New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v6

The 1080 v6 is another step in the right direction for New Balance's Fresh Foam line of running shoes. As a neutral daily runner, this shoe has grown an impressive fan base. And the changes to this shoe since its last incarnation have earned it top billing in Competitor Magazine citing Fresh Foam as the best update for the year. The Fresh Foam technology of the sole unit boasts improved cushioning and a wider footprint. Part of the Fresh Foam 1080 v6 upgrade incorporates flex grooves throughout the sole providing better flexibility and encouraging a more refined running motion. But the cushion is not the only step up, the upper got a makeover too. Added comfort and flexibility are a bonus of New Balance's better-fitted insole and enhanced mesh in the upper. Overall, these changes and the reliability that comes from a shoe that can go for miles and miles have earned the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v6 mostly high marks in the running community.

Join our private, growing community of passionate runners.

Where to Buy
Holabird Sports Link
See Deal
Road Runner Sports Link
See Deal
Where to Buy
Holabird Sports Link
See Deal
Road Runner Sports Link
See Deal
Pros & Cons
  • Very stable ride
  • Stylish and aesthetically pleasing
  • Well-cushioned and springy
  • Comfortable enough for everyday wear
  • Wide fit with an ample toe box
  • Cons
    • Less flexible
    • Fresh foam cushioning is too firm, albeit responsive
    • Upper seams are abrasive
    • Generous fit decreases security
    • Key Features
      The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v6's sole unit is comprised of carbon rubber and blown rubber. Carbon rubber, by nature, has proven to be a more durable option and blown rubber allows for improved responsiveness due to the air injection. This newest update has New Balance adding flex grooves in both the outsole and midsole. This provides additional freedom of movement in the forefoot and yields a smoother transition preventing leg strain and reducing the chance of injury and pain.
      In this latest installment in the Fresh Foam series, the sole unit got the royal treatment. The midsole of this shoe benefits from the improved Fresh Foam technology. Designed for supreme comfort and responsiveness, most agree the 1080 v6 gets it right. Many were surprised that the foam was not very soft but still found it to be impressive and responsive. The new flex grooves impart an added layer of flexibility to the overall experience and many were quite pleased with the smoother ride from previous versions.

      Included in the Fresh Foam series redesign, the upper also went through some revisions. Comprised of a scientifically engineered breathable perforated mesh fabric, his shoe aims to keep air moving to create a cool dry environment. And with seamed synthetic overlays that wrap the foot to keep it securely in place, this seems to be winning combination. Though there were a number of reviewers that claim discomfort as a result of seams that would rub feet, even though socks, making the run less than enjoyable. The underfoot liner creates a soft bed for the foot though. Full of cushioning and working in concert with the sole unit's foam for added comfort, many are pleased with this feature. And some were pleased to find that the liner is not so padded that it precludes external orthotics should they be necessary.
      Many were surprised at how lightweight this shoe felt given all its cushioning and an impressive stack height of 30mm (heel)/22mm (forefoot). Even without the extra weight of stability features, the 1080 v6 is actually slightly on the higher end of the scale weighing in at 10.4 oz on the men's model and 8.7 oz for women. While not really destined to be a particularly quick shoe, the Fresh Foam technology of the sole unit helps keep the shoe lighter in weight without sacrificing cushion. Most reviewers do not seem to mind the lack of speed as the comfort, endurance, and deceptively lighter feeling of this shoe are all considerably solid desired features.
      In this update, the Fresh Foam 1080 v6 aims to create more breathability and comfort in the upper. With its improved mesh fabric, the 1080 v6 appears to achieve good air circulation, at least according to reviewers. And the ventilation provided does not seem to be hampered by the synthetic overlays, pleasing most with its ability to keep the foot comfortable and free from trapped heat and moisture.
      It is no exception that running shoes are also victims of subjective review. While many felt the shoe was true to fit and even ran a little large and wide, there were some that felt it ran too narrow and rubbed against their feet creating discomfort. In the camp that felt sizing ran big, many loved the wider toe box that promoted a more natural toe splay which is helpful for those with bunions. However, the wider heel does not grip the foot and some found themselves stepping out or slipping around. To assist with proper fit, this shoe is available in narrow, standard, wide, and extra wide. The fabric of the upper, with its cushioned liner, seemed to please most aside from the abrasive nature of the stitched synthetic overlays. The overlays are thought by many to securely lock the foot into place when wearing a properly fitted shoe. Overall, the jury is out on the actual physical comfort of the shoe but most seem to feel the cushioning of the sole unit is supremely comfortable and that they can go the distance in this shoe.
      Most are very pleased with the overall look of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v6. With its N logo proudly displayed but not ostentatious, this shoe feels traditional and simple. And most agree, as a running shoe, it is classic and stylish. The men's shoes are available in grey/blue, black/red, silver/blue, grey/yellow, and blue/green and the women's in blue/grey, blue/pink, blue/white, silver/pink, and pink/grey.
      The Fresh Foam sole unit is comprised of both carbon rubber and blown rubber. While the blown rubber aids in springiness, the carbon rubber is known for its strength and durability. So while the shoe may not be the quickest shoe in your arsenal, it is certainly one designed to go the distance. Apart from the sole, some shared concern over the durability of the upper's fabric and were displeased with the stitching on the synthetic overlays. While the mesh keeps the shoe free from moisture that could be a detriment to the lifespan of the shoe, it is mostly the overlays that are cause for concern. In addition to feeling heavy, there was one mention of frayed stitching in the overlay but the majority seem pleased, if not with the comfort, at least with this shoe's resistance to wear and tear.
      The substantial sole unit of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v6 provides a layer of armor to the underfoot area while the upper, with its well-placed overlays, protects the top of the foot. In addition, the perforated mesh in the upper guards the foot against the effect of trapped heat and/or moisture. The addition of flex grooves in the forefoot help promote a smooth heel-to-toe transition and the springiness of the full-length sole help to keep proper alignment in check and alleviate added stress to the foot and leg possibly preventing strain and injury.
      The newest incarnation to the 1080 line, v6's fresh foam makes it very well-cushioned in the sole. Many were surprised to find this foam to be less soft and springy, even to the touch though most rate it as firm but add that it is surprisingly responsive. The flexibility gained from the forefoot grooves improve agility as well.
      The upper's foam cushion liner provides a cushy fit without sacrificing room for those that require inserts. In conjunction with impressive cushioning in the sole unit, most runners feel this shoe is supportive. The upper's fabric is reinforced with synthetic overlays that, with their seams can feel a bit abrasive, help keep the foot in place encouraging a more confident workout.
      The 1080 v6 was created as a road shoe, able to carry a runner long distances on nature's treadmill or neighbourhood streets.
      As the newer model, the 1080 v7 has been released, if you can find this shoe, it will likely be drastically marked down ... It was a good purchase at its standard higher price tag and definitely a steal at a lower cost!
      With a grippy carbon rubber in the sole, this shoe seems to stick reasonable well in varied conditions excluding slippery roads. Not many wearers commented on the traction of this shoe but those that did claim it is commendable and as expected for a road runner.
      Like many brands, New Balance incorporates flex grooves toward the forefoot in the 1080 v6 to aid in freedom of movement and agility in an otherwise substantially cushioned shoe. The combination of rubbers lends itself to responsiveness and durability, and the flexibility gained from the flex grooves seems to please many...even leading them to feel this shoe is lighter weight than it actually is because of the ability to move more naturally.
      With no stability features on board to help with pronation or foot roll, the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v6 is marketed as a neutral shoe. With a higher profile in the sole unit, one might be inclined to think it less stable, but one of the most celebrated features of this shoe seems to be that many feel it provides a substantially stable ride. The combination of the upper's ability to lock in the foot with its underfoot liner, the less flexible overlays strategically placed around the foot and the sole's flared arch at the heel all help to create an impressively stable shoe.
      In keeping with the previous version, the 1080 v6 still features a moderate heel drop. With a rear cushioned stack height of 30mm and a forefoot of 22, this shoe showcases a heel drop of 8 mm. This drop height is not so low as to require a transition period and can be worn straight from the box. It is also not so high as to put added pressure on the toe joints. Many wearers are pleased with this feature.
      Key Features
      The Fresh Foam 1080 v6 is a celebrated update to the New Balance running shoe family.

      The Fresh Foam provides impressive cushioning in this neutral shoe.

      There is some disagreement over the accuracy of fit, most find that with a proper fit, the 1080 v6 is a comfortable shoe.

      While there are no stability features, this shoe is still considered to be very stable with its grip like fit in the upper and the flared heel in the sole unit.

      Some wearers were surprised at the firmness of the foam but felt that it was still responsive.

      The upper's mesh was improved to create more breathability.

      The overlays in the upper strategically wrap around the foot for improved security of fit though quite a few reviewers felt they were too stiff and abrasive reducing comfort.

      While the shoe is not heavy, it is not destined for speed but provides a great option for a daily trainer.

      Most are pleased are with style and appearance of this shoe and find it appealing also for casual wear too.

      Bottom Line
      The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v6 offers a comfortable ride that many feel that can go the distance. With features that work together to provide a natural running movement and increased stability, this shoe seems to please many and would function well as a daily trainer for those who take to the roads for their running enjoyment. This shoe should be easy on the wallet with a reduced price, easy on the eyes with a stylish and not overpowering appearance, and easy on the feet with a smooth, comfortable ride.
      Where to Buy
      Holabird Sports Link
      See Deal
      Road Runner Sports Link
      See Deal
      By Kristin R.
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 28. 2021

      Join our private, growing community of passionate runners

      Inside RunnerClick Pro, runners of all strengths come together to meet and support one another, get answers to burning questions, learn from experts, participate in personal challenges, and more.