New Balance Hierro v7 (Review 2023): Good Trail Running Pick?
Published on: 08/17/2022
The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v7 is a versatile and comfortable trail running shoe for long distances on technical terrain.
Very good comfortable, and versatile trail running shoe for your long runs. A great value!
Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.
The 6th version had conquered trail runners but was quite heavy (11.6 oz/330 g!). The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro returns in 2022 with a lighter version 7 and is just as comfortable, grippy, and protective.
The Vibram MegaGrip outsole is as effective, robust, and durable as ever. It has been redesigned with deeper lugs (4.5mm) for even better grip and traction on various surfaces, dry or loose like mud.
The highlight of this New Balance Hierro v7 is its weight loss: it’s now 10.6 oz/301 g! It’s not the lightest trail shoe by far, but at least there’s progress!
The Fresh Foam X midsole remains the same, delivering comfort and softness to extend the miles. The cushioning is soft and responsive, although a little firm on the forefoot in the opinion of some runners. The stack remains moderate (28 mm at the heel) with an 8 mm heel-to-toe drop.
Finally, the engineered mesh upper is breathable and provides a precise foot lockdown.
In summary, the New Balance Hierro v7 is a successful evolution in the series. No doubt it will win over its fans and conquer new ones!
For more information, please read our full review of the New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v7.
- The effective grip on a wide variety of terrains
- Great comfort
- Stable ride with its wider platform
- Lighter than the previous versions
- As stylish as street sneakers!
- Breathable and eco-friendly upper (50% recycled materials)
- Lack of cushion in the forefoot
- The mesh is a little thick in hot weather
New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v7 Complete Review Analysis
In the New Balance family, the Hierro is the trail equivalent of the famous New Balance 1080. Both shoes share the same signature Fresh Foam midsole technology (Fresh Foam X). It demonstrates its qualities over the years: decent grip, absolute comfort, and outstanding protection.
The only flaw unanimously recognized, including by the brand itself, especially since the last two iterations, is its high weight (over 11.6 oz/330g). Admittedly, this is a common problem that many shoes for trail have, but some brands (like Hoka and Nike) have made great progress recently.
So, will the New Balance Hierro v7 live up to the expectations in 2022? That’s what we’ll find out in this in-depth analysis.
Grip and durability
The overall outsole design of the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro 7 remains the same as the previous version. The brand has renewed its confidence in the Vibram Megagrip technology, guaranteeing quality, robustness, and durability. This is undoubtedly the highlight of this shoe, whose superior grip on uneven terrain satisfied all trail runners.
However, New Balance has refined a few details to further optimize the performance of its shoe. The brand revised the design and the size of the lugs (4.5 mm) to improve traction on a maximum of surfaces, dry or wet, in particular gravel and soft ground. It’s a winning formula, according to the testers, who think that it’s getting closer and closer to the Hoka Speedgoat 5!
The detail that kills (so to speak, eh?): mini grooves all cute on the lugs, a well thought ingenuity from the brand, which allows a reduction in weight and greater friction on the ground.
In short, this high-quality outsole gives trail runners confidence and reassurance on all types of terrain.
It’s in the name, so it must be there: Fresh Foam X! So, nothing new here in the midsole. The cushioned Fresh Foam experience continues to provide comfort, softness, and responsiveness like the previous version.
However, some runners have expressed doubts or were even slightly disappointed by the firmer underfoot feel compared to version 6. Overall, the consensus is still that it allows trail runners to go the distance comfortably.
The stack height (28 mm at the heel) and the heel-to-toe drop of 8mm make it a somewhat traditional running shoe, accessible to most runners. It absorbs shocks effectively, even on rough terrain, while still allowing some ground feel.
The NB Fresh Foam X Hierro v7 doesn’t have a rock plate, but the comfort is such that trail runners don’t find it bothersome. The midsole foam is enough to minimize sharp rocks poking your feet.
All in all, the midsole of the New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v7 is a fine balance of cushioning and responsiveness, comfort, and stability.
Foot lockdown (upper)
Breathability, lightness, eco-friendliness, and protection are the main characteristics of the New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v7 upper. Its engineered tightened mesh fabric made of 50% recycled materials (New Balance’s Green Leaf standard label) will delight eco-conscious trail runners.
In terms of weight, New Balance has imposed a strict diet on this model. It’s now 1.3 oz/38 g lighter than the previous model.
The New Balance Hierro v7 offers several width options to accommodate different foot shapes (standard, wide, extra wide). You will inevitably find a suitable wide toe box, even if New Balance shoes tend to run on the narrow side.
Overall, the Hierro v7 are comfortable fitting shoes with impeccable lockdown thanks to their simple and effective lacing system and gusseted tongue.
Finally, the reinforced toe overlay zone with Toe Protect technology provides optimal protection from unwanted trail elements like rocks and roots.
The upper is breathable and protective, so runners are unanimous in their praise. The only slight drawback expressed by some is the thickness of the mesh, which could make the shoes very hot in warm weather conditions.
Reviewers were quite appreciative of this new Hierro v7’s: comfortable, flexible, and protective including on rough terrain.
The platform’s base is wide enough to provide good stability for more on technical trails, especially downhill. Overall, the ride feels very good, supported by a soft and responsive cushioning that allows for long runs.
The only criticism came from some forefoot strikers who would have preferred a bit more cushioning, even it meant a lower drop.
Transitions are also smooth and fairly traditional, as the shoe doesn’t have a rocker or carbon plate.
Overall, the ideal playground for the New Balance Hierro v7 remains forest or mountain trails (any technical surface, really) over long distances.
The New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro 7 is a clear upgrade over its predecessors. It fixes the main problem of the series so far: its weight. Also, the new outsole with deeper lugs delivers better grip, while the midsole is still comfortable for longer miles.
The sleek design of the Hierro is also a notable highlight. Nobody wants to run in ugly shoes, and it’s always a plus to be able to wear trail shoes casually as sneakers once their career is over!
|Heel height||28 mm|
|Forefoot height||19 mm|
|Weight (men)||301 g/10.6 oz|
|Weight (women)||235 g/8.3 oz|
|Features||Wide feet, Recycled materials, Toe bumper|
|Midsole||Fresh Foam X|
|Upper||TPU-Coated Textile, Toe Protect|
Reference: New Balance's official site
Comparisons – New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v7 vs.:
New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6
The main difference between the 2 models is the weight. The New Balance Hierro v7 has lost more than 1.3oz/30 grams compared to the previous model. This was the main criticism made to the v6 (and previous versions). so the brand has listened to its fans.
The grip, which was already very effective on version 6, has also been improved with a new outsole design and deeper lugs.
For the rest, the 2 versions share the great qualities that have made this trail shoe a star:
- A cushioning with incredible comfort and fairly responsive that allows for longer runs;
- A superior grip on any type of surface;
- A sturdy build with high-quality materials
New Balance Hierro v6 or v7: which one should you pick?
If you have the budget for it, the v7 is a clear improvement over v6. It’s the same, but it’s lighter and with better traction.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
These shoes fit true to size.
We would have told you no for the previous model. With this one, the answer is more like: why not! Indeed, the grip is very good, and the foot lockdown is secure. The only thing left is the weight, which can be a problem on long distances. It’s a matter of personal preference!