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New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v3: Defying Physics
By Matthew Klein

The trail market is well saturated with highly cushioned, maximal shoes. Although the majority are from Hoka, many other brands have introduced their own maximal trail shoes. The first few versions of the More Trail were mediocre, but like the saying, the third time is the charm. Building on the success of the New Balance More v4, the More Trail v3 brings the same ride to the trail with thick lugs and extensive outsole rubber. Now an absolute tank of a shoe, the More Trail v3 easily plows through the majority of terrain out there while providing a ride that feels way higher than its listed stack height. 

New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v3
Price: $159.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 10.9 oz, 309 g (men's size 9), 9.5 oz, 269 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 39.4 mm / 35.4 mm 
Drop: 4 mm 
Classification: Maximal Trail Running Shoe


The New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v3 is a highly cushioned, maximal trail shoe for plowing through any and all terrain. A huge amount of Fresh Foam X sits underfoot, providing a soft and bouncy ride. Extensive side walls and other elements provide a stable neutral ride while a comfortable but secure upper sits up top. A thick Vibram rubber outsole covers the bottom with massive lugs, making for an incredibly durable shoe that easily tackles road, trails, mud and more. The true monster truck of the trail, the Fresh Foam X More Trail v3 is best for those wanting as much cushioning as possible in a shoe that can handle almost any terrain.

: ASICS Trabuco Max 2
PAST MODEL: New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v2


The New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v3 fits me true to size in my normal men's US size 10. The fit is normal to slightly wide with a slightly lower volume fit. The forefoot is slightly rounded with just enough room for the toes. This transitions into a normal width midfoot although I did have to tighten down the laces a little. The tongue is moderately thick and securely gusseted. This continues into a normal width heel. There is a moderately stiff heel counter in the rearfoot. It looks like the counter is technically external, although there is little padding at the heel. The counter did not bother me at all, but those with sensitivities should still approach cautiously. Tightening down the laces was all I needed to secure the shoe and I did not have to lace lock the shoe. The internal aspect of the upper is quite comfortable except around the heel collar. I had some blisters along the edges of the collar that disappeared with sock use. So with running, I would suggest using socks with this shoe.


The New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v3 is a maximal stack height, highly cushioned all-terrain shoe. A huge amount of soft Fresh Foam X cushioning sits underfoot which provides a surprisingly bouncy ride. This does not feel mushy, but moderately bouncy, making the shoe feel lighter on the run than its listed weight. It is still a massive shoe but once the pace normalizes, it does not feel as heavy.

The stack height feels higher than the listed one from Running Warehouse. I would put both the forefoot and heel well over 40mm of stack height and there is absolutely no ground feel. The heel has a large bevel that is slightly lateral. The split-heel design allows for the lateral side to compress separately, creating a lateral crash zone that creates a really smooth heel transition. The forefoot has extensive flex grooves and has mild flexibility. This was surprising for a maximal shoe but combined with the large forefoot rocker makes for a smooth toe-off. There is some mild toe spring that I did not notice and those with stiff toes should be mostly fine but should be cautious of the fact that there is some mild flexibility up front.

Purpose-wise, the More Trail v3 is meant as an all-terrain daily and long-run shoe.  Weighing in at 10.9 oz for men's size 9 it is not the lightest shoe. However, the amount of cushioning is plenty bouncy and provides a comfortable ride. It is too large and heavy for anything fast and works best at easy efforts for long periods. The Vibram rubber outsole is thick with deep lugs. I have 35 miles on my pair with over half of those on road and there is barely any wear. The lugs are not obtrusive on road and seem to add to the cushioning. The traction is great in this shoe on road, soft dirt, single track trails, fire roads and mild mud. The only surface I had trouble with was mildly sandy road, but anything else the lugs could dig into was fine. The durability of the lugs and outsole will make this shoe last far longer than other maximal trail shoes, so I expect a ton of miles out of these.


The New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v3 is a stable neutral trail shoe. There are no traditional methods of stability, but there are extensive stable neutral elements. There are huge sidewalls on the medial and lateral sides of the midfoot that extend both forward and backward into the forefoot and heel. These extend into some more moderate sidewalls that surround the heel, which integrate with the heel counter really well.

There is a large amount of sole flare in both directions along the length of the shoe and the width stays consistent. The midfoot stays wide and there is outsole rubber on the medial but not lateral side. This creates a little more resistance to medial motion at the midfoot, while a central groove in the heel keeps the ride centered.

The forefoot sole flare and surprisingly good forefoot flexibility for a max cushion shoe rolls you forward quickly. Those sensitive to sidewalls should be cautious with the More Trail v3 but those looking for a stable neutral ride similar to the More v4 Road will be quite happy. 

Thoughts as a DPT: How Maximal Shoes May Impact Biomechanics
By Matthew Klein

While maximal shoes have certainly pervaded the market, their impact on our mechanics is still being studied. They certainly feel highly cushioned and protective underfoot, but how each person may respond to them can vary. From a biomechanics standpoint, there are some interesting things that happen to some people while in these shoes. Despite the higher amount of cushioning, several studies have suggested that running in highly cushioned shoes can actually increase variables associated with impact, suggesting that runners land harder (Kulmala et al., 2018; Pollard et al., 2018). This makes sense given that with more cushioning underfoot (or more perceived cushioning), runners might land harder as they think they do not have to shock absorb as much. There is also evidence that runners may land with stiffer mechanics with highly cushioned shoes (Kulmala et al., 2018). With minimal shoes, runners tend to have more joint motion to assist with shock absorption. With a maximal shoe, there is less need for shock absorption but an increased need for stability from the softer surface. 

Regardless of the biomechanical implications, many runners still report feeling like maximal shoes protect them more. The above studies suggest that the variables associated with impact increase, but this is usually measured outside of the body. The measures of ground reaction forces are estimated based on joint angles and the impact forces that occur are from force plates underneath the body. So what is actually happening at a joint level is not fully known and would require internal joint sensors to determine. The large shoes create such a large influential variable that it may throw off some of our predictive calculations. What this means is that while it appears that running in maximal shoes may increase impact forces, whether that decreases or increases joint forces is unknown as we don't know how much is being absorbed by the shoe vs our body. So they could be cushioning us more despite the variable changes, but more research is needed to determine whether that is actually happening or not. 


Kulmala, J. P., Kosonen, J., Nurminen, J., & Avela, J. (2018). Running in highly cushioned shoes increases leg stiffness and amplifies impact loading. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 17496.

Pollard, C. D., Ter Har, J. A., Hannigan, J. J., & Norcross, M. F. (2018). Influence of maximal running shoes on biomechanics before and after a 5K run. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 6(6), 2325967118775720.

Sinclair, J., Richards, J., Selfe, J., Fau-Goodwin, J., & Shore, H. (2016). The influence of minimalist and maximalist footwear on patellofemoral kinetics during running. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 32(4), 359-364.


My experiences in the More Trail v3 mirrored my experiences in the More v4 Road except the upper. All the things I requested were fixed, making for a comfortable tank of a shoe that I have been able to run across all terrain in. The stable neutral ride works extremely well for my mechanics and the durable outsole has lasted well on all surfaces. This shoe makes its way under 11 oz for men's size 9, which is incredible. I would still like to see this shoe be a bit lighter but do not know if that is possible with the extensive durable outsole and size. Outside of a little bit more padding in the upper between the counter and my heel, the More Trail v3 is a fantastic update that I would not change much. 


The New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v3 is a maximal tank of a trail shoe that can run over almost any terrain. The massive amount of Fresh Foam X provides soft and bouncy cushioning, making for a ride that runs lighter than the listed weight. The shoe is still massive so it works best for easy long efforts. The upper fits securely and comfortably, providing a little extra room in the forefoot without being loose. The Vibram outsole is durable and grippy, further allowing this shoe to roll over anything in its way.

There is no other way to describe this shoe than a big tank. This More Trail v3 is greatly refined over the previous version with a far better ride, fit and overall feel. $160 is also a solid deal for how much shoe there is and how durable the outsole is. It also takes everything I enjoyed about the More v4 road, fixes the upper and allows secure trail use. I still prefer the road version given that I tend to spend more time on road and it is lighter, but for those that spend most of their time on trail, there is now a way to experience the More series over softer terrain.


Fit: A- (Secure, normal width with a slightly wider forefoot. Locks down foot well)
Performance: A- 
(High stack bouncy midsole runs lighter than listed weight. Excellent grip and durability)
Stability: A [Stable Neutral] (Stable neutral with massive midfoot sidewalls, wider midfoot, sole flare, solid transition)
DPT/Footwear Science: A (Excellent stable neutral design with firmer bottom layer, softer top sole while staying under 11 oz for a men's size 9)
Personal: A- (Wish it was a little lighter, but this has been an extremely comfortable shoe for both running and casual use. Was said to get my all-white pair dirty. Will still choose lighter shoes, but this is a great shoe for longer efforts)
Overall: A/A-


New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v3
Price: $159.95 at Running Warehouse

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Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

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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 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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