New Balance Fresh Foam Gobi V2 Review Facts
New Balance takes their long-standing engineering skills and applies them to the trail-running world. The Gobi V2 makes small but subtle changes to the original version, mostly in the upper. The upper has been re-engineered to be more breathable and lightweight. This shoe features fun color combinations and a sleek design that deviates from New Balance’s signature bulky look. This shoe is eye-catching and stylish. It can easily transition from an evening run to an evening out with friends. New Balance uses some of their most well received and trusted technology like their AT Tread Hydrotension outsole rubber and Fresh Foam full-length midsole unit. Runners raved about the overall plush comfort that this shoe provides, creating a perfect landing pad for long, technical runs. These details work together to make this shoe versatile enough to transition between the road and the trail easily and efficiently. The price is more than reasonable, especially considering that runners are really getting two shoes for the price of one.
For runners who liked the outsole of the original Gobi Trail, they will be happy to hear that the newer version does not deviate much from its predecessor. New Balance uses their patented AT Tread Hydrotension outsole material that is durable but also flexible. This outsole is lined with a block-shaped lug that has a flat top to increase traction and grip. Due to the added traction and the responsiveness of the outsole, this is a great option for trails
as well as pavement.
The midsole of this shoe is perfect for the runner who likes a plush cushioning. This cushioning molds to the shape of the foot, supporting the arch regardless of the height. The patented Fresh Foam full-length EVA unit provides a springy feeling for the runner. This material helps to absorb the harmful shock of each footfall and return the energy to the runner, allowing them to go longer and further. This midsole also features a removable EVA sock
liner. This sock liner can be replaced with an orthopedic insert, providing a more customizable fit for runners.
Runners can expect to see the most updates to the upper of this shoe compared to the earliest iteration. After listening to feedback from their runners, New Balance lighted the upper and reduced the number of overlays. The upper is now made with an engineered mesh material. This material is very snug and adjusts to the unique shape of each runner’s foot. Instead of heavy overlays, the shoe relies on a bootie-like fit to wrap the foot in support. This shoe also comes with a built-in heel
counter that is designed to add more support too. The engineered mesh provides superior ventilation to the foot chamber, helping to keep the runner cool and comfortable. The tongue of the shoe features a gusseted design for added protection and durability.
The key changes to the newest iteration of the Fresh Foam Gobi can be found in the upper, specifically in that the upper is now lighter and more breathable. New Balance stripped some of the more cumbersome overlays found in the first version and in doing so created more opportunity for ventilation and air circulation. Runners commented that the engineered mesh is snug, conforming to the shape of the foot, and highly breathable, supporting airflow both into and out of the foot chamber. This helps to reduce the risk of hot spots and blisters
and keep the runner cool and comfortable regardless of the weather conditions that they may be faced with.
As far as trail running shoes go, this one is one of the lighter
options on the market. The women’s size nine is 8 ounces while the men’s size nine is 9.1 ounces. Runners were surprised at how well New Balance is able to balance protection and durability with lightweight maneuverability. This lighter weight is one of the reasons why the Gobi V2 can transition effortlessly between roads and trails and why it is good for both speed and distance running.
The key feature of this shoe is New Balance’s patented Fresh Foam midsole unit. This midsole foam unit runs the entire length of the shoe. It provides a plush, adaptable cushioning to runners by conforming to the shape of each foot. This provides great arch support as well as superior shock absorption and energy return. This midsole unit is responsive and lightweight, making it a good choice for distance or speed workouts. Additionally, the redesigned upper is now more breathable. The higher level of ventilation ensures that runners will be safe from painful blisters and hot spots during their workouts. The fast drying upper also makes it possible for runners to tackle puddles and streams without the fear of soggy, uncomfortable feet later in their workout. This shoe also features a gusseted tongue for added padding.
Runners were pleasantly surprised by the updated styling of the Gobi V2. While New Balance is not a brand that is known for its fashion
forward aesthetic, the Gobi V2 looks more like a modern brand due to the sleek upper, bright fashionable colors, and eye-catching designs. This shoe is offered in a few different color options in both the men and women’s versions so runners can find the right colors for their personal look.
One of the key features of this shoe is how well it protects the runner whether they are working out on the road or the trail. The AT Tread Hydrohesion outsole rubber is designed to act as a barrier between the runner and dangerous elements found on the trail. The lug system keeps the runner safely
upright and secure even on varied terrains. Although the upper is lightweight and breathable, the engineered mesh is abrasion resistant and fast drying. The upper also features a protective rubberized toe guard to protect runners against unexpected trail debris.
There are a few elements in the design of this shoe that help to increase the overall durability of the Gobi V2. For starters, New Balance’s patented AT Tread Hydrotension Outsole rubber is built to carry runners for mile and miles without breaking down. Additionally, the Fresh Foam midsole unit has a long lasting lifespan due to its ability to bounce back to its original shape after lots of wear and tear. Finally, although the upper is lightweight, it is a made from an abrasion-proof engineered mesh. This material holds up against tough weather conditions
and unpredictable trail elements, helping it keep a newer look for a longer period of time.
Although the AT Tread Hydrotention outsole rubber is protective and powerful, runners commented that this shoe has a high level of responsiveness. The midsole is springy and does a great job of returning energy back to the runner during their workouts. The 6 mm heel to toe drop helps the runner feel connected to the ground below them and allows them to make quick, efficient changes in speed and direction regardless of the terrain.
There are a few different design elements of this shoe were runners can expect to get some extra support. For starters, the upper has been redesigned to create a snug, bootie-like fit. This engineered mesh construction wraps the foot in support as opposed to relying on cumbersome overlays. The Fresh Foam midsole of the shoe is another area of support. This midsole foam adapts to the unique shape of each foot, supporting the arch regardless of the arch height. This shoe also features a removable EVA sock liner that can be replaced with a personalized orthopedic insole to address more specific needs and provide a more customized support to the runner.
One of the unique elements of this shoe is that it can be worn on virtually any surface. It is designed with off road as well as pavement compatible elements. The shoe is lighter in weight for a trail running shoe, making it a smart option for trail races and the added lug system along the bottom keeps the runner safe. Runners commented that the fast drying upper and the added grip make it a good choice for obstacle races and other runs on varied terrains. This shoe is also a favorite for road running as well.
This shoe will actually cost runners slightly less than the average trail or road running shoe on today’s market. New Balance’s are known as affordable shoes that do not sacrifice quality, and the Gobi V2 are no exception to that rule. Not only are they slightly less expensive than the average shoe on today's market, since runners are getting a trail and road shoe in one, they actually saving money because they will not need to purchase two separate shoes. Runners also enjoyed the overall durability of the shoe, hailing them as a great overall value.
This shoe features an all over lug system throughout the underfoot. These 4mm lugs have flat bottoms so they are suitable for road or trail running. They add extra grip and traction to the running experience, making the Gobi V2 a great choice for running in slippery conditions or for tackling steep uphill or downhill trails and roads.
Runners were pleased with the overall flexibility of this shoe. The upper is made using an engineered mesh. This material creates a bootie-like fit that snuggly wraps around the foot, but does not impede the natural movement of the foot. Likewise, the midsole of the shoe is also flexible. This is a shoe that supports the natural movement of the runner as opposed to attempting to alter the gait cycle.
This is a neutral running shoe. What that means is that the Gobi V2 is not designed to support runners who are dealing with issues of over or under pronation. This shoe is designed to move naturally with the runner’s gait cycle as opposed to altering it.
The Fresh Foam Gobi V2 has a heel height of 23mm and a forefoot height of 17mm. This means that the heel to toe drop of this shoe is 6mm. Many runners found this to be a great height for trail running. It provides enough cushioning and forward motion, but it does not impede the runner’s ability to connect to the ground and feel it below them. However, if runners are used to working out in a traditional drop shoe of 10mm, this shoe will take some getting used to.
- 6 mm heel to toe drop
- Full-length Fresh Foam midsole foam unit
- Engineered mesh upper is tough but lightweight
- Rubberized toe protective guard
- Removable EVA sockliner
- Gusseted tongue for added protection and comfort
- AT Tread Hydrotention rubberized outsole for added protection and durability
- Flat lug design for added traction
- External heel counter for added support
The Fresh Foam Gobi V2 is a great option for the runner who wants a road and trail running shoe combined into one. This shoe features elements that are protective and durable enough for the trails but also lightweight and comfortable enough for road running as well. New Balance includes some of their best patented technologies like the AT Tread rubberized outsole and the Fresh Foam midsole in this shoe. The Fresh Foam midsole unit provides a plush, adaptive cushioning for runners that is good for speed work or distance work. The treads along the outsole are aggressive enough to keep runners safe on the trail, but also versatile enough to transition effortlessly to the roads as well. This shoe comes in just under the average cost for a high-quality road or trail running shoe on today’s market. Runners love the bright color options and its sleek, stylish appearance.