New Balance 510 v2

8.0
8.0 score
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New Balance 510 v2 Review Facts
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Quality running shoes are a great investment to support your daily running ventures. Unfortunately, most running shoes are also very limited in the terrains they can venture on: ultra lightweight trainers are usually too porous to handle anything but ideal temperatures while many other trainers simply don’t have the tread or tenacity to take off-road. After all, when you’re running through the great outdoors, you need a shoe that can keep up with the rough and ready trail all of the often unexpected surfaces the runner may find out there.

Thankfully, these concerns have been addressed by the New Balance 510 v2. A solid all-around running shoe that’s made to take on the trail, the 510 v2 is a maximalist shoe that can take on the roads of your neighborhood while also able to hit the dirt and traverse the trail.

The second instalment of the 510 takes on the philosophy of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” offering minimal changes from its first edition. However, this affordable trainer is noticeably less bulky, with thinner overlays along with a more sheer mesh upper. Although this doesn’t bring the weight down, the upper is more comfortable than the first edition.

Besides this, the New Balance 510 v2 is also more comfortable than the first edition thanks to a more padded ankle collar, which provides a higher level of step-in comfort. In addition, a new last has been introduced in this version, which leads to a narrower heel that’s more secure and snug in the heel area. With a more stable upper connection to the outsole, the New Balance 510 v2 is more secure and comfortable, providing a supportive ride whether you’re pounding the pavement or tearing up the trail.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Improved design over the first edition makes the show slightly less bulky and more durable

  • A dynamic shoe that works great on the trail but also performs on regular running surfaces

  • Padded ankle and tongue provide a more secure and comfortable fit

  • Durable tread on the outsole grips the earth without wearing down too quickly

  • Upper mesh keeps foot cool throughout a run without losing protection from overlays

Cons
  • Slightly heavier than some runners would desire

  • Midsole doesn’t provide much cushioning

Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

Aiming to provide its wearer with as much as it can muster, the outsole of the New Balance 510 v2 is outfitted with all-terrain tread. With medium-sized pods designed to provide excellent traction, although these are not as tenacious as those found on many trail shoes, the lugs are dynamic enough that you can comfortably wear the 510 v2 to hit the road or take to the trail. The outsole is also composed of Ndrance rubber for long-lasting durability and AT Tread® for a dynamic all-terrain experience.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

Looking to provide both comfort and function, New Balance made the midsole of the 510 v2 with responsive injection-molded EVA. Comfortable cushioning without being plush, runners will appreciate the amount of control and response this modest but well-crafted midsole has to offer. With the EVA midsole running from heel to toe, the foot is shielded from the jostles of the road and kept relatively comfortable through the whole ride.
Upper
Upper

Upper

One major criticism of the first edition of the New Balance 510 was its bulky upper. The second edition has addressed this issue by making the overlays thinner to provide a little more flexibility while also making the upper more adaptable. And while the combination leather and synthetic overlays give the 510 v2 structure, its breathable mesh keeps the foot cool during long runs. The ankle is very well-padded for additional step-in comfort while the tongue is also padded to keep the foot snug and comfortable. In addition, the PU sockliner helps with the overall fit and cushioning. With a traditional lace-up closure, the 510 v2’s upper offers security and comfort for the runner.
Weight
Weight

Weight

Bulky has been affixed to the New Balance 510 since its first edition, and while the 510 v2 works hard to shed this image, this is still a maximalist trail-running trainer. As such, its weight may not appeal to runners either used to or desiring a lightweight shoe. Weighing in at 11.3 ounces/320 grams, the 510 v2 does have a bit of heaviness to it. However, when traversing the rough and often uneven trail, perhaps a little more weight is necessary to keep the foot safe and grip the rock and dirt covered surface.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Thanks to its mesh upper, runners are guaranteed a cool, dry ride. Although its upper overlays may seem to cover a bit more surface than many other running shoes, it should be kept in mind that these are trail runners so the protection of one’s foot is a major focus of the 510 v2’s overall design. However, despite the heavy cushioning on the inside and the large overlays on the outside, the 510 v2 remains a very breathable all-terrain shoe.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

For a trail runner, the 510 v2 is a very comfortable shoe. One major upgrade from the first edition is additional padding around the ankle to keep the foot both secure and comfortable, while the padded tongue and full-length EVA midsole provide additional comfort for the runner looking to keep their ride as plush as possible without losing responsiveness. Although there have been some complaints that the midsole doesn’t quite match the rest of the shoe’s comfort, it will provide a fair amount of cushioning and responsiveness when hitting the road or running the trail.
Style
Style

Style

A maximalist shoe, the 510 v2 looks every bit as heavy duty as it promises its performance to be. With large leather and synthetic overlays on the upper that look to protect the foot as much as hold up through the elements, the 510 v2 looks like the shoe equivalent of a tank--which is exactly the image you’d want when pounding the hard, rough trail ahead of you. Its thick outsole looks every bit as dynamic and hard-hitting as the upper, with its tenacious-looking lugs and AT Tread® that seek to conquer the trail with every footfall. In other words: the New Balance 510 v2 looks every bit as tough, rough, and ready to run as it’s designed to be. Maybe it’s not the most subtle-looking trainer in the world, but it does look like a trainer ready to take on the world.
Durability
Durability

Durability

While its first edition’s reputation for being too bulky has been largely addressed in this new version, the 510 v2 is still as durable as ever. A maximalist shoe that’s been designed to run the roughshod trails, it’s also a shoe built to last. Its thick Ndurance rubber outsole and large pods keep together even after many miles, while its AT Tread® remains tenacious as ever well after the shoes have been worn in. Meanwhile, the leather and synthetic overlays of the upper can also take a beating on the road and retain its composure and shape while remaining flexible. As durable as you’d want a hard-charging trail runner to be, the 510 v2 also has an improved upper to outsole construction to keep the whole of the pair in one piece.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Given that this is a trail running shoe, protection is a priority in the 510 v2’s design. Although some have complained of this line being too bulky, those complaints should be weighed against the benefits of a maximalist shoe design when out on the trail. With a thick outsole that keeps the sole of the foot protected against the unexpected rough surfaces of nature, and upper overlays looking to protect the foot against potentially damaging environs one finds out in the wild, the 510 v2 may be a little larger and heavier than what some runners are seeking, but your foot will thank you when it’s protected against the elements.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Although a somewhat heavier maximalist shoe, the 510 v2 is also a surprisingly responsive one. This is due to the EVA midsole that may be the only minimalist part of this trail runner’s construction. This soft but responsive, thin but comfortable material comprises the midsole and while some runners have voiced concerns that it’s not as plush as they’d like it to be, the 510 v2 also remains responsive to the runner’s footfalls and lift-offs thanks to the thinner midsole. Meanwhile, the outsole’s Ndurance rubber keeps its tread and provides excellent surface control to the runner.
Support
Support

Support

With neutral arch support, the 510 v2 is made for the runner with neutral pronation and provides adequate support. Its plush and well-padded ankle provides a good amount of cushioning while also keeping the foot snug and stable after lace-up. However, this is not specifically a support shoe, and there have been some complaints that the midsole itself is harder than expected.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

One of the best things about the New Balance 510 v2 is its versatility: while it can handle the trail--as is its specific purpose--runners will be surprised how adept it is at taking a jog around the block or through the streets, as well. But the terrain it was made for is the trail: to grip the earth, kick some dirt, and run over the rough and tumble surfaces that nature provides. So while you may get some extra use out of these by jogging in the neighbourhood, taking them out into nature for a run really reveals the ability of the 510 v2 to tenaciously tackle the trail.
Price
Price

Price

For a maximalist shoe that’s been constructed with durability and tenacity in mind, the runner may be surprised at its affordable pricing. For budget-conscious runners looking to tackle the trail but don’t want to invest in high-priced trail gaiters or a more expensive, but comparable, trail running shoe, the 510 v2 will perform and provide without breaking the bank.
Traction
Traction

Traction

With an outsole outfitted with durable AT Tread® to grip the earth and medium-sized pods to provide traction, the 510 v2 is literally made to provide tenacious traction on the trail. While runners will also find a great amount of traction on asphalt and pavement with these shoes, they really are made for the trail and will provide the amount of traction needed to conquer this terrain.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Although a maximalist shoe, the upper of the 510 v2 has been updated to provide more flexibility, with thinner overlays that allow for the shoe to shape more naturally to the wearer’s foot. Although built to last and to stand up to the elements, there is a fair amount of flexibility in this trail runner.
Stability
Stability

Stability

One major update from the first edition is an improved last, which has made the heel narrower and provides more security after lace-up. The upper’s connection to the outsole has also been made more stable for additional stability and comfort. However, this is not specifically a stability shoe.
Drop
Drop

Drop

Featuring a 12mm drop, the New Balance 510 v2 may have a slightly higher drop than most runners are used to but it is not an extreme change. Providing a good amount of balance and offering a few millimetres higher drop than the standard, the drop is not going to be a problem for the majority of runners.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- A great trail running shoe for its affordable price range
- Offers tenacious tread for the trail
- Dynamic enough to provide a comfortable ride on asphalt and pavement
- An excellent protection offered by the outsole and upper overlays
- Improved design from the first edition has made the upper less bulky
- Secure fit with a great amount of step-in comfort
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a trail runner that’s durable, offers great traction, and is affordable, the New Balance 510 v2 is a great choice. Its no-nonsense aesthetic is reflective of its serious outlook as being a trail runner that’s looking to put miles between you and civilization as you trounce the terrain. With durable AT Tread® on the outsole and several medium-sized pods fitted for traction, the 510 v2 will keep its shape and ability even after heavy use.
While some have complained that the midsole isn’t as comfortable as they’d hope and its weight may be a challenge for some runners, overall for its price, its traction, and its standing as a dynamic trail runner, the New Balance 510 v2 may introduce more people to the pursuit of trail running without having to invest too much in their first pair.