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New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2: New Balance’s Best Basketball Shoe?

New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2

The New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2 is the 2nd iteration of NB’s Fresh Foam basketball shoe, which was already solid, and presents several key improvements.

Release Date: 2024

Price: $130

Total Score
Buy Fresh Foam BB V2

New Balance introduced their acclaimed Fresh Foam cushioning to the basketball category last year with the first iteration of the Fresh Foam BB. That first version was pretty darn good but it did have several issues. First, the implementation of the Fresh Foam wasn’t optimal. Secondly, the materials weren’t so great, and the fit was odd.

Therefore, going into the performance review of this new version of the Fresh Foam BB, we’re hoping that New Balance would address these issues. Let’s jump into the review and see what has changed and how well they actually performed on court.

New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2 Performance Review

New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2 Traction

Traction on the first Fresh Foam BB was awesome. The concentric circle traction pattern in conjunction with the rubber compound NB used on the sole gripped the court like crazy and stopped on a dime. On top of that the rubber (both solid and translucent versions) was tough enough to withstand outdoor play. All in all, it was one of the best traction setups last year.

The good news is that nothing has changed in this model. We have practically the same traction setup, and exactly the same performance, which means that, in terms of traction, the Fresh Foam BB V2 will be a good outdoor basketball shoe, and indoor performance will also be top-notch. The one thing that has changed slightly is that the shoe features a wider forefoot, but more on this later.

New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2 Cushion

Here we see the first significant change in regards to the previous model. The way the Fresh Foam X was caged in the first model made it very stable and reactive, but it didn’t allow the foam to compress like everyone hoped it would. Fresh Foam X is plush and comfortable underfoot and, in that first model, it didn’t have the room to shine.

No such issues in the Fresh Foam V2. In this version, we have a dual-density setup. The exposed portions of the midsole are built in a slightly firmer (but still soft) foam which acts as a carrier for an even softer and more plush foam that sits under your foot. This is the closest thing to a max cushioning setup that New Balance currently offers, and the firmer foam exterior provides stability and reactiveness.

The New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2 provides a super smooth and comfortable ride on court with a big amount of compression and impact protection. You do sit rather high, so court feel isn’t a strong point, but if you’re looking for plush cushioning, this is an inevitable trade-off.

This setup is also great for outdoor play. Outdoor basketball surfaces offer nothing in terms of impact protection, so if you want to play outside comfortably for extended periods, you need a good cushioning setup that will absorb all that punishment to keep your joints fresh. The Fresh Foam BB V2 will provide just that.

New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2 Materials

Here we see another huge upgrade. New Balance has switched out their synthetic “Fit Weave” build for a new upper that combines textiles and premium suede overlays. In terms of performance, Fit Weave worked fine, but it was a very plastic-y material that didn’t do the shoe justice. As far as the V2 is concerned, this new setup works great on court, and it also looks and feels great in hand.

This is exactly the type of build we love here at Weartesters. The premium overlays are strategically placed to boost the shoe’s containment, the interior textile booty helps cut down on weight and both together get the job done. The shoe does take some time to break in, and there’s a minimal amount of space around your foot once you’re laced in, but this is almost unavoidable when you use premium materials.

One thing to keep in mind is that ventilation is not a strong point in this shoe. It’s not a huge issue, but if you prefer airy basketball shoes, this is not that.

New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2 Support

Support is on point in the Fresh Foam BB V2, nothing ground-breaking, but solid. The shoe is equipped with a substantial TPU midfoot shank plate, an ok heel counter that’s enhanced by the foam sidewalls, and the interior sculpting, midsole, and sole provide a stable base.

As far as containment goes, as we have mentioned, the upper is well-built and we also have four forefoot lace cables and a speed lacing system. The lacing system allows you to adapt the fit of the shoe a good amount and enhances lockdown. As the shoe warms up, you may have to re-adjust your lacing, which admittedly is annoying, but it’s also not a big issue.

New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2 Fit

Fit has also been improved in the V2. As we have mentioned, the first version of the shoe fit oddly: it was a bit narrow and also fit slightly long. This has been fixed in this new version, so, as long as you go with your usual US size you should have zero issues. As always, if you have any concerns as far as sizing goes, you can always try them on in-store.

New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2 Overall

The New Balance Fresh Foam BB V2 just might be New Balance’s best basketball shoe to date. With this shoe, you’re getting elite traction that can handle outdoor play with ease, a thick plush cushioning system (that’s also ideal for outdoors), excellent materials and build, and this is completely subjective, one of the best-looking hoop shoes of the year.

Now, those premium materials need time to break in and the upper is not super breathable, the thick slab of Fresh Foam means that you’re sitting rather high off the court and court feel subsequently suffers, and the shoe does not offer a perfect 1 to 1 fit. But these are minor tradeoffs to be able to enjoy a great and super versatile performance basketball shoe.

Let us know your opinion on the NB Fresh Foam BB V2 in the comment section below or on YouTube or Twitter.

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