New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz v2 Review Facts
New Balance is known for making great-looking sneakers that perform well in a variety of activities. Obviously, not all sneakers are created alike, even within the same brand name. The Fresh Foam Cruz v2 is the company’s second generation of this particular model and the upgrades are definitely an improvement. This version of the sneaker is lighter weight, more breathable, more comfortable, and more responsive. The upper alone is impressive with its slightly stretchy two-way knit fabric design that will mold to your feet and hug them thanks to the shoes’ bootie-like construction. The Fresh Foam midsole is both comfortable and supportive and is designed to be long-lasting. The colorways offered in this sneaker are aesthetically-pleasing as well in both the men’s’ and women’s’ versions. Although these may not be the best choice for long-distance running or high-intensity workouts, they provide enough support and comfort for a light run or workout.
This sneakers’ outsole is made up entirely of blown rubber. The sole does not have any other materials making it up, rather, it is one large piece of durable rubber. This rubber is responsive and spongy and will add a little spring to your step. The outsole also does not have an aggressive lug system. Rather, it features a large number of textured hexagonal rubber pods
that are designed to add traction and grip to your running experience. These pods form a honeycomb-like pattern and help the outsole to be relatively flexible and move with your foot from heel to toe.
The midsole of the Fresh Foam Cruz v2 is, not surprisingly, made up of New Balance’s Fresh Foam material. This technology is a compound that makes the midsole springy yet stable. The lightweight foam can hold up to a lot of pressure when it is applied; it will absorb shock and release it to return back to its original shape with ease. This incredibly light foam
does not really feel like a marshmallow, but it does feel squishier than some other midsole foams out there. Fresh Foam can handle a runner or cross-trainer
taking the shoes on terrains such as asphalt and concrete which allows New Balance to not have to glue as much blown rubber to the bottom of the shoe to protect it. This foam is also fairly energizing and will attenuate impact shock during your foot-strike and use that kinetic force to propel you forward.
The upper of the New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz v2 is lighter weight and a little stretchier than its predecessor. It is made up of a two-way flat-knit slightly stretchy fabric that runs from the forefoot and diagonally up the midfoot. The rear of the shoe features a different material which is a smooth padded textile. This heel portion is designed to lock your heel in place and prevent it from moving laterally within the foot chamber and to keep it from escaping the sneaker altogether. Another great feature of this shoes’ upper is its bootie-like construction. The way the shoe is designed makes it easy to slip on and off. Additionally, the tongue of the shoe is actually molded as part of the upper, rather than a separate piece, giving the shoe an even more appealing sock-like fit. The lacing system is attached to a synthetic overlay which is made up of plastic. This plastic saddle extends over the midfoot section of the foot and works with the laces to tighten and loosen to create a snug and adaptable fit.
These sneakers are fairly average in the weight department when you consider modern sneaker design. The way of sneakers is trending toward lightweight and minimal. These sneakers weigh less than 10 ounces: the men’s weighing in at 9.6 ounces and the women’s weighing around 8 ounces.
There has not been a lot mentioned about this shoes’ breathability. However, the lightweight flat-knit fabric that makes up the majority of the upper does have a number of mesh-like holes to allow airflow into and out of the foot chamber. The rear of the shoe is made of a less breathable textile and the plastic saddle over the midfoot
may detract from the airflow somewhat.
The Fresh Foam Cruz v2 is definitely engineered to be a comfortable sneaker. The upper’s material has a decent amount of stretch to it so it will flex to your foot shape for an adaptable fit. However, with that said, some consumers have said that the plastic-like saddle that wraps around the midfoot rubbed their feet the wrong way and they felt like it irritated them, but that was only a small handful of users. The Fresh Foam that makes up the sneaker’s midsole is very soft yet supportive and is, therefore, comfortable. This shoe also has a bootie-like construction
so it is designed to fit like a sock.
These sneakers are sleek and stylish in their design. Their monochromatic color schemes
are not too flashy, rather they are understated. The unique plastic saddle that extends over the shoe’s midfoot area is a nice touch, especially with the “N” trademark logo etched into the sides. These shoes could easily be worn from the gym to a night out without looking like you were ready to go for a run at any second.
The blown rubber outsole itself is fairly durable considering blown rubber is durable in and of itself. The outsole of this sneaker is not a thick rubber since the midsole’s Fresh Foam is both soft and durable itself, the outsole does not have to be that thick. Fresh Foam technology allows the foam to be both soft, comfortable, supportive, and responsive. This Foam can hold its own as far as durability goes and should not wear out too easily
, even if you wear them a lot. The upper’s flat-knit fabric is fairly durable and has some stretch to it so it won’t constrict your feet or be pushed to its limits, meaning it shouldn’t rip. Rather, it will move and flex with your feet as you run, workout, or walk.
The Fresh Foam Cruz V2 will protect your feet from underfoot debris thanks to the blown rubber outsole. This rubber will also protect the midsole’s Fresh Foam, despite the fact that the foam itself is pretty durable. These sneakers are engineered to attenuate shock
as you run and are designed to help you experience a smooth ride.
Fresh Foam is designed to be extremely responsive and supportive. This foam will keep your feet comfortable but it will also deliver a responsive run. When pressure is applied to this foam, it soaks up the kinetic energy and then releases it as you release the pressure applied. As the foam returns to its original shape, it propels you forward. This, combined with the springy solid blown rubber
outsole, results in a responsive and springy ride.
Overall, the New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz v2 is a fairly supportive sneaker thanks to the materials in its makeup. The two-way stretchy flat-knit upper
hugs the shape of your foot and adapts to your movements with ease, thus supporting your foot snugly. The plastic saddle that wraps around the midfoot area of the sneaker works in conjunction with the lacing system as you pull the laces tight, making a solid and snug fit to your foot so you shouldn’t feel too much movement within the shoe. The textile material at the heel of the shoe is designed to hug your heel tightly and helps reduce the chance of blistering and rolling of the ankle. The Fresh Foam found in the sneakers’ midsole will allow your foot to sink into it, taking away any negative space within the foot chamber.
Due to the fact that these shoes do not have an aggressive lug system or much of a lug system at all, they are not ideal for trail running or uneven terrain running. These are ideally suited for road, sidewalk, or treadmill running.
These are high-quality sneakers that bear a well-known name and are very affordable. Currently, you can purchase these sneakers for around $80.
One of the complaints about these shoes by users is their lack of traction. They work well on hard, solid surfaces thanks to the textured honeycomb outsole. The blown rubber has enough grip on it to safely carry you over such terrains. However, some users have said that these sneakers don’t perform well over wet surfaces. With that said, if you plan on running outside on a nice day, you should experience a pleasant low-key run.
This sneaker is made up of lightweight materials that end up making the sneaker fairly flexible. The upper is both stretchy and lightweight so it is definitely flexible. The Fresh Foam midsole is also lightweight and spongy, yet supportive, so it is slightly more firm than some other midsole materials. The least flexible portion of the shoe is the outsole with its solid blown rubber design. Although the hexagonal pattern on the outsole includes grooves in between them to allow for more flex in the rubber, this sneaker is not the most flexible out there.
The New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz V2 is not marketed as a stability sneaker so it is not designed to deliver a highly stabilizing experience if you have foot concerns. The heel counter is made up of a flexible yet firmer textile material and will keep your heel locked into the sneaker but it is not a stabilizing heel. The plastic saddle that spreads across the shoes’ midsole is designed to keep the shoe snugly on your foot and will help keep your foot relatively stable because it conforms to your foot shape. However, if you have foot concerns and have something other than a neutral gait, then you may want to look elsewhere for more stabilizing sneakers.
These light-running sneakers are designed for the everyday neutral road-runner. They do not boast any overly-impressive technologies that will carry you over double-digit mileage but they will support you enough in light to moderate runs. The drop in these shoes will give you a pretty neutral feel in terms of running shoes. The Fresh Foam midsole will take away any ground feel and the drop from heel to toe measures 8mm.
- Fresh Foam midsole delivers support, comfort, and response all while maintaining a light weight
- Two-way flat-knit slightly stretchy upper will wrap the foot comfortably in a bootie-like construction
- Plastic synthetic saddle overlay extends over the midfoot to support your foot and give you a snug fit
- Blown rubber outsole adds some spring to your step and is not too heavy on the sneaker
The New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz v2 is a great update to its predecessor. This version is more breathable, flexible, and more lightweight. They don’t have a whole lot of bells and whistles in the technology department but that doesn’t mean they aren’t without their charms. With that said, the Fresh Foam midsole is probably the most impressive technology evident in this sneaker. New Balance engineered this foam to absorb shock and deliver an excellent return, all while being comfortable and lightweight. They are aesthetically-pleasing with their subdued colors and designs and can be worn with casual clothes or workout attire easily. With a name like New Balance and such an affordable price tag, it couldn’t hurt to give these sneakers a try, even if you end up just wearing them casually.