Verdict from 1 expert and 100+ user reviews

4 reasons to buy

  • Waterproofing: The Gore-Tex membrane on the Hierro v5 will keep your feet "dry and warm" in wet and wintery conditions. One runner even tried stepping into a water-filled bath in the shoe and reports no leaking. 
  • Cushioning: "Exceptional," feels like "floating" or walking "on a memory foam cushion" - that's how the Fresh Foam makes runners feel. It has a similar ride to the New Balance 1080 shoes.
  • Day-one comfort: You can just take the shoe out of the box and hit the trails right away.
  • Grip: The outsole gives confidence on moderate trails both up-and downhill, including loose terrain and hard-packed snow.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Heavy: It is on the heavier side of trail running shoes, weighing about 1 oz more than the average (10 oz). As one trail goer says "you get an extra workout while going uphill."
  • Bulky: Some runners gripe about the shoe's hulking design and wish it were a bit sleeker.
  • Not for mud: The lugs aren't very effective in deep mud and seem to "collect the dirt rather than shed it."

Bottom line

If you are in search of a winter-ready trail shoe that will keep your feet warm and dry, the New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v5 GTX is an option. It is recommended for cold, rainy, and snowy days.

While it's not meant for the most technical terrain, it serves truthfully on hard-packed, moderately-rocky surfaces as well as wet ground, snow, and slush.

Tip: see the best trail running shoes.


How New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v5 GTX ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 27% trail running shoes
All trail running shoes
Top 25% New Balance running shoes
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Top 24% waterproof running shoes
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The current trend of New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v5 GTX.
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Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.