New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo Review

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo Review

The New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo or New Balance Tempo, is a brand new shoe from New Balance. It’s lightweight and more durable than the New Balance Beacon.

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo Review

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo Quick Facts:

Heel to Toe Drop: 6 mm

Weight: 8.5 oz

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo Introduction:

The New Balance Tempo was created as a replacement for the New Balance Zante. It was shocking when NB decided to discontinue the Zante because it was a fairly popular shoe. It’s fairly similar, and if you loved the Zante, the New Balance Tempo would be your best bet. Two of the Tempo’s key differences are a plastic heel counter and the “fresh foam X midsole.”  As Beyonce once said, let me upgrade you.

If you are new to the New Balance Tempo, it’s a lightweight but cushioned trainer. With the lower stack height, you do feel the ground more than other shoes.

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo Review

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo Fit:

I never ran in the Zante, but I’ve tried them on and seen dozens of photos. The Tempo looks fairly similar, and New Balance has similar colors for all of their shoes. Just don’t wear two different models when you are out for a run.

Many of the recent New Balance shoes feature a flared heel counter, which the Tempo does not. I like the flared heel counter, but I have no issues with the New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo’s traditional fit.

The New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo upper is made from a breathable, double-layer mesh. This is similar to most New Balance Running shoes.

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo Review

The Tempo also features an external heel counter, which provides more structure to the heel. It does make the shoe slightly more heavy in the heel, but not a big deal.

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo Review

It fits and feels similar to the New Balance 1080v10, but let shoe. Typically I wear between a size 10-11 wide, and I’ve found the size 11 of the New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo to fit the best.

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo Ride:

Earlier this year, the New Balance 1080v10 debuted the New Balance technology: “fresh foam X.” You probably know, I think it was one of the best updates in running shoe history. The Fresh Foam X is designed to go fast. It’s a firmer technology, and it doesn’t sink in like many brands.

One thing that the New Balance Tempo lacks responsiveness. The technology of the Fresh Foam X makes it soft, but it is not as “bouncy” as shoes made with TPU or Pebax.

Even though it’s not as responsive as I anticipated, the transition of the New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo smooth, and it rolled easily from heel to toe.

Durability: The New Balance Beacon v3 was extremely disappointing in durability for me. I only got about 100 miles before the shoe was toast. I was curious: how will the Tempo stack up? Both shoes are about the same price, but the New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo has rubber on both the forefoot and rearfoot (not all the way across the shoe).

This additional rubber makes the New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo slightly heavier but makes it far more durable. I’ve run about 100 miles in them and have plenty of life to go.

In my shoe rotation, the Tempo fits best as a faster pace, harder run shoe. I’ve run easy runs, faster and longer runs, and a track workout, and it works best as a tempo run or faster run shoe. I prefer more cushion for easy runs and less for track workouts.

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo Review

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo Conclusion:

Sometimes when a brand tries to replace a shoe, they don’t do a good job. We’ve recently seen that with the Nike Pegasus Turbo being replaced with the Tempo. Both good shoes but not as similar.

New Balance does a great job with the Tempo, and it does meet most of the criteria people liked about the Zante. If you are new to the New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo, it’s a great “faster shoe” or a lightweight but durable trainer. It’s not a racing flat but could be used as a marathon racing shoe if you wanted. I liked it so much. I got a second pair to add to my rotation.

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo VS New Balance Beacon:

The NB Tempo is much more of a firm ride, but it’s also significantly more durable. If you like a softer shoe, the Beacon is a little better, but you won’t get the same mileage. Personally, I’ll choose the New Balance Tempo 100% of the time because it’s just more durable.

My Current Shoe Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs Saloman Sonic 3 Balance,  Brooks Glycerin 18 Mizuno Rider Waveknit 3Nike Pegasus 37, New Balance 1080 v10Diadora Mythos Blushield Blushield Hip 5,  Hoka Bondi 7Asics GlideRide.

Speed Work: New Balance Tempo, Nike Tempo Next%New Balance Fuelcell TC Shoe ReviewReebok Float Ride Run fast Pro,

Long Runs: Hoka Clifton Edge,  Under Armour Sonic HOVR 3

Trail Running/Hiking: Hoka Torrent 2Saucony Peregrine 10New Balance Hierro v5 

Races: Asics MetaRacerNew Balance Fuelcell 5280Nike Next%,  Saucony Endorphin ProNew Balance fuelcell TCReebok Run fast Pro 

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths of running shoes.

Questions for you:

Have you tried the New Balance Tempo?

What is your current favorite running shoe?


  1. Ugh I just received more beacons today and I’m glad I am not the only one who kills my beacons in 100 miles. I like the hoka carbon x ones and I do love the new balance fuelcell tc…. I’m struggling to find a good marathon racer…. I wore the green Nike shoes… the next 3% I think for CIM. Another shoe I like are the old Nike zoom trainers but the last time I wore them not so much… still hunting!

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