New Balance Fresh Foam X Vongo v6 Recognized by APMA

NB Vongo v6 toebox/mudguard

The New Balance Fresh Foam X Vongo v6 is a remarkable trainer designed for maximum stability in daily wear. This shoe offers stability, flexibility, and a comfortable fit. It excels in key areas, such as an upper that molds to the foot for a secure position, and a midsole plate that enhances stability and provides a responsive bounce.

Vongo v6 is perfect for middle to long distance runners seeking a stable and comfortable experience during their daily training sessions, which include long runs, tempo work, and extended speed intervals.

If you frequently run in wet conditions, Vongo's outsole, which is thin and provides little grip, may not be the best choice for you. Similarly, if you notice significant and uneven wear on your outsoles, it's best to avoid this shoe.

NB Vongo v6 fresh foam X midsole

Vongo has served as a trial for New Balance within their Fresh Foam collection: discovering the optimal method to achieve stability without the traditional medial post found in the well-liked 860. This shoe now includes a Fresh Foam midsole in its most recent three editions.

The Vongo and 860, both stability options, have contrasting drop measurements. The Vongo has a 6 mm drop from heel to toe, while the 860 has a more conventional 10 mm drop.

The Vongo v6 was granted the prestigious Seal of Acceptance by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), which is awarded to footwear that encourages optimal foot well-being.

As of 2021, New Balance has made the 1540 version available as a stability choice for men, but only outside of the United States. The 1260 version, their sturdier stability shoe, was no longer produced in 2019.

As previously stated, Vongo has undergone significant changes with each model. I had the opportunity to test out four out of the six models, which was quite enjoyable.

The initial Vongo received a perfect rating of 10 out of 10 stars due to its snug and comfortable fit, lightweight design, and enjoyable bounce when transitioning from heel to toe.

On the other hand, the Vongo v2 had a greater weight and provided a less steady experience, receiving a rating of 6/10 stars. My friend had a higher preference for the v3 compared to my satisfaction with the v2, awarding it 8/10 stars. This third Vongo model boasted a stylish and cozy design, although the midsole was rather bulky.

NB Vongo v6 heel/outsole

New Balance introduced a pliable knitted inner bootie for the v4, which served the dual purpose of a tongue. Although it felt a bit bulky during swift motions, I found the fit, comfort, and decent stability to be highly satisfying, earning it a rating of 9 out of 10 stars.

The latest version, v5, went through another transformation. It increased the drop from 4-6 mm in the previous models to 8 mm. The v6, which now has a 6 mm drop, maintains the same comfortable fit as its predecessor while also upgrading to Fresh Foam X foam. My friend had a great experience with the v5, giving it a perfect score of 10 stars. Similarly, I also give the v6 a perfect score of 10 for its comparable fit and the inclusion of a full-length plastic plate.

To my astonishment, I discovered that the v6 possesses the same weight as the v2, which is notably heavy. However, thanks to its efficient midsole, the 6 feels surprisingly lightweight. Specifically, it weighs 8.9 oz. in women's size 8 and 10.7 oz. in men's size 9 (equivalent to 10.5 oz. in my size 9.5). This weight matches that of a HOKA Cloudflyer half a size larger and is only slightly heavier by .1 oz. compared to the Gaviota.

New Balance, you have discovered the perfect equilibrium of stability, cushioning, and comfort.

When I received the 6th version of Vongo, I was curious to see how it had evolved from its previous iterations. Having tried the 1st, 2nd, and 4th versions, I was eager to see what changes the engineers had made to this shoe once more.

I wasn't particularly fond of the vibrant streak on the midsole, but I quickly realized that functionality far outweighs aesthetics when it comes to choosing the perfect running shoe. Don't worry, the white (W), gray (M), and black options won't introduce a glaring pop of color to the midsole if you prefer to avoid it.

The initial movements suggested a smooth and well-assisted transition that I would later discover during the run. The push off from the toes brought me so much joy during my first lap around the kitchen.

During my initial jog, the sensation beneath my feet, followed by a quick push off from the toes, brought back memories of the PUMA ForeverRun Nitro.

NB Vongo v6 upper

The foot is secured by a synthetic engineered mesh upper, which conforms to its shape. Similar to the original Vongo, the fit is comfortably snug and accurate, possibly a bit small. The flexibility permits a snug fit that adjusts to different foot shapes, although some may prefer to go up half a size if they are in between sizes.

The shoe's upper had enough flexibility to conform to the unique shape of my foot, allowing me to enjoy my runs. However, if I wore it for extended periods of time, it would cause discomfort.

This year's design features additional holes. So far, we have encountered no problems with air circulation during outdoor runs in the cooler seasons or while exercising in temperature-controlled environments indoors. However, the multiple layers and slightly thick tongue suggest that the shoe may be less breathable in hot weather.

The tongue of the shoe is upheld by elastic bands on either side, connected to the upper's base. These bands are broad and flexible, allowing for a partial gusset. Additionally, there are perforations along the length of the tongue, which enhance breathability.

The foam underneath is complemented by a soft foundation in the form of the sock liner.

The shoe provides a comfortable and supportive fit, thanks to its well-designed internal heel counter that supports the heel and promotes forward movement of the foot.

NB Vongo v6 outsole

We will commence this evaluation of the sole with the most outstanding feature of this footwear (the midsole) and conclude with the least advantageous element (the outsole).

The Vongo v5 incorporates Fresh Foam X in a rocker design to ensure a seamless shift. This time, the effortless movement from heel to toe is further improved by the inclusion of a plate known as a "stability plane". This plate spans the entire length of the shoe and is visible halfway through the midsole's side.

NB Vongo v6 stability plane

Fresh Foam X offers a higher level of bounce and cushioning compared to the initial Fresh Foam.

The plastic plate offers stability, a seamless glide, and a launching pad for the foam. Vongo's blend of curved design, plate, and foam delivers an excellently supported yet pleasantly soft journey; enhancing this will be quite the challenge.

The next iteration has room for improvement in its outsole. The raised pods on the v5 did not offer sufficient grip. The outsole on the v6, however, is even sleeker in design.

The high wear regions are protected by a layer of blown rubber, which is thinner than the layer found in the 5. After running approximately 80 miles, the slightly elevated pods are becoming flattened. While this design is suitable for running in favorable weather, it is not recommended for rainy or snowy conditions, or for terrains that require good traction. For runners who subject their shoes to heavy wear, this thin outsole will be the first part to deteriorate.

NB Vongo v6 on feet

The latest Vongo is truly exceptional in terms of both comfort and performance. I absolutely love going for runs in it. You can wear it for your track season training, specifically for races ranging from 800 to 3000 meters.

I strongly suggest using this shoe for medium to long runs and extended interval workouts. It provides the necessary support and cushioning, while also offering a smooth and efficient toe-off experience.

Areas of potential improvement for future iterations of Vongo models encompass the traction of the outsole and the ventilation capabilities of the upper.

  • Price: $165
  • Style: MVNGOLZ6 (New Balance)
  • Color: Mercury blue with thirty watt
  • Usage:
    • daily training
    • medium distance running
    • long distance running
    • interval workouts
    • track training
  • Constructions & Features:
    • received the Seal of Acceptance from APMA
    • Fresh Foam X midsole
    • supportive medial zone for stability to help reduce overpronation
    • Stability Plane from heel to toe for better performance and stability
    • perforations on the tongue for breathability
    • engineered mesh upper
    • synthetic upper material features no-sew overlays
    • heel drop: 6 mm
    • weight: 303 grams (10.7 oz)
NB Vongo v6