New Balance Fresh Foam X Vongo V5

The New Balance Fresh X Foam Vongo V5 is a running shoe for neutral runners or modest overpronators that love ample cushioning, a springy ride, subtle stability, and a lightweight frame that keeps your gait cycle nice and bright. While it's not perfect - it's pretty close!

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Our Conclusion
For neutral-ish runners with narrower feet, these shoes will impress. If you have wider feet or severely overpronate, I wouldn't bother. They look great and hug the heel well without any hot spots or rubbing near the ankle or Achilles. I love that they are incredibly responsive, lightweight, and hug my feet in all the right places. 
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Key Features
Comfort & Fit
The fit of the heel is where these shoes really shined. The heel fits nicely with just enough positive "slip" to not rub, irritate Achilles, etc. I loved the heel, and the shoe seemed to cut to the perfect height both below the ankle and up the heel so as not to affect the Achilles.

For me, the fit of these shoes was great, but I have very narrow feet- I'll walk right out of a loafer sometimes! That being said, even on my feet, the upper was snug where the lacing begins at the mid-foot. Luckily, it was a great feeling for me, but I can see this being a serious cause of concern and potential pain for runners with wider feet or higher instep. 
I had a great time taking the New Balance Fresh X Foam Vongo V5 for a run! They're not perfect, but the issues that I had with these running shoes aren't deal-breakers in the slightest. 

Classified as stability running shoes, I found that the stability features were weak. The medial posts caused my feet to roll slightly inwards to the point that it felt that I was running on the insides of my feet. Overall, the Vongo V5 caters more to neutral runners or those with mild overpronation (such as myself!) than those needing a serious stability trainer. 
The Vongo V5 is composed of New Balance's Hypoknit upper material that is flexible, breathable, and made to move. The mid-foot area where the laces begin was relatively narrow.

It was great for me, a narrow-footed runner, but I could see this causing some runners with wider feet some problems for sure. Aside from this, there were no hot spots or rub zones where the beginnings of callouses, corns, etc., could be felt.
This shoe utilizes New Balance's Fresh Foam midsole cushioning that is lightweight and ultra-responsive. It also boasts a medial post to help with motion control, but I felt that this post made it feel like I was running on the inside of my feet. The shoes are light and responsive and are just really fun to run in, so it wasn't a real deal-breaker for me.

Overall, these shoes' midsole design really sprung you forward and were a welcomed improvement over the spring of the Asics GT-1000 10's I was running in. I was quite impressed by this aspect of the shoe.
Break-In Period
There was a brief break-in period during my first run, but they fit my feet like a glove after that. It might be a cliche way to describe it, but it's true.

Honestly, I was a bit concerned after the first run out of the box. These shoes felt a little stiff, but after around 10 miles, they ran quite nicely, and the lingering 'issues' I had with the shoes were based on their design and not their break-in period, stiffness, etc. I would say the only way you could do better on a break-in period than these shoes would be a make/model that ran perfectly right out of the box!
These shoes could certainly perform over the typical distances I cover as a runner (usually 10K and below). I can't speak to their suitability for longer distances, save the occasional long run, which they would more than suffice.

I took these shoes for a 28-mile trial run and found that the shoes showed minimal signs of overall wear and tear. The tread on the Vongo v5 should hold up well compared to other shoes utilized on similar terrain. I noticed nothing that would cause concern when looking ahead to the days of having 100+ miles in these!
Issues With The Shoe
I overpronate, and one complaint I have with these Vongo V5's is the fact that they are meant to provide motion control, and even on flat surfaces, I sometimes felt like I was running "on the insides of the feet" to a degree I did not feel in my previous runners (Asics GT-1000 10's). As most overpronators know, you always sort of "feel it," but there were times when I felt it more in these shoes.

As with many running shoes, the toe is reinforced underneath the fabric upper, which over time, or given a few unlucky stumbles, could start to wear through, rip, etc. These shoes are cool looking. And nothing ruins cool-looking shoes like a torn toe!

Additionally, I wasn't a fan of the arch support of these shoes. Depending on the terrain, it was average (treadmill) to downright painful (when running on any left/right sloping terrain, including roads).
Our Verdict
While there isn't a particular component or feature of this shoe that would catapult it into the "money well spent" category, the fact that it is mid-priced when compared to other shoes makes it an average purchase. You are certainly not overpaying for a shoe of this quality at this price.

This shoe isn't for everyone, but for me, it was a pleasure to take for a spin, and I will certainly be adding it to my daily training rotation!
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Best offer on: May. 17. 2024