Hey what is up everybody. It’s your boy, J to the G to the uzon. And today, I will be reviewing the newly released road running shoe from New Balance, the Fresh Foam Beacon. So without further ado, let’s get down to the gritty stuff.
After retiring my Salomon Sense Mantra 3 (which you can read my review here), I was on the market looking for my next road shoe. And because New Balance has proven to be a competent brand ever since I bought my trail shoes there (review coming soon), I decided to go in and give them a chance.
I guess the universe was leading me in the right direction because at my local outlet in Bonifacio High Street, I asked the promoter what their new road shoe was and he pointed me to the Beacon. Let’s start the review at the moment I put the pair on.
Fit and Comfort
As soon as the shoes were on my feet, I knew that I had to have it. The fit was 👌👌👌, just as it was with the Sense Mantra 3. But the comfort was just in another league entirely. Now, I was never a fan of knit uppers. I always thought of them as gimmicks, but my eyes are open now. They envelop my foot and keep it secure without the feeling of constriction. The Fresh Foam material was just amazing. Even if they didn’t work for running somehow, I knew I had to get this pair even just for my daily use.
My only gripe is the lack of any quicklace technology. Once you’ve had the quicklace experience, you just can’t return to regular lacing. I’ll probably replace the laces soon though. But aside from that, this shoe is 💯💯💯.
Wide Toe Box
Because of the knit upper, the shoe provides ample room for all my toes. The fit is comfortable as there is no tight squeezing on any part of my foot. It feels like a sock with a good fit, but still has enough support for the pounding on the pavement. This shoe design is good for all kinds of foot shapes as the knit material accommodates the foot and wraps around it securely.
One of the best parts of the shoe. It just feels comfortable even while walking. This fresh foam is amazing technology. The bounce makes me feel like every step propels me forward much more so than in other shoes. There is a slight heel drop (6mm), but it’s not too disruptive that it will change your form. The shoe feels good in the feet, from everyday use to training. And even after 100+ kilometers, the bounce feels just as it did the first time I wore it.
Another good feature is the weight. Because of the single block of fresh foam and the knit material, the shoe is incredibly light. I’m used to heavier shoes and I can definitely feel the difference in weight between them. Shoe weight has never been a selling point for me before, but now I’m starting to see the appeal. Coupled with the comfortable fit, the weight makes it feel like it’s a part of my foot structure. Take note though, when the shoe gets wet, it’s another story. I will discuss this further in the Waterproofing section.
I recently finished a marathon wearing this pair and I have to say that although it’s not my best time, my soles didn’t feel as trashed as they did with other shoes. The bounce provided by the fresh foam makes it seem that you are being propelled forward with less effort than usual. There’s really no way to describe it but by saying that I feel much faster, springier, and more energy efficient when I’m using the Beacon.
Being a road shoe, the traction of the Beacon is good on asphalt, concrete, and even on unpaved roads. As long as it isn’t mud or insanely wet surfaces, the Beacon can definitely do its job well.
Durability and Protection
The knit of the upper isn’t thin enough to put a hole in the shoe when scratched, but after 100 kilometers, some tiny threads can be seen unraveling. However, this is no serious concern as there are a LOT of threads composing the shoe. As it will be used mostly on the road, there is no fear of sticks and stones puncturing it. Although, an occasional pebble hurtling towards the shoe would probably be painful as the knit offers very minimal protection from outside forces. However, I can see myself running around a couple more hundred kilometers with this shoe before finding a noticeable breakdown.
Being one block of Fresh Foam, the sole of the shoe is compact and light. However, I thought that a compromise to this would be durability, especially on the part of the foam which comes in contact with the ground on every step. I was thankfully proven wrong after lots of mileage with the shoe. Not only has the outsole remained tough, but the springiness is retained. Every morning, I am looking forward to putting on this shoe and doing my daily routine.
This shoe has logged 100+ kilometers on Strava, but that doesn’t include the almost daily walking I do and also the treadmill runs. Even if circumstances lead to retiring this shoe from running, I will still continue to use it as my daily walker. Hopefully I can reach 1,000 kilometers with this pair.
Probably my only gripe with this shoe is that the knit really absorbs a lot of water. Not that I like running in the rain the first place, but when the occasional bad luck hits, it gets really heavy, squishy… and smelly. So as much as possible, avoid getting this shoe wet. But if you’re like me who sweats like a leaky faucet, then just make sure you wash these shoes regularly.
+ Very comfortable
+ Maximum cushioning and bounce on a medium build shoe
+ Good for daily walking, long distance runs, and short speed run
+ Durable outsole
– Knit upper has no impact protection
– Heavy when wet
– No quicklace system
This is probably the next best shoe after my Sense Mantra 3. Although it’s not as all around as the former, I can’t imagine myself wearing another model on the road. I highly recommend that runners looking for a new pair to try this particular model. This is just newly released by New Balance (August 2018), so you can be sure of the freshness of the models as you get them off the shelves.
If you’re looking for an additional road shoe in your rotation, the Beacon is a must try. It’s just fun to run in this pair! It’s a simple shoe that gets the job done. If only they made one in pure black, then I would have bought 5 pairs and never looked back. Hahaha.
I’m really liking the offerings of New Balance. Slowly and surely, it’s replacing Salomon in my shoe rotation. Well, diversity is a good thing, right?
Train hard, race easy.