17 best New Balance trail running shoes

Based on reviews from 55 experts and 7,337 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to New Balance trail running shoes. Updated Feb 2019.

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New Balance trail running shoes

The New Balance trail running shoes are specifically built and designed for users who are looking for flexibility and cushioning in their daily outdoor activities and workouts. These running shoes are sure to deliver comfort and durability, especially when tackling a wide variety of dangerous and challenging trails. New Balance has a wide collection of shoes that are perfect companions for walking and running. Trail running shoes from New Balance aims to provide excellent cushioning, stability, minimal design and lightweight feel throughout the user's activities.

Characteristics of New Balance trail running shoes

best new balance trail running shoes
Best New Balance trail running shoes - January 2019

New Balance trail running shoes for women and men have specific features that will make users very eager and determined to start and finish their running activities in time. With the challenges they have to face when tackling the terrains, the trail running shoe collection from New Balance will make them run efficiently and effectively with ease and confidence.

  • Flexible. Users need a running shoe that can be easily bent in the forefoot area. When planning to buy a New Balance trail running shoe, remove any insert and test if its bends quickly. New Balance utilizes midsole compounds that provide flexibility throughout the running activity.
  • Low heel drop. Some running shoes have built-up heels for stability for users who have the possibility to strike with the forefoot. Usually, runners strike using the heel. By doing so, minimal heel drop is needed. More often than not, New Balance trail running shoes feature a heel drop of 8 millimeters or less.
  • No flared heel. We all know that runners strike with their heels. As a result, they do not want to use a shoe that has a flared heel. For runners, a slightly undercut heel is best to use to prevent the forward rolling with every stride. This is essential in lessening the possibilities of any injuries during the running activity.
  • Perfect Fit. New Balance has a big advantage because they have a collection of various widths and models that suit the runner's foot shape and gait. It is important to choose a trail running shoe that fits the user well. This will affect the runner's performance and confidence throughout the activities.
  • Durable. With the utilization of a rubber outsole, the durability of the New Balance trail running shoes is ensured. Users will be able to use the shoe for a longer period of time.
  • Grippy outsole. Traction is one of the most important characteristics of a trail running shoe. It should be able to provide the right amount of grip needed in tackling a wide variety of surfaces. This is to avoid any slippage during the run which will result in the prevention of any injury that may harm the user.
  • Water-resistant. A lot of New Balance trail running shoes are water-resistant. This is essential in running safely and comfortably in both wet and dry conditions. The foot is protected against water splashes throughout the running session.

Technologies found in New Balance trail running shoes

New Balance trail running shoes are packed with reliable technologies to help runners tackle the trail with confidence. Below are shoe technologies and materials found in most New Balance trail running shoes.

Vibram outsole. The Vibram outsole is utilized in many New Balance trail running shoes like the Minimus 10 v1. This material is essential in delivering the maximum amount of ground contact that the user needs when tackling different types of trails.

AT Tread outsole. This material is described to be a trail-specific outsole that is engineered to provide traction on different types of surfaces. The AT tread outsole works well with the multi-directional aggressive lugs. Together, they keep users upright on the downhill and uphill running.

HydroHesion rubber compound. This full-length material is used on making New Balance trail running shoes. It is designed to deliver the right amount of traction needed, especially on wet surfaces. By adding this material to the shoe, it would help runners to increase their confidence in tackling challenging and slippery paths and trails.

Gripping nodes. Some of the New Balance trail running shoes have gripping nodes that are found on the outsole area. This is not prominent in most trail running shoes. Its design is focused on making the shoe to function well on paved surfaces and building floors. With the utilization of the gripping nodes, it will be easier to transverse uneven terrains.

Fresh Foam. New Balance added the fresh foam midsole in crafting their trail running shoes. This material is described to be a single piece midsole foam that aims to deliver durable cushioning. As a result, a softer underfoot feel is experienced by the runner. This responsive but lightweight foam responsibly cushions the foot with every stride, keeping the runner comfortable and free to move the foot naturally.

RevLite. New Balance trail running shoes feature the RevLite. This lightweight material is marketed as more responsive and stronger when compared to other midsole compounds. It is strategically-designed to prevent early breakdown and sagging of the shoe.

Rock Stop. The Rock Stop is utilized in crafting the New Balance trail running shoes. The Rock Stop is described to be a layer of dense material that is located in the forefoot area. Its primary goal is to protect the underfoot against trail debris and rough surfaces. It also aims to diffuse the energy that is generated by a force and effectively attenuate impact shock.

Response 2.0. Integrated into the New Balance trail running shoes is the Response 2.0. This material is a performance insert that is focused on providing additional cushioning. The flexibility of the material does not compromise the bending capacity of the joints in the toes.

Gore-Tex. This is a water-resistant membrane that aims to improve the runner's confidence, especially in wet weather conditions. Users will not have to worry about mild water splashes to come in their way while running.

Fantom Fit. Composed of two materials, an overlay-and-underlay system is combined together with the use of the no-sew method. The primary goal of this feature is to ensure a more secure yet personalized fit.

Toe Protect. New Balance trail running shoes utilize the Toe Protect. This material is a thin layer of rubber that acts as protection from hazardous and sharp objects that can be found on the trails.

Synthetic mesh covers. Integrated into the New Balance trail running shoes is the synthetic mesh cover. The goal of which is to provide lightweight breathability. Along with the mesh cover is the synthetic overlays. This is essential in wrapping the foot securely to give a more comfortable fit while running.

Acteva foam. Acteva foam is described to be lighter when compared to standard EVA foams. The material is meant to provide a more comfortable and responsive ride that the runner will enjoy.

Best New Balance trail running shoes

Below are the five best New Balance trail running shoes. The information is based on RunRepeat's corescore as of January 2019.

New Balance Fresh Foam Gobi Trail

The New Balance Fresh Foam Gobi Trail is a running shoe that uses technologies and components that are lightweight in structure. This is essential in keeping the wearer at a steady pace without compromising efficiency. The running shoe sure to provide excellent performance, protection, and comfort when tackling a wide variety of paved surfaces and trails. A durable outsole tread is featured in building the shoe. It is designed to function and perform well on both the trails and the roads. On uneven and flat surfaces, this layer protects the rest of the platform from wear and tear. The outsole provides reliable traction as well.

The upper area of the New Balance Fresh Foam Gobi utilizes the no-sew construction. This feature of the shoe is helpful in keeping the foot free from irritation. As a result, a more comfortable ride is experienced by the runner. The fabrics used in crafting the upper unit wraps the foot with ease. New Balance made sure that the fit was snug without sacrificing the unrestricted foot movements. Because of the utilization of this fabric, the user is also protected against debris and other hazardous materials that can be found on the trails.

The lightweight and responsive midsole of the Fresh Foam Gobi Trail is made from a single-piece foam. This well-cushioned layer of the shoe keeps the foot safe and protected from impact forces with every stride. It has a soft nature that makes every movement of the foot natural and comfortable.

New Balance Minimus 10 v1

The New Balance Minimus 10 v1 is crafted to be a trail running shoe. Its features and technologies are strategically designed for those who have neutral foot pronation. Because of the utilization of the mesh upper, added flexibility is offered. This material adds breathability to the platform as well. As a result, a healthier foot environment is experienced by the runner. The Vibram outsole is used in making the New Balance Minimus 10 v1 which aims to deliver the right amount of traction needed when tackling a wide variety of surfaces.

Used in the midsole area of the running shoe is the Acteva foam. The primary focus of this foam is to provide additional comfort to the foot throughout the running activity. With the excellent support, fit and stability that the New Balance Minimus 10 v1 offers, the majority of the wearers were happy and contented.

The well-constructed structure, style, and comfort that the shoe made it a good companion in tackling challenging trails. Some may have some issues with its sizing and toe box, but others still recommended the running shoe because of its excellent performance and versatility. All in all, the New Balance Minimus 10 v1 is a good option for runners who are seeking a durable, comfortable, and breathable running shoe.

New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro

This New Balance shoe features the AT Tread outsole. It is described as a reliable outsole material that is crafted to provide a good amount of traction on various surfaces. The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro is a visually-appealing trail shoe that is engineered with reliable components and technologies. These features effectively protect the platform against the hazardous nature of the trails. It aims to deliver underfoot support without compromising the comfort it provides for daily walking, running and training.

Another new feature of the shoe is the brand’s Fresh Foam midsole. This material is said to take the shoe's cushioning system to the next level. The foam is built from a one-piece midsole material which is focused on delivering a more comfortable cushioning and softer underfoot feel.

New Balance Summit Unknown

The cushioning system of the New Balance Summit Unknown uses the RevLite foam that offers better shock attenuation. This material is a full-length compound that has a primary goal of providing a more responsive cushioning. This trail running shoe is engineered for neutral pronators. Between the outsole and midsole, a high-density forefoot plate is affixed. The purpose of which is to protect the foot against irregular surfaces and debris.

The outer tread of the shoe utilizes a sticky rubber compound. This material provides a good amount of grip on both wet and dry surfaces. Its trail-optimized design brings confidence to runners over a wide variety of outdoor terrains. The upper unit of the running shoe features a synthetic mesh. This mesh is vital in providing a well-protected and more secure coverage. It possesses tiny ventilation holes which allow fresh air into the interior of the shoe.

A lot of users were satisfied and happy with the New Balance Summit Unknown's excellent performance on the trails.  They appreciated its quick-draining and breathable upper unit as well as the lightweight construction and semi-aggressive outsole. This made the New Balance Summit Unknown a perfect partner in tackling the trails.

New Balance Fresh Foam Kaymin TRL

The New Balance Fresh Foam Kaymin TRL, a trail running companion, is intended for those who have neutral pronation. It is reinforced with some add-ons that make the shoe stronger. It does not have a bulky design which makes the platform to permeate most off-road. It features a breathable mesh that covers the foot, keeping it well-ventilated throughout the activities. A Gore-Tex water-resistant membrane is utilized in the running shoe. Its primary goal is to help in preventing splashes of water from coming into the footwear.

The New Balance Fresh Foam Kaymin TRL has synthetic overlays that aid in providing a more secure fit. The outsole unit of the shoe features a tread configuration. This is essential in functioning and performing well on both the roads and the trails. It features semi-aggressive gripping lugs that aim to prevent any instability, especially when tackling flat and uneven surfaces. A Toe Protect is used in crafting the shoe. It is described as a rubber layer that protects the forefoot from hazardous trail materials and debris.  The majority of the users commented that the new balance trail running shoes for men and women like the Fresh Foam Kaymin TRL are an excellent choice when tackling challenging terrains.

Frequently asked questions

What are the best New Balance shoes for trail running?

The New Balance Minimus 10 v1 is the best trail shoe from New Balance. The shoe is lightweight and more affordable compared to other trail running shoes.

What is the most affordable new balance trail running shoe?

The most affordable trail running shoe from New Balance is the 510 v4. The shoe retails at less than $100.

What differentiate new balance trail shoes from road running footwear?

The structure and composition of the trail running shoe and a road running shoes are the main difference of the between the two. Shoes that are engineered for road running are specifically-designed to use lightweight materials. The primary reason for this is to encourage responsiveness and speed throughout the running activity. Trail running shoes are generally heavier to protect and support the foot on uneven and rugged terrains.

15 best New Balance trail running shoes

  1. New Balance 610 v5
  2. New Balance Fresh Foam Gobi Trail
  3. New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v3
  4. New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro
  5. New Balance Summit Unknown
  6. New Balance Minimus 10 v1
  7. New Balance Fresh Foam Kaymin TRL
  8. New Balance Fresh Foam Gobi Trail v2
  9. New Balance Vazee Summit
  10. New Balance 510 v3
  11. New Balance FuelCore Nitrel Trail
  12. New Balance Vazee Summit v2
  13. New Balance Summit KOM
  14. New Balance 510 v4
  15. New Balance 910 v4
Author
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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.

This shoe has recently been added to RunRepeat. There are still not enough reviews for us to assign it a CoreScore.
CoreScore
A score from 1 to 100 that summarizes opinions from users and experts. The average CoreScore is 78. More...