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.
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.