Summary

We spent 8.4 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what tennis players think:

6 reasons to buy

  • As admired by the majority of the reviewers, the New Balance Fresh Foam Lav offers plush cushioning in the heel. 
  • Many users describe that the soft upper contributes to a natural feeling when moving inside the court.
  • A considerable weight of comments indicate that the Kinetic embroidery helps hold up the foot. 
  • Scores of purchasers say that this footgear is sufficiently stable when moving side to side. 
  • A considerable number of playtesters say that the cleatie structure helps in keeping the foot locked in.
  • A lot of the pleased players express that this hard court shoe grips the ground surface well.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Some users suggested replacing the removable sockliner with customized orthotics for a more comfy fit. 
  • This shoe from New Balance stability tennis selection is quite heavy to some. 
  • It’s priced way above the average cost of other tennis shoes.

Bottom line

New Balance attempted to deliver stability by enhancing the exterior makeup of the Fresh Foam Lav. The state-of-the-art stitching technique across this sock-like shoe is praised for its secure fit. Underfoot, the pillow-like Fresh Foam guards the heel from impact. Though this shoe is heavy, it provides the needed springiness when pushing for a shot. Be ready to shell out more, since this hard court trainer doesn’t come cheap.

Facts

Shoe Type: Hard Court
Features: Breathable, Durability warranty
Construction: Stability
Material: Knit upper
Technology: Fresh Foam
Price: $150
Weight: Men: 14.5oz
Brand: New Balance
Size
Small True to size Large
Fit
Tight Loose
Breathability
Warm Breathable
Stability
Neutral Stable
Durability 9/10
Comfort 10/10
Traction 10/10
Toe protection 7/10
See more facts

Expert Reviews

Experts are tennis players, 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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97 / 100 based on 4 expert reviews

  • 95 / 100 | Tennis Warehouse | | Level 2 expert

    I actually “Lav” this shoe. Right when I put it on, I immediately noticed how comfortable it was and I love that Fresh Foam midsole.

  • 100 / 100 | Tennis Brothers | | Level 1 expert

    It allowed me to move quickly from side to side, forward, and backward especially on a hard surface.

  • 100 / 100 | Tennis Warehouse | | Level 1 expert

    Great shoe for the push off from the heel and great for moving side to side.

  • 95 / 100 | Tennis Warehouse | Level 1 expert

    From a design standpoint, the shoe checks all the boxes. Full-bootie construction for secure fit? Check. Kinetic Stitch upper for a blend of stability and flexibility? Check. Fresh Foam midsole that's both plush and responsive? Check.

  • First look | Tennis Express |

Become an expert

New Balance took a shot in enhancing the stability and cushioning of the Fresh Foam Lav by injecting it with two innovative technologies. For support and locked-in feel, the brand incorporated the Kinetic Stitching process across the knit upper. It keeps the feet snugged and stable under a cleatie-like structure. 

The mid-section is constructed with the Fresh Foam to cushion the foot from impact. It’s a blend of responsive and comfort qualities that help in the heel-to-toe transitions and multi-directional changes on the court.

Abrasion-ready rubber. Prepped for hard court games, the New Balance Fresh Foam Lav is equipped with an abrasion-resistant Ndurance rubber outsole. 

Added base support. This rubber formulation has an outrigger on the lateral side. It provides a wide base under the ball of the foot. The minimal protrusion helps keep the wearer stable as he makes lateral cuts. 

Adherence on hard court. This durable component is hollowed out with a modified herringbone tread pattern. The zigzag grooves are meant to provide the right balance of give and grip on any hard court set up.

Cushioning technology. Fresh Foam is a cushioning property initially used in running shoes. It facilitates a smooth heel-to-toe transition throughout the gait cycle. 

This foam compound is carved with hexagon shapes that compress and expand during motion. The bigger hexes are engineered on the rear side to provide a springy feel under the heel. The smaller and tighter ones are found on the forefoot to ensure stability under the ball of the foot.

Heel drop. The difference between the height of the heel to that of the toe is roughly 12mm. This heel drop gives the shoe a pronounced raised heel. The added height on the back end offers bounce when doing split steps, readying for a shot, and pushing forward and sideways on concrete or asphalt surfaces.

Impact absorption pad. Complementing the midsole is a PU (polyurethane) insert or an extra shock-absorption pad that’s found inside the shoe. This full-length unit helps reduce soreness underfoot. Since it’s removable, it can be replaced with custom foot orthosis.

Overall structure. There’s no need to worry about the tongue sliding from side to side with its cleatie-constructed built. 

Outstanding feature. Instead of using TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) overlays for added stability, New Balance integrated the Kinetic stitching. It helps reduce tons of weight on top of the shoe and facilitates comfortable movements on the court.

Both the New Balance 996 v3 and the Fresh Foam Lav are covered in soft and forgiving knit. But the latter uses polyurethane-made strands fused on the targeted areas on the upper for added stability. The plastic embroidery provides support and lockdown; thus, preventing the flexible upper from stretching further during motion. 

Another source of stability.  This adequately cushioned tennis shoe comes with an external TPU heel counter for added support at the back of the foot.

  • The New Balance Fresh Foam Lav was designed with creative and engineering inputs from Canadian player Milos Raonic.
  • “Lav” is the Serbian translation for “lion,” which is the moniker given to Milos by his grandfather.
  • Two looped pull tabs on the heel help to ankle up this shoe.

Comparison