Are you looking for a versatile running shoe?
You may want to check out the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 (the newer v12 is now available). The Fresh Foam 1080 offers plenty of cushion and a surprisingly responsive ride. Errr, run. The upper is knit for breathability but still provides decent structure and support.
The tech specs for the New Balance 1080 v11:
- 8.1 oz women | 9.3 oz men
- 8mm Drop
The New Balance 1080 is designed for everyday training on the road or track.
I run in both stability and neutral shoes. I have had a gait analysis done before and stability was recommended but not needed. I have a fairly high arch, although it will sometimes roll inwards. On average, I run 20-30 miles a week, mostly on roads until winter when I do longer runs on the rocky trails of Phoenix. I have been running for 10+ years in everything from 5k to marathon. I am a solid middle-of-the-pack runner.
Basically, I am your average recreational runner.
I have put about 50 miles on these shoes before sitting down to determine my thoughts. For me, the New Balance 1080 reminded me a lot of the different Brooks I have run in over the years. Lots of cushion, decent energy return, and a smooth run. I didn’t feel like it took much effort to lift my foot off the ground. It also helps that the shoe is only 8.1 oz.
Even though they were responsive, they did not have a lot of bounce. They aren’t going to make you feel faster like the carbon plated shoes. 😉 They are light enough to do your speed or track work in if you don’t want to buy different types of shoes for different workouts.
The mid and forefoot felt firm but there wasn’t any ground feel, which I prefer and seems is getting harder to find in these types of shoes. Everyone is going to ALL THE FOAM! I get it, I think most people prefer running on clouds over ground feel. I am the odd one out.
The New Balance 1080s felt ready to go from run number one. My foot felt secure but not locked in the mesh upper. I didn’t have to mess with the laces or tighten them too much. The heel was secure, did not slide around, and did not place any pressure on the achilles. I really liked how this shoe fit my heel and really like how the back of the shoe is soft and flexible, yet conformed to my heel. I had never really contemplated the fit or feel of the heel before on a shoe!
My longest run in these was 6 miles and I definitely would wear these for double-digit runs. They are quite comfy. I did do a few strides in these (but no dedicated speed work) and think they would be suitable for speed work as well.
I ran on the sidewalk and a dirt path in these. They were responsive on both with a good grip but not too much. I only ran in the summer heat and sun and cannot comment how they would do in weather such as rain or snow.
Will I continue to run in these? Yes. I will keep these in my easy and long run rotation with my Brooks. Would I purchase these again? Maybe. I really would prefer more ground feel but if I saw a good deal on these shoes I would pick them up.
Who would I recommend these for? A recreational runner that is looking for a versatile shoe that they can do easy and long runs, and some speed work in and use in races. They are light, breathable, and can go the distance. I can’t speak to age group winners or the like but I would guess this would be a decent training shoe for easy and long runs to go with their preferred speedwork and racing shoes.
What is your current running shoe? Would you give the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 a try?
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I did look to see if v12 had been updated as the v11 is becoming harder to find. The only major change I saw was the heel. They went back to a traditional, padded heel collar per Road Runner Sports. Other changes are similar to what all shoes do from year to year to improve how it performs by adjusting flexibility, cushioning, and weight.
After reviewing photos of the return to the old heel, I would be hesitant to try these as the heel is one of my favorite parts of the v11. This is all personal preference and you may prefer the traditional heel of the v12.