Shoe Of The Week: New Balance Fresh Foam 1080

FIT-FEEL-RIDE: In a word, this shoe is plush! Our wear-testers loved the thick cushioning, comfortable interior and stable ride of this high-mileage workhorse, while also noting its slightly wider footprint and locked-down fit. This is the first edition of the neutral-oriented 1080 to have New Balance’s innovative Fresh Foam midsole material. The contour and shape of that midsole is derived from gait-pattern data from a wide range of runners. The data allows shoe designers to create a shoe with more flow, smoothing the foot’s transition between touchdown and takeoff. It’s real science at work, but you won’t need to worry about that while you’re running. All you’ll feel is the easy-riding comfort, luxuriously soft landings and reliable smoothness in every stride. One of the other biggest changes to this shoe is the addition of flex grooves in the midsole and outsole that help increase flexibility and adds to the smoother heel-toe transition. This edition of the 1080 also has a new engineered mesh upper that offers both greater flexibility, breathability and comfort, while an interior bootie fit system helps keep the foot in place.

For all of those reasons and more, we tagged this shoe with our Editor’s Choice—Best Update award in our Spring 2016 running shoe review. (More new 2016 running shoes can be found here.) We pegged this shoe as a great almost-everyday trainer for runners training for 10Ks to marathons. The only drawbacks to this shoe are that it’s not quite as light as some other everyday trainers and the thicker midsole gives up a little bit of “feel the ground” proprioception and agility. For those reasons, it’s not going to be a shoe particularly inclined for faster workouts, but it’s very accustomed to gobbling up miles on long runs with ease.

This is the shoe for you if … You’re looking for a soft, reliable workhorse for long-distance training.

Price: $150
Weights: 10.3 oz. (men’s), 8.5 oz. (women’s)
Heel-to-Toe Offset: 8mm; 29mm (heel), 21mm (forefoot)
Info: NewBalance.com

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