4 Best New Balance Trail Running Shoes in 2024

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto on
4 Best New Balance Trail Running Shoes in 2024
We earn affiliate commissions at no extra cost to you when you buy through us. Why trust us

It’s no surprise - New Balance creates some of the best road running shoes. And when it comes to trail running shoes, the brand doesn’t hold back. 

New Balance trail shoes are plenty durable, and scream trail-ready, to say the least. They’re protective and grippy, you don’t have to worry about the rugged terrain. 

There are a lot of New Balance trail models, and choosing can be a drag. With that, we came to your aid and purchased NB trail running shoes to wear and test them through and through. We have chosen the ones that truly impressed us and completely ascended our requirements. In this list, we got you the elites from across categories.

How we test trail running shoes

Here at RunRepeat, we don’t believe that there’s such a thing as “too trivial” in running shoes. We love to get into all the details - the minute ones included - to make sure you only get the best. 

And to do so, we do the following without fail: 

  • We buy each shoe with our own money to test them in our independent shoe testing lab to avoid bias 
  • We run for at least 30-50 miles in each of them. We log the miles while getting the shoes exposed to different situations and conditions.
  • We chop the shoe into pieces to see what’s inside of it, and measure everything up through 30 different parameters

Best New Balance trail running shoes overall

What makes it the best?

We couldn’t get enough of conquering the trails in the Fresh Foam X Hierro v7. From its cloudlike midsole that pampered our feet over even the harshest terrains to the subtle lugs that are as grippy off-road as they are smooth on the road, this versatile shoe rightfully takes its place as the best overall New Balance Trail shoe. 

We measured the Hierro 7’s lugs at only 3 mm thick, making them 0.5 mm shy of the average. Nevertheless, we enjoyed excellent traction whether we ran on dirt, gravel, or even grass.  Furthermore, their subtle configuration also makes them suitable for running on the road without feeling too blocky underfoot. 

Onto the true star of this show: the Fresh Foam X midsole, which is the softest we’ve come across in the lab when it comes to trail shoes. With a durometer reading of 9.4 HA, it’s 65.7% softer than average. Apart from providing plush and protective landings, it also has an energetic rebound that feels nice and propulsive, smoothly bouncing us from one step to the next. 

Despite the toebox leaving us plenty of room to splay out, measuring 3.6 mm wider than average in the area around the big toe, we still don’t recommend this shoe to runners with broad feet. This is because, at its widest point, the Hierro v7 measures only 97.9 mm against our current average of 98.7 mm.


  • Grippier than ever before
  • Ready for a rough beating
  • Lighter than ever
  • Seamless heel-to-toe
  • Stable during sharp turns
  • Buttery soft
  • Welcomes wide feet
  • Tongue stays in place
  • Also for hiking!


  • Not enough airflow
  • Forefoot lacks cushion
Full review of New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v7

New Balance trail running shoes with the best cushioning

What makes it the best?

Fresh Foam X More Trail v3's max-cushion is immediately noticeable upon the first look and the first step. This shock absorber handles off the beaten paths easily with its excellent traction and unopposing midsole. Our lab testers and runners agree it’s New Balance’s best-cushioned trail shoe.

This is one of the softest trail shoes our durometer tested, standing 45.6% softer than average. This explains why our legs feel fresh after running long miles. It has a thick dual-density foam that rises 38.6/31.5 mm in the heel and forefoot. What’s surprising is how steady and bouncy it is despite the stack. It has high sidewalls and a wide base that prevents the ankles from rolling in.

The outsole delivers the perfect balance of grip and protection. Our durometer measurement is 84.6 HC, slightly below the 85.1 HC average. This means it’s soft enough to increase traction and hard enough for a shield. Its 5.0 mm lugs provide extra grip on loose dirt and muddy tracks.

Our flex test shows its midsole stands 11.4% more flexible than average. This improves our sense of control as we move through uneven terrains with less resistance.

As a highly cushioned shoe, there's little ground feel. This makes it less attractive for tackling more technical trails.


  • Insanely protective even without a rock plate
  • Soft cushioning without feeling mushy
  • Solid amount of bounce
  • Incredibly stable
  • Plush and airy upper
  • Roomy fit
  • Good grip on mild to moderate trails
  • Durable outsole
  • Light on the run
  • Really smooth ride
  • Best for easy days and long runs
  • Sustainable


  • Upper could use more support
  • Not great for technical trails
Full review of New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v3

New Balance trail running shoes with the best style

What makes it the best?

While many trail shoes on the market tend to focus on utility over looks, New Balance Shand strikes an almost perfect balance between the two with the Shando, a trail runner that represents a marriage of utility and aesthetics. This head-turner of a shoe kept us surefooted and looking fly, whether we were scampering through the wilderness or strutting at a downtown pace on the sidewalks. 

The Shando isn’t just about rugged good looks, it’s a rough-and-ready trail shoe that’s ready for adventure. With the lugs measuring 4.9 mm according to our caliper, they’re 1.4 mm thicker than average. That, in combination with their strategic shapes and tread pattern, means that the shoe is ready to tackle any terrain, with the Shando providing reliable traction whether we tackled the muddy and gravelly trails out in nature or traversed the varied surfaces of our concrete jungle.

Apart from looking great, the Shando feels great on the foot. This is thanks to the generous amount of padding found throughout the shoe, from its cushy heel counter to the plush tongue that we measured to be 3.2 mm thicker than average. All that padding means that we were able to achieve a secure and comfortable lockdown with no hint of lace bite across our instep. 

Weighing in at 12.5 oz (354g), the Shando is an undoubtedly hefty shoe that’s 2.05 oz (58g) heavier than the average trail shoe. This puts the shoe more in line with a hiking shoe and means that anything beyond brisk walks or easy jogs is beyond the Shando’s reach.


  • Aesthetically amazing
  • Really grippy outsole
  • Durable materials
  • Super comfy midsole
  • Incredibly useful heel tab


  • Stuffy toe-box
  • Not ideal for difficult terrain
  • Lacing will give you a headache
Full review of New Balance Shando

Best budget New Balance trail running shoes

What makes it the best?

DynaSoft Nitrel v5 is a reliable shoe with a non-intimidating price point. For only £80, it delivers smooth transitions and a steady ride from the streets to the trails. Light on foot and in the pocket, it’s remarkably 36.4% cheaper than the average New Balance trail running shoe, making it our best budget pick.

This shoe feels incredibly versatile for walks and hikes thanks to its flexibility and excellent grip on diverse paths. In our bend test, it's 20.1% more flexible than average, translating to less resistance to our natural motions. On top of this, its 2.9 mm lugs are perfectly sized since they cling well to trails without feeling bulky on the road.

At 9.8 oz (279g), DynaSoft Nitrel v5 boasts remarkable lightness even for a road-running shoe. It maintains a low weight due to its moderate cushioning that hits the sweet spot between comfort and agility. At 20.5 HA, it’s 13.1% softer than average but not overly plush that we lose our balance on uneven terrains.

This shoe promotes surefootedness by integrating midsole sidewalls in the heel and midfoot to guide our foot alignment. No matter what path we traversed, we felt very stable, preventing leg fatigue and injuries.

However, its focus on versatility sacrificed the energy return that some adventurers seek. Those who crave speed are better off with other shoes on the market.


  • Unbeatable price
  • Handles roads and light trails
  • Comfortable for daily runs
  • Suitable for various distances
  • Surprisingly lightweight
  • Offers good stability
  • Breathable upper


  • Poor upper durability
  • Limited energy return
  • Weak traction on wet surfaces
Full review of New Balance DynaSoft Nitrel v5
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto
Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and run all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.