New Balance More v3
(Photo: 101 Degrees West)

New Balance More V3: Shoe of the Week

New Balance maxes out the max cushioning running shoe in a model for those who never ever want to feel the ground.

New Balance More v3
101 Degrees West

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New Balance More v3 Review

Weight: M 10 oz, W 8.7 oz

Stack Height: 33mm heel /29mm forefoot

Offset: 4mm drop

Price: $165

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New Balance More v3
Photo: 101 Degrees West

Top Line

New Balance ramped up the cushioning, making this the softest, most pillow-like shoe in the brand’s line, and one of the cushiest running shoes ever.

What’s New

New Balance did a complete do-over with the More and now it is, well, um… MORE. The designers used mega amounts of Fresh Foam X for plushness and even managed to puff up the mesh upper and outsole so they feel bigger too. It has become oversized, and almost comical, like Mickey Mouse’s shoes and gloves.

This Is the Shoe for You If …

Want to surround your foot in lofty foam and not feel the impact with the road. The More v3 is well suited for recovery runs or those with sensitive feet and the need to insulate them from the pavement in a maximal way.

New Balance More v3 pair
Photo: 101 Degrees West

First Runs

As expected, all testers immediately made allusions to HOKA when commenting about their experiences with the More v3, calling it “max cushion” “ultra-soft” and “out-HOKA-ing HOKA.” The shoe swaths and coddles, from the initial step-in comfort to the continued plushness of the midsole that one tester described as “marshmallow-like.”

New Balance upgraded the More v3 to be a daily trainer that is so plush that you don’t feel anything underfoot except absorption. To achieve that, the More v3 ramps up the Fresh Foam X in the midsole, adding plush height to the shoe’s wide base and engineered rocker geometry which provide a bit of stability and efficiency. Mostly, thanks to integrated flex grooves and Ground Contact Foam, the More v3 delivers a ride that is smooth and well suited for cruiser runs or when you want to spoil your feet.

Studies have shown that runners instinctively pound the ground harder when wearing soft shoes, so the impact remains constant. One of our testers reported feeling this effect in the More, with his feet smashing down as he tried to find the ground under the pillow-y sole. “Only after a mile or so into each run was I able to relax and roll a bit more naturally, getting used to the large displacement after touchdown and the tiny bit of surface proprioception at the bottom of the squish.”

New Balance More v3
Photo: 101 Degrees West

The midsole feels more absorptive than energy returning, although one tester described the experience as an “effective, if delayed, rebound.” This slow rebound, combined with the beveled heel that is designed to absorb shock, seems to support and encourage a slower cadence and long strides. One tester went so far as to recommend the More v3 for “service industry people who are on their feet all day, or elderly individuals” because the cushioning was so “over the top.”

One concern that came up was the lack of stability of such a squishy platform, and one tester nearly turned an ankle on an uneven road section because, while the higher upper held the foot to the midsole, it didn’t provide the kind of security or support that is necessary for such a substantial stack height.

The engineered mesh upper provided some structure, along with great breathability and conforming fit. But even the upper is blown out in this “max” version, with a raised collar that feels like a mid-high top, providing a comfortable yet securely-wrapped, supportive mid-foot and a high-volume toe box. And while the tongue seemed swollen, its grand size fits right in with the whole maximalist theme of the More’s go-big makeover.

Similar Shoes

HOKA Clifton 8, HOKA Bondi 7, Skechers GOrun MaxRoad 5NB 1080 v11, Brooks Glycerin 19

From PodiumRunner Lead Photo: 101 Degrees West

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