New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V5 | Review - Outdoors Magic

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New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V5 | Review

Trail runners will love what these comfortable, protective, and cool-looking shoes bring to the mix

Why We Chose The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V5: Comfortable, protective, functional and stylish

New Balance are a brand that have seemingly been on the march in recent years, cooly inserting themselves into popular culture in a way best summed up with the words “those guys are really having a moment right now.”

Their trail running shoe the Fresh Foam Hierro V5 not only looks cool, and on trend, but it also has all the properties, and then some, that you’d want from active outdoor footwear. With all that in mind, including it in this year’s Outdoor 100 was an absolute no brainer.

Who Is The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V5 For?

If you love getting out amongst it, on some properly rough terrain, you’ll love what the New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V5 brings to the trails. It’s got that perfect combination of protection, traction, and comfy cloud-like feel underfoot. Anyone eyeing up some FKTs will relish having these at the bottom of their legs.

The toe bumper and decent shank mean you’re well protected in these things. Photo: Mike Brindley


On the materials front, we reckon the real standout here is the Fresh Foam midsole. Created from a single piece of ultra-cushioned foam, this provides a really plush ride, even on the hardest of trails (or any road sections you hit). Elsewhere on the shoe, we’re looking at a synthetic upper with a toe bumper and a Vibram MegaGrip outsole.

The weight per shoe is 325g. Not light then, but not shockingly heavy either.


There’s no point going half in on this feature so we’ll once again get off our seat, make a load of noise, and hold up a big neon sign that says “Check it out. The Fresh Foam midsole on the Hierro V5 is really something.”

Elevating the wearer from sharp rocks and the like, the foam acts as the ultimate big sandwich filler. Softening up the feel of the shoe without weakening it physically, it’s a feature that essentially means you’ll be able to spend more time charging confidently over gnarly terrain and less time worrying about what the impact is doing to your legs’ internal workings.

The heel to toe offset is 8mm, so fairly standard there. As you can probably see from the images there’s a nice roll to the sole unit.

“Elevating the wearer from sharp rocks and the like, the foam acts as the ultimate big sandwich filler”

Another thing about this shoe that will allow you to charge about confidently while safe in the knowledge that your feet are being taken care of is the toe-protecting shrouded construction upper. Sort of like Clint Eastwood making himself big and throwing himself in front of the President in the film ‘In The Line of Fire’, the all-encompassing nature of the upper means the shoe simultaneously protects your toes from harm while also keeping things well and truly debris free.

The Vibram MegaGrip outsole not only serves up maximum surface contact but also multi-directional traction as well, meaning you can move aggressively through the outdoors without fearing that your feet are about to suddenly and completely give way beneath you.

The shoe is available in two colourways – ‘Black with Moonbeam’ and ‘Varsity Gold with Neo Classic Blue and Phantom’.

The Vibram MegaGrip outsole serves up multi-directional traction. Photo: Mike Brindley
The Fresh Foam midsole softens up the feel of the shoe nicely. Photo: Mike Brindley
The shoe is available in two colourways - 'Varsity Gold' and 'Black'. Photo: Mike Brindley


With the Inov-8 Trail Roc G 280 having an RRP of £140, and the Arc’teryx Norvan LD 2 also having an RRP of £140, the fact the New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V5 is priced slightly cheaper at £125 might be enough to sway some trail runners.

All these shoes mentioned above have their merits but the sheer “running on a cloud” feel to the Hierro, combined with its slightly lower price point when compared to similar items, means it really has got a lot going for it, even if it might be a little on the heavy side for some.

Tester’s Verdict

Rob McCreath of Whitelines mag (our sister title)

“I’ve always dabbled in a bit of trail running here and there but, when lockdown hit, I found myself – like most of the population it seemed – upping the mileage. I’ve run my last 50km on trails wearing the New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V5 and I’ve got to say, they’re a dream to put the hard yards in with.

“The level of cushioning here feels similar to my Adidas Ultraboost shoes, which I run on the road with, but the added benefit of increased traction and the tougher materials around the toes make them well equipped for technical trail running. Yes, they’re a little on the bulky side and I’m sure there are more lightweight options for the gram counters out there. I’d say that these are best suited for runners who are less fussed about checking their kilometre splits or shaving seconds off hill climbs and, instead, prioritise comfort and stability for long days out on the trail.

“Perhaps what struck me the most, however, is that people infinitely cooler than me have commented on how stylish they look. Honestly, it’s not something I’ve ever considered in a trail shoe before now, but apparently they make a great footwear option when drinking in the trendier pubs around East London. Who knew?”

New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V5

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