Reviews New Balance Fresh Foam 1080

Published on May 10, 2016

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080

The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 is a road shoe specifically designed to offer greater cushioning and support; it adds to the ever-expanding NB range that already feels unstoppable in 2016. RunningMonkey laced up and put them to the test…

First impressions

There’s no mistaking the Fresh Foam 1080 for anything other than a New Balance shoe – aesthetically it’s close to the Zante V2 with only closer inspection revealing their differences (more on which below.) The construction is the increasingly popular – with manufacturers at least – one-piece ‘bootie style’ inner, it certainly minimises seams and means the tongue is effectively gusseted, something traditionally found more on trail shoes.

NB Fresh Foam 1080 The collar and tongue are both really well padded for comfort, although personally we found the Achilles padding a little too substantial, causing a slight crease that rubbed on initial runs.

Unlike the far more stripped back Zante V2 the upper of the Fresh Foam 1080 incorporates an overlay on the meshing that adds to structure though also, of course, to overall weight. Whilst the NB Zante 2 hits the streets at 235g (470g pair, UK size 8.5) the 1080 ups that considerably to 290g (580g pair) for the same size.

The ride

The heel / toe differential drop on the Fresh Foam 1080 is 8mm, so sits between other new offerings from New Balance with the 860v6 giving 10mm of drop and the Vongo a more bare-foot 4mm. This still makes 1080 – to all intense and purpose – a heel-strikers shoe and as such the roll from heel to toe of is both smooth and natural feeling.

And the Fresh Foam itself? Although similar in principle to the ‘Boost’ foam construction in the midsole of the much-trumpeted adidas range of that name, we personally rate the New Balance option higher. There’s a firmness to the Fresh Foam that gives better feedback and increases responsiveness and it appears less susceptible to compacting over time; in theory that should mean more miles from your shoes.

NB Fresh Foam 1080 Getting to grips with the Outsole

The outsole isn’t that dissimilar from those found elsewhere in the 2016 NB range – the multidirectional grip is more than ‘sticky’ enough and, if previous experience is anything to go by, they won’t wear down any time soon. There’s a separate, tougher, heel section (sensible for a heel-striking shoe) and unlike the Zante V2 the outsole is double-decoupled towards the front that we found improves transition. The grip will doubtless cope with most year-round weather, with the possible exception of truly icy roads.

NB Fresh Foam 1080 Purchase options

The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 is available in red with blue trip or shimmering ice blue and green for the women’s option, and dark blue with green or black with red and green for men. The latter, rather brilliantly, is described as being ‘Outer Space with Red & Toxic’.

Whilst the more minimalist Zante V2definitely sit better with RunningMonkey’s personal needs, it’s obvious that the Fresh Foam 1080 will work well for those that heel-strike by default and are looking for a more solid approach to construction and cushioning.

The Fresh Foam 1080 retails at £115 with further details and online purchase as newbalance.co.uk

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