Verdict from 7.9 hours of research from the internet

91
Great!
2230 users: 4.6 / 5
7 experts: 81 / 100

7 reasons to buy

  • A lot of satisfied users mentioned that this shoe is comfortable. 
  • It offers a stable ride, according to a couple of runners. 
  • Many buyers praised the shoe’s excellent cushioning system. 
  • Several consumers noted that it offers a good grip. 
  • A few wearers appreciated the outsole’s durability. 
  • The shoe’s stylish design is also perfect for casual walks, users claimed. 
  • Some people love the quality of the materials used in the shoe. 

3 reasons not to buy

  • The toebox is a bit tight, and the upper rubs against the foot, some users mentioned. 
  • A couple of buyers commented that the shoelaces are not durable. 
  • Many purchasers complained that the Fresh Foam Hierro v5 is heavy. 

Bottom line

The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v5 is a stylish trail running shoe that is designed for runners with neutral gaits. It features state-of-the-art technologies and materials that aim to provide protection and help enhance the running efficiency. This New Balance trail running shoe offers long-lasting comfort even on the toughest terrain. 

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

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Our reviews

86
/100 by Timothy Ashford, posted on .

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Great color choices, unusual looks, and a design deviation from the norm. Is the Fresh Foam Hierro v5 from New Balance the one you should choose? Let’s look at what makes this shoe what it is. 

Size and weight

Normally I wear a US 11, and this shoe runs pretty true to size. The overall show is fairly wide, with the toe box being generously sized. I weighed these at about 13.4 oz per shoe, for my size.

Visual

 

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I personally like the way it looks, especially in the “Black with Moonbeam” color scheme. There are actually four colors available: Black with Moonbeam, Lead with Tidepool, Varsity Gold with Neo Classic Blue & Phantom, and Light Aluminium with Blue Ashes & Chromatic Yellow. Try remembering all of those colors! They have fancy names, but they all look really good.  

The thing that I like about the Black with Moonbeam color scheme is that it does not look dirty. I’ve taken these on long dusty runs, then sprayed them off with the garden hose, and worn them casually the next day (more about that later). The transition between the upper and midsole looks very cool how the colors “splatter” and transitions between the two. 

There is an odd tail on the outsole of the shoe, which makes it look about a size larger than the shoe actually is (more on this later, too). The outsole has a couple of smartly placed forward arrows on the bottom of it. While these are not seen when running, they are a neat visual detail that adds to the overall design of this shoe. I also like how the lace colors match the color scheme of the shoe. When you look at this shoe, you get the feeling that the overall visual design got a lot of attention.

Stack and drop

The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v5 has an advertised 8mm drop.  The stack is 34mm at the heel and 26mm at the toe.  

Uppers

The main part of the upper is constructed with a two-layer system. The portion underneath of this is a breathable woven nylon material. The top portion of this material is a durable, perforated, TPU-coated synthetic material with a “random repeating” pattern in it. TPU stands for thermoplastic polyurethane, which has elasticity and resists oils, water, and abrasion. 

The perforations allow for decent ventilation, while still providing overall design aesthetics. The toe cap is integrated with the same synthetic material as the main portion of the upper.

There are some nice design details here, with the words “Toe Protect” placed over where your middle toes sit. Additionally, the texture of the transition between the Toe Protect mimics the “splash” on the upper and midsole. The New Balance “N” is big on the side of the show, and transitions all the way under the laces. 

 

 

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The heel cup portion is a contrasting color and is a rigid material. The heel pull loop is big but doesn’t get in the way while running. It also has the New Balance “N” and the word “Trail” on it; another nice design detail. The collar is a cushioned soft synthetic material, which transitions to the inner shoe liner.  

Midsole

The midsole is an injected Ethylene-Vinyle Acetate (EVA) using New Balance’s proprietary Fresh Foam technology. This midsole compound is durable and reasonably long-lasting. Fresh Foam is used across a range of New Balance shoes and delivers good rebound and minimal degradation over time. The exposed portion of the Fresh Foam EVA midsole has an abrasion-resistant texture which has held up well. The color scheme on the midsole follows the rest of the shoe well.  

 

 

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New Balance uses a non-specific insole. Nothing fancy, but it does the trick.  

Outsole

The outsole of the FreshFoam Hierro v5 is a Vibram MegaGrip compound. Going back to 1937, Vibram has a long history of high-performance outsole compounds and designs. The MegaGrip compound is formulated to maintain traction and grip, even on wet surfaces. In addition to having a fairly deep design, the lugs form a pattern that maximizes grip in multiple trail conditions.

 

 

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There is an unusual “tail” on the back of the shoe, which I’ll go into later. The outsole has a very large Vibram logo on the bottom and the word Vibram on the outer back portion of the outsole. Not to repeat myself, but another nice visual design element.  

Tongue and lacing

The lacing system has four sets of wider nylon loops. These hold the unique tongue in place. The tongue is an unusual design. The outer portion of the upper crosses over the majority of the tongue, keeping it from shifting and provides extra protection from rocks getting in around its side.

Liner

The liner of this shoe is your basic smooth soft, semi-padded material. It works well and did not wear prematurely. I also never felt any seams or transitions from the shoe’s upper.   

Durability

When I get a more premium pair of running shoes, there is a level of expectation that the materials will hold up to reasonable wear and tear. The terrain that trail runners encounter is perhaps harsher on shoes than road runners, so the durability of the materials to withstand abrasion from rocks, roots, and moisture, along with the ability to look and wear well while dirty are important. 

The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v5 checks the boxes for durable construction. Starting with the upper, the TPU provides excellent abrasion resistance.  After over 100 miles on them, I do not have any noticeable cuts or scars on them.

The Toe Protect area performs as advertised, as I experienced no toe pain or jambs while running in them. The midsole held up fairly well, with the EVA not breaking down, or compressing too greatly. The outer portion of the midsole held up well against abrasion, with no real gouges or tears from rocks. 

The Vibram outsole held up perfectly. I am a huge Vibram fan, and the application on this Hierro v5 is no exception. It wears like iron, grips like glue, and in the case of this Hierro v5 looks awesome.  

Comfort and fit

This shoe is very comfortable out of the box. The generous amount of EVA Fresh Foam is great on long miles. During long runs, I had no hot spots or excessive slippage. That being said, there isn’t a lot of adjustment with the laces. 

If you have a foot that is “normally” thick, then you should be fine. If your foot is on the “thinner” side, then you may not get enough adjustment out of the laces to make these shoes tight enough. Additionally, there really are not enough eyelets on each side of the tongue, which translates onto some side to side foot slide on cambered trails. 

The overall comfort of this shoe is really good, and they took no time to break in. The Fresh Foam midsole worked well in balancing the right amount of rebound with the right amount of cushion. The weight is on the heavier side, but this is not apparent when running in these shoes; they feel energetic and fast on the right type of trail.    

Performance

 

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The heel cup provides a good deal of stability, especially when contrasted with the extra squishy EVA midsole. About the “tail” on the back of the shoe. What is its purpose? I really do not know. I tried to feel it as I ran to see if it provided float on sandier conditions, but it really did not have any perceivable benefit.  My concern was that it would get caught on root or rocks during descents and trip me up.

I actually had it in my mind that I would end up cutting it off.  However, after a few runs on it, I didn’t find any negative or positive effects, so I just let it be.

The overall feel and performance would be really good if you run flatter-rolling terrain. You can even consider some hard surfaces mixed in. On rocky, steep, cambered, and technical singletrack trails, this shoe falls short. There is a lack of lateral support and there is front-to-back slippage when running down very steep hills.  

The biggest asset of this shoe is also its achilles heel (no pun intended). The Fresh Foam that makes this comfortable on harder, less technical terrain is almost too soft for rocky and technical terrain. The foam and outsole flex with what’s underfoot and this translates into a lack of support to the ball, arch, and midfoot areas.

What I like

The strongest element of this shoe is its visual design. The color schemes are spot on. They have enough variation to appeal to most people’s tastes, but at the same time, appear trendy and on point. 

I make the argument that this is a shoe that you want to wear when you’re on a group run and want to look great. Despite its overall size, it still looks fast. When you wear it, you appear to have forward momentum. This is due to the blockier colors at the heel cap, and the way the shoe makes a forward wedge shape. I also think that the color “splash” between the upper and the midsole makes it look like the shoe is in motion.  

As I said before, I really like the way this shoe looks. It may be a bit unorthodox, but I think that the styling and colors look great on and off the trail. When I know that I’ll be on my feet all day, I find myself grabbing these shoes, as the Fresh Foam is really comfortable, and the colors go with shorts, jeans, and just about anything. Then again, I think that running shoes are appropriate for every occasion.

I really appreciated the fact that these shoes were comfortable to wear from day one. If you try them on, you will not be disappointed with them.   

What I don’t like

The performance on the technical terrain is disappointing. I would have liked the support of this shoe to be more trail-universal, instead of trail-specific. The thicker Fresh Foam midsole does not provide a ton of ground feedback. On one particular technical 20-miler, the lack of outsole and midsole support caused some midfoot pain.  

Final Review:

  • Appearance: 95/100
  • Materials: 90/100
  • Longevity: 90/100
  • Performance: 75/100
  • Value for money: 80/100

The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v5 is the perfect shoe if your jaunts consist of group runs after work, on moderate terrain, and you want a great looking shoe. Overall, for the right application, this shoe is a solid choice.  

Timothy Ashford | Level 2 expert Verified
Hi, I’m Tim and I’m a Colorado ultra trail runner. As a true weekend warrior, I spend much of my free time logging training miles and challenging myself to reach the next level. When I’m not running in the Pikes Peak region, I love spending time with my amazing wife and three awesome sons.

  • New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v5 is crafted to offer a balance of comfort, grip, and protection for long-mountain runs. This updated New Balance running shoe delivers improved traction, better fit, and more breathable coverage.  
  • This shoe now uses the TPU-coated textile upper that keeps the foot dry and comfortable. The breathable top also offers protection against the trail elements. 
  • The updated Vibram® MegaGrip outsole offers an aggressive grip in both dry and wet conditions. It is made out of a tough, durable compound that is highly resistant to tear and wear. 
  • Incorporated into the midsole is the Fresh Foam X technology that delivers plush comfort. It keeps the foot comfortable while running on the rugged terrain.

The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v5 is manufactured using the standard sizing measurement. Consumers are welcome to get a pair in their usual sizing expectations. However, it should be noted that there are a few users who highlighted that the shoe has a narrow toebox. It is recommended to fit the shoe first before purchasing to ensure a perfect fit. 

The technical components that affect the shoe’s fit include the padded tongue and insole, which offer added comfort and protection. Another element is the lacing system that allows for a more personalized fit. 

Providing multi-surface traction is the Vibram MegaGrip outsole. This material uses a highly durable compound that gives maximum grip even on wet surfaces. It also protects the platform from abrasive elements and uneven surfaces. 

The Vibram MegaGrip outsole is also featured in other popular running shoes such as the Altra Olympus 3.0 and Hoka One One Speedgoat 3.

The aggressive lugs infused in the outsole are multidirectional and deeper, compared to its predecessor,  for an improved grip in a variety of terrain.

Giving plush comfort is the Fresh Foam X technology that is integrated into the midsole of the shoe. This material absorbs shock impact to prevent stress to joints when striking down on the ground. It delivers premium cushioning to ensure a responsive and comfortable ride. 

The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v5 also utilizes a cushioned textile insole for added comfort and underfoot protection. 

The shoe’s bootie construction is designed to deliver a soft and irritant-free wrap. The TPU-coated upper maintains high breathability to keep the foot dry and cool for an extended period. It also offers reliable protection against the trail elements. 

This neutral running shoe has a toe-protect feature, which is made out of a thin layer of rubber that is printed to the upper.

The lacing system is used to provide a secure and customized fit every time. The padded tongue and collar are included to provide added comfort and help prevent skin irritation. 

Size and fit

True to size based on 232 user votes
Small (5%)
True to size (82%)
Large (11%)
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Same sizing as New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v4.

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Forefoot fit
Narrow Wide
Heel fit
Narrow Wide
Toebox
Tight Roomy

How Fresh Foam Hierro v5 compares

This shoe: 91
All shoes average: 85
59 99
This shoe: £140
All shoes average: £140
£70 £260
This shoe: 324g
All shoes average: 294g
142g 680g
Author
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.

jens@runrepeat.com