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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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).
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!