New Balance 610v5

"There's always more to explore further down the trail." The New Balance 610v5 is a neutral cushioned trail running shoe. Specifically designed for off-road running, it improves on the fourth version by using an AT Tread outsole with multi-directional lugs around the shoe's perimeter so that runners can tackle any trail. It's lighter, has fewer stitches to reduce irritation and hot spots, and has a more open mesh to increase breathability. The ABZORB cushion provides comfort while reducing shock for a smooth trip down the trails. The EVA foam provides firm, yet flexible cushioning. The shoe offers medium, wide, and extra wide options, giving a comfortable fit for many foot types. In short, the 610v5 is a shoe comfortable enough for running on trails, but stylish enough for everyday use.

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Where to Buy
Where to Buy
Pros & Cons
  • Good cushioning
  • Available in wide sizes
  • Great traction on trails
  • Protects against shock¬†
  • Great stability, support, and responsiveness
  • Attractive style and color choices
  • Cons
    • Runs large
    • Questionable durability
    • Runners with plantar fasciitis may want to replace the insole
    • Key Features
      The sturdy AT (all-terrain) Tread outsole provides traction and control for on- and off-road runs and keeps rocks and gravel out of the tread. It features multi-directional, moderately aggressive lugs under the foot and around the perimeter of the shoe. The perimeter lugs bite the ground so that running on trails is as easy as running on roads. The deep flex grooves enhance flexibility and improve transitions from the heel to the forefoot for a smooth ride. The rubber is durable so that runners can go over rough surfaces without deteriorating, and supportive to prevent injury during off-road runs.
      The midsole is made from injection-molded EVA foam that is firm enough to support the foot, soft enough for comfort, and flexible enough to run in. The injection process uses less EVA foam and is softer and bouncier than a standard compressed sole. There is some arch support. It also features the rubber ABZORB crash pad to prevent shock while running over rough terrain. ACTEVA LITE offers resiliency and cushioning for a smooth, responsive ride. The XLT footbed at the bottom of the midsole adds durability and cushioning.
      The upper gives the shoe breathability, support, and structure. The outside is mesh with synthetic overlays, and the lining is mesh. Compared to the previous edition, the 610v5 has fewer overlays with the remaining ones more strategically placed, making the shoe lighter overall. The more open mesh increases breathability. The heel, tongue, and collar are padded for comfort and the nearly seamless interior reduces the risk of irritation and hot spots. The heel also offers stability and, along with the laces, keeps the foot in place. The two problems with the upper were that the inside padding near the toes wears out after a while and that some reviewers thought that the laces were too long.
      The men's shoe weighs 10.4 oz and the women's shoe weighs 8.3 oz. This is advertised as a lightweight shoe, with many reviewers noting that the shoe is neither too light nor too cumbersome. The upper was redesigned to have fewer overlays, which make the 610v5 shoe lighter than the previous version. Like the previous edition, the EVA foam is injected rather than compressed, which uses less foam and results in a lighter shoe compared to compressed soles. The weight makes this shoe a great choice for running on trails, as it allows the runner to maintain energy and control while going over hills or technical surfaces. However, it is heavier than some road running shoes, as the rubber on the bottom has bigger lugs to go over rough terrain, which means this shoe isn't the best choice for road racing.
      Although the 610v4 had great breathability for a trail running shoe, one of the major improvements to the 610v5 was to make it even more breathable. Removing and restructuring the overlays has allowed for more mesh, resulting in improved breathability. This improves the airflow and reduces the chances of overheating, sweating, and blisters. In addition to the increased amount of mesh, the shoe also uses a no-sew upper design, giving a sock-like feel that also reduces the chances of blisters, irritation, and hot spots.
      The New Balance 610v5 has several features that make it a very comfortable shoe. In the midsole, the injection-molded EVA foam offers firm yet flexible cushioning, the ABZORB crash pad reduces shock while going over rough terrain, and the ACTEVA LITE and the XLT footbed provide additional cushioning. The upper contains a lot of mesh, with a padded tongue, collar, and heel. The no-sew material application upper gives a smooth feel and reduces the risk of blisters and hot spots. Many reviewers with a variety of foot profiles and recent surgeries noted how comfortable the shoe was for them. Some reviewers with plantar fasciitis noted that the plantar fasciitis inserts did not have enough padding, so runners with plantar fasciitis may want to consider replacing the insole with a more cushioned one.
      The 610v5 has a classic look and is available in a variety of colors and styles for both men and women. Men can choose between black/gold rush, grey, navy, grey/orange, pacific/black and cyclone/black. Women also have six choices: black/pink, icarus/crater, grey/purple, purple/yellow, speed/trek, and thunder/sea glass. Many reviewers noted that they liked the color choices. Some women thought the shoes might be too masculine based on the pictures, but were happy to report that the colors looked feminine when the actual shoes arrived. This shoe is sturdy and comfortable enough to use for trail running over technical terrain, yet stylish enough for everyday use.
      Durability is a very important feature for a trail running shoe. If the lugs wear out, it no longer has the necessary traction to go over technical surfaces, and the upper needs to be durable enough for the runner to go up and down hills without it wearing out. The New Balance 610v5 uses an AT Tread outsole that gives traction and control, which had mixed reviews. Some runners reported wearing the shoes almost every day without issue, while others said the lugs wore out more than they would have liked after 300+ miles. The biggest criticism on durability was that the mesh in the upper starts to wear out around the toes after a while.
      The 610v5 provides protection in a few ways. The upper and overlays protect against the elements. The ABZORB crash pad absorbs the shock when runners go up and down hills or over rough terrain, and the ACTEVA LITE cushioning in the insole gives a soft landing. There is also padding on the tongue and collar, around the toes, and around the ankle for a smooth ride. The shoe also provides some support on the arch and around the heels to prevent rolling. These features protect against injury while running on- and off-road.
      The shoe gives a good amount of responsiveness to allow for trail running. The ABZORB crash pad absorbs the shock while allowing energy return. The injection-molded EVA foam is soft yet bouncy. ACTEVA LITE gives resiliency. The 12 mm drop promotes forward momentum. The light weight allows the shoe to be carried easily over hills and rough surfaces. The flexibility provided by the deep grooves in the outsole allows the runner to move comfortably over technical terrain.
      Users' feet will feel locked and secure in the 610v5 shoe, as support comes from every direction. The outsole elevates the foot and the midsole provides upright support. The heel, tongue, collar, and midfoot have padding, and the overlays and laces give lateral support. The insole provides some arch support, although runners who require a lot of arch support should consider either wearing arch supports or replacing the insole.
      New Balance categorizes the 610v5 under Men's Trail Running and Women's Everyday Running. The AT Tread outsole lugs are designed to keep rocks and gravel out of the tread while runners go over rough, technical terrain during on- and off-road running. The outsole is also designed to keep water out of the shoe. The ABZORB crash pad gives a smooth ride by absorbing the shock and cushioning the foot. The shoe's treads make it flexible enough to go up and down hills and comfortable enough to wear for daily runs.
      When the 610v5 first came out, some reviewers commented that the price was high, but many retailers are now offering the shoe for almost half price, which is a great deal for the latest edition shoe of a popular brand like New Balance. Even at full price, the 610v5 was cheaper than a lot of other similar shoes, which makes it a great choice for either daily road runs or technical trail runs.
      The AT Tread outsole lugs give the 610v5 excellent traction over rough surfaces. There are also deep flex grooves giving flexibility for going up and down hills. The outsole is designed to keep rocks and gravel out of the tread and water out of the shoe. The traction makes the 610v5 a good shoe for running on roads, trails, and hills. The lugs will work for walking on slightly wet or muddy parts of a trail, but it does not have the spikes required for snow, ice, or slippery surfaces.
      Flexibility features can be found throughout the shoe. The outsole contains deep flex grooves from heel to forefoot transitions. The injection-molded EVA foam in the midsole gives firm yet flexible cushioning. The upper's overlays are firm and stable enough to hold the foot in place, yet flexible enough to allow the foot to move in order to run. The mesh allows movement and the laces keep the foot in place. The flexibility of the 610v5 allows runners to go on roads, over hills, or through rough, technical terrain with ease.
      While the 610v5 is not categorized as a stability shoe, it offers plenty of stability for neutral runners. The outsole is sturdy enough to go over technical terrain trails. The midsole offers some arch support and the ABZORB cushioning gives some stability while absorbing shock. The shoe also has some support around the ankle and heel to prevent rolling. The laces and sides keep the foot stable and in place while running on and off trails.
      The heel height is 35 mm and the forefoot height is 23 mm, giving the shoe a standard drop of 12 mm. A 12 mm drop promotes forward momentum, distributes cushioning around the foot (with a little extra in the heel), and reduces strain on the Achilles tendon, making 12 mm a good drop for a running shoe. New Balance notes that due to variances during manufacturing and development, the 12 mm drop measurement is approximate.
      Key Features

      • AT Tread outsole provides traction and control for on- and off-road runs

      • Injection-molded EVA foam midsole gives flexible, firm, and responsive cushioning

      • No-sew material application in upper gives a softer feel without risk of heat or irritation

      • ABZORB midfoot crash pad absorbs shock

      • ACTEVA LITE provides resiliency and cushioning

      • XLT Footbed adds durability and cushioning

      • Midfoot loop gives personalized fit and comfort

      Bottom Line
      The New Balance 610v5 is a great shoe for neutral runners who want to be able to run on both roads and trails. It provides good traction and control. It is flexible and light enough for movement, yet stable enough for technical terrain. It has a decent amount of cushioning and shock absorption to keep the foot comfortable while going over hills and rough surfaces. It is stylish enough to use as an everyday shoe, breathable, and uses a no-sew upper to reduce irritation and hot spots.

      Areas for improvement include durability, especially in the upper, and improved cushioning for runners with plantar fasciitis. It could also be lighter to make racing easier or a little more stable to accommodate runners who over-pronate. In sum, whether you're looking for a trail hiking shoe or every day running shoe, with the attractive price tag, popular brand name, and technical capabilities, the New Balance 610v5 is definitely worth your attention.
      Where to Buy
      By Stephanie Potter
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 27. 2021

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