New Balance Fresh Foam Lav v2 REVIEW

LiamMiguel

Rookie
ABOUT MYSELF: So you guys can see the validity behind this test, I’ll give a brief introduction about my tennis. I currently am an Boys 18s USTA player ranked top 400 on the national standing list. I have gotten up to the top 200 and I have just committed to a DIII program in Tennessee. I currently play up to 2-3+ hours of tennis a day and I only used the Lav for those tennis times.

REVIEW:

Length of test:
I texted the shoes during the month of February through the NB Testing Program in the blue colorway (with a mix of some other colors, looked pretty cool).

First impressions (based on appearance):
They were definitely a bit bulky in terms of looks which proved not to be bad during actual play. The colorway I had was really cool and modern looking but as other people have said on this forum, the NB logo is HUGE. It may not be appealing to some people but it’s obviously a preference thing. The material was okay but was not as breathable as some other shoes, similar to the breathability(?) of the K-Swiss Ultrashot line. TLDR: it looked pretty cool and flashy.

Comfort:
As expected with New Balance, the comfort was absolutely out-of-the-park. I have never used such a comfortable shoe personally, the closest second was probably GR line for me. I’m guessing it is due to the Fresh Foam X that’s in it. I would like to compare it to the first version of the Lav but I never had the chance to test those out. The foot is a tiny bit slanted down from the heel to the toe which will annoy some players but it was no problem to me. I’d rate the comfort at 10/10.

Outsole (durability and traction):
Let’s start with durability. Over my entire month of testing, the durability was stellar. Balding was very minimal based on my time using it which was crazy. I usually go through Zoom Vapors in 2 weeks and Solecourt Boosts in 4 but the Lav had outperformed those shoes. It came in a close second to the 2012 Barricades/Barricade Novak as the outsole was great in those shoes as well. In terms of traction, it had a good balance of give and grip. I could change direction without any sort of slippage on hard court (unlike Zoom Vapors) while also having the ability to slide in and out of shots at ease. It was definitely sticky at first but got better after a couple days. I’d rate durability at 9.5/10 and traction at a nice 9/10.

(Edit) I did get to play on hartru clay with those shoes for a bit and they felt pretty good too. It had good traction on the clay which is much needed for the slippery green clay. I don’t play on clay often but it worked out great!

Playability (weight, support, and ventilation):
The Lav v2 definitely falls into the more bulky side of shoes. I honestly did not weigh them (I’m sure TW will) but they were on the heavier side for sure but once you got up and running, it felt great. The comfort made up for the weight and it felt great to run in. As expected with a bulkier shoe, it had great lateral support and had no problems whatsoever. I tested support without my ankle brace so it’d probably even better with it. Ventilation was also lacking a bit as it did run a tiny bit more hot than other shoes but nothing that would affect how people play. I’d rate playability at about a 8/10 but it always depend on the player and how they play.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
The New Balance Lav v2 was a great all-around shoe. It ranks up to my favorite shoes with the Ultrashot 2. The Lav offered a great deal of durability and support along with some different looks compared to other shoes. If you have the chance, I suggest that most players try out these shoes as it gives a little bit of something for all players.

This is a fully unbiased review and it is based on comparisons with other tennis shoes I’ve worn in the past several years.
 
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tonylg

Legend
I bought a new pair of 2012 orange Barricades last year, I like looking for older shoes to play in because why not.
I just read it and thought a little tacker doing a shoe review.

On a serious note, one reason why not is to get matching shoes. You want to rock up to tournaments with multiple pairs of shoes .. and it's generally better to have the same kind than a variety.
 

LiamMiguel

Rookie
I just read it and thought a little tacker doing a shoe review.

On a serious note, one reason why not is to get matching shoes. You want to rock up to tournaments with multiple pairs of shoes .. and it's generally better to have the same kind than a variety.
I try to usually get as many shoes as possible whenever I find them at their cheapest or whenever there’s just a really good deal. Right now, I have a few months more worth of Zoom Vapor X as I found a bunch at Ross whenever the Vapor Pro came out earlier this year. I just happened to find the Barricades and bought them.
 
Thanks for your review. I've been playing in the LAV 1's (4th pair) and Cage 4 (3rd pair). Personally I found the LAV 1 to initially have very good playing characteristics but dropped off sharply after ~2months (the fresh foam bottomed out like the lunarfoam cages). I've been waiting for the LAV 2 release and glad to hear the cushioning sounds even better.
 

LiamMiguel

Rookie
Thanks for your review. I've been playing in the LAV 1's (4th pair) and Cage 4 (3rd pair). Personally I found the LAV 1 to initially have very good playing characteristics but dropped off sharply after ~2months (the fresh foam bottomed out like the lunarfoam cages). I've been waiting for the LAV 2 release and glad to hear the cushioning sounds even better.
Yeah of course! I wish I could’ve used the original Lav so that I could compare it because the original looked like a great shoe too. I did hear that the cushioning was a little bit more firm compared to the original but coming from someone who has used the Cage 4, the cushioning felt a lot better. Don’t know how long it takes to bottom out though, would have to see whenever I get the shoe and use it for its lifetime.
 

cortado

Professional
What's the heel-to-toe drop like? People mentioned the previous model having quite a height difference between heel and toe, compared to most other tennis shoes?
 

LiamMiguel

Rookie
Cool, that's what I was thinking when you said TN DIII. I played for Lee, a little ways up the road from Chatt, and we always played fall tourneys at Sewanee. Congrats on committing!
Thanks a lot!!! Funny thing is that I'm head coaching Sewanee junior tennis camps right now :laughing:
 
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