New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro Boa

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New Balance and Boa join forces to create a comfy and sporty trail-crusher that’s ready to rally in almost any conditions.

Men’s version here. Women’s here. 

This sleek, and eye-catching shoe is performance-oriented, with a Boa® Fit System that lets you dial in a precision fit for your run. New Balance Fresh Foam is light and springy, a surprisingly plush combo that’s ready to rock the uphills, and is forgiving on the descents. A Vibram MegaGrip outside provides durable traction in almost any conditions. I’ve tested these shoes on desert single track and more technical mountain terrain, and their grip is consistently solid, even on looser descents. I’d recommend these for trails that aren’t exceedingly technical, but that do require some performance from your lugs.

The fit is where this shoe really shines. A snug, bootie-like fit extends slightly higher than a traditional trail shoe, almost like a gaiter, which feels comfortable and secure around the ankle. That fit helps keep rocks and dust out and helps prevent blisters in the sensitive ankle zone. The 8mm drop feels sporty without losing good trail feel and provides a reassuring ride.

Though it looks hefty, the Boa system helps cinch it down so that the shoe feels incredibly light. The Boa fit system allows for an ultra-customizable fit, which kept even my very narrow feet locked in place, which builds confidence on rocky terrain.  The shallow lugs aren’t great for super steep scrambles, but shed mud easily, which makes the great for variable weather conditions. The lace’s positioning enables the pressure to be evenly distributed throughout the instep, thanks to three wide straps across the top of the shoe. This helps get rid of any pressure points on top of the foot. Heads up that this shoe runs a tad on the small size, try going up at least half a size. I’d recommend this shoe for any technical trail adventurer looking for a precision tool for single track exploring or desert rambling.

Zoë Rom is Assistant Editor at Trail Runner , host of the DNF Podcast and a trail running coachShe enjoys podcasts and pizza.