New Balance 680V4

The New Balance 680V4 is a neutral road shoe. It looks like a traditional heavily cushioned road shoe. The generous cushioning and supportive design, however, don't have a negative impact on the overall weight of the shoe. The New Balance 680V4 is surprisingly lightweight and comfortable to wear. It's a great choice for runners who want a well-padded trainer for daily training and long distance running. It's just as comfortable for short runs, as well. The shoe features a few updates since the last version. Namely, a brand new upper, which provides a better fit. The rest of the shoe has mostly stayed the same.

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Where to Buy
Road Runner Sports Link
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Where to Buy
Road Runner Sports Link
See Deal
Pros & Cons
  • Comfortable
  • Surprisingly lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Well-cushioned
  • Durable
  • Good value
  • Attractive colorways
  • Wide toe box
  • Cons
    • Poor arch support
    • Some found shoe narrow
    • Lack of padding around tongue and heel collar
    • Key Features
      The outsole of the New Balance 680V4 is composed of blown rubber, which provides both grip and cushioning. The lugs underfoot provide good traction and the shoe also features Flex Grooves to help enable a smooth transition from heel to toe. The grooves are much needed since the outsole itself is quite rigid. The rubber on the bottom of the provides padding, which reviewers appreciated. The outsole of the shoe has not changed since the previous version. It's a durable outsole, reviewers didn't have any issues with the sole coming apart early on during training.

      The 680V4's midsole features ABZORB cushioning. The midsole has quite a bit of this material to ensure runners are protected against shock and get a smooth ride. Reviewers found the midsole cushioning comfortable and adequate for both short and long runs. There's plenty of cushioning in the midsole to ensure runners get a nice ride experience. The midsole technology is the same as with the previous version of the shoe. The cushioning does its job well and makes the New Balance 680V4 a great shoe for runners who want a well-cushioned midsole for protection and comfort. The New Balance 680V4 also features a new XLT footbed. This new component is actually a full-length piece of foam that provides a bit of extra padding, so the well-cushioned midsole gets an extra boost. The XLT footbed also provides a bit of energy-return for wearers that's otherwise lacking.
      The upper of the New Balance features a brand new design. The new upper features a no-sew design. The result is a better fit that's more flexible and protects against blister and hotspot formation. The new mesh upper is also more breathable than before and features overlays for support. The laces remain the same, with a normal lacing system. The shoe collar and tongue areas feature some padding, as before. There's also a protective toe bumper at the front of the shoe. Inside, a smooth lining provides an extra bonus layer of comfort and a Response 2.0 insole adds an extra layer of cushioning.

      Some reviewers did mention that the upper fit quite snugly but the shoe does come in wider widths if needed. Some reviewers also mentioned the lack of cushioning around the tongue and heel collar. While there is some padding in that area, it was not sufficient for some, who had issues with fabric rubbing against the skin. Most reviewers, however, really appreciated the fit of the new upper. They liked that the shoe felt secure and liked the supportive design of the new upper.
      Both the men and women's versions of the New Balance 680V4 weigh 10.3 ounces. Most reviewers agreed that they were quite surprised by how lightweight the New Balance 680V4 felt when worn. The shoe's midsole is well-cushioned, the design is supportive and durable, but the components never feel too heavy and the ride doesn't feel weighed down. Even with the addition of the new XLT foam footbed, the shoe doesn't feel heavier. Instead, runners get an extra boost and a bit more padding without the extra ounces.

      The new upper design of the New Balance 680V4 makes for a much more breathable shoe. The new upper is a no-sew design that ventilates much better than previous versions of the shoe. The material is also flexible, which helps with the overall fit. Some runners still ran into fit issues, citing the fit as snug and narrow, but the shoe does come in wide widths. A wider toe box also ensures there's breathing room in the forefoot and toes don't feel squished in. Overall, the New Balance 680V4 has a secure but breathable fit.

      The majority of reviewers found the New Balance 680V4 to be a comfortable shoe for long or short runs. The design is surprisingly lightweight, say reviewers, and breathable. The midsole also offers plenty of cushioning to protect against the impact of running and a wide toe box ensures there's room to move the toes. Some reviewers say they wished the ankle collar and tongue had a bit more padding, though, since the thinner fabric seemed to rub against the skin. The shoe also features a brand new XLT footbed. The long piece of midsole foam goes from heel to toe to give runners some bonus padding for comfort and a little bit of well-needed energy-return.

      The model is a standard looking running shoe from New Balance. The design looks athletic and the shoe is neither stylish nor ugly. The color combinations do seem fresh and hip and have clearly been chosen carefully. Reviewers who purchased the New Balance 680V4 were not buying them for looks, though, it was much more for comfort.

      The shoe is a fairly durable trainer. Each component of the shoe, from outsole to upper, is made of high-quality materials that won't easily degrade. There's no doubt that most runners should get a good amount of mileage out of this shoe. Protective elements, like the toe bumper, not only ensure runners don't injure themselves but reinforce the build and structural integrity of the New Balance 680V4.
      The 680V4 is a well-built shoe that ensures runners stay protected as they run. Both the outsole and ABZORB midsole material protect against impact. The no-sew upper keeps blisters at bay and ensures wearers don't get too hot inside the shoe. A toe bumper protects toes from impact with hard objects.
      The New Balance 680V4 offers average responsiveness but it's not the main highlight of the shoe. Runners will get a smooth ride with some energy-return thanks to the rigid outsole, which helps to propel wearers forward somewhat. Runners looking for the ultimate bouncy ride should look elsewhere. The shoe does, however, have a new XLT footbed. This part of the midsole is a piece of foam that goes from heel to toe to add an extra layer of cushioning but it also provides a bit of energy-return, so wearers will experience some kind of responsiveness when they run in the New Balance 680V4.
      The New Balance 680V4 is a supportive shoe thanks to a well designed upper with a great, snug fit. The shoe does lack arch support and some found the heel fit a bit flimsy, but they were in the minority. Most reviewers liked the secure fit of the shoe and felt the solidly built upper ensured a supportive ride experience.
      The New Balance 680V4 is meant for running on the roads. The lugs underfoot are not aggressive enough for off-road training, running, or racing. The blown rubber outsole would not provide enough traction for trail runs. The rest of the shoe is similarly unsuited for off the road running. The mesh upper does not block out debris, and while it breathes well it's not specifically made to be quick drying.
      The New Balance 680V4 is a fairly priced shoe considering the amount of cushioning and support users get with their purchase. The shoe is comfortable, durable, and very breathable. Overall, it's a great buy for those who are regularly training for long or short distance events.

      The New Balance 680V4's blown rubber outsole provides average traction for road running. The outsole's lugs provide decent traction that should work for most runners. Reviewers didn't have any specific issues with the shoe's ability to grip the roads.
      The New Balance 680V4 features Flex Grooves in its outsole. The outsole itself is fairly rigid so the grooves help to minimize the stiffness of the blown rubber sole. The upper, too, features a flexible material that helps to ensure the fit of the shoe is comfortable and that movement in the shoe feels natural. Wearer's liked the flexible feel of the shoe.
      The New Balance 680V4 is a neutral trainer so you won't find traditional stability features like a medial post or midfoot shank to prevent overpronation. For wearers without pronation issues, however, the New Balance 680V4 provides a very secure fit and a supportive design. Wearers will feel anchored into the shoe and won't feel like the ride ever feels flimsy or unstable. The overlays lockdown the foot and the rest of the shoe features a high-quality sturdy design that can handle the shock of running and remain stable.

      The New Balance 680V4 features a 12mm drop. The drop is fairly large and promotes a heel strike so runners who want a more natural ride from their training shoe will want to look at another option. Reviewers who ultimately chose the New Balance 680V4 didn't have any issues with the shoe's higher drop.
      Key Features
      - Blown rubber outsole provides padding and traction
      - Flex Grooves in outsole provide flexibility
      - Lugs underfoot provide traction
      - ABZORB cushioning protects against shock
      - NEW no-sew mesh upper design with better fit
      - Response 2.0 insole adds cushioning
      - Smooth inner lining
      - Supportive overlays
      - Protective toe bumper
      - Normal lacing system
      - XLT footbed foam for energy-return and padding
      Bottom Line
      Overall, the New Balance 680V4 is a solid choice for runners going long or short who want a well-cushioned midsole to protect their joints and bodies. The ABZORB midsole cushion effectively protects against impact and the rest of the shoe manages to provide support and stability for neutral wearers without increasing the overall weight of the shoe. Runners will appreciate the well-ventilated upper, too. The new design not only breathes better but fits exponentially better, as well. Reviewers felt that the New Balance 680V4 was a good buy that was well worth the price. For runners with wider feet, the New Balance 680V4 is available in a wide width.
      Where to Buy
      Road Runner Sports Link
      See Deal
      By Steph Coelho
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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