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New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v7: The Perfect Trail Shoe for Every Runner

CEO Tinh Phung
Introduction Are you in search of the perfect trail running shoe? Look no further than the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v7. With its lightweight design, exceptional comfort, and impressive grip, this shoe is...

Introduction

Are you in search of the perfect trail running shoe? Look no further than the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v7. With its lightweight design, exceptional comfort, and impressive grip, this shoe is a game-changer for trail runners. In this review, we'll explore why the Hierro v7 is a top choice for both trail and long-distance runners.

Who Should Buy the New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v7

The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v7 is a must-have for trail runners who prioritize grip and durability. It offers an excellent balance of traction and longevity, ensuring a smooth and reliable running experience. Additionally, long-distance runners who desire a lighter version of the NB Hierro v6 will find the perfect companion in the Hierro v7.

new-balance-hierro-v7-side.JPG Image: New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v7

Who Should NOT Buy It

If you prefer a shoe with more cushioning, particularly in the forefoot, the Altra Olympus 5 is a better fit for you. It provides a comfier feel and ample padding in the areas you need it most. Alternatively, if you're looking for a summer-ready shoe, the Salomon Ultra Glide 2 is a cool option—both literally and figuratively.

NB Hierro v7 vs. v6

The most significant change in the New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v7 is its weight. This new edition is remarkably lighter than its predecessor, with a weight drop from 323 grams/11.4 ounces to 297 grams/10.5 ounces in US men's size 9. The shoe also offers a more comfortable ride, thanks to its new Fresh Foam X midsole. Additionally, the Hierro v7's Vibram outsole has an updated lug pattern for enhanced grip on technical terrains.

A Comfortable Upper That Comes at a Cost

The Hierro v7 boasts an exceptionally comfortable upper, providing a luxurious step-in feel. However, the shoe's breathability has been compromised in exchange for this comfort. It tends to be too warm for the summer months, scoring slightly below average in our breathability test. Although trail running shoes typically have more interior padding, the Hierro v7's insulation limits airflow. Despite this drawback, the shoe's ventilation strips help maintain some level of breathability.

new-balance-hierro-v7-micro1.JPG Image: New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v7 - Upper construction

Accommodating Broad-Footed Runners

The Hierro v7 is a boon for those with wide or broad feet. Its spacious toe box prevents cramping and discomfort, making it one of the most forgiving trail shoes available. With a width of 97.9 mm at its widest point and 80.5 mm in the big toe area, this shoe is unmatched in terms of accommodating different foot shapes.

Enjoy the Ride with Fresh Foam X

The Fresh Foam X cushioning in the Hierro v7 provides an incredibly soft and smooth ride. In fact, it's the softest trail shoe foam we've ever measured, being 54% softer than its predecessor. The shoe's subtle rockered shape adds forward momentum, especially for heel strikers. The widened landing platform ensures stability and confidence on any surface or gradient.

new-balance-hierro-v7-durometer.JPG Image: New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v7 - Midsole durometer

The Forefoot Could Use More Cushion

While the Hierro v7 provides ample cushioning for heel strikers, the forefoot may feel slightly lacking in support. With 21 mm of foam in the forefoot and 29 mm in the heel, this shoe boasts an 8-mm heel-to-toe drop. Our measurements revealed a stack of 32.4/22.5 mm, resulting in a relatively steep 9.9 mm drop. While not ideal for forefoot strikers, the higher drop can benefit midfoot-to-heel strikers and provide relief for Achilles issues.

Flex and Fly

Unlike its previous version, the Hierro v7 offers a flexible ride right out of the box. Its excellent longitudinal and torsional flexibility make it one of the most pliable trail shoes available. Even though it exhibits increased firmness and stiffness when exposed to cold temperatures, this deviation from normal conditions is minimal and unlikely to affect performance.

new-balance-hierro-v7-outsole2.JPG Image: New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v7 - Outsole

Superior Grip and Durability

The Hierro v7's superior grip makes it a trustworthy companion on any trail. Its Vibram MegaGrip outsole with an updated lug pattern ensures excellent traction on both dry and wet surfaces. Surprisingly, despite having only 3 mm deep lugs, this shoe handles even the most challenging terrains with ease. Whether you're tackling rugged trails or exploring the road, the Hierro v7's grip will never disappoint.

A Weight That Crushes Expectations

The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v7 sheds its bulk, transforming from a heavyweight to a nimble horse. Weighing in at 297 grams/10.5 ounces, it aligns with the average weight of trail shoes. However, compared to its predecessors, it is by far the lightest. This weight reduction significantly enhances the shoe's overall performance.

new-balance-hierro-v7-half.JPG Image: New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v7 - Lightweight design

A++ Gusseted Tongue and Convenient Pull Tab

One standout feature of the Hierro v7 is its gusseted tongue. Attached to the sides, it prevents lace pressure and keeps the foot securely in place. With a thickness of 6.3 mm, the tongue offers adequate cushioning, eliminating the risk of lace bite. New Balance has successfully reduced the tongue's padding without compromising comfort, resulting in a lighter shoe without added weight.

new-balance-hierro-v7-tongue.JPG Image: New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v7 - Gusseted tongue

In conclusion, the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v7 is a trail running shoe that ticks all the boxes. Its lightweight design, exceptional comfort, impressive grip, and durability make it the perfect choice for both trail and long-distance runners. Say goodbye to discomfort and hello to your best running experience yet with the Hierro v7.

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