New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo v2 Review Analysis (2022)
The New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo v2 is a comfortable and responsive daily trainer. It’s a positive evolutionary step in the Fresh Foam series.
If you were a fan of the Fresh Foam Zante, Fresh Foam Beacon, or the Fresh Foam Tempo v1, you will be a big fan of this second version of the Fresh Foam Tempo.
The cushioning is Fresh Foam X. Experts report that the Fresh Foam X is bouncy and soft but not too soft. The Hypoknit upper is comfortable both in the toe box and the heel. The shoe holds the ankle and has a secure lockdown over the midfoot. Reviewers highlight the abundant rubber on the outsole that aids in traction.
No runners expressed concern with the shoe’s durability, but one tester reported a noticeable loss of spring after 100 miles. Also, a tester with a wide foot didn’t recommend this shoe, noting that it’s more suited to runners with a standard or narrow foot.
This is a high-quality all-purpose running shoe for a reasonable price ($119.99). It’s very versatile and can handle daily runs at any pace. A runner, especially one with Fresh Foam experience, will be happy with this shoe. However, runners with wide feet may want to keep looking past the Tempo v2.
Please read our full review of the New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo v2 for more information.
- Affordable shoe
- Solid lockdown
- Balanced cushioning
- Dependable, sticky grip
- Versatile regardless of the type of run
- Questionable foam resilience over 100 miles
- Not ideal for wide feet
- Dull design
New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo v2 Complete Review Analysis
New Balance has made shoes with Fresh Foam since the original Zante took the running world by storm a few years back. The Zante was notable for being light and lively without a carbon plate (a technology that didn’t exist back then). The carbon plate has improved racing times, but this technology also comes with a higher price tag. And this is where shoes like the Tempo come in.
The Zante was eventually changed and renamed the Tempo. At the same time, New Balance released the Beacon, which was more of an everyday shoe that also featured a Fresh Foam X midsole. New Balance took all the things learned from the journey of the Zante, Beacon, and Tempo v1 and enacted them in the Tempo v2.
This nimble shoe is built to be light in weight, fun, and adaptable. It features Fresh Foam X, a Hypoknit engineered mesh upper, and upgraded outsole rubber. As a hybrid shoe, the Tempo v2 should give a good performance whether you’re training hard or having a relaxed run on a familiar course.
The New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo v2 features Fresh Foam X. If it sounds very technologically advanced, it’s because it is. The objective of the Fresh Foam midsole is to provide cushion but still have some give. Reviewers agree that this new Tempo achieved its goals with the cushioned midsole. The Fresh Foam is balanced. Some firmness gives a flexible landing and still provides the runner with a decent ground feel.
The reported stack height is 28 mm at the heel and 22 mm at the forefoot with a 6 mm drop. The 6 mm drop is on the low side but is in line with previous New Balance Fresh Foam X models, including the Tempo v1. One runner expressed a desire for some additional stack height, but stack height preference is often highly subjective and many should be able to use these shoes for longer runs.
Another reviewer found the overhauled Tempo to be very similar to the New Balance Rebel v3. The shoes have a similar purpose and price point, which comes down to cushioning preference. The Rebel v3 utilizes FuelCell, whereas the Tempo v2 utilizes the softer Fresh Foam.
The balanced cushion and support in the midsole are substantial enough for a comfortable run, whether running a short distance or running a marathon.
Foot lockdown (upper)
The Tempo v2 utilizes New Balance’s Hypoknit upper technology. Hypoknit is a thin knit fabric designed to be flexible and breathable for maximum comfort. Beyond the material, the benefit of a knit upper construction-wise is that it cuts down on the overlays. Ideally, a knit shoe will fit like a glove.
Does the Hypoknit upper live up to its promises? It sure does. Reviewers report they were very pleased with the lockdown over competitors and previous New Balance models. They felt secure and noted flexibility over the toebox and firmness over the saddle. The shoe fit true to size, and no runners had any issues with rubbing or hotspots.
How about the rest of the shoe? Athletes made mention of the minimal padding and light composition of the collar and heel counter but not in a negative way. They liked the restraint shown. Their ankles felt secure, and they were fans of the thinner, lighter material.
This all sounds great, right? Well, there were some negatives when it came to the evaluation for width. The Tempo v2 is available in wide sizes, and New Balance is known as a brand made for those with wide feet. However, a wide-feet reviewer was not happy with the updated Tempo. They note a small platform and small toe box while wondering whether the wide size is only considered wide due to extra material instead of a larger platform.
Grip and durability
The runners who had a chance to review these running shoes all reported high satisfaction with the grip and the construction of the outsole rubber.
When looking at the bottom of the shoe, the segmentation is very apparent. The forefoot has a nice layer of rubber, the midfoot has exposed foam, and the heel has a substantial amount of rubber. The heel coverage is incredibly exceptional compared to other shoes or even the Tempo v1.
The rubber and overall construction result is a shoe that reviewers describe as having an outstanding grip and as being sticky when taking hard turns. One of the marathon-running reviewers had not experienced issues with the outsole’s durability and didn’t anticipate them going forward.
The runners who took the new Tempo out for a ride had overwhelmingly positive things to say. Reviewers described runs with the updated Tempo as springy but firm enough to feel the road conditions. The shoe has a low profile, which worked out well for the testers.
Want to accelerate quickly? The amount of rubber on the outsole gives extra juice for a smooth ride. The ample rubber on the sole also aided in the general performance. Impressive lockdown while making lateral movements, taking hard turns with ease, and sticky were all used to describe the performance in the field.
Users also frequently came back to make a point about the weight of the Tempo v2. The shoe is light and nimble regardless of the length of the run. Runners put the Tempo v2 through the paces on long runs, short runs, tempo runs, and maintenance runs. It also achieved high marks for fast paces, average paces, and relatively slow paces.
The only real knock came from a runner who experienced a flat feeling after logging over 100 miles of workouts. Not necessarily a red flag but a “proceed with caution” depending on the mileage you expect to get out of your shoes.
New Balance falls a bit flat when it comes to the shoe’s overall look and for runners with a wide foot. Otherwise, the Tempo v2 impressed reviewers with its affordable price (Retail Price: $119.99), lightweight, Fresh Foam X for midsole comfort, and lively performance in any environment.
If you want a single piece of gear that checks multiple boxes, the Tempo v2 could be your shoe. Your run will be equally smooth on easy days and during tough workouts. This is a fun shoe that you’ll be excited to keep putting on.
|Heel stack height||28 mm|
|Forefoot stack height||22 mm|
|Weight (men)||258 g/9.1 oz|
|Weight (women)||258 g/9.1 oz|
|Softness (1-5)||4 – Soft|
|Bounce (1-5)||4 – Bouncy|
|Outsole||Blown rubber, flex grooves|
|Midsole||Fresh Foam X|
|Distance||Short, Mid, 5K, 10K, half marathon|
|Workout||Daily runs, recovery|
Reference: New Balance
Comparisons – New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo v2 vs.:
New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo v1
The Tempo v2 is rebuilt from the ground up based on all previous Fresh Foam X shoes instead of small changes to the Tempo v1. Version 2 is a hybrid of all previous models.
Some reviewers thought v1 was lacking but received high marks for wide sizes. Both shoes are versatile. As such, you can use it as a tempo shoe, a race shoe, and an everyday shoe. The difference is that the Tempo v2 achieves that goal better. Tempo v1 was a bit firmer, while the new version is softer while still giving adequate support.
Unless width is the primary concern when buying shoes, a move from the Tempo v1 to the Tempo v2 makes sense.