New Balance Fresh Foam X Vongo v6 Review

New Balance Vongo v6.

First off, what’s a “vongo”? Fleet Feet reviewers scoured the internet, trying to find the meaning behind New Balance’s oddly named shoe. Was a Vongo a secret term only used in super-elite running circles? Was it a far-away island known for top-tier running trails? Or was it simply a fun, quirky-sounding name that New Balance executives chose to make the model easily recognizable and memorable for customers?

Since we couldn’t find any secret archives detailing the mystical Vongo, we decided on the latter.

What we do know is that the Vongo v6 has been updated with a Fresh Foam X midsole, additional underfoot cushioning, and new stability technology. Read on to learn more about the New Balance Vongo v6 and how it compares to the Vongo v5.

Tech Specs

New Balance Fresh Foam X Vongo v6

Weight 8.5 oz (W), 10.6 oz (M)
Heel-to-toe drop 6 mm
Stack height (heel/forefoot) 38 mm/32 mm
Category Stability
Surface Road
Price $165
Comparable to... ASICS GEL-Kayano 30, HOKA Arahi 6




Subtle stability creates a smooth ride

New Balance Vongo V6.

The New Balance Fresh Foam X Vongo v6 has been completely redesigned from the bottom up.

The bottom layer of the dual-layer midsole features a firm foam to create a stiff platform to push off from. Above that is a thin, rigid, plate-shaped EVA film to keep the shoe steady despite overpronation (the excessive inward rolling of a runner’s foot). Topping it off is a supremely soft layer of New Balance’s proprietary Fresh Foam X foam, adding a hefty dose of plush cushioning right underfoot for a comfortable ride. The result is a balanced feel that straddles the line between firm and soft, making this a shoe that both neutral and stability runners can enjoy.

“As a neutral runner, some stability shoes leave me with aches and pains after a while. Not so with the Vongo v6,” says Nate. “I was really impressed by the smooth, accommodating ride. It provides a touch of guidance without feeling that stiffness or harshness that used to be a hallmark of the stability category.”

“The Vongo v6 is a very agreeable stability shoe, thanks to the subtle stability and overall slim profile,” Max says.

This new stability technology replaces the older, more traditional medial post system we saw in the Vongo v5. But this shouldn’t come as a surprise, as more and more brands are moving away from motion-controlling posts and toward innovative technology that moves with your feet rather than against.

“Overall, I could tell that there was some extra medial support but it wasn’t invasive,” says Travis. “I didn’t feel like it was pushing me too far to the outside like some older-model stability shoes do.”

The Vongo v6 also features a slightly lower heel-to-toe drop (six millimeters, down from the previous eight) and a gentle rocker shape to make heel-to-toe transitions a breeze.

Vongo v6 offers foot-hugging feel

The New Balance Vongo V6.

The updates to the Vongo v6 don’t stop at the midsole. The shoe is topped off with a brand-new, engineered mesh upper that hugs your feet in all the right places.

“The Vongo v6 offers a smooth, foot-hugging fit, similar to that of the new 1080,” says Caroline. “The mesh upper is stretchy yet secure, and the heel is just padded enough to feel comfortable without digging into my achilles.”

Reviewers noticed that the shoe fits true to size, and it’s accommodating to various foot shapes.

“I enjoy the wraparound sensation of the wide, gusseted tongue and my feet feel pretty secure through the heel and midfoot,” says Nate, our wide-footed reviewer, who noted that the regular-width version of the Vongo v6 was roomy enough for his feet.

“I really like the overall fit of this shoe,” says Travis, who has medium-width feet. “It’s properly secure in the heel and midfoot, and fits like a glove in the toe box. The engineered mesh upper makes it light and breathable.”

If you aren’t sure about the width of your feet, head into your local Fleet Feet for an expert one-on-one outfitting. Fleet Feet outfitters use 3D fit id® foot scanning technology to gather information about your feet and the support they need by taking precise measurements of your foot length, width and arch height.

New Balance Vongo v6 vs Vongo v5

New Balance Vongo V6 versus Vongo v5.

Tech Specs

New Balance Vongo v6

New Balance Vongo v5


8.5 oz (W), 10.6 oz (M)

7.8 oz (W), 9.9 oz (M)

Heel-to-toe drop

6 mm

8 mm

Stack height

38 mm/32 mm

34 mm/26 mm




The New Balance Vongo v6 has undergone some major updates to improve the fit and feel of the brand’s max-cushioned stability shoe.

First, New Balance did away with the knit upper from the v5, instead opting for a breathable mesh upper that offers more ventilation and additional reflective detailing to add visibility.

While Fresh Foam was used in the midsole of the v5, the v6 has been redesigned with a softer, more energetic compound—Fresh Foam X. This, combined with the EVA film and dual-layer midsole, create a stable ride without the firm medial posting featured in the v5.

The Vongo v6 also has a higher stack height than its predecessor, which, in turn, adds a bit of weight to the model. However, reviewers didn’t notice a significant difference.

The latest version is also $15 more than the previous version, which aligns with industry trends observed this year. For reference, the previous version launched in 2021 at $150.

How does the Vongo v6 compare?

We took a look at some comparable models to see how the New Balance Vongo v6 stacks up. Here’s what we found.

Tech Specs

New Balance Vongo v6

ASICS GEL-Kayano 30

HOKA Arahi 6


8.5 oz (W), 10.6 oz (M)

9.2 oz (W), 10.6 oz (M)

7.6 oz (W), 9.3 oz (M)

Stack height

38 mm/32 mm

40 mm/30 mm

29 mm/24 mm

Heel-to-toe drop

6 mm

10 mm

5 mm





Reviewers found the Vongo v6 to feel similar to the ASICS GEL-Kayano 30 and the HOKA Arahi 6, but for different reasons.

Both the Vongo v6 and the Kayano 30 both offer thick, plush midsoles and have ditched traditional medial postings in favor of new, innovative stability technology. For the Vongo v6, that was the EVA film embedded in the midsole. The Kayano 30 uses what they call a 4D guidance system, made up of 4 key traits, to reduce overpronation. You can learn more about the Kayano 30 by reading our review.

The HOKA Arahi 6 looks completely different from the Vongo v6 on paper when comparing the tech specs. But reviewers found the Vongo’s gentle rocker shape and lower heel-to-toe drop, all hallmark features of HOKA, to feel similar to the Arahi.

The New Balance Vongo v6.

Who is the New Balance Vongo v6 best for?

The New Balance Vongo v6 is best for runners seeking extra support for their stride. The geometry of the shoe, the dual-layer midsole and the firm EVA-film create a stable ride for those who overpronate or who have low, flexible arches. If you aren’t sure about your arch profile, head into your local Fleet Feet for an expert fitting.

The Vongo v6 is also a great choice for runners who like a firm underfoot sensation and tend to feel unstable or unsteady in overly soft, squishy shoes.

Because of its thick, ample cushioning and moderate weight, it’s best for easy-to-medium paced miles where speed isn’t a major concern.

“The Vongo v6 is definitely in the firm category, which I like as it allows me to feel slightly more connected to the ground,” Nate says. “Plus, it has lots of underfoot protection for a range of distances.”

Shop Now

Keep Reading