Not all walking shoes are created equal. Some are made for the urban jungle, while others are meant for the real one. The New Balance 669 is a trail walking shoe that is built to traverse the rugged outdoors.
The underside of the New Balance 669 is lined with a rubber outsole. This compound is crafted to be hard-wearing to endure abrasive elements on trails. Rubber naturally provides traction, but the lug pattern on this model is designed specifically to grip slippery and uneven surfaces to prevent slipping.
At the rear portion of the outsole are razor-blade-like lugs which are called brake lugs. The purpose of this is to avert slipping. What the wearer does is to put more of their weight at their back to activate the brake lugs.
The New Balance 669 employs the ABZORB foam technology. This proprietary cushioning material is engineered to spread out the force from the point of impact to reduce the shock that travels to the rest of the lower extremities and avert possible foot, muscle, or joint pains.
Inside is a foam insole. It enhances the shock attenuation of the midsole and provides a comfortable bed for the foot to rest on. It is removable and can be replaced with custom orthotics if needed.
There are three materials used on the upper of the New Balance 669: mesh, leather, and TPU. Mesh makes up the entire upper, providing a secure wrap for the feet. It is also breathable, keeping the inside well-ventilated during trail walks. The leather and the TPU are used as overlays that protect the mesh from abrasions. They also heighten the structure and form of the upper, delivering lateral support where needed and holding the rearfoot steady while traversing rough terrains.
The trainer is equipped with a lacing system that allows users to customize the fit at the midfoot. The laces pass through a single slot on top of the tongue, preventing it from sliding to the sides while the person is walking.
The inside is lined with breathable fabric for a great in-shoe feel. The plush tongue and collar secure the fit of the footwear. The tongue is padded to avoid irritation on the instep, while the collar keeps the rearfoot locked-down and free from chafing even during long, rugged walks.