New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz

7.6
7.6 score
[Editors rating (7.8) + Users rating (7.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (7.6)/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: 7.8 / 10
User's rating: based on 10 user ratings
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New Balance Fresh Foam CruzReview Facts

New Balance has been in the business of producing comfortable, well-performing trainers for over a century, focusing on developing new technologies and designs that allow athletes to perform at their best. With a solid reputation built up around their brand, New Balance has a dedicated audience to their brand who appreciate the signature comfort and responsiveness of their shoes.

This reputation continues with the New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz, a shoe with soft cushioning and smooth heel to toe transition. Using New Balance’s premium Fresh Foam technology, which combines a synthetic midfoot saddle with a breathable mesh, this new midsole technology is a full-length foam that’s soft and responsive. Accommodating the natural stride of the runner, the Cruz is easy to slip on and off while the upper provides a secure saddle to keep the runner’s foot snugly in the shoe during a run. Overall, the Cruz offers an added layer of comfort and additional support for neutral runners with excellent breathability to keep the foot feeling dry and comfortable even after miles on the road.

The Cruz’s knitted upper gives this trainer a soft feel, and runners will find this design and style both modern and comfortable. Although the Cruz comes in all standard sizes in both men’s and women’s, it is advised to get a half a size smaller of your regular shoe size for optimal fit. Coming in a variety of fresh and vibrant color schemes, the Cruz provides a satisfying experience for both casual wear and dedicated runners alike. With efficient performance, comfortable support, and a great aesthetic, the New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz is made for neutral runners looking for responsiveness and cushioning in their running shoe. After all, if it’s from New Balance it has to be good.

Pros
  • The Fresh Foam midsole is comfortable but firm
  • Great fit that keeps the foot in place during a run
  • Well-priced for the amount of comfort and responsiveness
  • Excellent breathability in its knitted upper mesh
  • Sleek design with a wide array of colors to choose from
  • Efficient performance during workouts and runs
Cons
  • Shoe may run slightly larger in one’s size; recommended to buy a half-size smaller
  • Some have complained that the upper isn’t durable
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the Cruz is made from blown rubber, which offers durable protection and is resistant to wear and tear. The outsole also delivers a good deal of traction over regular running surfaces. Pliable and soft, this outsole provides additional support and cushioning while protecting the foot from potential hazards on the road.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole of the Cruz uses New Balance’s proprietary Fresh Foam technology, providing a plush but responsive cushioning for the runner. This heel-to-toe foam is predominately in the heel, where runners are more apt to strike during footfall, while the forefoot section is thinner and more firm. The Cruz works best for heel strikers and those who want to avoid discomfort during a run. The Fresh Foam tech is of great construction and strategically arranged in the midsole to maximize comfort.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The knitted upper of the Fresh Foam Cruz is made of lightweight mesh that allows for a great deal of ventilation to keep the foot cool and dry throughout the run. The Cruz’s “bootie” design provides a great deal of consistency in the upper’s construction and overall fit. Having removed the traditional shoe tongue, instead the one-piece upper allows the runner to slip into the shoe with ease. With a saddle that’s made from synthetic material placed in the midfoot for extra support, the saddle and the lace-up closure provide a great fit and keep the foot firmly in place while running.
Weight
Weight

Weight

Lightweight and comfortable, the weight of the Cruz varies between men and women pairs, with men’s Cruz weighing in at 9.2 ounces/261 grams and women’s at 7.7 ounces/218 grams. While there is a great deal of cushioning in the Cruz, the Fresh Foam tech is lightweight and the blown rubber outsole is flexible and not too dense.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The upper of the Cruz features a one-piece construction out of knitted synthetic mesh, which allows for a great amount of ventilation and keeps the foot cool and dry. This highly breathable trainer is nice and snug while allowing for air to enter the foot chamber.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

One of the best attributes of the Fresh Foam Cruz is its high comfort level. With a unique upper construction that has gotten rid of the traditional tongue, instead this one-piece upper has a slip-on ability like a loafer with a lace-up enclosure. This provides a comfortable but secure fit that keeps the foot firmly in the chamber during a run. In addition, its Fresh Foam midsole that runs from heel to toe provides a plush comfort to the foot, with extra padding in the heel for heel strikers that gets thinner in the forefoot to allow for firmness and responsiveness during a run. Its blown rubber outsole also provides extra support and comfort to the runner.
Style
Style

Style

The New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz is a stylish shoe that runners and casual wearers alike will appreciate. Eschewing the traditional construction of a running shoe that Reebok and Nike follow, New Balance has made a running shoe that looks more like a casual loafer. Its knitted upper suggests comfort rather than high-energy performance, but don’t be fooled: these are definitely running shoes. The upper’s saddle has the large “N” New Balance logo emblazoned on its sides, but this too is a subtle addition rather than a bold-faced advertisement. Coming in a number of attractive colors (including red, gray, blue, black, and white), the Cruz hides its nature as being a running shoe in its low-key design and straightforward construction, which makes it an attractive shoe for those looking for a comfortable everyday shoe to wear or for runners looking for a more muted option in their trainer.
Durability
Durability

Durability

With its knitted upper made of synthetic material that’s resistant to breaking down over time, a blown rubber outsole that can withstand wear and tear, and its Fresh Foam midsole that remains plush and responsive even after many miles, the New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz could be considered a very durable shoe. However, there have been some complaints that the upper unit isn’t as durable as the runners had hoped.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Made for traditional running surfaces (asphalt, pavement, and running tracks), the Cruz is protective against the average hazards that are found on these surfaces. In addition, the Fresh Foam midsole has more padding in the heel to protect the heel from impact during strike. However, this is not a trainer to take out on the trails. The Cruz is best for the regular roads and paths that runners take every day in their neighborhood and town.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Thanks to its Fresh Foam midsole, the Cruz is a responsive trainer when on the road. While the heel is padded to prevent injury against heel strike, the forefoot of the midsole has a thinner layer of the Fresh Foam to provide the runner with a better response during a run. Its blown rubber outsole also has a good amount of traction, which gives the runner a fair amount of grip on regular running surfaces.
Support
Support

Support

The Cruz is made for neutral runners, which means it provides a standard amount of arch support. However, these are not specifically stability shoes for those who over- or under-pronate during a run, and as such will not provide those runners with the support they may need. But for neutral runners, the Cruz provides a comfortable, responsive ride.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

If you like to run around your neighborhood, on the boardwalk, through the city streets, or on the local track, then the Fresh Foam Cruz will prove to be a comfortable running shoe for these terrains. However, they will not perform as well even on light trails, and for those who like to run through nature or climb rocky surfaces will find the Cruz will let them down in this regard. But the average runner will find the Cruz fits their needs quite well.
Price
Price

Price

Price is always one of the largest concerns that may hold a runner back from purchasing a new pair of trainers. For the New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz, the price may be a dividing line for some prospective buyers: although not prohibitively expensive, and falling below the $100 mark, runners will have to weigh whether they want a comfortable running shoe that’s not particularly versatile over a more tenacious and similarly priced trainer. However, for those looking for a stylish, comfortable trainer that can easily transition into being an everyday shoe, the Cruz is a good value for its price.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The Fresh Foam Cruz has a good amount of traction for a casual running shoe. Although not as tenacious as some other trainers on the market, for the amount of comfort and overall performance, runners will appreciate the firm traction it provides.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

With a one-piece upper comprised of knitted synthetic materials that keep the foot firmly in place after lace-up, a flexible blown rubber outsole, and a cushioned midsole made of Fresh Foam technology, the Cruz is a refreshingly flexible trainer that runners will enjoy for the amount of responsiveness and control it provides.
Stability
Stability

Stability

This is a trainer for neutral runners with moderate arch support and is not specifically a stability shoe. Although New Balance does make great stability shoes with zero drop, the Cruz is not part of those lines. Instead, runners can expect a trainer for runners with neutral pronation with this shoe, which has just a slightly lower drop than most other trainers.
Drop
Drop

Drop

With an 8mm heel to toe drop, the Fresh Foam Cruz features a moderate drop. In fact, the drop is just a few millimeters below the standard, providing a slight amount of more stability for the runner to enjoy.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- Thanks to its Fresh Foam midsole, this is a very comfortable shoe
- Knitted one-piece upper is easy to slip into and secures the foot nicely after lace-up
- A running shoe that has a casual look
- Highly breathable to keep the foot cool and dry during a run
- A very responsive trainer thanks to its excellent midsole and outsole construction
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

For the runner that’s sick of their trainers being logo-heavy, flashy, and looking altogether garish, the New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz is here. Looking more like a casual everyday sneaker instead of a running shoe, the Cruz’s loafer-like design and muted style hides its essence as a running shoe while still performing as one.

With its proprietary Fresh Foam midsole that runs heel to toe, New Balance smartly distributed this tech so that the heel is more cushioned than the forefoot, both to protect the heel during heel strike and to allow the forefoot more responsiveness during a run. This midsole also provides the runner with a highly comfortable midsole that’s plush but never detracts from performance. With a one-piece upper that does away with a traditional tongue, runners can slip into a pair like a loafer and then attain a snug fit after lace-up. This stylish trainer comes in a nice variety of colors to match the runner’s preference, and its overall muted colors and design will find fans in both runners and those looking for an active everyday shoe.

For fans of New Balance’s excellent line of shoes and knowing of their reputation in the running world, the Cruz is yet another solid product from the company. Comfortable and casual but still built to perform on the streets for long runs, for those looking for a new trainer that will look nice when worn out to the store or hanging around the house but are able in a moment’s notice to perform on a long run, the New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz may be your new favorite sneaker, both on the road or just around the block.