New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V5

8.5 score
[Editors rating (8.5)] = Runnerclick score (8.5)/10

Our RunnerClick score is based on our editors overall rating compared to the user ratings in order to generate the most accurate and unbiased score of each product we review.

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Editor rating: 8.5 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Editor’s Conclusion
With so many dedicated trail running shoe brands out there on the market, the New Balance Hierro v5 is the dark horse. When you think of New Balance, trail running shoes are probably not the first thing that comes to mind. However, the Hierro v5 captures pretty much everything that runners want when tackling muddy and difficult trails.

It boasts ample padding that offers nice step-in feel with heightened cushioning in the heel for excellent impact absorption and a wide toe box that allows your toes to naturally splay inside of the shoe. The grippy outsole is designed for modest trails, and the weather-resistant features are great for running in rainy weather or for splashing through puddles and mud. The only downside to this trainer is that the bulky design and higher weight may slow you down a bit. I would recommend this shoe for those that want to take nice and easy tempo runs with a shoe that will provide a good deal of support and stability.

Below, I wanted to take a deep dive into all of the features that make this one of my very favorite trail running shoes.
New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V5 Review Facts
Editor's Pros & Cons

Super comfy Fresh Foam X midsole

A wide toe box allows your toes to naturally splay

Sleek design

Available in wide

Vibram MegaGrip outsole



Not ideal for speed

Weak lockdown

Key Features

Key Features


One of the things that runners love most about this shoe is the addition of the full-length Fresh Foam X midsole foam. If you love the plush step-in feel in your running shoes, this midsole really delivers. It walks that fine line between squishy comfort and springy responsiveness that provides a nice and cushioned ride. This midsole also adds a little bit of extra cushioning in the heel for added impact absorption that is great for heel-strikers to help mitigate pain to your muscles and joints for those long runs.

While the midsole provides ample cushioning for an easy ride, it’s important to note that due to the overall bulk of the midsole you lose a good deal of ground feel. Some runners find that the performance of this super-cushioned midsole makes their gait cycle feel a little mushy. It’s great for long distances or heavier runners, but not ideal for speed.


The Hierro v5 has undergone some serious changes in the upper that make this shoe really shine out there on the trails. The entire upper is made from a TPU coated textile that helps to wick away moisture and debris so you can traverse muddy and soggy terrain with confidence. The TPU layer does a great job of protecting your feet from mud and debris, but it is still incredibly breathable.

It also omits the internal bootie found in previous versions and replaces it with a gusseted tongue that boosts lockdown while giving your feet room to breathe. Compared to previous versions, this shoe is much more breathable and comfortable. One thing that I love about this shoe is that it boasts a very wide toe box that allows your toes to naturally splay inside of the shoe for added stability.


One look at the design of the outsole of this New Balance shoe, and you know that it is able to conquer almost any trail. It is composed of Vibram MegaGrip that has a slightly tacky finish that helps to really anchor you to the ground, and it is perfect for running over slick leaves or slushy trails with heightened stability and confidence. It also boasts multi-directional lugs that are tightly spaced toward the front of the shoe to help with uphill climbs or downhill descents and spaced further apart at the heel for confident landings.

The extra rubber at the back of the heel almost looks like an accident but serves a very important purpose. The Vibram rubber extends out of the back of the shoe to create a little mud flap. This small flap helps to fling mud and water up and away from your foot like mud flaps on a car. Some runners love the addition of this flap to keep mud away from their heels, while others feel that it makes the shoe a little bulky and cumbersome.


I would recommend this shoe for runners that want to travel long distances on difficult trails that want a nice and cushioned ride. The thick midsole materials provide a really comfortable ride, but it doesn’t offer that nice and responsive ride that is found in other trail runners out there on the market. It’s a great option for long-distance runners, heavier runners, or those that simply love a shoe with a lot of extra cushioning.

The Vibram Megagrip outsole also makes it great for all types of technical terrain. Whether you are running on dry and rocky trails, or splashing through puddles and mud, the tacky finish to this outsole really grips you to the ground. It’s a little cumbersome in design, but it is incredibly effective in a wide variety of less-than-ideal weather conditions.


Overall, the Hierro v5 runs true to size. If you are a size 10 in other New Balance trainers, size 10 will fit perfectly in this shoe. It is important to note, however, that there are a few issues regarding the overall fit of this shoe. Many runners found that this shoe fit a little wide, which made lockdown a little difficult. When running up and down hills, the heel sometimes shifts around on their feet, and the shallow lacing makes it a little difficult to find that lockdown sweet spot.

Many of the fit issues often occurred in runners that have feet that are a little on the narrow side. If your feet run wide, you are less likely to run into lockdown issues. Plus, just like in all New Balance trainers, this shoe is also available in wide sizing options as well. If you have never tried on New Balance shoes before, it’s important that you take accurate measurements of your feet and compare those numbers to their sizing chart.


New Balance makes sure to include everyone when it comes to the color options available in this shoe. If you want more neutral and underrated color options, it comes in basic black as well as gray and navy blue. If you love bright and punchy colors, you will be quite pleased with the cheery and happy color palette offered in this design. Personally, I love the yellow and black color option that is punctuated with sharp red and blue accents.

Due to the high level of cushioning in the midsole and some of the comfort features, this shoe is a little blocky. If you are looking for a shoe that boasts a lower profile with less bulk, you may be a little overwhelmed at the sheer volume of this cushioned trail runner.


The price of this shoe is a little bit higher than I would have liked, but the extra cushioning and quality-of-life features give you a little extra bang for your buck. If you are in the market for a trail runner that provides heightened cushioning to protect your joints on those long trail runs, the Hierro v5 is worth every penny!
Comparisons to Previous Versions

Comparisons to Previous Versions

If you were considering shopping for a previous version of this trail shoe to save a little money, you may want to reconsider! The Hierro v5 has undergone some serious design and performance changes that are well worth the slightly elevated price tag. While many of the performance features remain the same, such as the Fresh Foam midsole and Vibram outsole, the construction of the upper and the traction on the outsole have undergone some serious performance improvements.

One of the biggest changes made to this shoe is the construction of the upper. It is made from TPU-coated mesh materials that work to keep mud and debris out while lifting hot air up and away from your feet. These design changes to the upper not only provide more protection, but they make this shoe much more breathable than the previous designs.

The outsole is another point worth mentioning. The lugs on previous versions of the Hierro were fairly shallow and performed more like a hybrid trail/road runner than a dedicated trail runner. The Hierro v5 drops that indecisive Vibram outsole and replaces it with deeper lugs that were built solely for the trails.


I love the performance of the New Balance Hierro v5, but I realize that it isn’t for everyone. The higher level of plush cushioning is great for long distances, but it makes your gait cycle feel a little muddy. If you prefer high cushioning over ground feel and snappy sets, this is a great option for easy tempo trail runs of long distances.

The Fresh Foam X midsole materials are some of the most cushioned midsoles that New Balance has to offer, and the Vibram Megagrip rubber outsole allows you to confidently run through slick or jagged trails with a heightened level of stability and confidence.