Who should buy the New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v7
The seventh edition of the New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro is the perfect pick for:
- trail runners who want an equally grippy and durable option
- long-distance runners who want a way-lighter version of the NB Hierro v6
Who should NOT buy it
If you crave more cushion, especially in the forefoot, for a comfier feel, the New Balance More Trail v1 is a more suitable pick than the NB Hierro v7. And if it's a summer-ready shoe you're after, the New Balance Summit Unknown is a cool option (literally and figuratively).
NB Hierro v7 vs. v6
- It has a massive weight drop, going from 337 grams/11.9 ounces to 301 grams/10.6 ounces in US men's 9. This change, in the words of one expert, is "the most significant change" in this version.
- The shoe offers a comfier ride with its new midsole.
- Amplifying grip, the shoe's Vibram outsole has an updated lug pattern for a more technical-ready bite.
The Hierro v7's weight crushes it!
From "what felt like too much shoe underneath" to "haven't felt that at all in this shoe" are comments from one running expert that perfectly sums up how amazing the shoe's weight loss has been.
It doesn't just feel light because "the weight diet New Balance put it on really fits the shoe's visual design," remarks another tester. Overall, the shoe feels and looks lighter.
For reference, trail shoes on average, weigh 297 grams/10.5 ounces. And with the NB Hierro v7's 10.6-ounce weight, it's by no means the lightest trail shoe. But compared to the past iterations, it's THE lightest by far.
Sucks onto the pavement
"The outsole is where the shoe shines," "always provided confidence in the grip," and "sticky and trustworthy" are some of the remarks left by reviewers regarding the shoe's grippy Vibram outsole.
According to a New Balance fan, in this version, the brand "switched it up completely" in terms of traction. From both dry and wet trails to the really messy and gnarly terrain, the NB Fresh Foam Hierro v7 clings to the ground.
It's got muscles
After 100k of rough wear testing, a long-time trail runner says the outsole barely has any scratches.
Loving the ride is easy
Why? Because of two things: (1) the NB Hierro v7 rolls very smoothly and (2) it's stable as hell. Going from one step to the next is easy in this shoe. Even more, it provides surefooted steps even on technical trails. And when cornering? Stable as ever! All thanks to its wide forefoot base.
Apart from the shoe's broad forefoot, the midsole also makes the ride even more stable because it's a tinge firm. A runner who constantly needs a supportive underfoot experience even says that the seventh iteration of the NB Fresh Foam Hierro "supports [his] fallen arches and relieves the arthritis pain."
This shoe is very stable (on top of it being very light), some running shoe experts even recommend it as a hiking shoe!
This is because the toe box is very roomy; it "prevents any cramping in your toes," praises one trail goer who has wide feet. What's more is the upper is well-padded, another critic adds this: "The upper overall is just so darn comfortable."
The New Balance Hierro v7 can't take the heat
In exchange for the shoe's comfy upper, breathability is compromised. For the summer months, it's a warm shoe.
Tongue: A solid 10
It's gusseted (attached to the sides), it prevents lace pressure, and it does a good job of holding the foot in place.
As one runner puts it, "It's not bad by any means, but does not really invite you to cruise along." Because the foam is trimmed down, it can feel rather firm in the forefoot. Another even adds, "A little more in the forefoot would've made this the best trail shoe of the year."
Ultimately, underfoot comfort is also the price to pay for the shoe's lighter design.