New Balance 510v4

In the fourth version of New Balance’s 510 series, this sneaker is more breathable and supportive than its predecessor. The cushioning featured in the midsole is a combination of the company’s ABZORB foam and lightweight Acteva materials which are both supportive and shock-absorbent. The upper has been redesigned to be more breathable because the leather overlays have been specifically placed to deliver support where it is needed without detracting from the airflow. The outsole makes the shoe versatile so it can be worn casually, on the trail, or on the road. It is not the most stylish sneaker, but for the price, it may be worth a try.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Affordable price tag for such a well-trusted sneaker brand
  • Multi-functional design
  • The underfoot platform is supportive enough for the trail
  • Breathable upper
  • The grip is great for both the road and well-groomed trails
  • Cons
    • Boring appearance 
    • Sizing is inconsistent
    • Tends to run small
    • Key Features
      The New Balance 510v4 features a unique dual-use rubber outsole which will allow you to wear these shoes both on the trails and on the roads effectively. The AT Tread varies throughout the bottom of the sneaker in order to achieve this ability. Down the center of the outsole, you will find pentagon-shaped treads with a small nub right in the middle to help you grip the trails. These lugs will work well on well-groomed to moderate trails but they are not overly-aggressive so they will allow you to wear them comfortably on the road. Along the outside of the outsole, the tread is more solid and flush with the bottom of the shoe. There are also a number of flex grooves running along the outside for added flexibility. On the medial and lateral sides of the outsole’s midfoot area, you will find a textured pattern that both supports the foot and allows you to step over rocks and terrain without slipping. The rear of the shoe features “Heel Kick” which allows you to land on your heels without injury and results in a smoother heel to toe transition.
      The midsole of the 510v4 features full-length New Balance Acteva foam. This foam utilizes DuPont Engage technology for added durability and excellent impact performance. Acteva is 12% lighter than standard EVA midsole foam allowing the sneaker to be more lightweight. You will also see the word “ABZORB” stamped on the side of the midsole. This is an additional cushioning material that is a combination of isoprene rubber and a specialized proprietary foam. ABZORB is designed to deliver exceptional shock absorbency during the landing phase and also provide excellent rebound on the toe off. There is a removable insert inside the sneaker called the Soft Comfort Insert that provides additional cushioning as well.
      The upper of the 510v4 is designed to be both supportive and breathable. The main portion of the upper is made out of a breathable mesh material that provides great airflow into and out of the foot chamber. Over the mesh, there are leather overlays which will help the sneaker to maintain its structure as well as support your foot. This redesigned upper is updated from the 510v3 in that the leather overlays have been more strategically placed around the upper to make them less restrictive and to allow for more optimal airflow. The upper also features a dual-density padded foam heel collar and tongue to deliver comfort and to help keep the foot locked in place. On the toe of the sneaker, you will find the words “toe protect” stamped on top of the leather. This toe protect is designed to not only keep your toes from getting injured on the trail but also to increase the upper’s durability.
      Due to the fact that these are mainly designed to be trail shoes and the fact that they have more layers in the upper and midsole, they weigh more than your typical running shoe. The men’s version weighs in at 12.4 ounces and the women’s is slightly less. If you are looking for a lightweight sneaker, there may be better options for you on the market.
      The mesh that is used to make up most of the upper in this sneaker lends itself to great breathability. Compared to its predecessor, the 510v3, this sneaker is more breathable thanks to how the leather overlays are placed. Due to the fact that this sneaker is primarily a trail running sneaker, it is designed to be more supportive, which means there is more material present in its makeup. In turn, that means that breathability is slightly compromised. With that said, these sneakers are more breathable than many other trail shoes on the market that are comparable.
      The main source of comfort in these sneakers comes from the midsole. The combination of Acteva and ABZORB foam form a cushiony layer that will deliver great comfort as you walk or run. The internal lining is also pretty soft so you will feel comfortable there as well. Compared to its predecessor, the upper has been redesigned to be less constricting so your feet should not feel squished at all. Some users have said that the sneaker tends to run about a half size small, so you may want to consider that when you are purchasing these. All in all, there has not been a whole lot said about the comfort of these sneakers, which means that they are probably fairly comfortable, but nothing to be overly excited about.
      The New Balance 510v4 is not really an overly-stylish sneaker. They are designed to be versatile, meaning you should be comfortable wearing them on the trail, road, or out and about. However, a number of reviewers said that they were pretty drab looking. There are not a ton of exciting colorways offered but if that doesn’t matter to you, then they are pretty middle-of-the-road in terms of trail shoes.
      New Balance is known for making high-quality sneakers so you might automatically assume that these sneakers offer a lot in terms of durability. The outsole and midsole offer quite a lot in the way of durability but there are a number of consumers who claim that the upper looks cheap and flimsy and that it comes apart easily. Although this is not the case with every consumer, there are enough reviews stating similar instances that it may be of concern. The outsole is made of durable rubber and the midsole is engineered using a combination of durable foam materials so there is not much concern there. The upper’s durability may be something to consider when buying these shoes.
      The outsole of these shoes will deliver decent protection against underfoot debris when it comes to walking or running on well-groomed to moderate trails. However, the lug system that is present is not very aggressive which means that it will not protect your feet if you choose to take them on more technical terrain. Wearing them on the road should be fine, considering the outsole is designed for both the well-groomed trail and the road. The toe protect will protect your toes from injury while the heel kick will allow you to transition from heel to toe with ease. These are a neutral fitting sneaker so if you have issues concerning stability and support, you may want to consider other sneakers.
      The main source of response as far as the 510v4 goes lies in the ABZORB midsole. This material has been engineered to not only deliver great shock absorbency but also to deliver great response and rebound on toe-off. Combined with the Acteva foam in the midsole, it will work to deliver a springy step. However, it should be noted that some consumers said that the response in these shoes left much to be desired and many felt like it should be more responsive, especially as a road running sneaker.
      The NB Ultra Soft Comfort insert provided in this sneaker is designed to deliver comfort and to help reduce negative space within the foot chamber of the shoe. This will help eliminate rubbing, irritation, and foot discomfort and will aid in supporting your foot as you move through your gait. The ABZORB layer of foam provided will help to eliminate a great amount of shock and the Acteva midsole will deliver cushioned support as well. These shoes are designed to be neutral running shoes so they will not provide additional support if you have foot concerns, but many consumers said their feet felt relatively supported. The leather overlays placed over the mesh upper will also help to support your feet by locking them down and not allowing them to move as you walk or run.
      The outsole of these shoes was designed to tackle both the road and the well-groomed trail. The lugs placed on the sneaker are not overly-aggressive so they are not well-suited for more technical terrain. However, many consumers considered them great sneakers in terms of being able to wear them for both trail running and road running.
      Depending on which colorway you are looking to purchase, these sneakers can run you anywhere from $60 to $70 which is a great price for a multi-functional shoe. Although there is some question in terms of their durability, they are still manufactured by a highly-trusted brand and will not put a big dent in your wallet if you’d like to test them out.
      The great thing about these shoes is their versatility in terms of traction. Down the center of the outsole, you will find lugs that will help you grip a well-groomed trail while the outsides of the outsole are better suited for the road. Whether you are taking these shoes on the trail or the road, they should perform well in wet or dry conditions. However, because they do not boast an aggressive lug system, you may not want to try them in muddy and more technical terrains.
      By nature, trail shoes tend to be less flexible than typical road-running sneakers. Because these are more versatile and are designed first to be trail shoes, and secondly to be used on the roads, they deliver slightly more flexibility than solely trail shoes. The outer edge of the outsole is equipped with flush treads interspersed with flex grooves designed to move and flex with your feet. The midsole is equipped with both lightweight Acteva foam and a layer of ABZORB foam which is also fairly lightweight. These features help the midsole to be fairly flexible. The upper is made with mesh, which is both breathable and flexible, however, the leather overlays may detract from the uppers flexibility. Compared to its predecessor, it is slightly more flexible, but not by much.
      These are not specifically designed to be “stability” running shoes so they are not equipped with many stabilizing features. With that said, the platform of the shoe is wider so you should feel relatively stable, but they will not perfect your running gait if you tend to overpronate. The leather overlays do help to keep your feet locked into the sneaker which will allow your feet to stay more stable within the shoe, but they are really designed for the neutral runner.
      The New Balance 510v4 offers a drop of 12mm which is higher than your typical running sneaker. This may be due to the ABZORB and Acteva foams in the midsole. By no means are these shoes designed to allow much underfoot feel, rather, you will feel a great deal of cushioned support underfoot.
      Key Features
      -ABZORB cushioning in the midsole delivers cushioning and shock absorbency
      -Extra shock absorbency and cushion provided in the lightweight Acteva midsole
      -Breathable mesh upper combines with leather overlays for support
      -Ultra-soft insert for added comfort
      -AT Tread outsole for use on both the trail and the road
      -Padded tongue and heel collar for comfort and support
      Bottom Line
      In the end, the New Balance 510v4 is an affordable versatile sneaker that can be worn casually, on the trail, or on the road. Compared to its predecessor, it offers more breathability and shock absorbency but is not much different other than that. Many consumers complained about how boring the shoe is aesthetically speaking but that it can be worn casually with ease. Considering the fact that it is made by such a well-trusted brand, the price of the sneaker may be right to at least try it out. It should be noted, however, that there are other trail shoes that may be more supportive and stylish.
      Where to Buy
      By Abbie Copeland
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 26. 2021

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