Summary

We spent 7.5 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

6 reasons to buy

  • Many users agreed that the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9 runs true to size.
  • A couple of wearers noticed that the 9th version of the Fresh Foam 1080 feels significantly lighter than the older version.
  • Some runners thought the shoe was stylish.
  • According to several users, the New Balance 1080 v9 is a comfortable running shoe.
  • A few consumers were delighted by the shoe’s wide and extra wide width options.
  • A number of buyers admired the comfortable cushioning of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9.

3 reasons not to buy

  • The New Balance 1080 v9 is a bit expensive.
  • One user expressed disappointments because he developed a blister in the heel area after the first run.
  • Another purchaser noticed a strange fit in the heel section.

Bottom line

The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9 has gathered several positive reviews about the sizing, style, and cushioning. Though there were criticisms about the shoe’s fit and price, overall, the shoe is still considered as efficient running footwear. The shoe has promising features but there is still a room for improvement.

For more, check our guide to the best running shoes

Facts

Rankings

A top rated Road running shoe
Top 1% most popular running shoes
It has never been more popular than this August
Better rated than the previous version New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v8

Reviews from around the internet

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

REI, Holabird Sports and 17 other shops don't have user reviews

Video reviews and unboxing

  • The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9 has been modified from the upper to the outsole. The enhancements aim to provide runners with a more comfortable and satisfying performance, mile after mile.
  • Designed for neutral runners, the 9th version of the New Balance 1080 features a new midsole design. This version is still using the Fresh Foam midsole material, but it has been tweaked for a softer and comfortable underfoot cushioning.
  • The upper of the shoe also features an all-new design. It uses an engineered mesh on the forefoot and a Lycra fabric covers the heel area. These upper materials aim to provide a breathable and comfortable foot wrap.
  • A completely redesigned outer sole can also be seen on the 1080 v9. It uses the same blown rubber material, but with a different flex groove design and tread pattern. The outsole is specifically designed to deliver reliable traction and durability without affecting flexibility.
  • The 9th iteration of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 also has a shallower heel counter as compared to its predecessor.

When it comes to sizing, the New Balance 1080 runs true to size. The shoe has a medium fit in the forefoot and midfoot. The heel counter is shallow but it holds and secures the foot comfortably. This road running shoe is available in D - Medium, EE - Wide, and 4E - Extra wide with options for men and the women’s version is available in 2A – Narrow, B – Medium, and D – Wide, EE - Extra Wide options.

The outsole of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9 has been modified. It uses the same material, but the flex grooves were lightly redesigned for durability and flexibility.

The blown rubber material covers the entire outsole of the Fresh Foam 1080 v9. It gives added cushioning and responsiveness while delivering protection against abrasion.

The flex grooves are strategically placed in the forefoot for more flexibility. The grooves help the foot achieved a smoother transition; they flex effortlessly as the foot bends while running.

The same as the 8th version, the latest New Balance 1080 makes use of the notable Fresh Foam midsole cushioning. This innovative technology has been used Fresh Foam Zante v4 and in several New Balance running shoes and sneakers for plush underfoot protection.

The full-length Fresh Foam material is designed for luxurious cushioning. It provides reliable foot protection since it disperses landing impact, giving runners a smooth, plush ride. The Fresh Foam has a light construction and is meant to deliver consistent cushioning for long-distance runs.

The midsole foam performs better together with the laser engravings. These engravings are designed for enhanced comfort and flexibility.

The premium Ortholite® insole gives added cushioning while providing arch support. The insole foam is removable and can be replaced with custom orthotics.

A double jacquard mesh covers the majority of the upper, and on the heel is a Lycra-like material. These materials aim to deliver unmatched breathability and comfort. The mesh is flexible enough to wrap the foot without feeling tight and it has enough perforations for ventilation.

The upper of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9 has a no-sew design with a cleatie construction. It provides runners with a smooth, irritation-free environment.

The shoe features a traditional lace-up closure which aims to hold the foot securely while running.

It also has a plush tongue and collar for added comfort and secure foot lockdown.

New Balance has been using a unique “number” system in their shoe names for decades already. Some New Balance fans are aware of what the numbers of the shoe names mean, but for a  beginner, the numbers might be confusing.

Here’s what 1080 means:

10 (the “hundreds” number) - It indicates the level of features or “premium” of the shoe model. 10, in the case of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080, means mid-features. While it is also used to determine the price level of the model, the number is also an indicator of the features. Compared to the models with number 8, such as the New Balance 890, the Fresh Foam 1080 is more expensive and runners can expect mid-range features. As runners move higher to number 12, like the New Balance 1260 model, runners can expect a higher level of performance and of course, a more expensive price tag.

80 (last two digits) - The two digits determine the level of cushioning. For this particular model, 80 means neutral cushioning. The number 40 means optimal control, 60 means stability, 70 means light stability, and 90 means speed.

The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9 is a road running shoe designed for neutral runners. Here’s how the shoe performs compared to other neutral running shoes.

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v8

With enhancements on the midsole section, the 9th version of the New Balance Fresh Foam feels softer than the older version. Others may find it too soft, but it gained the approval of the majority. The midsole offers long-lasting and consistent cushioning through miles and miles of running.

Impressively, the latest iteration is as comfortable and breathable as the 8th version. It offers the foot a smoother in-shoe feel. It is also durable, feels secure, and provides enough amount of traction on varied surfaces.

The overall performance of the 1080 v9 is satisfying and the look of this running shoe is indeed a bonus.

Nike Revolution 4

The Nike Revolution 4 is a versatile road running shoe with a street-ready design. It is more affordable compared to the Fresh Foam 1080 v9 but it offers the same level of cushioning; it is soft, responsive and flexible.

The shoe is much lighter than this New Balance shoe, but not as durable. It also offers impressive comfort and breathability, just like the 1080 v9.

When it comes to the overall performance, the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9 is more reliable. But, if you are looking for a cheap running shoe, then you should consider the Nike Revolution 4.

The shoe is available in a wide variety of colors; runners can easily find the color that suits well their preferences and personality.

Adidas Ultra Boost

The Ultra Boost is one of the popular running shoes from Adidas. The shoe features the notable Boost technology, which is designed to give runners responsive cushioning. This lightweight midsole cushioning provides better shock absorption, resulting in a more bouncy, smoother ride.  

Compared to the Fresh Foam 1080 v9, the Adidas Ultra Boost is more expensive because it is also considered as one of the premium shoes from Adidas.

When it comes to performance, the Ultra Boost offers luxurious cushioning that is bouncy and consistent. It is truly comparable to the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9. The outsole grip and durability of this Adidas running shoe is also impressive.

In terms of overall looks and comfort, the Adidas Ultra Boost won't disappoint. Overall, this road shoe offers value for money.

Asics Gel Kayano 25

The Asics Gel Kayano 25 is a premium running shoe. The Kayano model is one of the iconic running shoes from Asics. On its 25th anniversary, Asics has released a revolutionized version of the model, packed with reliable technologies, from top to bottom.

Performance-wise, the Kayano 25 is superb. The cushioning is not too firm; it is bouncy and shields the foot comfortably. The addition of the new midsole foams makes the Kayano 25 better than its predecessor.

The shoe also delivers reliable grip and outsole durability on varied paved surfaces. It is more durable than the New Balance 1080 v9.

The Asics Gel Kayano 25 is an expensive running shoe, but it gathered positive feedback from beginners and professional runners. Positive comments surround the shoe’s cushioning, durability, fit and comfort.

Since the shoe has a visually-appealing design, some users are happy to wear it on the street or during workout sessions.

Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com