Yet again, NB has introduced another 1080 running shoe to the Fresh Foam X lineup – but can this one live up to the hype? Here’s a look at the new Fresh Foam 1080v10 model’s specs and performance to help you decide if you want a pair.
Intro to the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10
The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10 is an excellent cushioned running shoe designed to provide optimal “data-driven comfort” for all runners.
This shoe has been overwhelmingly praised for the unmatched comfort and durability it provides (especially for long-distance runners). Yet, despite the lightweight Fresh Foam X and HYPOKNIT mesh, there are a few quirks that you might want to look into before you buy.
Fresh Foam 1080v10: Drop and Weight
This shoe has a pretty nice drop at 8mm with a stack height of 30mm at the heel and 22mm at the forefoot. You might see this as a strength or weakness, depending on the type of runner you are. Some say that the ideal running shoe must have a 10+mm drop, while others say it should be 6mm or less.
Whether the 8mm drop works for you or not will depend on your foot strike – this one’s best for mid and forefoot strikers.
Either way, it offers neutral arch support and is very lightweight (9.5 oz for men; 8.4 oz for women), so it’s sure to be a comfortable ride regardless.
The 1080v10’s Construction
This shoe’s old-school stitchdown construction pulls the integrated leather down and attaches it to the midsole. This allows the upper’s material to form the welt, which ultimately creates a tighter seal on the welt, midsole, and outsole (resulting in exceptional durability).
Plus, the foxing bolsters the shoe’s resilience against wear and tear, strengthening the connection of the upper and outsole.
Rest assured, the outsole doesn’t get left out of the durability boost. Runners have neared 100 miles and have barely seen a sign of any significant wear.
Another major feature of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10 shoe is the ABZORB midsole. This is a blend of foam cushioning and compression set with rubber, which heightens the foam’s ability to bounce back after impact. This enhances the cushion’s shock absorption, reducing the amount of energy you expend at the same time.
Are New Balance Fresh Foam Good Running Shoes?
These features all look great on paper, but how does it all hold up on the run? Here’s a look at the performance and fit for deeper insight.
Fresh Foam X 1080v10
So, what is the Fresh Foam in New Balance shoes? It’s essentially an upgrade from the 880 foam, designed to provide optimal plushness precisely where your foot needs it.
NB claims that the Fresh Foam X offers “ultra” cushioning and a responsive ride. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times in overhyped marketing (cough cough, past versions of the 1080 – looking at you!), but so far, that assertion seems to be true.
Many runners can confirm that the rubber’s integration in this new cushioning formula creates a very practical, springy, yet softer ride without being too cushy.
Because of this, it optimizes the runner’s energy return (even more so than the previous version), allowing you to run further, much more comfortably.
How the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10 Fits
One of the first things about the Fresh Foam 1080v10 is the rocker bottom design. This might put a few runners off at first sight, but those who struggle with plantar fasciitis might want to take a second look.
Research shows that rocker bottom shoes can reduce the risk of foot ulceration by redistributing the pressure across the heel, midfoot, and lateral forefoot.
The HYPOKNIT over-the-toe box accommodates wide and narrow feet while providing enough structure to give you a snug fit.
Truthfully, though, the main weakness of the fit is the ultra heel design. The way it swoops outward, away from the Achilles tendon, is counterproductive. Although some runners felt comfortable after they got going, it doesn’t contribute anything positive to the ride in the long run.
Are the 1080v10s Best for You?
The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10 shoe is ideal for several types of runners, thanks to the neutral support provided in part by the 8mm drop. However, you’ll get the most out of this shoe when using it as a daily trainer for long-distance running.
The shoe rides exceptionally well and offers a great balance between a nice bounce and softness. Plus, the rocker bottom, along with the HYPOKNIT mesh, stitchdown and foxing construction, and Fresh Foam X, ensure amazing endurance for you and durability for the shoe itself, mile after mile.