New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Review
The plush Fresh Foam X strikes that ideal balance between cushion and neutral running. It’s the perfect pair of trainers to lace up on those long runs and offers excellent energy feedback and comfort when running on hard surfaces. The dynamic knit upper gives you the perfect amount of stretch where you need it most (on the toe box) and more stability and lockdown along the midfoot.
Below, I want to get into all of those little details that make this your next go-to running shoe.
Fit accommodates a wide variety of feet
Wide sizes available
Dynamic knit upper
Fresh Foam X offers a bouncy ride
Designed for easy transitions
Perfect for running long distances
Ortholite sock liner
Uneven weight - heavier in the heel
Unusual cut heel design
Heavier than expected
So, who is this shoe for, exactly? Many New Balance shoes qualify under the stability shoe category, but the Fresh Foam 1080 V10 is a little different. This shoe is categorized as a neutral long-distance running, and it fits the bill perfectly. It offers a good deal of bounce and energy feedback from the cushioned midsole, and the knit upper allows for a good deal of foot-flex. If you are planning on hitting the pavement to put some serious miles behind you, this is an excellent choice.
It’s a little heavier than your standard neutral trainer, weighing in at just over 10 ounces. From what I have learned, this isn’t exactly the neutral-style trainer that disappears on your foot as you start to put miles behind you. It’s designed for runners that want something with a neutral and flexible fit without sacrificing the almighty cushioning. I also recommend sticking to the sidewalks and treadmills while wearing this shoe.
The low treads and curved outsole are great for quick movements on hard surfaces, but they won’t perform very well on uneven surfaces such as trailheads.
With so many big and blocky New Balance trainers in their lineup, the Fresh Foam 1080 V10 stands out from the pack. The upper is made from a layer of dynamic mesh and allows for great movement and flex while keeping your feet cool and dry. It boasts stretchy knit materials on the toe box that accommodates a wide variety of feet for a perfect fit. The higher density of knit material along the forefoot adds stability and helps to really lock your foot in place.
It’s important to take note of the unusual heel design. Some runners really love the style of this heel, and others could do without it. It boasts a high-cut heel cup that is designed to really cradle your heel in place without the use of heavy padding. For some, it executes this heel-lockdown perfectly. For others, it causes their heel to somewhat shift around at the end of their gait cycle.
The biggest (and most celebrated) change to version 10 is the addition of the Fresh Foam X. This unique midsole feels like a thick layer of EVA foam, but it is actually something a little different. This heat-molded material offers the same feel as EVA but isn’t as stiff and unforgiving as EVA. This bunch midsole is really made to move. It is also much more breathable than EVA, and a lot more resilient. You will be able to really rack up the miles before the midsole cushioning breaks down into a pancake.
It’s important to note that the midsole cushioning has a higher concentration of padding in the heel, and less in the forefoot toe box. While this feature really helps to give you a little more cushion where you need it most, it can make the shoe feel uneven.
I found that many runners report that they could feel the uneven distribution of weight in the heel through all stages of their gait. For me (someone that loves cushioning), this isn’t a deal-breaker. However, if you are looking for a true neutral trainer, you might not love this shoe.
If you were planning on taking your trainers out of the trails, this may not be the best option. The outsole of this design boasts modest traction that is great for sidewalks and treadmills. It has rounded edges along the sides of the foot for more quick and snappy movements, but they are not ideal for uneven surfaces. The outsole is designed specifically for long-distance running on sidewalks for treadmills, as well as HIIT or CrossFit.
The overall durability of the rubber outsole is also worth mentioning. Runners are able to clock quite a few miles before the outsole starts to show signs of wear and tear. While it doesn’t have the heightened durability of, say, a Brooks trainer, you should be able to rack up a few hundred miles before the rubber outsole and midsole begin to show their age.
The style of this running shoe is fine. It’s not breaking any molds as far as design is concerned. For me, I don’t particularly love the blocky solid-white outsole that runs pretty far up the sides. When compared to other designs in the New Balance lineup, however, I am drawn to the Fresh Foam 1080 V10 the most.
It doesn’t possess that overall blocky dad-shoe design found in most of their trainers. It’s a lot slimmer, and it comes in a variety of unique color options that are worth checking out. When you compare version 10 to the previous Fresh Foam 1080 design, the overall made to design is quite clear.
The biggest change is the style of the sleet knit upper that drops bulky synthetic overlays for a more sporty look. It also boasts an overall lower cut on the heel that gives it a unique design that also helps engage a full range of motion as well.
What I love about New Balance shoes is that they aren’t just built for one specific size and shape of feet. Overall, runners found that this design fit their feet perfectly. The dynamic upper is made to really stretch over your feet for a secure fit that isn’t too tight. It also boasts a wide toe box that allows your toes to naturally splay for added stability.
One of the things that set New Balance apart from other brands is that they also offer their trainers in wide, extra-wide, and narrow sizes as well. While the base shoe is naturally a little wider than most,
You are sure to find a size that fits your foot perfectly without feeling too tight or too narrow.
Whether you are purchasing a men’s or women’s style, this shoe provides an 8 mm drop across the board. For a neutral trainer, an 8 mm drop is the perfect marriage between high stability and minimalism.
The neutral drop provides runners with a little extra cushioning in the heel while still offering excellent ground-feel for quick and snappy movements.
Comparisons to Previous Versions
Another huge change in the construction of the upper. Previous versions boasted a thick and bulky dad-shoe construction that wasn’t really made to move. While it offered excellent stability, these bulky uppers didn’t allow for a lot of movement. The dynamic knit upper is incredibly breathable, offers excellent movement, and offers just the right amount of added stability and lockdown where you need it most.
It has a few drawbacks, such as the heavy heel that makes this shoe feel a little unbalanced. Also, it’s not the most stylish shoe out there on the market, but style won’t help you reach the finish line any faster! To me, these issues aren’t dealbreakers. This design clocks in at a price tag that is slightly more expensive than you would expect from New Balance, but I feel that the innovative design of this shoe is worth every penny!