Canadian Running

New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro v7 GTX

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CATEGORY: Trail

MEN’S: 319 g (11.3 oz.) WOMEN’S: 262 g (9.2 oz.) DROP: 8 mm

STACK HEIGHT: 28 mm

LUG DEPTH: 4.5 mm

$220

The Hierro is an excellent all-round trail shoe with lots of great features; it’s built for comfort, with a soft, stretchy, seamless, breathable upper, and v7 has been made lighter than v6 (though you won’t notice much of a difference in the Gore-Tex version). The tongue on the 7 does not come up as high as it did in the previous version, sparing you some potential chafing at the front of the ankle. There are some protective overlays on the upper, as in the past, that add to the feeling of security the shoe provides.

The Fresh Foam cushioning material offers just the right amount of squish without compromisi­ng forward propulsion, though we found the ride a bit on the firm side under the forefoot. The redesigned Vibram Megagrip outsole gets high marks for traction and durability.

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