maintain its structure well under load. The shoe has a lot of sidewall integration on top of the sole flaring. This does keep you feeling pretty centered on the shoe throughout the gait cycle. There is a lot of shoe going on with the More V4 though. For me, this is exclusively an easy day shoe due to all of the components going on. The shoe feels smooth at easy paces on the road, but its a little much for me on other surfaces. I notice that the combination of large sole flaring laterally and large sidewalls reproduce a little bit of fibular irritation for me distally on the outside of my foot and ankle if I'm running for long periods of time or in any surface off road. The Fresh Foam X midsole is a solid daily training midsole and I think this shoe will agree with a lot of people. For me, it is a little too much though in most categories. 

Andrea: The More v4 is one of the best maximalist shoes that I have tried in the past couple of years. I really dislike shoes that are so soft that I feel like I am running on marshmallows. If I run in a highly cushioned shoe, I want the midsole to have some responsiveness and structure. The More v4 is one of the best examples of the type of maximalist shoe I prefer. In addition to the more resilient midsole, the geometry of the shoe contributes to a stable, but not overly rockered ride. The lateral sole flare works well for me because it helps me to not land so severely on my lateral midfoot and transition more smoothly to push off. I prefer lower drop shoes and I really like the way the 4mm drop and heel bevel make midfoot landings feel natural. There is toe spring in the More v4, but it has a more gradual feel and I wasn't particularly aware of it while running.

The More v4 is definitely an easy run shoe for me. I have enjoyed using it for both easy runs and long cool downs after workouts. At 8.4 oz for a women's size 8, it does not feel heavy when running and could be used for easy long runs if someone wanted to use a max cushioned shoe. I was happy to see that extensive rubber coverage on the outsole, which should help the More v4 last for many miles. I have 40 miles on my pair and there is minimal outsole wear. It has been dry here in Connecticut so I have not had the chance to test it on wet roads, but the outsole appears that it would provide decent traction. The shoe is quite stable on turns, likely due to the wide base and rubber coverage.


Matt: The New Balance Fresh Foam More v4 is the definition of a highly stable neutral shoe. There are tall sidewalls on the medial and lateral sides of the midfoot that provide a high level of guidance. There are additional sidewalls that wrap around the heel, further keeping the heel centered. There is a large amount of sole flare to the sole along the length of the shoe. There is more medial sole flare than lateral, but both keep the foot centered. The shape of the shoe is also fairly wide. The midfoot does not narrow and there is a solid guidance line through the heel and part of the midfoot. The rockered sole combined with the mildly flexible forefoot do a great job with all the other components to keep the foot rolling forward. These elements are not intrusive and do a fantastic job of keeping the foot centered and guided forward.

David: The Fresh Foam More V4 runs pretty stable throughout for a high stack rockered shoe. The shoe has a lot of inherent stiffness to the platform thanks to the sheer amount of foam and how resilient it is with holding its structure. It also has a lot of sole flaring through the forefoot and the reafoot. The cross sectional area underfoot is much higher than most shoes I run in. The sidewalls are well integrated and do give you a sense of support and guidance throughout the gait cycle. The outsole has decent traction with a little bit of a flatter grooved design. The material has some give to it and help make this shoe feel soft, but sturdy.

Overall the shoe does ride really stable throughout for a maximalist shoe, but it almost feels like it is too much for me. When running in areas where I'm making a lot of turns or have varying terrain I notice that my foot and ankle are probably moving more than the materials in the shoe. Because of this I get a little bit of irritation on the lateral aspect of my foot. For road conditions the shoe runs plenty stable, though I would like it a little more compliant for other services. 

The New Balance Fresh FoamX More v4 contains many great examples of non-traditional stability features. The wide base, sole flare, sidewalls, and rearfoot and forefoot rockers contribute to a secure, stable, and centered ride. The increased resiliency of the midsole contributes to greater stability throughout stance phase. The lateral sole flaring may help runners like myself who tend to land excessively on the lateral aspect of the foot. Overall, I think the More v4 is an excellent example of a stable neutral maximalist shoe.


Guidance in the More v4
By Matt Klein

We talk about guidance frequently on Doctors of Running. It is not that stability shoes are bad, it is just that guidance-based designs tend to work better for a larger variety of people. Many stability shoes still follow the older pronation-based schools of thought. These are not wrong, but only work for a certain population. We know that stability shoes reduce injury risk in those with a history of pronation-related injuries, but do not for others (Willems et al,. 2021). For those that have movements that stray too far or they do not have enough control of in other directions, the pronation paradigm does not work. Dr. Benno Nigg's Preferred Movement Pathway paradigm has suggested that most people will move in a unique way, often regardless of the shoe they are put in (Nigg et al., 2017). That would suggest that the best shoe should help guide their mechanics forward, rather than forcing them in certain directions. That is where our basis for "guidance" based shoes come from.

The New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 does one of the best jobs I (Matt) have seen. There are tall sidewalls in the midfoot, with additional sidewalls in the rearfoot to both cup and guide the foot forward. These exist on both the medial and lateral side, so the goal is to gently easy you forward rather than side to side. The sole flaring is also well done where it provides a wider base. Though the sole is soft as it compresses, the width helps guide you in no matter where you land. While there are several other fantastic components, the midfoot sidewalls are larger than any I have seen. I was worried about blisters with them being this tall, but had no issue and felt extremely comfortable no matter what mile or hour I was hitting.

While I do not think everyone needs a stability shoe (most people probably do not unless they have a history of pronation-related injury and have not adequately or chosen to ease themselves back to neutral footwear or have an acute irritation), many people may benefit from some inherent guidance. The whole purpose of guidance is to help runners get forward. Sidewalls, which are present in the majority of maximal shoes, are an excellent way to do this. Midsole geometry is another, through the bevel (heel rocker), shape of the shoe and the forefoot rocker/toe spring or flexibility. New Balance nailed these components on the Fresh Foam X More v4. My immediate thought after breaking these in is that many people who stand for long periods, especially those doing so on hard surfaces, may love a shoe like this. It is stable, well-rockered, cushioned and has adequate room (there are wides if you need them). For others, this is a fantastic shoe for long runs because it can guide you when you fatigue while still rolling/mildly bouncing you along. Maximal shoes have come a long way since they really hit the market a decade ago. I am excited about where they are and where shoe design will continue to go.


Nigg, B. M., Vienneau, J., Smith, A. C., Trudeau, M. B., Mohr, M., & Nigg, S. R. (2017). The Preferred Movement Path Paradigm: Influence of Running Shoes on Joint Movement. 
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise49(8), 1641–1648.

Willems, T. M., Ley, C., Goetghebeur, E., Theisen, D., & Malisoux, L. (2021). Motion-Control Shoes Reduce the Risk of Pronation-Related Pathologies in Recreational Runners: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial. 
The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy51(3), 135–143.


Matt: I have continued to enjoy the More v4 to a greater degree the more I wear them. The guidance is excellent without being intrusive. The ride still has some bounce and makes rolling through miles easy. The upper is the only thing I would suggest making some changes on. While the width was fairly good, I found the toebox height to be a little low with a quick taper on my 4th toe. This has gone away after breaking the shoe in, but I had some solid blisters on my 3rd and 4th toes the first 30-40 miles. My major suggestions would be to round the toe box a little more, increase the height a little over the toebox and gusset the tongue. I did not feel like I was slipping, but wonder if mild amounts occurred that contributed to what I mentioned above. Sole design was excellent and I would encourage New Balance to continue on this path as this series has gone from fairly mediocre/boring to one of the top trainers of the year.

David: For me the More V4 does have a pretty fluid ride throughout, though I would like it to be a tad more compliant medially and laterally. The main reason is that I could take this on surfaces that aren't just road without discomfort. The shoe almost feels a little blocky when taking it in more unstable conditions. 

Andrea: I have really enjoyed running in this shoe. The only minor recommendation I have would be to at least partially gusset the tongue to improve the overall fit of the upper. 


Matt:  The New Balance Fresh Foam More v4 is a stable neutral, maximally cushioned long run/daily training shoe for those who want an excellent shoe for eating up miles. A slightly wider upper with a low toe box sits up top, which provides plenty of room but the toebox height takes some time to break in. Thus, those with wider feet may do well if they give time for the toebox to break in. A well-cushioned, rockered and highly stable sole sit underfoot, keeping you fresh and rolling/bouncing in the right direction for miles. The midfoot sidewalls go extremely high and the shoe itself is incredibly stable. This makes for an excellent shoe is someone cannot handle stability shoes but still needs something stable. The durability is fantastic, making for an excellent long run or long day shoe. So for those looking for a stable maximal shoe that can consistently and smoothly get you through many long and easy miles, the Fresh Foam More v4 is worth a look.

David: The New Balance Fresh Foam More V4 is a maximal cushioned daily training shoe for those looking to have good cross sectional area underfoot and sidewalls through the upper and midsole integration. The shoe has a stable ride underfoot for road conditions and can handle as many miles as you want to throw at it. The shoe feels a tad blocky to me in off road conditions, but handles pretty well on the roads. For me this is an easy day shoe. 

Andrea: The New Balance Fresh Foam More v4 is a max cushioned daily trainer that is a great example of a stable neutral shoe. Runners who prefer a more resilient midsole will love the feel of the thick Fresh Foam X. It has a very protective underfoot feeling and a well fitting, comfortable upper. It is ideal for runners who are looking for a lower drop, max cushioned shoe that protects your feet from the pavement without feeling squishy. 


Fit: B+/A- (Wider fit with lower height. Secure, but did cause some 3th and 4th toe blistering initially due to lower height and toe box lateral taper.)
A (Bouncy, rockered and balance ride from heel to toe. One of the best training shoe rides of the year for me)
Stability: A [Stable Neutral] (Excellent integration of large sidewalls and sole flare with large bevels and a wider sole)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (Extremely well done and stable sole with a responsive midsole. Toebox shape does need some tweaking)
Personal: A- (One of my favorite daily trainers of the year despite some initial toe blistering from the upper)
Overall: A-

Fit: A- (Solid fit throughout, though upper does run a little bit warm.)
Performance: B 
(Solid easy day shoe on road, though difficult for me to take elsewhere due to so much material and stiff platform. Also had some irritation from the stack and sidewalls limiting my use of it)
Stability: A- (Good sole flaring and sidewalls with good upper security. Almost a little too stable where it feels like too much off road conditions.)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (For a maximum cushioned road shoe they had solid integration of sidewalls and sole flaring)
Personal: B (A good shoe for easy day running or when you need to be on your feet for long periods of time. The More v4 did give me a little bit of fibular irritation though from being a little too much shoe)
Overall: B+ (Solid maximalist road running option for easy days and daily mileage)

Fit: (mesh upper, sidewalls, and rearfoot arecomfortable and accommodating; sufficient width in toe box without any foot translation)
A (one of the best max cushioned trainers I have tested due to resilient midsole, sole flare, and subtle rockers)
Stability: A- (Excellent non-traditional stability features, reduced my tendency to land excessively on lateral midfoot)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (sole flaring and wide base contributes to smoother ride)
Personal: A (fit and midsole performance made this a great easy day shoe for me)
Overall: A-


Price: $149.95 at Running Warehouse

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***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at New Balance 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 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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