New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V6 | Review - Outdoors Magic

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New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V6 | Review

These cushioned runners impressed our gear testers with their comfort and durability

Why we chose them: Comfortable, nicely padded underfoot, lightweight, tough, grippy and protective

Here at Outdoors Magic, we’re big fans of what New Balance have been doing in recent years. In short, they’ve been making technical trail running shoes that fuse together exciting aesthetic designs with performance-focused engineering and high level comfort. Naturally, it’s a cocktail we’re very much here for. Last time round in the Outdoor 100, we included the Fresh Foam Hierro V5. This time out, we couldn’t help but include the Fresh Foam Hierro V6.

Traction is achieved through the multi-directional traction Vibram outsole. Photo: Chris Johnson

Who is the New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V6 for

If you’re a trail runner who’s all about racking up the miles on the running apps, you’ll dig what this rugged shoe brings to the trail. We’ll go into the nature of its construction shortly but, to put it simply, the tough makeup of the product makes it perfect for people who want to pound the paths for long periods of time; over long distances. It might look a bit “hypebeast” but this outdoorsy shoe has plenty of useful features for when you’re getting active, and working up a sweat, out on the trails.

Materials and Construction

The drop is 8mm, so pretty standard there. What you do get those is a fairly high stack height overall, with 28mm at the heel and 20mm at the toe. Just like with the V5, the Fresh Foam Hierro V6 GTX is packing a lightweight ‘Fresh Foam’ midsole. This has been designed to provide a soft landing on rough terrain. It’s the kind of feature that, especially over long stretches, will help to reduce the risk of repetitive-impact injuries. Sort of like running with sturdy marshmallows under your feet, it’s a fundamental part of the shoe’s offering and an aspect of it that works really well. A light plate brings a bit of protection to proceedings too, blocking out sharp rocks and roots well but without making the sole overly stiff.

“Head out for a wet day run in these confident in the knowledge that you’re not going to slip onto your backside”

Traction and durability comes, in part, courtesy of the proven Vibram outsole. Unsurprisingly, when you look at who’s involved, the ‘teeth’ on the underside of these shoes feel reassuringly grippy and offer a decent amount of bite. It’s not a particularly aggressive outsole but we found it to be dependable on defined trails, particularly any dusty or gravelly ones. On wet days there’s still a nice amount of traction for low level trail running, but it’s not the kind of shoe you’d want to use for flying down a steep and muddy fellside.

Zonal TPU threads provide the show with structure. Photo: Chris Johnson
Laser-cut perforations increase airflow. Photo: Chris Johnson
The rubber lugs feel reassuringly grippy. Photo: Chris Johnson

The Fresh Foam Hierro V6 has zonal TPU threads woven into the synthetic / mesh upper at key points to enhance and elevate the structure of the shoe. What this does, in effect, is provide additional support and protection in those high wear areas. It’s a design which underlines that these aren’t just built to be worn, they’re built to be used.

“The bootie upper construction on the Hierro V6 hugs your feet nicely”

What else? Well, lasers are fun aren’t they? Especially when they’ve been used to perforate a shoe for greater ventilation. That’s what you’re dealing with when it comes to the Fresh Foam Hierro V6. Considering the thickness of the uppers, we found that these were actually surprisingly cool to run in, even on warmer days.

The bootie upper construction on the Hierro V6 hugs your feet nicely, and delivers a snug and supportive fit; one that’ll make those long leg-stretching runs a joy for your feet rather than an ordeal. As was the case with the previous Hierro, these plenty of padding around the ankle.

It’s not the lightest of trail shoes, with the padding, cushioning and reinforcements all combining to make this tip the scales at 340g for a men’s 10. For those of you keeping score, there has been a tiny increase in weight from the V5 to the V6 – just 16g though. That difference, as you’d expect is completely negligible.

Tester’s Verdict

James Forrest, outdoor writer and gear expert

“The standout feature of these trainers is the cloud-like feel underfoot, courtesy of the Fresh Foam midsole which gives a really plush ride, even on the hardest of trails (or any road sections). The outsole provides good traction and the uppers, which feature laser perforations for ventilation, are light and breathable. There’s a weird flap of additional rubber sticking out of the rear of the shoe, which I didn’t quite get, but all-in-all I got on well with these shoes. The bootie upper hugged my foot snugly and all-round performance was good.”

New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V6 GTX

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