new balance ff hierro v6 - feature
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New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V6 Review

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 11.9 oz. (337 g) for a US M9.0 / 9.9 oz. (280 g) for a US W7.0
  • Lost over an ounce over last year’s version (but still not exactly lightweight)
  • Very comfortable for just about anything
  • Releases 2/1/2021 for $135
  • For real though, the New Balance design department is bringing the heat in 2021

TAYLOR: With 2020 being such a “banner year” it’s hard to think back to 2019. Pretty sure that was like three decades ago, but the calendar says otherwise.

Anyway, one thing I do remember from yesteryear was one of sweetest looking shoes to date! The Fresh Foam Hierro v5. It was such a fresh design for a trail shoe! My students actually complimented me on it, so that’s how you know it’s legit. To be honest, I don’t even particularly care about style, but it was sweet! The trail experience … well that was a different experience altogether. Both Erin and I panned the shoe for a multitude of reasons, and it quickly went from trail to casual in the “usage” category.

Skip forward a year. Here we are with v6. Style-wise, it’s hotter than a leather seat in July, and guess what? The performance has bridged the gap considerably! If you’ve enjoyed any of the past iterations, you’ll be sure to love this!

The Good

TAYLOR: There are a couple of things I have got to say from the top. The first, and arguably the most/least important: The Foam Hierro v6 is trail-ready, but would look equally fine with a pair of jeans. You can rock these anywhere. That’s rare for running shoes … like holographic-Charizard-rare in the trail-shoe world. 

Second on the docket is a thank you to New Balance itself. The Hierro’s upper includes a few recycled materials and each purchase of the shoe includes a 1% for the Planet donation. It seems small, but the impact is a big first step to further sustainability in the shoe/clothing industry. 

Those things aside, the Hierro v6 has seriously stepped up its game to being a trail shoe that I might grab for on long or easy days.

It’s certainly not the lightest, but I have to acknowledge the improvement. In a men’s 10.5 the weight dropped by over an ounce putting it right at 12 oz. Again, not light, but the lighter package puts it in the realm of possibilities. 

Another big change to v6 is in the upper. An engineered mesh is utilized to give a much more comfortable and controllable fit; meaning more adjustable and secure.

The upper fit very snug and was soft on the foot thanks to a nicely padded tongue. On technical footing and/or long trail runs this is one of the most crucial aspects in my book. 

Personally, because of the lighter weight and more secure upper, I felt that I can run faster and farther in the Hierro v6 as compared to the v5. Kudos! 

On a more familiar note, Fresh Foam X is used underneath for an equally protective, comfortable, and performance-driven ride. I have enjoyed every shoe with this foam. I have no complaints with a thick (with a ‘k’ not a ‘cc’), uncomplicated slab of it. The midsole alone (28 mm to 20 mm drop) gives this shoe some reach. Use it for long runs, easy daily training runs, and even pick up the pace a tad.

Another positive is the Vibram MegaGrip outsole. I’m still saying it. Megagrip is one the best outsoles you can find (second only to Inov-8’s Graphene Grip). New Balance stuck with the more waffled pattern that made trails and smoother surfaces equally friendly – though it wasn’t great for digging into softer surfaces.

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The Bad

TAYLOR: Weight has always been an issue with the Hierro. This is a unique shoe that tries to get the most out of performance and looks. It performs well and looks great but it makes for a heavy shoe over the long haul. For that fact alone, I wouldn’t necessarily say this is THE shoe for you come UTMB (as their website suggests). It did shed 1.3 ounces from last year’s V5. Keep that trend rolling for next year’s model. Then we’ll be talking seriously about being a top choice for race day.

This next gripe is a little unusual for me: Most trail shoes can run road sections just fine. Usually the biggest issue comes from larger lugs. I’m not sure the cause exactly, but the Hierro v6 does not run that well on road segments. It became very slap happy in the forefoot as compared to running on even a slightly more technical trail. Again, it’s weird… but I haven’t quite felt this in any other shoes.

Shop New Balance Trail – Men Shop New Balance Trail – Women

new balance ff hierro v6 - tongue

New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V6 Conclusion

TAYLOR: One thing that I really appreciate about New Balance is that they take feedback seriously. Their perennial stars in the Fresh Foam X midsole and the Vibram MegaGrip outsole keep shining while an improved upper and fresh trim make the Hierro a completely viable all-around trail shoe.

Yes, they are still on the heavier end of the spectrum. At what cost? The Fresh Foam Hierro v6 is beautiful enough for a sneaker-head to snag a pair. Go far, feel good, and look good in these. If this is what you’re looking for, check them out when they drop on 2/1/2021 on Running Warehouse for $135.

You can pick up the at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) by using the shop link below.

Shop New Balance Trail – Men Shop New Balance Trail – Women

new balance ff hierro v6 - step

new balance ff hierro v6 - upper

7 Comments

  1. Great article. I have the version V5 and have put over 900 miles on them, I know it is time to get a new pair. I went to a NewBalance store in search and in the process I learned that the V6 is coming out. Is V6 tighter in the toe box than the V5.

    Thank you,

    Joshua

  2. Hey Taylor, How does the arch compare to the V5? I found the V5 arch to be uncomfortably pronounced. Is it the same in the V6? Thanks, and great review!

    1. Hey! Underfoot, it feels very similar. The arch is slightly pronounced, but for me, it wasn’t uncomfortable at all. It only provides mild arch support and is a neutral runner.

      If you at all enjoyed the v5 the v6 is familiar but a huge step in the right direction.

      I hope that helps.

    1. Sigh, not yet. Pretty much any shoes these days are pushed back on account of shipping delays from Asia and COVID vax rollout.

  3. Any idea when these will be available? I’ve looked online and it seems no one has them yet. They don’t even show up on New Balances website when I search for them.

    Thanks!

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