New Balance 1260 v4

8.0
8.0 score
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New Balance 1260 v4Review Facts
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The fourth iteration of the New Balance 1260 is updated with new features to make the shoe better than ever. The stability shoe is designed for light or heavy mileage road runners who need extra arch support. New Balance has upgraded the 1260v4’s responsiveness with the addition of ACTEVA LITE in the forefront. The cushioning has also been upgraded with a new cushioning system that uses low-profile N2 in the heel and ABZORB on the midfoot. New Balance also redesigned the T-bean and extended the medial post farther into the midsole to help with overpronation. Some updated colors and a no-sew overlay make this stylish shoe a great option for runners who want to feel energized, yet supported.

Pros
  • Upgraded cushioning system
  • Extended medial post for overpronation
  • Updated responsiveness
  • Enhanced upper with FantomFit technology
  • Stylish color and design options
Cons
  • High Price
  • Heavy shoe
  • Sole ripping off of shoe
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The New Balance 1260v4’s upgrades to it sole give the shoe even more stability without losing durability or comfort. The outsole is made of hard rubber in the heel and blown rubber in the forefront to help prevent wear and tear. The change in material on the sole provides even more stability than previous versions. While the previous version had a circular pattern on the bottom of the outsole, the redesigned outsole now has numerous rectangular patters which helps with the shoe’s flexibility and stability because it aids movement from the back to the forefront. There are also flex grooves on the shoe as well to help increase flexibility. While the outsole uses the blown rubber on the outsole to add durability to the shoe, reviewers noted that the sole separates from the shoe after a few months. Reviewers also noted that the shoe could have been improved by making the outsole a full contact one. Overall, the upgrades on the outsole have improved since v3.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The New Balance 1260v4 midsole is one area that has been totally redesigned to provide necessary cushioning to a stability shoe that was lacking it. The 1260v4 forefront uses what New Balance has termed ACTEVA LITE which extends from the forefront to the midsole to the toe. ACTEVA LITE is a foam cushioning that is said to be 24% lighter than standard midsole foams. The heel cushioning also got an upgrade with the ABZORB Crash Pad, which is designed to give the heel a softer landing. ABZORB is made of Dupont Engage material and compression-molded EVA. There is also N2 technology under the ABZORB crash pad on the heel. The N2 Technology uses less material to create a more cushioned experience, and is designed to be a responsive, durable cushioning system that keeps the foot lower to the ground.These features combine to create a good balance of cushioning and stability. Helping to bump up the 1260v4’s already strong stability are the changes to the medial post and T-Beam shank. The T-Beam is made of thermoplastic material and is extended on this version of the 1260. New Balance has definitely taken the time to get the cushining improved on this version of the 1260 and it shows.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The New Balance 1260v4 uses the New Balance FantomFit on the upper. The FantomFit is described as a newly designed, lightweight, breathable upper that provides support and fit. The FantomFit uses breathable mesh to cover most of the upper in addition to thin overlays that are added to the forefront and midsole areas to create more stability. The dual density mesh is said to allow breathability so the foot stays cool and dry. The tongue and collar are added benefits of comfort, while the removable, OrthoLite insole provides added cushioning.
Weight
Weight

Weight

With a weight of 11.1 ounces for men and 9.7 ounces for women, New Balance made the shoe slightly heavier than the previous version. However, the shoe is still on the heavy side in terms of weight. This could pose an issue for runners logging longer runs. The features that have been added to the stability shoe try to enhance comfort and overall a lighter experience. One reviewer did note that the shoe feels lighter than the previous version. However, if a lightweight shoe is what you are looking for, this shoe will probably not meet your expectations.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The New Balance 1260v4’s updates continue to impress by contributing to the overall breathability of the shoe. By using New Balance’s FantomFit upper, New Balance not only adds security, but also breathability. The FantomFit uses dual-density mesh to create a breathable experience for the foot, keeping it cool and dry. Reviewers felt that the new upper is more lightweight and breathable than the previous version. New Balance continues to create technology that make the 1260 an improved, more breathable shoe.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

New Balance designed this shoe to provide more comfort and cushioning for wearers. Starting with the shoe’s seamless, plush interior, the shoe is designed to keep the runner’s foot comfortable. There is also the removable, Ortholite insole that is said to be more comfortable and spongy than the previous version. The cushioning system that uses N2 technology, ACTEVA LITE and ABSORB all combine to create a comfortable running experience in a much better way than previous versions. Reviewers were pleasantly surprised by the upgrades to the cushioning that they felt had been lacking before. As for fit, reviewers felt that there was plenty of room within the toe box, and the snug fit created by the FantomFit upper was a welcome addition to the stability shoe. Overall, the New Balance 1260v4 ranks above average for comfort.
Style
Style

Style

New Balance does a great job of creating a stylish look to a shoe that offers so many great stability and cushioning features. The new designs and bright colors are updated to fit the latest trends in running shoes, getting away from the white and grey colors New Balance had been using in the past. Reviewers liked the new look and updated colors and design.
Durability
Durability

Durability

The New Balance technology that is used helps create a relatively durable shoe. The outsole uses blown rubber that is designed to prevent wear and tear from tougher surfaces. With a large amount of cushioning on the midsole, the 1260v4 uses strong foam to protect the foot and prevent additional wear and tear. In addition, the new FantomFit upper is made of a strong, yet breathable material with overlays, all of which contribute to the shoe’s durability. However, several reviewers did have an issue with the sole separating from the shoe after a few months of running. Overall, the shoe’s durability is average.
Protection
Protection

Protection

As a stability shoe, there are quite a few features that contribute to the overall protection that the New Balance 1260v4 offers. Starting with the outsole that uses strong, durable, blown rubber, the outsole offers a high-level of protection from surface debris. The shoe’s cushioning is an added level of protection as there is foam throughout the midsole that protects the foot and heel during impact. The upper unit keeps the foot snugly in place so that there is no fear of injury. The shoe overall feels sturdy, which is an added benefit for stability shoes. The features combine to lcok the foot’s arch into place without feeling like the shoe is too snug. Overall, the New Balance 1260v4 ranks above average for protection.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The redesigned features on the v4 of the New Balance 1260 were meant to improve the shoe’s responsiveness from previous versions. The ACTEVA LITE cushioning on the forefront of the shoe is meant to provide a springing feeling on each step so that transitions feel smoother. Combined with the shoe’s stability features, the 1260v4 provides updated heel cushioning creating a softer landing and better responsiveness. Reviewers were impressed by the updated responsiveness in version 4, in particular the smoother transitions that occur during impact.
Support
Support

Support

As a stability shoe, support is a key part of what makes this shoe so strong. The outsole uses blown rubber to support and protect the foot during landing, while the cushioning provides added support and responsiveness thought the uses of strategically placed foam. The T-beam offers stability and arch support through the use of the center beam. New Balance’s FantomFit upper supports the foot through the use of breathable mesh and overlays to keep the foot snugly in place.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The New Balance 1260v4 is designed as a road shoe. Using the blown rubber outsole, which features a redesigned rectangular patter provides better traction on rough surfaces. The shoe uses DuPont Engage and rubber that is slip-resistant to provide an optimal amount of grip when the running surface is wet. Reviewers felt that the grip was above average, especially I wet conditions.
Price
Price

Price

The New Balance 1260v4 had a retail price of close to $150, but can now be found for around $73. At its highest point, the shoe had a higher price, but given the stability features and upgrades that were made from previous versions, the price did seem to fit. The only issue reviewers had with the price focused on its durability since the sole tended to rip off the shoe after a few months.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The New Balance 1260v4 provides a strong amount of traction for a road shoe. Version 4 uses a rectangular tread design that has been changed from previous versions. The shoe also features DuPont Engage and rubber that is slip-resistant. The blown rubber that is used on the forefront of the outsole also sticks to the road well. Reviewers thought that the grip on the shoe was above average, especially in wet conditions. Overall, traction ranks high on the 1260v4.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Stability shoes often don’t offer a strong amount of flexibility due to built in features that are meant to keep the foot in place. With the additional cushioning that was added to version 4, flexibility was compromised a bit. New Balance used ABZORB foam to create a more flexible midsole, as well as flex grooves. However, reviewers still felt that the shoe was a bit inflexible, but most did not mind because they preferred the added cushioning and stability features.
Stability
Stability

Stability

As a stability shoe, this is where the New Balance 1260v4 shines. While previous versions had plenty of stability, this upgraded version adds cushioning and more stability to an already strong shoe. The midsole foam is designed to combine cushioning with stability. The midsole also added a thermoplastic plank to keep the foot more stable and prevent rolling. The shoe’s extended medial post and improved t-beam shank were updates that New Balance made to continue to improve the shoe’s stability. The fourth version goes above and beyond in providing stability, in particular to those who are overpronators.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The New Balance 1260v4 has a midsole drop of 8mm. This is an average drop for stability shoes and is the same as previous models. Having a lower offset adds to the stability of the shoe, since runners are in control during impact and transition.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

• FantomFit Upper
• N2 technology
• ABZORB crash pad
• ACTEVA LITE forefront foam
• Ortholite removable insole
• Strong blown rubber outsole
• Flex grooves
• 8mm drop
• Extended medial post
• T-beam
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The New Balance 1260v4 is a stability shoe designed with overpronators in mind. While the shoe is on the heavy side, the shoe can be used for heavy or light mileage runs. New Balance went out of its way on the updates to this version to make sure that there was added cushioning and even more stability. The cushioning system that uses N2 technology, ACTEVA LITE foam and ABZORB foam, create both a stable and cushioned experience for runners. New Balance also designed the midsole with better responsiveness, so that runners could have smoother transitions without sacrificing stability. New Balance even updated the medial post by extending it and improved the t-beams. While flexibility is lacking, most reviewers didn’t mind because of the strong stability of the shoe. The only main issue reviewers had with the shoe was the sole separating from the shoe. New Balance has done a great job enhancing an already stable shoe.