New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v3 – Complete Review

The New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v3 is fashioned as a lightweight daily trainer with responsive cushioning and a snappy toe-off for faster-paced long runs, medium long runs, and recovery days. I really really like the cushioning and the lightweight this shoe offers. 

The Fresh Foam Beacon v3 features an engineered upper mesh paired with an Ultra Heel to offer a comfortable and secure fit on around the top of your foot. This is paired with a Fresh Foam X midsole for a snappy yet cushioned underfoot feel.

Finished off with minimal strategically placed Rubber Pods on the outsole, the Beacon v3 gives you a lightweight option for your daily runs and will protect your feet well enough for some longer runs as well.

New Balance has long been known as one of the most reliable shoe companies on the market. If you’d like to check out some more general features that New Balance has to offer then take a look here.

My friend, and fellow running shoe geek Noble Boutin put together an awesome, comprehensive video on the Beacon v3. 


SPECS

  • Stack Height: 26 mm (Heel), 20 mm (Forefoot)
  • OFFSET: 6mm drop from heel to toe
  • Weight: 7.8 oz / 221g (M9)  ---  7.1 oz / 201g (W8)
  • FIT: True to size (Naturally Wide Toe Box
  • Category: Neutral

The New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v3 promises to offer a very intriguing blend of cushioning and responsiveness, but does it really deliver? Let’s take a look and find out!

UPPER - Materials and Lockdown

Initially, one may look at the New Balance Engineered Upper Mesh and think it will be a super breathable shoe that is not quite the case, as it does not quite give your foot an incredible ability to breathe, it almost feels mildly stuffy in there after a couple of miles.

It is possible that breathability may not be noticeable by every runner, but it is something to note if you put a lot of emphasis on this quality.

New Balance Men's Fresh Foam Beacon V3 Running Shoe, Light Cyclone/Rogue Wave, 7

This could also be in part due to the socks you are wearing, so do not be afraid to test out different options in your arsenal for greater success.

The lacing system flows well and the tongue sits on top of your foot easily, although it is not gusseted. When you first tie up this shoe it may take you a little extra time to get a secure fit, but after that, you should be good to go.

The Ultra Heel is curved outward to ease off tension on your achilles tendon and decrease rubbing irritation. It’s also worth noting that the heel lacks rigidity, and is quite soft and flexible.

That is great if you like a heel counter that gets out of the way, but if you require a rigid heel counter for more support, then this may not be the shoe for you.

New Balance Men's Fresh Foam Beacon V3 Running Shoe, Light Cyclone/Rogue Wave, 7
46 Reviews
New Balance Men's Fresh Foam Beacon V3 Running Shoe, Light Cyclone/Rogue Wave, 7
  • Ground Contact Fresh Foam Midsole delivers a cushioned, lightweight ride and the outsole has strategically placed rubber outsole pods for durability where needed
  • Engineered mesh upper for a barely-there feel
  • Breathable textile material keeps your foot cool

For those with a wider foot, you’ll be pleased to hear that the toe box is built with a wider frame and should comfortably accommodate your feet.

If you have a narrow foot with low volume, then there may be some bunching up of materials at the bottom of the lacing system, but it shouldn’t get in your way.

This upper is built to get out of your way and let you move freely, so embrace that feature and let it rip!

POSITIVE: Secure lockdown on the midfoot and heel

DRAWBACK: Lackluster breathability


Sole Unit - Responsive Foam, Minimal Outsole

The midsole design is simplistic and lightweight to offer a snappy toe-off and a responsive landing on the ground. The Full-Length Fresh Foam X midsole foam will deliver some solid cushioning for those who want a soft underfoot feel, but this foam performs at its best when you’re picking up the pace.

New Balance Men's Fresh Foam Beacon V3 Running Shoe, Neo Crimson/Neo Flame, 7

Although the Fresh Foam Beacon v3 is marketed as a “plush” shoe I have not had this experience. That is not quite a bad thing though, as it really does provide a wonderful lightweight and responsive option to get some quality milage in without beating up the feet or legs too hard.

The Beacon v3 get a buff out of extra foam on the medial side of the shoe, this has offered a slight amount of extra stability, but nothing that would get in the way of a neutral runner. Sorry to the overpronators out there, this shoe probably is not the daily trainer for you.

The Outsole keeps weight to a minimum by implementing strategically placed Rubber Pods on the lateral heel and the medial forefoot, which is where New Balance has found runners wear down the midsole the most.

New Balance Men's Fresh Foam Beacon V3 Running Shoe, Neo Crimson/Neo Flame, 7
46 Reviews
New Balance Men's Fresh Foam Beacon V3 Running Shoe, Neo Crimson/Neo Flame, 7
  • Ground Contact Fresh Foam Midsole delivers a cushioned, lightweight ride and the outsole has strategically placed rubber outsole pods for durability where needed
  • Engineered mesh upper for a barely-there feel
  • Breathable textile material keeps your foot cool

This is a biomechanically sound line of reasoning, but it does mean that the shoe’s durability will still suffer from a lack of protection.

New Balance calls the exposed midsole its Ground Contact Fresh Foam, which is exposed to lighten the weight of the shoe.

The sole unit will provide a lightweight and snappy option for your runs, but don’t expect a ridiculous amount of miles on a single pair of the New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v3.

POSITIVE: Snappy and Lightweight

DRAWBACK: Durability Concerns


DURABILITY PREDICTION

400 to 500 miles (645-805km)

Speaking of durability, that is the main point of concern for the New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v3. Most runners will get between 400-500 miles (645-805km) on a pair of these, although 500 feels like a generous estimate.

New Balance Men's Fresh Foam Beacon V3 Running Shoe

The Fresh Foam just feels like it will get beaten down quickly and the exposed midsole foam on the bottom will probably start causing problems earlier than that.

Putting that aside, the miles you get out of the Beacon v3 will be super enjoyable and snappy. So lack of durability seems like a fair trade for such an enjoyable ride.

If you insert the Beacon v3 as just one shoe part of your rotation, then you should get a good couple of months out of them.


BEST USES

Daily Training, Snappy Miles, and Medium Long Runs

The whole review has been hyping up the Beacon v3 as a lightweight daily trainer, so it should come as no surprise at this point. The Fresh Foam X midsole is definitely built to get some steady and snappy run in.

It is cushioned enough to take you quite a few minutes or miles as well, so it can protect your legs as you pick up the pace.

New Balance Men's Fresh Foam Beacon V3 Running Shoe, Neo Crimson/Neo Flame, 7

It feels like it was built for steady daily training and medium-long runs that will last you between 30-80 minutes of honest running, so give it a try in that range and see how it comes out at the other end.

This shoe is definitely versatile, so don’t be afraid to experiment with some faster and slower paces to see how they handle.


PRICE

It feels like nearly a perfect price for what you’re getting out of the Beacon v3. The versatile mix of soft and responsiveness you’re getting will allow you to get a great amount out of this shoe, regardless of durability.

Always be on the lookout for sales, because if you can get this for even less than $120 then that should feel like a steal!

New Balance Men's Fresh Foam Beacon V3 Running Shoe
  • Ground Contact Fresh Foam Midsole delivers a cushioned, lightweight ride and the outsole has strategically placed rubber outsole pods for durability where needed
  • Engineered mesh upper for a barely-there feel
  • Breathable textile material keeps your foot cool

CONCLUSION

A nice mix of snappy cushioning for a multitude of paces and distances

The New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v3 offers a snappy and responsive ride to take you through a range of paces and distances.

New Balance Men's Fresh Foam Beacon V3 Running Shoe, Neo Crimson/Neo Flame, 7

It offers a good mix that can be added into any runner’s shoe rotation, so it’s worth a try if you’re in the market for something new.

The bouncy Fresh Foam X midsole, secure upper, and minimal outsole will provide a masterful mix to get you through anything from an easy day to a steady long run in any weather.


Should you get the New Balance Fresh Foam v3?

If you are looking for a shoe that offers a secure midfoot lockdown and snappy midsole foam to take you through a range of paces then this would be a solid option for you. It will also be a good choice if you have a wider foot, as the toe box offers plenty of volume for a comfortable fit.

New Balance Men's Fresh Foam Beacon V3 Running Shoe, Light Cyclone/Rogue Wave, 7
46 Reviews
New Balance Men's Fresh Foam Beacon V3 Running Shoe, Light Cyclone/Rogue Wave, 7
  • Ground Contact Fresh Foam Midsole delivers a cushioned, lightweight ride and the outsole has strategically placed rubber outsole pods for durability where needed
  • Engineered mesh upper for a barely-there feel
  • Breathable textile material keeps your foot cool

If you are a well build strong or bigger runner then this is probably not the best daily training option for you, as the foam just isn’t particularly soft or protective. It will probably wear down faster as well and then it just wouldn’t be worth it.

Also, if you are a runner who requires a lot of support and cushioning then you will want to look elsewhere, as this shoe does not provide enough stability for overpronators.

The bottom line is if you want a lightweight shoe that gets out of your way and lets you just go, then the New Balance Beacon v3 is definitely a good option to try out!

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Last update on 2020-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API