New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo review: Super stylish, but can they go the distance?

The New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo are great at providing bounce when you’re pounding the pavement.

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo trainers
(Image credit: New Balance)
Woman & Home Verdict

These running shoes are ideal for hitting the treadmill – and the pub!

Reasons to buy
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    Reflective detailing

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    Ultra cushioning

Reasons to avoid
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    Lacking support

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    Not waterproof

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    Sizing not accurate

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Looking for a pair of running shoes to start a new exercise regime or give a boost to your current one? The New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo – which are ultra cushioned to help reduce impact – could be for you. How to be sure? We’ve put a pair through its paces from the moment we took them out the box, so you can see if you think they are worth the investment.

I tested a wide selection of the best running shoes for women and considered how they fitted, performed and benefited my workout. All trainers were used at least three times for different workouts to see how they fared.

Keep scrolling for the full review to see if these running shoes are the ones for you. 

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo specifications

Size range: UK 3.5-9
Offset: 6mm
Terrain: Firm
Waterproof: No

Who will the New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo suit?

The New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo will suit someone who likes to mix up their workouts both indoors and out.

What are the New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo like to wear?

The first time I wore them, these running shoes were exceptionally comfortable, didn’t rub and didn’t need breaking in first. Every part of the shoe is well cushioned, from the tongue to the spot that rests against the back of your heel. Each time I went out wearing them, my feet felt super comfortable. However, despite the synthetic, breathable mesh on the top of this shoe, my feet still felt hot after wearing them.

The main USP of the New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo is the Fresh Foam midsole cushioning. This basically compresses each time your foot hits the floor to help protect against the force of the impact – and it definitely does work, ideal if you are someone who often experiences shin splints when running.

These running shoes feel very lightweight to wear (they are 173g). However, while the midsole cushioning made me acutely aware of how I was landing my feet with each stride, there were times when I didn’t always feel properly supported. I know I have a tendency to roll my right foot inwards when running and the New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo didn’t always stop this happening, so I think this is where a firmer sole would have made a difference. 

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo

These look great from all angles.

(Image credit: New Balance)

The New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo design

The New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo running shoes come in four different colourways: Bali Blue with Plum & Natural Indigo (purple and aqua), Black with Lead & Moon Dust (black and grey), Moon Dust with Bali Blue & Lemon Slush (grey, blue and yellow) and Natural Indigo with Ginger Pink & Lemon Slush. 

I tried a pair of Natural Indigo with Ginger Pink & Lemon Slush. These were basically dark blue on top with an aqua heel and animal-print stripes of yellow and pink in the centre under the New Balance capital ‘N’. They looked stunning. The design is exceptionally stylish and I felt they were not just a running shoe but also a bit of a fashion statement.

While not everyone will like the traditional ‘N’ design on each side of the shoe, these are reflective, so great if you are running along the road at dusk.

The New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo have such appeal that I’d happily wear them both working out and with a pair of jeans.

The versatility of the New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo

The New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo can be worn in the gym for a high-impact class, Zumba, hitting the treadmill or outside running. But if you’re doing the latter, then it’s best to stick to the road. While the grip is good enough for staying in control when it’s wet, as these are not waterproof it’s probably best to stick to paths and pavements instead of terrain that’s too treacherous.

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo sole

The traction is not quite as reliable as some trainers

(Image credit: New Balance)

Sizing and comfort of the New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo

I tried the New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo in a size five. Although they fitted well when I first put them on, I did notice that my toes were very near to the tip of the fabric – and this is despite them having quite a large toe box.

These running shoes are available in half sizes, so you may need to make the most of that and consider going up half a size or maybe even a full size, depending on your preference. Saying that, I have a wide foot and I felt they were still very comfortable.

I think if I was using these regularly for high-impact runs, I would potentially need more arch support.

How do the New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo rate online?

Most of the reviews for the New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo are positive, with many saying they are comfortable, supportive and a good alternative to the New Balance Zante. The main criticism was that the sizes come up a bit smaller than expected, which makes shopping online trickier to get right.

Are the New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo worth buying?

Yes, the design of these running shoes for women means you’ll definitely get your investment back, as you will wear them so regularly. Even the pattern of the sole has been considered, so they really look great from all angles.

Faye M Smith

Faye M Smith is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience in the magazine industry. Her continued work in the area of natural health won her the coveted title of the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) Journalist of the Year Award 2021. Currently Health Editor across several brands including woman&home, Woman and Woman’s Own, Faye specialises in writing about mental health, the menopause, and sex and relationships.