New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8

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78%
πŸ… Highly Rated
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New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8: Review

β€œA comfortable and durable trail running shoe with excellent grip.”

Overview


The New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 is a trail running shoe designed to offer comfort and durability on various terrains. This shoe is part of the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro family, known for its plush cushioning and reliable grip.

Key Features:

  • Fresh Foam X midsole: Provides a soft and cushioned ride.
  • Vibram Megagrip outsole: Ensures excellent traction and durability on trails.
  • Sustainable materials: Incorporates recycled materials in the upper and insole.

The New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 is an ideal choice for trail runners who prioritize comfort and grip on moderate trails. Its sustainable materials offer an eco-friendly option, making it suitable for environmentally conscious runners.

With an average review score of 78%, it's in the lowest rated 30% of similar running shoes. Based on our monitoring of prices across the internet, it's currently in the most expensive 20% of running shoes today.

Verdict

The consensus on the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8


The New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 is praised for its versatility on trails, offering a comfortable and cushioned ride. The Vibram Megagrip outsole provides reliable traction, making it suitable for various outdoor activities. However, the shoe has some drawbacks, such as poor ventilation and a non-gusseted tongue, which may allow debris to enter. Additionally, the toebox and heel durability are concerns for some users. Despite these issues, the shoe's plush midsole and flexibility make it a great choice for comfort-seekers and new trail runners. Overall, the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 is a solid option for those looking for a comfortable and durable trail shoe, though it may not be the best choice for technical trails or those seeking a lightweight option. Its comfort and grip make it a reliable choice for moderate trails and hiking.

Updates to New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8


The New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 introduces several updates from its predecessor, the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v7. The most significant change is the new upper crafted through a printing process that eliminates the need for water, resulting in zero waste. The midsole now includes up to 40% natural materials, enhancing its sustainability. The outsole retains the Vibram compound but introduces the Vibram Ecostep Natural rubber, blending natural and recycled materials for improved grip and durability. Additionally, the lug design has been revamped, offering a greater number of smaller, evenly spaced lugs for better traction.

Comparable Shoes


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The Hoka Challenger 7 is a good alternative for those seeking a lighter trail shoe. It weighs less than the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8, making it more suitable for runners who prioritize a lightweight design. However, the Hierro v8 offers better cushioning and comfort, making it a better choice for long-distance runs and hikes.

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The Saucony Peregrine 14 is another lightweight trail shoe that competes with the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8. While the Peregrine 14 offers a more responsive feel and is better suited for technical trails, the Hierro v8 excels in comfort and cushioning, making it ideal for moderate trails and long-distance runs.

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The Nike Wildhorse 8 is a good option for runners seeking a balance between cushioning and responsiveness. While the Wildhorse 8 offers a more responsive feel for faster trail runs, the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 provides superior comfort and grip, making it a better choice for moderate trails and hiking.

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The Merrell Nova 3 is a versatile trail shoe that offers a balanced approach between cushioning and responsiveness. While the Nova 3 is lighter and more responsive, the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 excels in comfort and durability, making it a better choice for long-distance runs and hikes on moderate trails.

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The Salomon Sense Ride 5 is a strong competitor to the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8, offering excellent grip and durability. While the Sense Ride 5 is better suited for technical trails, the Hierro v8 provides superior comfort and cushioning, making it ideal for moderate trails and long-distance runs.

10 New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 Pros & Cons


5 Pros

Superb Vibram outsole provides excellent grip and durability.
Exceptionally plush ride with the Fresh Foam X midsole.
Versatile for various outdoor activities, including hiking.
Sustainable materials used in the upper and insole.
Reasonably priced for its features.

5 Cons

Poor ventilation makes it less suitable for hot weather.
Non-gusseted tongue allows debris to enter.
Durability concerns in the toebox and heel areas.
Heavier compared to other trail shoes.
Not suited for technical trails.

In Depth


Upper

The upper of the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 is crafted from engineered mesh (a lightweight, breathable fabric), providing a balance of durability and comfort. However, the dual-layer design can trap heat, making it less breathable for hot summer runs. The upper also features recycled materials, aligning with the shoe's sustainable focus. Despite its comfort, the non-gusseted tongue can allow debris to enter, which is a drawback for trail runners.

Midsole

The Fresh Foam X midsole in the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 offers a plush and cushioned ride, ideal for long-distance runs and hikes. The midsole is made from 40% natural materials, enhancing its sustainability. While the foam is soft, it is sandwiched between a firmer insole and outsole, providing a balanced feel that is not overly soft. This combination makes the shoe suitable for various terrains, offering comfort without sacrificing stability.

Outsole

The Vibram Megagrip outsole of the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 is a standout feature, providing excellent traction and durability on trails. The 4.0 mm deep lugs are designed to handle moderate terrain effectively. The outsole's thickness and hardness ensure it can withstand rough surfaces, making it a reliable choice for trail runners. The use of Vibram Ecostep Natural rubber, which includes recycled materials, adds to the shoe's eco-friendly appeal.

Size/fit

The New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 offers a medium toe box, providing a comfortable fit for most runners. The shoe's overall design maintains a streamlined silhouette, avoiding an overly wide sole. This design choice enhances agility and performance on trails. However, the non-gusseted tongue can affect the fit by allowing debris to enter, which may be a concern for some users.

Comfort

Comfort is a key feature of the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8, thanks to its plush Fresh Foam X midsole and well-padded tongue. The shoe is designed to provide a soft and cushioned ride, making it suitable for long-distance runs and hikes. The use of recycled materials in the insole adds to the shoe's comfort, though it may feel firmer than usual. Overall, the shoe offers a comfortable experience for trail runners, especially those who prioritize cushioning.

Cushioning

The New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 excels in cushioning, with its Fresh Foam X midsole providing a soft and plush ride. The shoe's heel stack height of 37 mm and forefoot stack height of 31 mm offer substantial cushioning, making it ideal for long runs and hikes. The absence of a rock plate (a protective layer in the midsole) is compensated by the thick Vibram outsole, providing adequate protection on moderate trails. The shoe's cushioning is well-suited for runners seeking comfort over responsiveness.

Breathability

Breathability is a notable concern for the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8. The dual-layer engineered mesh upper traps heat, making the shoe less suitable for hot summer runs. Despite the presence of ventilation holes, the shoe scored low in breathability tests. This design choice makes the shoe more appropriate for cooler weather or winter runs, where heat retention can be beneficial.

Stability

The New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 offers decent stability for neutral runners (runners with a neutral pronation, meaning their foot doesn't roll excessively inward or outward) on moderate trails. The shoe's midsole sidewalls and reinforced heel counter provide support without making the shoe overly stiff. However, the shoe's low torsional rigidity (resistance to twisting) and flexible design may not be ideal for those seeking maximum stability on technical trails. The shoe's stability is best suited for easy trails and gravel roads.

Durability

Durability is a mixed aspect of the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8. While the Vibram Megagrip outsole is highly durable and performs well in tests, the toebox and heel areas show signs of wear. The toebox, in particular, received low ratings in durability tests. Despite these concerns, the shoe's overall construction and use of quality materials make it a reliable option for moderate trail use.

Grip

The grip of the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 is excellent, thanks to the Vibram Megagrip outsole. The 4.0 mm deep lugs provide reliable traction on various terrains, making the shoe suitable for moderate trails and hiking. The outsole's design ensures a secure grip, even on wet or slippery surfaces. This feature makes the shoe a dependable choice for trail runners seeking reliable traction.

Flex

Flexibility is a strong point of the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8. The shoe's design includes multiple holes in the Vibram Megagrip outsole, enhancing its ability to flex in all directions. This flexibility provides a comfortable and natural feel, making the shoe suitable for runners who prioritize comfort over rigidity. The shoe's flexibility remains consistent even in cold conditions, ensuring a reliable performance in various weather conditions.

Who should buy the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8?


The New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 is ideal for trail runners who prioritize comfort and cushioning. It's a great choice for those who enjoy moderate trails and need a shoe with excellent grip and durability. New trail runners will appreciate its plush midsole and flexibility, making it a suitable option for beginners. Environmentally conscious runners will also value the shoe's use of sustainable materials.

Who should not buy the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8?


The New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 may not be the best choice for runners seeking a lightweight trail shoe. Its heavier weight compared to other models like the Hoka Challenger 7 or Saucony Peregrine 14 might be a drawback. Additionally, those who prefer a more responsive feel for faster trail runs might find the shoe's plush midsole lacking. For technical trails, the shoe's durability and stability may not be sufficient, making other models like the Nike Wildhorse 8 or Merrell Nova 3 better options.

New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8: What's it good for?


The New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 is well-suited for trail running and hiking on moderate terrains. Its comfortable and durable design makes it ideal for long-distance runs and hikes. The shoe's excellent grip and cushioning provide a reliable performance on muddy terrain and off-road paths. Its sustainable materials also make it a good choice for environmentally conscious runners.

5 New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 FAQs


Is the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 suitable for hot weather?

The New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 has a dual-layer mesh upper that can trap heat, making it less suitable for hot summer runs. It is better suited for cooler weather or winter runs.

Can I use the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 for hiking?

Yes, the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 is a versatile shoe that doubles as a great hiking shoe. Its Vibram Megagrip outsole provides excellent traction and durability on various terrains.

Is the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 environmentally friendly?

Yes, the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 incorporates sustainable materials, including recycled materials in the upper and insole. The midsole also includes up to 40% natural materials.

How does the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 compare to the previous model?

The New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 features several updates from the previous model, including a new upper crafted through a printing process that eliminates the need for water, a midsole with up to 40% natural materials, and a Vibram Ecostep Natural outsole with improved grip and durability.

Is the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 good for technical trails?

The New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 is not the best choice for technical trails due to its heavier weight and less responsive feel. It is better suited for moderate trails and long-distance runs.

New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 alternatives

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Released
Aug 2023Jul 2023Mar 2022Jun 2021
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Weight
Weight
M: 312 g
W: 252 g
M: 301 g
W: 298 g
M: 289 g
W: 255 g
289 g
M: 266 g
W: 235 g
281 g
Forefoot
Forefoot
31 mm
33 mm
27 mm
23 mm
27 mm
20 mm
Heel to toe drop
Heel to toe drop
6 mm
6 mm
4 mm
6 mm
4 mm
6 mm
Heel
Heel
37 mm
39 mm
31 mm
29 mm
31 mm
26 mm
Usages
Usages
Racing
Brand
Brand
New Balance
MerrellSalomonArc’teryxSauconyDynafit
Shoe Type
Shoe Type
Comfortable
MaximalistLow drop
Low drop
Rocker
Rocker
Rock plate
Rock plate
Breathable
Breathable
Techs
Techs
New Balance Fresh FoamVibram
OrthoLiteVibram
Vibram
Waterproofings
Waterproofings
Water repellent
Environmental Characteristics
Environmental Characteristics
Sustainable
Sustainable
Sustainable
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New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8: what the experts say (1 review)

New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v8 characteristics and specifications

Characteristics
SportsRunning (+2002)
TerrainMud (+92)Trail (+523)
BrandNew Balance (+117)
Support TypeNeutral (+1563)
Pronation TypeNeutral pronation (+1543)
Strike TypeFore/Midfoot strike (+1083)Heel strike (+1067)
Arch TypeHigh arch (+1490)
Shoe TypeComfortable (+213)
FitMedium toe box (+826)
FeaturesOrthotic friendly (+419)Removable insole (+402)Rocker (+162)
MaterialsMesh (+908)
TechsNew Balance Fresh Foam (+59)Vibram (+80)
Environmental CharacteristicsSustainable (+166)
ColorwaysBlack, Black / Shadow Grey / Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Licorice / Red / Pink Granite, Olive, Red
Specificationsvs Average
Model
v8
Measurements
Weight
M: 312 g
W: 252 g
Heel to toe drop
6 mm
Heel
37 mm
Forefoot
31 mm

Evolution of the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro product family

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AuthorTom Green
Tom is the founder of geerly. Based in West London, he found his passion for running in his mid-30s. He’s best at longer distances, and is a regular at the London Marathon, where he's edging closer to sub-2.40. He started geerly because he found it frustrating when shopping for running shoes spending ages trying to find the best deal in his size, and wading through verbose, waffling reviews clearly designed to appeal to search engines rather than be helpful to users. For geerly he's passionate about writing reviews that get straight to the point, and helping runners find the right gear at the best price.
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