New Balance Hits the Trail with New “All-Terrain” Collection
The New England king of the O.G. marathon shoes goes off-roading with new line of footwear and apparel for men and women
Alex Rakestraw is a writer, strategist, and creative based in New York. He once had a nightmare about a lost coat.
Recently launched, the all-new “All-Terrain Collection” sees New England staple New Balance introduce a fresh line of athletic apparel and performance footwear for men and women geared for the outdoors yet informed by urban aesthetics.
The centerpiece of the collection is the New Balance Hierro v5 trail runner. The Heirro is a tried-and-true trail shoe, built for mountain miles (not subway steps, though it certainly can handle such environments too). Special All-Terrain colorways nod to the occasion, draping NB’s rock runner in the fluorescent mesh of 90s gear. Fresh Foam X cushioning and Vibram’s MegaGrip outsole appear here, too.
A Hierro Boa iteration takes the off-road styling even one step higher. Though aesthetically loud, these shoes are designed to be a quiet, reliable trail tool for serious runners.
Not to be outdone outdoors, the collection also includes an All-Terrain reimagining of the New Balance FF850AT, an adaptation of the brand’s storied NB 850 runner. The 850—a 1996 design famous for its irreverent webbed lace loops—sees an All-Terrain upgrade through the addition of Fresh Foam X cushioning and a chunky Vibram MegaGrip outsole. Retro colorways, rope laces, and action sports graphics nod to this lifestyle shoe’s new place off-piste.
On the apparel side, a range of fleece tops and bottoms, graphic Ts, and running tights for men and women rounds out the collection. It’s worth nothing much of the apparel offering seems to skew more athleisure than the footwear.
Though in 2019, one must admit the line between purpose-built product and aspirational yet capable product has become fully blurred—we’ve reached SUV status, where everyone wants the off-road functionality but few use it. And that’s OK. Aspiring to take your gear from the city streets to muddy trails is certainly better than never having the thought in the first place, isn't it?
Either way, New Balance would argue each piece in the collection is fully intended for off-pavement use. With the All-Terrain effort, the brand joins the ranks of other major sportswear brands who have turned to retro outdoors for inspiration in recent years. Reebok’s Trail Collection, Nike’s recently revamped ACG line, and FILA’s Explore capsule each offer a way for gearheads to claim a piece of the outdoors lifestyle in something other than boots.
While that’s certainly had an effect on the outdoors industry, for trail devotees (aka, the more-than-one-weekend-a-year warriors), capsules like All-Terrain offer stylish footwear that can also pull double-duty. The Hierro is a bonafide trail runner. Why not crush mountain miles in a cool colorway?