Update: Fresh Foam Boracay v3
Arch support
Daily running
M: 261g | W: 216g
Heel to toe drop
M: 4mm | W: 4mm
Heel height
M: 22mm | W: 22mm
Forefoot height
M: 18mm | W: 18mm
Widths available
M: Normal - D, Wide - 2E | W: Normal - B, Wide - D
Show moreless facts


Shoes best for road, track and light gravel. See the best road shoes.


Shoes best for trail, off road, mountains and other unstable surfaces. See the best trail shoes.

Good to know

As long as you stick to the road or path, and if you want just one running shoe, buy a road running shoe.

Neutral / cushion / high arch

Shoes for runners who does not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.

Stability / overpronation / normal arch

Shoes for runners who needs arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a normal arch. See the best stability shoes.

Motion control / severe overproanation / flat feet

Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.

Good to know

- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.

Daily running

Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.


Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.

Good to know

If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.

The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.

There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.


We spent 6.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

5 reasons to buy

  • The majority of the upper unit is comprised of Open Mesh, which offers breathable and comfortable coverage as noted by some runners.

  • The synthetic overlays improve the fit, while the no-sew construction allows the inner to be like a sock-like fit based on several runners’ comments.

  • Runners generally appreciated the inclusion of a traditional sock liner for some added cushioning.

  • A natural underfoot feel is given by the Fresh Foam mid-sole compound, which is a single-piece foam.

  • Blown rubber on the outsole provides traction and durability for the external layer of the Fresh Foam Boracay.

3 reasons not to buy

  • There were runners who noticed the outsole wear off easily after a few months of use.

  • Some felt that it wasn’t true to its size because they felt that it was smaller than their usual choice.

  • Others felt that the toe box was a bit narrow.

Bottom line

The Fresh Foam Boracay from New Balance is a running shoe that has a lot of followers because of the incredible comfort, responsive cushioning, and sufficient arch support. It offers an adequate underfoot platform that follows the natural geometry of the foot, which makes it a very good daily trainer.

World wide, Fresh Foam Boracay is in the top 20% most popular running shoes. The brand, New Balance, is the 4th most popular.

Map: Shows popularity per continent based on 1010 shoes


4.4 / 5 based on 322 ratings

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Expert reviews

Experts are running shoe geeks, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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79 / 100 based on 19 expert reviews

  • 84
    CraigLevel 3 expert
    by Runner's High
    You can still expect a lightweight, cushioned ride from the Fresh Foam Boracay.
  • 87
    Steve TooleyLevel 1 expert
    by Steve Tooley
    Very nice shoe. Very comfortable shoe for me.
  • 90
    Sam WinebaumLevel 5 expert
    by Road Trail Run
    A very smooth, decently responsive, well cushioned daily trainer that is light enough at just over 9 oz to be in contention as my 2015 marathon shoe.
  • 90
    SolereviewLevel 5 expert
    by Solereview
    If you are considering a lightweight daily trainer, the Boracay should be on your list. It’s got a 4 mm drop, so that’s the only thing some 10 mm regulars need to watch out for.
  • 84
    Brandon WoodLevel 5 expert
    by Gearist
    This is a high-mileage trainer that is a fantastic accompaniment to the Fresh Foam Zante not to mention being a great standalone shoe.
  • 75
    Peter LarsonLevel 5 expert
    by Runblogger
    I’m happy to report that New Balance has indeed addressed the fit issue I had with the FF 980. Though the change is pretty subtle, there does seem to be just a bit more room up front, and I have less of a sensation of toe squeezing in the Boracay.
  • 55
    Runner's WorldLevel 5 expert
    by Runner's World
    One unanimous comment: The laces are too long.
  • 85
    Kevin FongerLevel 4 expert
    by Active Gear Review
    The outsole provides maximum ground coverage which provides great traction for dry days. I’ve run also tested these shoes on wet and snowy roads and have found the tread pattern to provide a good amount of traction.
  • 84
    BrandonLevel 3 expert
    by GEARIST
    Whatever you wanna do, I think this is a shoe that's gonna be able to do it.
  • 71
    Tom PooleLevel 3 expert
    by Gear Institute
    The Fresh Foam Boracay felt simply like a standard shoe with a few nice upgrades from the original 980 version. In a field full of shoes with varied sole densities, inlays, and support, the Fresh Foam Boracay seemed like a step backward.
  • 60
    Running NorthwestLevel 3 expert
    by Running Northwest
    You need to spend time with the shoe in order to become accustomed to running with them, but once you do I found solid performance improvements.
  • 88
    Running WarehouseLevel 2 expert
    by Running Warehouse
    The fit of the Boracay also moves in the direction of more traditional daily trainers. The 980 had a shallow and pointy toebox, which was too small for some runners (not me, I loved the fit).
  • 80
    Tanya SlosbergLevel 2 expert
    by Gearist
    While I am tempted to say that I would love to see more ground feel and flexibility in the shoe, different shoe models exist to satisfy the very variable needs among runners.
  • 88
    Chris MacLeodLevel 1 expert
    by The Rundown
    Okay, maybe slightly less exciting than a brand new shoe, but the Boracay (version 2 of the original “Fresh Foam”, the 980), is still a sleek update that improves on an already good thing
  • 84
    Newstuff JunkieLevel 1 expert
    by Newstuff Junkie
    It feels solid. It feels great. It's very light.
  • 80
    ChrisLevel 1 expert
    by Any Idiot Can Run
    This shoe is brilliant. The minor durability issues are as much down to bad luck on my part I suspect and actually do little to detract from the shoe
  • 75
    Dan James ButtonLevel 1 expert
    by My Running Life at Speed
    I’ve honestly only put about 50-60 miles on these guys yet since I picked them up a week ago, but I see no wear at all yet.
  • 70
    Rooster MillerLevel 1 expert
    by Rooster Miller
    I wouldn't wanna pay full price for this and not get longevity out of this shoe.
  • 60
    Trevor TanLevel 1 expert
    by Your Running Shoe Reviews
    The extra space, however, did mean that there was slight slippage during runs.I would recommend going for half size smaller for a snug fit. Or simply use a thicker pair of socks.
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These are visual presentations, not reviews

  • Connor Running Warehouse
    In this update, the midsole provides a slightly wider platform, leading to a more stable feel and improved fit.
  • Rachel Road Runner Sports
    Reduce pain and run longer. The Fresh Foam does it all, providing softness, cushioning and stability.
  • Sean Road Runner Sports
    Take these shoes on any terrain. The rubber sole is super durable for any adventure.
  • Connor Running Warehouse
    Taking over for the popular New Balance 980, the Boracay continues the use of Fresh Foam technology, utilizing convex and concave hexagons to help enhance sponginess and firmness in specifically targeted areas of the shoe.
  • Brendan Murray RunningShoes.com
    This is, again, that Fresh Foam platform that really takes our data-to-design and makes a single-piece midsole and inherently stable shoe.
  • April Shop Zappos
    This shoe is eye-catching with its wonderful low-profile design and bold, bright colors.
  • Richard Shop Zappos
    You have a two-way breathable stretch mesh upper with minimal synthetic overlays, so you get a really lightweight fit and feel.

Updates to Fresh Foam Boracay

The New Balance Fresh Foam Boracay features the innovative single-piece Fresh Foam midsole that brings the standard midsole to the next level. It delivers durable cushioning and soft underfoot feel.

Fresh Foam Boracay size and fit

The Fresh Foam Boracay is available in standard shoe length. It gives snug fit on the heel, midfoot and forefoot. This shoe is available in standard, wide and extra wide widths. It gives comfortable fit to those with regular and wide foot measurements.


The outsole unit uses the full ground contact rubber that gives added durability and reasonable traction. The elongated hexagon lugs gives added grip and flexibility.


The Fresh Foam Boracay uses the Fresh Foam midsole that has geometric shape to provide added support. This midsole provide durable, soft underfoot cushioning.


The New Balance Fresh Foam Boracay features the open mesh cover that gives lightweight breathability. The synthetic overlays deliver a secure fit by wrapping the foot snugly. The traditional sock liner delivers added underfoot cushioning.


Comparison to category means
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