Shoe Review: New Balance FreshFoam Vongo v5

New Balance FreshFoam Vongo v5 women's shoe profile

By the Fleet Feet Review Team. With over 80 years of combined experience, our review team is dedicated to providing in-depth gear and shoe reviews to help you find the best shoes and gear for your next run.

The New Balance FreshFoam Vongo v5 is not your mother’s stability shoe. Plush foam and flexibility create a supported feel with firmness where you need it most.

New Balance developed the Vongo to be a more supportive counterpart to the 1080, using a thick FreshFoam midsole to deliver lasting comfort and cushion while integrating a medial post system to support feet that overpronate.

The Vongo update uses a segmented outsole to increase flexibility, and a more flared medial side (5mm of extra foam, to be exact) to offer more support and stabilized landings as you run.

Tech Specs

New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo v5

Weight

7.8 oz (W) 9.9 oz (M)

Drop

8 mm

Category

Stability

Use

Daily Training

Surface

Roads, Track

Our reviewers loved the Vongo from the Creamsicle-cool colorways to the huggy fit, and we think you will too.

Here’s everything you need to know about the FreshFoam Vongo v5:

Redesigned Midsole Offers Increased Flexibility

Close up of FreshFoam midsole

Like New Balance’s other FreshFoam shoes, a thick stack of midsole foam provides excellent shock absorption and cushions each landing to deliver a silky smooth and supremely comfortable ride.

“The cushion in this shoe has a uniquely soft feel. When I first stepped into this shoe, I felt like my foot was on its own little memory foam mattress. Then, I felt the presence of the firmer foam in my arch right away,” says one reviewer.

The Vongo v5 is no exception.

Using the 1080v11 formula, New Balance designers engineered the Vongo to be subtly more firm than the it’s cushy counterpart, helping to support overpronating feet and flat arches.

“They weren’t nearly as stiff as other stability shoes I’ve tried,” says one reviewer. “They provided enough cushion and support to keep my already tired feet from getting more fatigued during my run, but I wasn’t sinking into them.”

A unique medial post system works to provide the firmness required to support an overpronated gait without rigidly overcorrecting.

“The ride provides you with the stability needed, especially, if you excessively pronate. It’s a nice balance of spring and cushion yet for me reinforced with a firmer, stable feel,” says one reviewer.

Close up of segmented outsole

This update to the Vongo includes 5 mm of extra FreshFoam added to the width of the inner side of the shoe, providing a wider, more stable landing platform.

However, with all this tech packed into one midsole, the Vongo v5 still feels fresh, responsive and plush on the run.

Our reviewers loved the soft, flexible feel of the Vongo on runs and walks alike.

“The Vongo is a stability shoe, but it doesn’t feel stiff. It offers a responsive ride on the run and a softer-feeling experience when walking,” says one reviewer.

A strategically segmented outsole helps the Vongo bend and flex with your natural running gait, while remaining firm and supportive around the arch where you need it most.

Knit Upper Provides Huggy Feel

Toe box closeup

“The upper on this shoe feels downright luxurious,” says one reviewer. We think you’ll agree.

Designers reconstructed the Vongo v5 upper using Hypoknit mesh for a supremely cozy feel as soon as you put them on. The toe box is roomy and airy, allowing for natural toe splay as you run.

“The upper over the center of the toe box is stretchy, giving me exactly the freedom and support that each foot needs,” says one reviewer.

Another reviewer described the new upper as “like running in socks”.

Like everything else about the Vongo, the upper strikes the perfect balance between comfort and stability.

“The upper material is also dynamic and a little 'stretchy' where you want that accommodation yet firm in areas where you need the security,” says one reviewer.

The New Balance Vongo v5

The heel cup and midfoot provide the structure and support you need to dial in the fit of your Vongos thanks to the two-piece upper construction.

The Hypoknit mesh of the toe box leads seamlessly into the traditional knit mesh of the midfoot and heel, helping to dial in the fit in specific areas of the shoe.

A bucket-seat heel secures your foot in place for additional support, while a flared collar accommodates the anatomy of your Achilles and prevents blisters and uncomfortable rubbing.

“The heel collar is plush around the ankle and the padded tongue feels like it melts away onto my foot. The Vongo nails the fit for me,” says one reviewer.

The lacing system helps you home in the fit and support throughout the midfoot without suffocating your toes or leaving your heels feeling unsupported.

New Balance FreshFoam Vongo v5 vs. Vongo v4

Profile view of men's Vongo v5

Designers kept the tried and true FreshFoam midsole and improved the foam blend for increased flexibility and more zeroed-in support by adding 5 mm of additional foam to the medial side for a stable landing.

The Vongo v4 used a single foam density throughout to stabilize your foot, which could lead to discomfort. So, the Vongo v5 segments out stiffness where you need it, and provides cushion everywhere else.

New Balance also updated the materials throughout the upper to improve the fit and provide enhanced stability in the heel.

“The materials throughout the heel and around the ankle are noticeably stiffer than what was used in the Vongo 4, providing a more secure and supportive fit. I also really like the tapered out heel collar, it helps me avoid blisters,” says one reviewer.

Tech Comparison

FreshFoam Vongo v5

FreshFoam Vongo v4

Weight

7.8 oz (W) 9.9 oz (M)

7.6 oz (W) 10.9 oz (M)

Drop

8 mm

4 mm

Upper

Hypoknit mesh

Engineered mesh

Foam

FreshFoam

FreshFoam

Category

Stability

Stability

Final Thoughts

Between the flexible midsole and dialed in stability elements, there’s a lot to love about the Vongo v5 update.

The FreshFoam midsole foam provides plush cushioning to absorb shock, and a wider platform means more stabilized landings for each step.

A medial post system works to deliver stability to the arch of overpronating feet without compromising the flexibility of the shoe. This way you can have the best of smooth transitions and relentless support.

The upper is immaculately designed to deliver security throughout the heel, and airy, lightweight support at the toe box.

“I highly recommend this shoe for runners and walkers who are looking for extra support. It’s a high-quality daily trainer,” says one reviewer.

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