When taking to the trails, the type of shoes you lace up can significantly affect your running experience. New Balance trail running shoes are designed to tackle rugged terrain while providing the support and traction you need.

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My niece, who lives in Mexico, asked me to get her a pair of shoes. The New Balance are super trendy there. I think it might be because of the comfort level of New Balance.

Designed with durable materials and innovative technologies, these shoes are built to withstand the varying conditions you encounter off the beaten path.

Selecting the right New Balance trail runners requires an understanding of your individual running style and the specific demands of the trails you frequent. Whether you’re facing rocky inclines, muddy tracks, or a mix of both, these shoes come in various models to cater to different types of trail surfaces and weather conditions. Enhanced cushioning systems and protective features are key aspects of New Balance trail running shoes that help protect your feet and aid in performance.

Your trail running adventures demand footwear that not only stands up to the challenge of diverse landscapes but also enhances your running efficiency. New Balance offers trail running shoes that focus on stability, durability, and comfort, enabling you to navigate each trail with confidence. The well-thought-out designs, which include water-resistant features and toe protectors, help elevate your trail running experience, ensuring your focus remains on the path ahead.

History of New Balance Trail Running Shoes

Founded in 1906, New Balance began as a Boston-based arch support company. By the 1970s, New Balance had diversified and started producing its own athletic shoes. Your experience with trail running shoes from this brand stems from their commitment to comfort and performance.

1980s Expansion: New Balance expanded your options for trail running in the 1980s with innovative designs geared towards athletes who required both stability and cushioning.

1990s Development:

  • 1993: The release of the New Balance 801, the first trail running shoe marketed as an “all-terrain” model, offered you enhanced comfort and support.
  • Later 1990s: You saw improvements in traction and durability, designed to meet the demands of diverse landscapes and weather conditions.

2000s Innovation:

  • Early 2000s: New Balance introduced advanced technologies like ABZORB and N-ergy cushioning, designed to provide you with better shock absorption and responsiveness.
  • Mid to Late 2000s: You benefited from the development of lighter, more versatile shoes incorporating New Balance’s patented Ndurance rubber compound for durability.

2010s – Present: Trail running models like the Minimus Trail line cater to your preference for a minimalist design, while the Fresh Foam series offers plush cushioning and modern aesthetics. The recent years introduced the Hierro series, which features Vibram outsoles to give you superior grip on rugged trails.

Throughout its history, New Balance has focused on crafting trail running shoes that prioritize your fit, durability, and technology. These shoes are created to meet the specific needs of trail runners, enhancing your experience with every step taken off-road.

Types of New Balance Trail Running Shoes

New Balance offers a variety of trail running shoes designed to handle different terrains and running styles. Each series in their collection has unique features tailored to enhance your trail running experience.

Fresh Foam Series

The Fresh Foam series utilizes advanced cushioning technology to deliver a plush, protective ride. Your feet stay comfortable over long distances, with models like the Fresh Foam Hierro v6 boasting a durable Vibram® outsole for grip on varied surfaces.

Summit Series

If you require agility and precision on technical trails, the Summit series is for you. Shoes like the Summit K.O.M./Q.O.M. (King/Queen of the Mountain) feature a Rock Stop plate to protect against sharp rocks and roots, while the sticky rubber outsole enhances traction.

Hierro Series

For rugged durability, the Hierro series stands out with its Toe Protect™ rubber compound providing reinforcement and protection against debris. Models such as the Hierro v6 come with a Fresh Foam midsole, offering a comfortable yet stable footing in harsh trail conditions.

Key Features of New Balance Trail Running Shoes

New Balance Trail Running Shoes are designed to offer you stability, comfort, and durability for all your off-road adventures. Each feature is tailored to enhance your trail running experience.

Tread and Traction

The outsoles of New Balance Trail Running Shoes are equipped with aggressive lugs that provide you with superior grip on various terrains. These multidirectional lugs ensure you maintain traction whether you’re ascending steep hills or navigating slippery surfaces.

  • Deep Lugs: Ideal for muddy and soft trails.
  • Rubber Compounds: Varying in hardness, suited for durability and grip.

Cushioning Technology

Your trail running is supported by state-of-the-art cushioning technology that offers both protection and a responsive ride. Fresh Foam and ABZORB are two primary cushioning systems used in New Balance shoes.

  • Fresh Foam: Plush and lightweight, providing a smooth transition.
  • ABZORB: Offers additional shock absorption, crucial for rocky terrains.

Durability and Materials

These shoes are constructed with materials that withstand the demands of trail running. Uppers made from durable synthetics and mesh keep debris out while allowing your feet to breathe.

  • Toe Protect™: Reinforces the shoe’s durability in high-wear areas.
  • Gore-Tex® Fabric: Available in specific models for water resistance.

Fit and Comfort

A good fit is crucial, and New Balance Trail Running Shoes come with features to ensure a snug and comfortable fit that adapts to your foot’s shape.

  • Snug Heel Fit: Minimizes slippage even on uneven terrain.
  • Roomy Toe Box: Provides space for toes to splay naturally.

Elastic materials and cushioned collars add to the overall comfort, creating an enjoyable experience on the trails.

Choosing the Right New Balance Trail Shoes

Selecting the appropriate New Balance trail running shoes depends on understanding the terrain you’ll encounter, analyzing your foot shape and gait, and ensuring a proper fit.

Terrain Type

  • Soft, Muddy Terrain: Look for shoes with deeper lugs for better grip.
  • Rocky, Technical Trails: Opt for shoes with a rock plate for protection and sturdy traction.
  • Mixed Terrain: A well-rounded shoe with moderate lug depth and good durability is ideal.

Foot Shape and Gait Analysis

  • Foot Shape: Different models accommodate narrow, standard, or wide feet.
  • Gait Analysis: Stability shoes support overpronation, while neutral shoes suit those with a natural gait.

Shoe Size and Fit

  • Length: Ensure a thumb’s width of space in the toe box.
  • Width: Look for snug, not tight, fit to prevent slippage yet allow for natural foot expansion.

Performance and Technology

New Balance’s trail running shoes incorporate cutting-edge features and materials to enhance your running experience, focusing on technology and performance.

Innovative Technologies

NB Hiking: New Balance’s innovative revlite foam technology is featured in their trail running footwear, providing optimized responsiveness and durability while maintaining a lightweight feel. You’ll find their HydroHesion Rubber outsole enhances grip in wet conditions, improving safety and performance on diverse terrains.

Fresh Foam Technology: Experience superior cushioning with New Balance’s Fresh Foam, an advanced engineered solution. It’s precision-designed to offer an ultra-cushioned, lightweight ride without sacrificing ground feedback, which is crucial for trail running.

Performance Enhancements

Toe Protect: Your shoes come equipped with Toe Protect technology, ensuring durability and protection against rocks, roots, and debris that you may encounter on trails.

Upper Construction: The upper part of these shoes often uses a synthetic mesh with strategically placed overlays to offer breathability and support.

  • Breathability: Keeps your feet cool and dry.
  • Support: Ensures a secure fit to minimize in-shoe movement.

By selecting New Balance trail running shoes, you’re investing in footwear that’s engineered to improve your running efficiency and comfort on the trails.

Maintenance and Care

Proper maintenance of your New Balance trail running shoes is essential for prolonging their lifespan and ensuring they provide the best performance on your runs. Here are straightforward and effective care tips:


  • After each use, remove any dirt or debris with a soft-bristled brush.
  • For a deeper clean, use a mixture of mild soap and water to gently scrub the shoes.
  • Avoid submerging your shoes in water or using harsh chemicals.


  • Remove the insoles and laces to allow thorough drying.
  • Stuff shoes with newspapers to absorb moisture and maintain shape.
  • Never use direct heat sources; let them air dry at room temperature.


  • Store your shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Do not keep them in a gym bag or car for extended periods as this can promote bacterial growth.

Rotating Shoes:

  • If you run frequently, consider having more than one pair of running shoes to rotate, allowing each pair to fully dry between uses.
Maintenance TaskFrequency
Brush off dirtAfter each run
Deep cleanAs needed
Dry outAfter each run
Rotate shoesEvery other run

Remember, proper care doesn’t just keep your New Balance trail running shoes clean, it also keeps them ready for your next adventure.

Popular Models and Releases

When looking for New Balance trail running shoes, several popular models stand out due to their performance and technology.

Fresh Foam Hierro: You’ll appreciate the plush cushioning of the Fresh Foam midsole that delivers a comfortable ride, even on the roughest trails.

  • Fresh Foam Hierro V5: Features a TPU-coated textile upper for durability.
  • Fresh Foam Hierro V6: Introduces lightweight, breathable upper materials.

Nitrel: If you’re seeking versatility, the Nitrel series provides both traction and style for off-road running.

  • Nitrel V3: Comes with a reinforced toe and sturdy outsole for rough terrain.

Summit Series: Known for its ruggedness, the Summit lineup is perfect if you require extra protection and grip.

  • Summit Q.O.M./K.O.M.: “Queen of the Mountain” (Q.O.M.) for women and “King of the Mountain” (K.O.M.) for men versions are tailored to each gender’s unique needs.
  • Summit Unknown: A lighter model that doesn’t compromise on grip.

860: For trail runners who need stability, the 860 series offers a good balance of support and cushioning.

  • 860v10 Trail: Features a durable TruFuse midsole and a dual-purpose AT Tread outsole.

New releases are frequently announced, and it’s wise to stay updated with New Balance’s official channels or your preferred sports retailers to catch the latest innovations.

Hierro V6Breathable upper, Fresh Foam cushioning
Nitrel V3Reinforced toe, all-terrain outsole
Summit Q.O.M.Gender-specific design, rugged outsole
860v10 TrailTruFuse midsole, dual-purpose AT tread outsole

Remember to check the specific features and reviews for each model to determine which suits your trail running needs best.

Sustainability and Environmental Initiatives

New Balance is committed to reducing its environmental footprint in the production of trail running shoes. You can see this commitment through their use of recycled materials and eco-friendly processes.

  • Recycled Materials:
    • Recycled Polyester: Many shoes incorporate recycled polyester, which helps reduce waste.
    • Rice Husk Rubber: An innovative material that reduces the need for synthetic rubbers.
  • Eco-friendly Processes:
    • Solar energy: Usage of solar arrays in manufacturing facilities to decrease carbon emissions.
    • Water-Based Adhesives: Reducing the reliance on solvent-based glues harmful to the environment.
  • Packaging:
    • New Balance uses 100% recycled cardboard for shoe boxes, furthering sustainable packaging efforts.
  • Renewable Energy Projects:
    • Investment in projects that produce clean energy.

When you purchase New Balance trail running shoes, your support aids in their ongoing sustainability initiatives. Remember that your choice influences the market and encourages further development in sustainable practices.

Buying Guide

Understand Your Needs

Before choosing trail running shoes, assess the terrain you’ll be running on. Do you frequently encounter muddy trails, rocky paths, or a mixture of both? Your terrain will determine the type of tread and cushioning you need.

Fit and Comfort

  • Size: Ensure the shoe fits well. There should be a thumb’s width of space in the toe box.
  • Comfort: Try on shoes later in the day when your feet are swollen to get a true feel for comfort.

Key Features to Consider


Look for shoes with robust materials that can withstand the wear and tear of trail running.


A good trail shoe should have a grippy outsole to handle various surfaces.


Consider whether a waterproof shoe is necessary for your environment.


A breathable shoe will keep your feet dry and comfortable during long runs.

Compare and Contrast

FeatureWhy It Matters
SoleAffects grip on different terrains
MidsoleProvides cushioning and stability
Upper MaterialProtects foot and allows ventilation

Read Reviews

Check reviews from other trail runners. Their experiences can provide insight into the shoe’s performance and longevity. Remember that personal preference plays a significant role in what might be the right shoe for you.

Comparison with Competitors

When you’re considering New Balance Trail Running Shoes, it’s essential to see how they stack up against other leading brands in the market.

Durability New Balance trail shoes are known for their long-lasting build. Compare this to brands like Salomon and Merrell, which also offer high durability, your New Balance shoes are designed to withstand similar rigorous trail conditions.

New BalanceHigh

Comfort & Fit Your comfort is paramount on the trails. New Balance provides a snug fit with ample cushioning. While brands like Adidas and Nike offer competitive comfort features, New Balance typically offers wider toe boxes for a more natural foot position.

  • New Balance: Wide toe box, firm cushioning
  • Adidas: Responsive cushioning, standard fit
  • Nike: Lightweight, snug fit

Traction The outsoles of your New Balance Trail Running Shoes are crafted for grip on diverse terrains, similar to the lugged soles found in ASICS and Brooks models. Your safety and stability are ensured across various trail conditions.

Price Point New Balance trail shoes come with a moderate price tag, offering value for their features. Here’s a quick look at how they compare:

BrandPrice Range
New Balance$$-$$$

Remember, the best shoe for you will balance performance with personal comfort and budget considerations.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section addresses common inquiries about New Balance trail running shoes, focusing on their features, comparisons with other types of shoes, and suitability for various foot shapes and terrains.

Are New Balance trail running shoes available with waterproof features?

New Balance offers a selection of trail running shoes equipped with waterproof materials to keep your feet dry in wet conditions. These materials shield against water while remaining breathable.

How do New Balance trail running shoes compare to traditional road running shoes?

New Balance trail running shoes are designed with enhanced grip, stability, and durability to tackle uneven and rugged outdoor terrains, unlike road running shoes which are optimized for smoother, paved surfaces.

Can New Balance trail shoes accommodate wide feet comfortably?

Yes, many New Balance trail shoes come in wide sizes, offering ample space for a comfortable fit. They cater to different foot widths, ensuring a supportive and snug experience for wide feet.

What is the function of Gore-TEX in New Balance trail running shoes?

Gore-TEX is a waterproof and breathable fabric technology used in New Balance trail shoes to protect against water while allowing moisture from your feet to escape, ensuring dry and comfortable runs.

Which New Balance trail running shoe model is well-suited for rough terrain?

The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro series is renowned for its ability to handle rough terrain. It features a Vibram® outsole for superior traction and a cushioned midsole for comfort on rocky paths.

Is it more beneficial to wear trail running shoes over hiking shoes for shorter hikes?

For shorter hikes on moderate trails, trail running shoes like those offered by New Balance may provide better flexibility and lightness compared to hiking shoes, enhancing your agility and comfort.

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