New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v1

8.8
8.8 score
[Editors rating (8.8)] = Runnerclick score (8.8)/10

Our RunnerClick score is based on our editors overall rating compared to the user ratings in order to generate the most accurate and unbiased score of each product we review.

If there are less than 10 user reviews for the product in total, the weight of user reviews is decreased from 50% to 25% to make sure that new products are not rated too high.
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Editor rating: 8.8 / 10
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The New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon running shoe makes for an excellent choice for races, workouts, and everyday life. Its Fresh Foam midsole is lightweight and flexible, giving the runner plenty of comfortable and responsive cushioning. The upper is made from an engineered knit fabric and features very few overlays, enabling a pliable wear complete with unrestricted breathability. And the outsole’s hexagonal tread pattern, which matches the designs cut into the midsole, provides a strong and sturdy grip on paved road surfaces. Reviewers claim to have used this particular model for everything from marathon running to basic workouts and long work days. This, of course, means that it provides a surprisingly versatile wear that works in multiple environments and keeps the runner comfortable for hours on end.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

-Comfortable wear

-Very lightweight

-Supportive cushioning

-Good for long distances

-Breathable and flexible

Cons

-Does not fit true to size

-Unstable insole

Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

Most of the Fresh Foam Beacon’s outsole is made from a specialized ground-contact foam, which is a bit more resilient than the shoe’s midsole material. It’s full-length textured tread pattern is made of up of hollowed-out hexagonal lugs of different sizes, each one separated by deep flex grooves. This ensures not only flexible wear but also a very strong grip on road surfaces. Areas that endure the highest amount of wear, the lateral heel, and medial forefoot, are covered in a blown rubber compound for an extra layer of protection and even stronger traction where it's needed.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

As the name suggests, New Balance utilizes their trademarked Fresh Foam midsole technology for this model. Running the full length of the shoe, this soft and spring material completely maps out the shape of the foot for more accurate and more comfortable cushioning that’s noticeably lighter than standard EVA foam. A hexagonal pattern is engraved all around the outer surface in order to further enhance its levels of shock absorption and energy return, making it especially useful for races as well as long distance running. A removable insole is also included for an added layer of cushioning, although some buyers state that it doesn't always stay in place.
Upper
Upper

Upper

An engineered knit fabric makes up the Fresh Foam Beacon’s upper, further enhancing its already lightweight construction and giving it highly breathable and flexible wear. Its printed-on overlays are very minimal, only being used to form the lacing system and the brand’s logo on the lateral side, further ensuring a minimalist design. A padded tongue and collar greatly add to its already high level of comfort, keeping the ankle supported and the foot locked into place. Flat laces are also used to ensure a more secure fit throughout the day, as this type is known to stay tied for much longer. Reviewers also state that it has a relatively narrow fit, which could add to its level of support but also makes it unit for those with wider feet.
Weight
Weight

Weight

Reviewers have praised the Fresh Foam Beacon's lightweight wear, saying that it also makes for a great selection for races and training sessions. According to listings and reviews, men's sizes average out at 7.5 oz., while women's sizes round out at just over 6 oz. Not only does this model's lightweight design make it an extremely comfortable everyday shoe, but it also ensures that the wearer can go through various training sessions without feeling cumbersome. And racers know that the lack of any unnecessary mass will allow them to reach their fastest speed possible and make them more proficient runners.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

While the Fresh Foam Beacon’s engineered knit upper does have plenty of benefits, the greatest one has to be its breathable wear. Because this model has very few overlays, proper airflow is enabled into the foot chamber and hotspots can be targeted from all sides. This same quality also allows for sweat to be wicked away quickly, enabling a collar and dryer wear that greatly reduces the likelihood of foot odor, blisters, and other possible skin irritations.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

There’s no doubt that one of the Fresh Foam Beacon’s best selling points is its incredibly comfortable wear. The full-length Fresh Foam midsole unit provides underfoot cushioning that’s lightweight, soft, flexible, and incredibly responsive, greatly reducing the runner’s levels of pain and fatigue. The engineered knit fabric that constructs its upper comes with a soft lining and allows for plenty of unrestricted breathability, while its padded tongue and collar keep the ankle and instep properly supported. However, some reviewers do state that it doesn’t always fit true to size and that its narrow build won’t work for certain foot shapes.
Style
Style

Style

The Fresh Foam Beacon relatively simple design allows it to pair well with many different looks and fit into a number of different environments. It's engineered knit upper is textured, pairing well with the hexagonal pattern on its midsole, and its lack of overlays enhances its minimalistic style. Reviewers also seem very happy with the colorways that they are offered when it comes to this model. Black, grey, and white options are available in both men’s and women’s sizes, while men can also purchase an electric blue version. Those who wear women’s sizes can also choose between pale blue, pale pink, bright red, and bright mint green.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Reviews don’t seem to talk about the Fresh Foam Beacon’s level of durability. The blown rubber covering high-wear areas of its outsole does allow it to last longer, and its Fresh Foam midsole unit can outlast standard EVA foam. Even the engineered knit that forms its upper is known to be stronger and more resistant to damage than regular mesh materials. However, its lack of overlays and a full rubber outsole does mean that it could be more prone to wear and tear in certain environments. While this shoe works for running on flat surfaces and wide-open spaces, buyers should avoid more rugged terrains while wearing it.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Although it’s extremely limited in this area, the Fresh Foam Beacon still offers the runner very basic protection against certain everyday hazards that they may encounter. The outsole’s tread pattern ensures a safe and stable run across paved road surfaces, while a blown rubber compound protects its high-wear areas. It's thick yet very lightweight Fresh Foam midsole gives plenty of responsive cushioning and support to reduce the likelihood of chronic pain and injuries resulting from impact. And the upper’s engineered knit fabric ensures plenty of breathability while its padding and narrow build keep the foot locked into place.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

New Balance’s Fresh Foam midsole technology is just as popular for its incredible responsiveness as it is for its high levels of comfort. Its thickness and careful construction allow it to absorb each impact efficiently, meaning that runners will experience far less pain and fatigue by the end of the day. And the hexagonal pattern cut around the outer portion help to enhance its overall energy return, allowing the runner to stay powered-up for longer. This makes the shoe fit not only for training sessions but also for long distance runs.
Support
Support

Support

The lightweight cushioning provided by this model’s full-length Fresh Foam midsole gives the runner plenty of underfoot support. The thickness of this version’s particular design efficiently works with the runner during workouts, races, and long distance runs. It also moves along with the foot throughout the entire gait cycle to keep it supported throughout the day. A number of reviewers, particularly those who are neutral, say that it offers incredibly comfortable arch support. The upper’s narrow, the formfitting design takes care of the rest of the foot, while the padded tongue and collar look after the ankles.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

Many reviews show that the Fresh Foam Beacon works incredibly well on paved road surfaces, making it an excellent fit for marathon runs and other forms of racing. Each of its clustered, hexagonal gripping lugs have open spaces in the center and are separated by deep flex grooves, allowing it to better grab onto concrete and cement. And the breathable wear offered by it's engineered knit upper makes it quite comfortable in warmer weather. With all this said, it’s not intended for rugged environments, and there’s no indication of how well it functions on wet surfaces.
Price
Price

Price

The Fresh Foam Beacon falls within the average price range for a running shoe. Across all online retailers, from Zappos and Running Warehouse to the New Balance website, this model goes for $120. Many who have purchased this particular shoe agree that its incredible comfort and surprisingly versatile wear make it worth every dollar they've spent. However, its inconsistent sizing and relatively narrow fit do scare away buyers who have wider feet. Therefore, it's definitely best for consumers to try this shoe on before they finally make a purchase.
Traction
Traction

Traction

Although most reviews don’t focus on the Fresh Foam Beacon’s level of traction, they do indicate that it performs well enough to be used securely during workouts and marathon runs. This is thanks to the many hexagonal lugs that run the full length of the outsole, ensuring a stable grip on paved roads. While this particular tread pattern could also work really well on more rugged and uneven surfaces, its lack of a rubber compound does mean that it’s more prone to early degradation. There is also no indication of who his shoe functions on wet and slippery surfaces.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Reviewers are incredibly pleased with how flexible the Fresh Foam Beacon’s overall wear is. The outsole has very little blown rubber covering its surface, and its tread pattern is lined with a number of deep flex grooves around its gripping lugs. The process of creating its Fresh Foam midsole allows it to be incredibly pliable, moving completely along with the runner’s foot and providing more continuous cushioning. Even better is the fact that its engineered mesh upper has very minimal overlays, meaning that it can easily bend and flex along with all of the foot’s movements.
Stability
Stability

Stability

The Fresh Foam Beacon doesn’t seem to have a significant amount of stability, as it focuses more on giving easy and comfortable wear. Whatever amount it does have seems to come mostly from its responsive Fresh Foam midsole. Its design and overall engineering provide enhanced levels of shock absorption and energy transfer that creates a smooth and stabilized gait cycle. While the minimal printed-on overlays do help somewhat in maintaining the shoe’s overall shape, it’s actually the padded tongue and collar, lacing system, and narrow fit that truly keep the runner's foot locked into place all day.
Drop
Drop

Drop

While most running shoes have a heel-to-toe drop of 10mm, the Fresh Foam Beacon's drop height actually comes in at 6mm. Most runners seem to be perfectly comfortable with this feature, as it offers greater balance and a more natural gait cycle while still providing a decent amount of heel cushioning. However, those who prefer a zero drop platform would do best to keep on looking.

Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

-Ground-contact foam outsole
-Blown rubber compound
-Full-length Fresh Foam midsole
-Engineered knit upper
-Synthetic printed-on overlays
-6mm heel-to-toe drop
-Lightweight, minimalist design
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

It's incredibly easy to see why New Balance's Fresh Foam Beacon has received so many positive reviews. Its full-length Fresh Foam midsole offers continuously comfortable cushioning that's equal parts lightweight, responsive, and flexible. Its hexagonal tread pattern enables a strong and stable grip on most everyday surfaces, especially paved roads. The engineered knit upper has no aggressive overlays, enabling pliable wear and completely unrestricted breathability. And its overall minimalist design, paired with an impressive color range, makes it easy to wear in a number of different environments. While all of these up-sides make its narrow fit and inconsistent sizing that much more disappointing, it's also proof of just how much time and effort New Balance put into creating such a versatile running shoe.