New Balance 1080 v10
Reviewed 13 August 2020
The 1080, New Balance's top end cushioning shoe, has been around for over 10 years. The latest model has been well received by runners and contains some interesting tech so I thought i'd try it out. After 50km of running these are my thoughts!
Price - $250 AUD - available from https://www.newbalance.com.au/shop-running/ and other major retailers
Weight - 262g (M9) 225g (W8)
Stack Height - 30mm (Heel) - 22mm (Forefoot)
Drop - 8mm
Upper - Hypokit
Midsole - Full Length Fresh Foam X
The 1080v10 features an all new Fresh Foam X midsole. Fresh Foam X is New Balance's latest midsole technology that uses varying foams and shapes within the sole to reduce weight whilst not compromising on durability and cushioning. The result is a shoe that NB says is 7.5% lighter whilst giving 11% better energy return than previous versions of the 1080.
The 1080s feel super comfortable out of the box. The knitted upper has an elastic, sock-like feeling giving the shoe a snug fit but one which is still comfortable. This is a game changer as I have found previous versions of the 1080 have felt sloppy in the mid and forefoot. I have found previous runners with a knitted upper can sag and bunch up (I have a long narrow foot) but so far the 1080s have held up well. The 1080s seem to feel better with a thinner running sock rather than a more cushioned one.
The midsole too feels very comfy and like it doesn't need wearing in at all! I did find that the thickness under the forefoot took a little bit used to when running. Intially I felt alot of pressure under the metatarsal heads - but this has reduced greatly after about 50km in the shoes. The rocker, while clearly visable, is barely noticable when running and doesn't feel like it impeeds my toe off at all. The shape of the midsole provides a stable and constistent ride. It doesn't feel like the foot is encased by the sole (like in some Hoka shoes) but at the same time it doesn't feel like it will fall off the sides.
A noticable feature of the 1080s is the all new heel, designed to protect the Achilles tendon. At the end of the high heel there is a pull flap, which makes it easy to get in and out of the shoe. As someone who suffers from irritable pain on the back of my heels, this innovation is a game changer for me. The heel still feels supportive without needing to be super firm as in many other running shoes. This heel design features in a number of other NB shoes too.
This shoe is suitable for
Mid/long distance running and given the lighter weight even some tempo stuff.
Most foot types and foot mechanics. The soft neutral construction may not suit those with very high levels of foot pronation when running.
Most surfaces - the outsole grip is surprisly good on light mud, gravel and damp grass. I would recommend trial shoes for more more challenging surfaces and gradients.
Those with wide/narrow feet, as different widths are available.
The New Balance 1080 V10 is a fantastic shoe. It feels great out of the box and has none of the clumpiness of past 1080s I have tried. It is a world-class running shoe, which is now markedly lighter than its predecessor. This helps it to be responsive whilst still providing enough shoe to keep my feet happy. I'm looking forward to racking up the k's in mine!