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97 / 100 based on 4 expert reviews
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.
It allowed me to move quickly from side to side, forward, and backward especially on a hard surface.
Great shoe for the push off from the heel and great for moving side to side.
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.
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.