The Fresh Foam Boracay is the update to the Fresh Foam 980, a combination of a new foam formulation and application of geometries by New Balance. This round focuses on nudging each area forward to arrive at a better product overall. The upper (an open mesh in Round 1), is now a closed but breathable airmesh that’s supported by a thin framework of welded overlays.

The toe is surprisingly well-supported even without a toecap, the eyestays feature self-adjusting eyelets, and the neoprene tongue and foam ankle collar provide a plush, interior feel. The Fresh Foam midsole features the same 4mm geometry. The sidewall cells have been altered to stabilize the shoe medially, while the lateral side cushions and directs the foot. This is possible, in part, because the one-piece, full-contact outersole (which is unchanged) allows the gait’s path to be chosen by the foot as the sole flexes to accommodate. The fit and ride have been elevated a notch, and while not for everybody, fans and future fans will find a lot to like.

Testers:“Really comfortable shoe to put on. It fits well- snug where needed, roomy where needed. The run is very smooth and lively for a cushion shoe.”
Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15,16 (D,2E,4E); Women 5–11,12 (B,D)
Weight: 10.5 oz. (men’s 11); 8.5 oz. (women’s 8)
Shape: semicurved
Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board
Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation