New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v2
In partnership with Zappos Running & RunRepeat.com
written by Lovebel Talisic
The New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v2 promises to deliver style and performance in one lightweight package. Aside from the new upper design, everything else from the Beacon v2 is the same as its predecessor. It features the notable Fresh Foam cushioning that is designed to deliver a soft and responsive ride.
One major change is the new Ultra Heel design, an element that aims to prevent irritation on the Achilles part and enhance the overall fit near the back of the shoe
The new Beacon v2 promises a softer underfoot feel. So, after several miles of running on the road, here are the things runners can expect from this product:
The upper unit is comfortable and breathable.
The Fresh Foam cushioning is responsive and light.
It has an overall construction that is impressively lightweight.
The sizing scheme adheres to expectations.
The outsole is not durable.
Toe-box is loose and too wide.
The stitches in the midfoot area cause mild irritation to the skin.
Breathable and comfortable upper
The engineered knit material on the upper does not only give a stylish look; it also provides the foot with a breathable and comfortable coverage. The material is thin and stretchable. It adapts to the natural shape of the foot. There are also small perforations in the forefoot area for proper ventilation.
There is no internal fabric lining in the New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v2 but it feels soft in the forefoot area. However, the stitches situated near the midfoot area have a tendency to cause irritation because the skin constantly rubs against the fabric while running.
Average grip, less durable outsole
Serving as the outsole unit is the Ground Contact Fresh Foam surface with rubber-reinforced contact points. These elements work in tandem to deliver traction over the asphalt, as well as mild resistance to wear-and-tear.
When it comes to grip, the performance of the Beacon v2 is average on both wet and dry surfaces. It functions just like the other New Balance Fresh Foam shoes - steps are well-rounded and annoying squeaking sounds don’t appear.
Compared to other road running shoes from other brands like Nike and Adidas, the outsole of this shoe is not as durable. Although the Ground Contact Fresh Foam is designed to fight abrasion while running on the roads, it is not sturdy enough to exclusively become a source of longevity.
It is to be noted that the first version of the shoe held up better than the 2nd version, though there is a small amount of blown rubber in the heel and forefoot area for extra protection.
Classic Fresh Foam ride quality
The New Balance Beacon v2 delivers the classic Fresh Foam ride quality, which is plushness in a light package. The full-length midsole foam, a tech that is not too bouncy and not too firm, encourages a soft underfoot feel and a ride that is smooth and natural. Fresh Foam also delivers consistent cushioning when standing, walking, and even when tackling long-distance runs.
Impressive Ultra Heel design
One of the impressive updates of the Fresh Foam Beacon v2 is the Ultra Heel design. Aside from giving the model a stylish look, the purpose of the new heel design is to reduce irritation in the Achilles while delivering a more secure heel wrap.
Fresh Foam Beacon v2 vs other neutral running shoes
Brooks Revel 3
Just like the New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v2, the Revel 3 is a road running shoe that doesn’t have a weighty profile. It offers a good blend of performance and style while also being affordable.
This neutral shoe features one of Brooks’ most popular midsole technologies, the BioMoGo DNA foam. It is designed to provide a soft and comfortable feeling for the underside of the foot. Just like the Fresh Foam technology, the BioMoGo DNA is lightweight and long-lasting.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36
The Pegasus is a long-running running shoe series from Nike. It has been widely used by casual footwear enthusiasts, as well as neophyte and professional runners. Helping every individual with their performance-specific needs for 36 years, the Pegasus continues to satisfy users with its overall design, quality, and style.
Compared to the Pegasus 36, the Beacon v2 is still a new model and there is still a lot of room for improvement. However, the Fresh Foam Beacon v2 won’t disappoint when it comes to aesthetics, comfort, breathability and cushioning.
Hoka One One Rincon
The Hoka One One Rincon is a lightweight road running shoe that has a 5mm heel drop. Just like the Beacon v2, this model features a midsole foam that delivers a balance between reactive and soft underfoot cushioning.
Both shoes deliver a breathable and lightweight upper coverage and both are using a full ground contact design. But, when it comes to the robustness of the outsole, the Rincon is more reliable than the Beacon v2. The external pad of the Hoka One One Rincon is also more flexible than its counterpart from New Balance.
The updated version of the New Balance Beacon is not as impressive as the first release. Though it still delivers the classic Fresh Foam ride quality, breathability, and lightweight feel, the brand needs to further improve the shoe’s outsole durability and overall fit.
For casual runners, the Beacon v2 is still a worthy investment. Aside from being a running partner, it doubles as a sneaker because of its stylish look.