In my previous life I was an eCommerce and technical consultant for Fortune 500 companies for a decade. One of the coolest projects that I had the opportunity to work on was with New Balance.
That was before the age of cell phone photos, so I can’t even find a photo anymore!! But here’s proof I used to do all that corporate jazz a la 2011.
Every month, I’d fly up to Boston and out to their production factory where the Wear Test team and I would sit plotting for hours. The goal was to take their paper process in to the new age with an incredible online system!
At the time New Balance was so far ahead of the game, providing shoes to a HUGE variety of people for testing before they ever launched a new shoe. It was to see how the different sizes felt, get info on wear and colors and so much more.
Man was I gaga over everything that they did to ensure their shoes were the best possible. Years later, I’m still running in their shoes and enjoying the changes that they continue to make!
New Balance Beacon Review
A few years ago I tried one of their first Fresh Foam shoes and knew they had a hit with that technology. Lately, on a quest to find a new shoe I decided to test out a new to me model.
By request I’m now trying to write more reviews once I’ve worn a shoe for awhile! So onward to the New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon V1.
What is fresh foam?
Fresh foam is their version of cushioning, you know each brand needs to label their technology! They have designed theirs to have plenty of cushion, but with lots of ways to remove weight.
Sneaker FreakerSneaker Freaker does a great job breaking this down:
“In its most basic form, EVA is made by combining two different plastics. It’s then expanded – that is, made into a foam – to produce the squishy stuff that makes soles. Each step of the process can be tweaked to give the final product slightly different properties.
For example, one manufacturer might use different ratios of the two primary ingredients while another might mix in some additives. Then there are all kinds of ways to mould the plastic and expand it into foam, each of which produces a slightly different product.”
I can absolutely verify that they’ve continued to drop weight over the years. I loved the 980 when I first tried it, but this is lighter though maybe less springy.
Fresh Foam Beacon Highlights
My first run in these shoes was my longest in a few months at 11 miles. Seems like a weird choice for a first run, but go big or go home! They felt fabulous and so I wore them for my long runs the next couple of weeks as well!
My observations from running in them:
- True neutral shoe – I put in an insole to help give my arch some support which I have needed post surgery. But they felt great even without it.
- Felt super light (7 oz)
- Not a plush cushion, but definitely has cushion
- The shoe just felt good around my foot with the inner padding
- Love that New Balance caters to wide widths if needed
- Fits true to size
- Plenty of room in the toebox
- Additional pods on the sole for areas of high wear
- 6mm heel toe drop is one that I really like, especially for anyone with ITB issues staying 6 or lower seems to help
What’s the last New Balance Shoe you tried?
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