The thick sole remains unchanged but tweaks to the upper improve the fit.
The RW Takeaway: High mileage and competitive runners will love this soft, zippy trainer.
- Lightweight midsole is soft but not mushy.
- The upper fits a little loose and breathes well.
- Don’t sweat durability—the foam sole held up well in our testing.
Weight: 218 g (M), 187 g (W)
Drop: 6 mm
I have a type, I’ll admit: soft, light, and fast. The New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon V2 delivers in all three areas, which is a rare feat for a running shoe. I loved the debut model a year ago because it reminded me of the original Hoka One One Clifton and Saucony Kinvara, two longtime favourites that also hit those marks.
New Balance kept things largely the same this year, but really improved the fit. The original model ran small and short—up to a full size for some runners. This model dials in the length, so you can order your traditional size online without worrying about a site’s return shipping policies. We appreciated the extra room in the forefoot and really loved the new heel. It has a molded construction to cradle your foot without using rigid heel counters, and the top of the shoe curves away from your Achilles so you don’t get any hotspots there.
The midsole and outsole are identical to the previous version. In this case, that’s a good thing because the Beacon works. I love new tech and innovative shoes, but also appreciate when good ones are left alone. This is one such model I hope remains unchanged when v3 is unveiled this time next year.