Neutral / cushion / high arch
Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.
Stability / overpronation / normal arch
Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.
Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet
Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.
Good to know
Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.
Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.
Good to know
If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.
WeightMen: 11.4ozWomen: 9.4oz
Heel to toe dropMen: 8mmWomen: 8mm
The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.
There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.
Heel heightMen: 28mmWomen: 28mm
Forefoot heightMen: 20mmWomen: 20mm
WidthMen: normal, wideWomen: normal, wide
Release dateJan 2019
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90 / 100 based on 1 expert reviews
New Balance Hierro v4: Hierro's don't always wear capes
The New Balance Hierro v4 is New Balance’s latest version of the rugged trail runner. A few much-improved, albeit small changes from the Hierro v3.
The Hierro v4 didn’t change much about the look from the v3, but it did remove the “hypo-skin” that coated the entire upper on the v3.
The hypo-skin remains on the heel, and a bit on the mid-foot, but it doesn’t have the “wetsuit” look that the v3 did. That is about all that changed. Other than the 2 colorways for men and 2 for women.
In traditional New Balance fashion, the shoes run a hair small. But I am convinced that they are slowly turning from running small to fit a little more traditional in size.
This is very evident in the switch from v3 to v4. I wear a 9.5 and the length is always spot on, but the v3 had a tightness in the top of the foot and the toe box bordered on the uncomfortable realm.
In the v4, the toe box has been widened just enough, and the upper doesn’t squeeze the top of your foot. The opening in the shoe is still just as tight as with the v3, causing some annoyance in getting your foot in, but the tradeoff of a debris-less bootie is worth it.
I ran in 12 inches of snow and literally never got any inside my shoe. No gaiters required. The shoe itself is a single piece of fabric with little if any rubbing points. The sock-like entrance works as a makeshift gaiter to keep out debris.
The sole of this shoe remains unchanged from the v3 and is like a chiseled work of art from Michelangelo. It lacks a midfoot strike plate, but it’s added cushion negates the need for one.
The midsole is made of New Balance’s Fresh Foam which is as comfy as it sounds. It is a single piece of foam material that runs the shoe's full length. It's plusher than the usual platforms and delivers a cushioning that feels soft and comfortable on the underfoot.
With this feature, combined with its flexibility, it grants a ride that feels natural yet responsive and protective. It lacks sharper points and grooves that some technical shoes might have (think, Salomon’s Speedcross or Saucony’s Peregrine), but it’s grippy Vibram sole makes up for it.
As I traversed to the top of a peak in inches of snow and ran back down in a packed down trail, not one time did I doubt my step. Not once did I feel like my grip wasn’t there for me.
Now to the hypo-skin that New Balance has adopted in a few of it’s latest model shoes. The skin remains a positive, but on the 3rd version of the Hierro, it was just not breathable enough.
They removed the skin from covering the upper in entirety and replaced it with a breathable skin in just the right places. You still have the benefit of the quick clean hypo-skin but adding a breathable upper and loosening the upper removed all hot spots from my feet.
Midsole & outsole
A nice thick 33mm midsole with an 8mm drop provides a great ride. The transition is pretty seamless on a shoe that looks to be sturdier in nature.
The Fresh Foam offers plenty of cushion, and protects your foot from any rough terrain the trail throws your way. The outsole is Vibram and offers excellent traction. The best of the best.
This is a bonified trail running shoe. When people list off Altra, Hoka, North Face, and others, New Balance is often left out but has found it’s well-deserved place amongst the ranks with the new Hierro trail shoe.
Version 4 took the things I disliked about the 3rd version and fixed them right up. Version 4's fit and breathability are better this time.
Overall the shoe is great! The Toe-Protect is a nice touch of sturdier rubber to handle rocks and sticks like a champ.
If I were to point out any fault in this shoe, it would be the tight entrance. Thicker socks are what I normally wear, but I am hesitant to wear them due to the difficulty in getting the shoe on. That being said, it’s totally worth keeping debris out of the shoe.
Looking for a trail running shoe that will stand out from the rest? Looking for grip that will make sure you get home without a newfound ability to do the splits? Looking for a shoe that just simply does its job? The New Balance Hierrov4 is the one.
Not to mention that the shoe is light and comfortable enough to manage the roads well if you ever have to get to the trail — no need to throw a pair in the backpack and switch.
New Balance sets an even higher bar with the new Hierrov4. The improvements over the 3rd version are just the ticket. You would be hard pressed to find a trail running shoe more enjoyable and more capable than this.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Updates to New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v4
- There was plenty of feedback on the upper of New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V3 that said it was not well-ventilated. New Balance listened, and the upper on version four was updated to make way for better aeration. Previously, the entire upper was covered with the Hyposkin overlay. On the new version, the stretchy mesh underneath the Hyposkin is not totally covered. More laser-cut perforations were also made on the midfoot and forefoot to allow air to pass through easily.
New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v4 size and fit
The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V4 is available in standard lengths. Runners who are interested in a pair should make use of their usual length preferences. As for the widths, users have more options as both standard and wide (for women) or extra wide (for men) widths are available.
The outsole of the new version of the Fresh Foam Hierro was made using Vibram technology. The sole rubber material provides maximum grip and multi-directional traction. It prevents runners from slipping and sliding when running on various terrain conditions. It is also highly durable, withstanding the pounding that naturally comes with trail running.
The tread pattern on the bottom of the shoe is composed of hexagon shapes of varying sizes. Each hexagon is separated with enough space for easy elimination of small debris encountered on the trail. Because the material is robust, the spaces also permit the outsole to be less rigid.
Following the color scheme of the upper, the sole seems to be divided into two. The forefoot is has one color, while the rest of the sole unit has another. There isn't any special purpose to this, aside from aesthetic, as the sole material runs the shoe's full length.
On the midsole is the Fresh Foam innovation. It is a single piece of foam material that runs the shoe's full length. It's plusher than the usual platforms and delivers a cushioning that feels soft and comfortable on the underfoot. With this feature, combined with its flexibility, it grants a ride that feels natural yet responsive and protective. This midsole foam is also present in the Fresh Foam Zante v4 trail shoe.
The upper is made up of a combination of Hyposkin and stretchy mesh. With its bootie-like construction, the mesh hugs the foot sufficiently, producing a custom-like fit. Because the mesh can extend towards any direction, it can cater to different foot shapes. On the other hand, covering the forefoot and midfoot is the Hyposkin material which is an adaptive technology that grants the foot full-range of motion with targeted flexing and support. This feature is connected to the lacing system. The more secure the laces are, the more secure the fit will be, especially on the midfoot.
The bootie construction extends towards the ankles. This design feature prevents tiny debris from entering the shoe through an opening. Also, it serves as extra protection for the ankles.
There are several laser-cut perforations on the forefoot and midfoot to allow air to pass through the shoe, preventing hot spots and allowing the foot to breath. Runners don't have to worry about getting hot feet while running in hot weather. Because the foot is aerated, the inside environment remains dry and ideal.
The heel is adequately supported by a heel stabilizer. From its name, it immobilizes the heel, but it doesn't lock it down completely. It is more of a component which adds structural integrity. It is connected to the lacing system, which means that the fit on the areas the heel stabilizer covers can be made more secure as the laces are tightened.
At the back of the shoe is a heel loop. This component allows runner's foot to slip in easily. Right before the runner inserts the heel, the loop can be pulled with one finger to easily shove the heel in with minimal effort.
The New Balance Fresh Foam Heirro V4 is equipped with a standard lacing system. It also comes with flat laces which are more secure as they don't unravel easily even if the runner is running at top speeds or moving vigorously.