Summary

We spent 6.7 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

7 reasons to buy

  • A lot of runners mentioned that the Fresh Foam 1080 v10 is comfortable. 
  • The shoe is durable, based on some reviews. 
  • It is lightweight, according to some commenters. 
  • Numerous purchasers noted that it is well-cushioned. 
  • The shoe offers good support, reported some testers. 
  • One buyer mentioned that it is perfect for long runs. 
  • Several people love the flexible midsole of this running shoe. 

2 reasons not to buy

  • A couple of users experienced foot pain and blisters while running in the shoe. 
  • The shoe is a bit tight and constricting, said a few consumers.

Bottom line

The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v10 is a highly cushioned neutral running shoe that received significant updates, making it lightweight and flexible. Though there were a few consumers who experienced pain and discomfort, the majority of the consumers have recommended this everyday running shoe for its cushioning quality, lightweight structure, and durability. 

Facts

Expert Reviews

88 / 100 based on 17 expert reviews

  • 80 / 100 |

    New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v10: A case of mistaken identity

    More photos

    The 1080 is a juggernaut of the maximally cushioned running shoe universe. It's one of the most popular running shoes on the road and the flagship New Balance shoe, so it gets all the latest shiny bells and whistles.

    This is my first 1080. All the previous versions were interesting, but when I tried them on in the store, it felt like walking on concrete. 

     

     

    Versions 1-9 were all made from firm EVA midsoles, which didn't make sense to me because the 1080 was always supposed to be the most cushioned New Balance running shoe.

    Version 10 has been reworked from the ground up - new outsole, midsole and upper. A new Fresh Foam called Fresh Foam X makes Version 10 the softest version to date while the knitted upper also makes a debut.

    The outsole gets softer landings with partial coverage. Parts of the midsole make contact with the ground.

    The 1080 v10 is a great all-round shoe and is very well made. It feels like a premium flagship. You can take it on long weekend runs, short tempo or fartlek workouts.

    However, the 1080 is supposed to be the softest, plushest shoe in the New Balance arsenal, but it is not. That honour goes to the New Balance Fuelcell Propel.

    So what makes the Propel a softer shoe than the 1080v10? The Fuelcell midsole.

    In an ideal world, the Propel would be called the 1080, and the 1080 would be called the Propel. Fuelcell is much softer than Fresh Foam X, while Fresh Foam X is much more propulsive than Fuelcell.

    Specifications

    BEST USED ON   Road
    DROP   8mm
    WEIGHT   281g
    PRICE   $150
    TECHNOLOGY   Fresh Foam X, HypoKnit

    Upper & fit

    The 1080 v10’s upper is a masterpiece. There is not one single thing I would change about it. It's hands down the best upper I've ever experienced on a shoe.

     

     

    The upper is made of a soft, stretchy knit called Hypoknit that is better than both Adidas Primeknit and Nike Flyknit: smoother and thinner.

    It has a structured heel counter that holds the heel in place without irritating the Achilles because it flares away from the foot, unlike on the New Balance Propel.

    The toe box is roomy and will stretch if you have extra wide feet. For me, the fit is relaxed, but the upper still keeps my foot locked down, and I have very narrow feet.

     

     

    The padded tongue is soft, filled with medium amounts of foam, and is partially gusseted.

    Meaning, it is attached to the sides of the upper via a band on either side. This ensures that there is no tongue slide.

     

     

    There is reflective Trace Fibre stitching on the midfoot to provide some lightweight structure. It kind of looks like a volcano.

    There are double last row eyelets so that you can do heel lock lacing for a snugger fit, which is a must-have for a flagship shoe.

     

     

    Looks-wise, the 1080 v10 is so good looking that it could be a casual shoe. I love how the midsole goes gradually from dark grey at the top to light grey at the bottom and how the flared heel counter makes it look modern and sleek.

    Some people have remarked that they look like elf shoes, but that's the trend these days. This shoe just looks impressive, and you will catch people staring.

     

    Midsole & ride

    I was a bit disappointed after my first run in the 1080 v10’s. The shoes felt a lot firmer than I expected them to feel.

    They felt similar to New Balance’s Beacon but with rubber lugs on the outsole, making the overall ride firmer.

    New Balance advertises the fact the Fresh Foam X midsole is data-driven. Meaning, that they design the midsole based on the data they get from the wear testers who trial the shoe. Isn’t that what all running shoe companies do?

    Fresh Foam X feels soft to the touch but isn't soft underfoot. New Balance still has some work to do because compared to Nike’s Zoom X and Reebok’s Floatride, it's not as soft or bouncy.

    The one thing it does have going is that it's incredibly light for a shoe with such a large stack height.

     

     

    For super long runs, I prefer New Balance’s Propel. The Fuelcell midsole is uber-soft and excuse the pun, feels like you're running on clouds.

    The New Balance Beacon with its Fresh Foam GC midsole even feels softer than the 1080 v10 because it has no outsole rubber.

     

     

    The ride of the 1080 v10 feels lively and responsive, unlike the Fresh Foams of old that made up the Boracays and the 1080 versions 6-9.

    The 1080 v10 is a shoe that you can take on any type of run, but I prefer them for tempo or fartlek workouts under 20km. The Fresh Foam X midsole provides a firm platform for a toe off, which results in a snappy ride.

    Transitions are smooth from the heel to the midfoot, but when you get up onto your forefoot, you can feel the segmented lug outsole. The ride is not as lumpy as the Hoka Rincon, but I can definitely feel it with every footstrike.

    The 1080 v10 has a high toe spring, which is designed to rock and ease your foot through the gate cycle. The problem is that the forefoot is very flexible, so instead of a rocking action taking place like with the stiff Asics GlideRide, the 1080 v10 flexes, and the rocking action is muted.

     

    Stability

    The midsole bulges and flares out under the heel and forefoot to create a large base, making the 1080 v10 extremely stable. The firmness of the Fresh Foam X also results in no lateral bias.

     

     

    The arch is not prominent-feeling, but the 1080 v10 is stable enough to not cause problems for pronators like me.

     

    Insole

    The 1080 v10 has a thick Ortholite insole, which adds a layer of underfoot softness. Ortholite insoles compress less than 5% over the lifetime of the shoe so you won’t lose much cushioning due to the insole flattening over time.

    The insole doesn't move around during runs, all thanks to the non-slip blue Strobel lining under the insole.

     

    Outsole

    The blown rubber outsole is segmented. There are five separate lug sections.

    It's not full contact because there's an area under the midfoot, which is not covered by rubber to save weight.

     

     

    While the segmented outsole makes the forefoot more flexible, it also makes for a lumpy forefoot. The ride transitions suffer because I could feel the oval-shaped lugs under my forefoot upon loading.                           

    The protruding blown rubber lugs are not very durable, and I could see abrasions on the outer heel area after just the first run.

    The wear is not evenly spread because the outsole is not flat. The area in the middle that is not covered by rubber will show the most wear over time.

     

    Comparison

    New Balance 1080 v10 vs. New Balance Fuelcell Propel

    The Propel excels at super long, slow runs, but the 1080 v10 excels at tempo and fartlek runs.

    The Propel is much cheaper. The 1080 v10 is the better all-round shoe and has a more comfortable, more attractive upper. The 1080v10 wins.

    New Balance 1080v 10 vs. New Balance Beacon

    The 1080 v10 is much more durable due to the heel and forefoot rubber coverage, but the Beacon is lighter, softer, and cheaper. Both are do-it-all shoes. I choose the Beacon.

    New Balance 1080 v10 vs. Hoka Clifton 6

    The Clifton 6 is the most cushioned shoe I've ever worn and perfect for super long runs. The 1080v10 is more responsive and more comfortable. The Clifton 6 is cheaper and offers more deep cushioning. I prefer the Clifton 6.

    New Balance 1080 v10 vs. ASICS Cumulus 21

    Both shoes have amazing, flawless uppers. I prefer the looks of the 1080 v10 to the Cumulus 21.

    The Cumulus 21 has more padding and offers more protection for marathon distances. The Cumulus is also $30 cheaper. The Cumulus 21 wins.

    New Balance 1080 v10 vs. ASICS GlideRide

    The GlideRide is much more fun and has a unique ride. Both shoes can do any distance well and are the same price.

    The 1080 v10 has the better upper, but the GlideRide has a more sophisticated, padded ride. The GlideRide wins easily.

    New Balance 1080 v10 vs. Nike Pegasus Turbo 2

    The Pegasus Turbo 2 is softer, bouncier, and more fun to run in than the 1080 v10. Both shoes can do any distance.

    The 1080 v10 has a more comfortable upper, but the Pegasus Turbo 2 has the better midsole. The 1080 v10 is cheaper, but I still vote for the Nike Pegasus Turbo 2.

    New Balance 1080 v10 vs. Adidas Ultraboost 19

    Both shoes have thick, chunky midsoles, but the Ultraboost 19’s Boost midsole is heavy, and as a result, it rides like a tank.

    The Ultraboost’s insole also slides around in the shoe like a wet fish. The 1080 v10 has the superlative upper, unlike the Adidas knitted upper, which runs warm like a sweater for feet. The 1080 v10 wins.

     

    Likes

    • Immaculate upper
    • Lightweight for such a thick midsole
    • Very stable
    • Thick Ortholite insole

    Dislikes

    • Not super soft like it should be
    • The outsole is not very durable
    • Lumpy forefoot transitions

    Verdict

    Overall, the 1080 v10 is a solid trainer and, as a whole, is greater than the sum of its parts. One can’t help feeling that the 1080 v10’s superb upper is let down by its too-responsive midsole.

    If I were responsible for designing the 1080 v10, I would have put the 1080 v10's upper on the Propel’s Fuelcell midsole. That would have been the perfect shoe.

    If New Balance continues to use Fresh Foam X on the 1080 v11, they must make it softer and bouncier. The upper doesn't need any refinements. The outsole needs to be changed to a smoother, less lumpy and more durable rubber layout.

    The 1080 v10 is a fantastic do-it-all shoe. The problem is that the 1080 is not supposed to be that. The 1080 is supposed to be a max cushioned long-distance cruiser. New Balance has other do-it-all shoes such as the 880 and the Beacon.

    The 1080 v10’s biggest crime is that it doesn’t know what kind of running shoe category it falls into. I'm not quite sure where the1080 v10 will fit in my shoe rotation.

    For tempo or fartlek workouts, I prefer the Pegasus Turbo 2 or the Floatride Run Fast. For super long distances, I prefer the Propel, Clifton 6, or Cumulus 21.

    For daily training, I prefer the GlideRide or the Forever Floatride Energy. Perhaps I will wear them casually because they are hands down the best looking shoes I own.

  • 84 / 100 |

    Good easy day shoe with some pep

    More photos

    The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v10 is the latest iteration of the staple max-cushion trainer in the New Balance Fresh Foam lineup.

     

     

    This version, however, is more than just an update with minor tweaks. It is an overhaul of the NB 1080 with a new upper material, sleek design, and updated Fresh Foam X cushioning.

    The question is, did they change it for the better? If you ask me, I like it, but it wasn't an improvement in performance. However, there are some updates that I really like and that I think were major improvements over prior versions. 

    In short: the upper is a fantastic update that cradles your foot securely and feels like a pair of good stretchy pants around the toes.

    I ran plenty of miles, and my toes were able to move around and didn't feel cramped. Despite the roominess/stretchiness of the toe box, I still felt like I had a secure fit in the heel/midfoot.

    The ride of the midsole is responsive without feeling too stiff. It isn't my favorite shoe for longer runs, which was true of prior versions, but it's a good shoe for those daily aerobic/easy days.

    If they can put this upper on the 1080 v8 midsole, or the Hoka Clifton 6 midsole, or the Pegasus Turbo midsole. It would probably be a shoe I wore until it disintegrated.

    The thing that kept it from being my go-to shoe was the upturned design of the toe caused discomfort on my long runs. For more details on the 1080 v10, continue below.

    Construction and design

    What a difference a year makes! Version 10 is like the version 9 has gone through a bad breakup and hit the gym really hard to get a new look. It's very different from prior versions of the 1080.

    The upper appears to be a two-piece construction with the heel separate from the rest of the upper. The heel, according to NB, is 3D printed—super fancy.

    The heel is also padded along the interior, for added comfort, but it is not too padded that it starts to break down with age. It is subtle cushioning encased in a more stretchy material, so it's not too bulky.

    The heel, like a lot of shoes nowadays, has a heel that transitions up into a flare around the Achilles. This version is not distracting and did not cause any irritation or blisters, unlike some other models out there (you know who you are).

     

     

    To get your midfoot locked down, the 1080 v10 does not employ a separate overlay, Flywire system, or distracting overlays. Rather, the logo on the shoe is one piece of the system

    It includes the stitching around the midfoot that gets your foot secure to the shoe without adding distracting pieces or more weight—since this shoe does not need to be any heavier than it already is.

     

     

    The rest of the upper apart from the heel and midfoot are the upper components of my dreams. The stretchy material that is also breathable is wonderful.

     

     

    The slightly padded gusseted tongue is just cushioned enough that it is not bulky but keeps you from feeling the laces (which are flat laces, and they are fantastic).

     

     

    The midsole is entirely Fresh Foam X material. It is an updated Foam material that is slightly different than other iterations of the midsole like the Fresh Foam GC in the Beacon.

    I am not a materials engineer, but I do know that this midsole was able to absorb the impact, but still felt quite peppy. There is a reported 8mm drop, but I found that the biggest difference in the heel to the forefoot is not the drop, but the construction of the midsole from the forefoot to the tip.

    The midfoot tapers upward to the toe and creates a subtle elf-shoe upturn. Needless to say, I think that this design choice made for a suboptimal ride on an otherwise comfortable midsole.

    Fit/performance/durability

    The step-in comfort of the shoe when I first put it on was quite nice. I bought this shoe only after trying on five different pairs of different makes/models at the store.

    This shoe stood out when I started walking in it and then jogged around the store and treadmill (also in the store). From the first step, I could feel the cushion, but I also felt a really nice rebound feeling.

    This shoe definitely had a pop to it, and that is what sold me on this shoe since I am always looking for a well-cushioned shoe to add to my rotation for long runs and daily training. As I started picking up the mileage though, I found that my feet were really sore afterwards.

    After 70+ miles, I really narrowed it down to the fact that the upturned design of the shoe, and the aforementioned rebound, created too much upward motion on my toes that it ended up hurting after a while.

    This may be an issue that is really specific to my biomechanics, but I am not able to run in this shoe for very long runs. Full disclosure: I have a history of foot injuries and have had surgery. So, I may be more sensitive to this particular design.

     

     

    Other than not being able to run in the shoe for my long runs, I found that I was still able to use it as a daily trainer for my shorter runs and have been using it as an everyday or easy day shoe to great success.

    Hence, this brings me to the overall durability. I have not seen any breakdown of the upper, midsole or outsole in all of the miles that I have put in the 1080 v10.

    I have taken this pair on the roads, light trails and treadmills and it still feels great. I can probably get another 300 – 400 miles out of them, and that is saying a lot since some pairs barely make it to 250.

     

     

    I think that this shoe is a solid daily trainer for most people, but if you have sensitive feet, probably not good for really long runs.

     

    Pros

    • Upper is amazing
    • Good midsole cushioning
    • The shoe felt snappy for a max-cushion shoe
    • Upper is wonderful
    • Good midfoot lockdown
    • Not a lot of overlays that end up being distracting
    • Upper is glorious
    • Very durable outsole and midsole after 70+ miles

    Cons

    • Upward toe design created pain in my foot
    • Cushioning did not feel as plush as prior versions
    • Sizing is not like prior versions. I had to go a full size up
    • On the pricier side of the market

     

     

    Overall, I like v10, but it is really a shame that I can't run in it for long distances due to the way the toe comes up. I am still running in it for my shorter runs, and I cannot say enough good things about what they have done with the upper.

  • 80 / 100 | kofuzi | Level 4 expert

    This is a high mileage shoe that I have been thoroughly enjoying...

  • 98 / 100 | Road Trail Run | | Level 5 expert

    One of the smoothest riding shoes of 2019, the 1080v10 is the shoe that just disappears on the foot. I’ve got nearly 30 miles on my pair, and between a few easy runs, some speedwork, and a ten mile recovery run, I haven’t been disappointed in any setting...

Become an expert

  • The 10th edition of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 features an all-new design with premium comfort and responsiveness. This updated road running shoe aims to deliver a softer and bouncier ride. 
  • The addition of the Fresh Foam X midsole foam enhances the shoe’s cushioning quality. This midsole material offers a more energetic rebound, allowing the platform to provide a springier ride compared to its previous versions. 
  • Infused into the midsole are the laser engravings that remove added weight. This technology makes the shoe more lightweight and flexible. 
  • Providing great comfort and lockdown is the new stretchy engineered Hypoknit upper. The new upper material offers a soft and supportive fit.

The 10th version of the New Balance 1080 is available in standard shoe sizes, so those who desire to get a pair can use their usual sizing expectations. However, users are advised to try on the shoe first before purchasing to ensure the right fit. Consumers may also check the general feedback about sizing. 

The technical components that affect the fit of the shoe include the Ortholite insole and Hypoknit upper, which aim to provide a comfortable in-shoe feel. Other elements are the padded tongue and traditional lacing system that offer a customized fit and added comfort. 

This New Balance running shoe is also available in different colors and sizes for both men and women versions. 

The outsole section of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v10 is composed of a blown rubber material. This component is tasked to enhance the shoe’s cushioning and responsiveness. It also offers excellent traction on various surfaces and reliable protection against abrasive elements. 

The flex grooves incorporated into the shoe allow for more flexibility in the forefoot area. The grooves also improve the outsole’s gripping performance. 

The New Balance 1080 v10 utilizes the Fresh Foam X midsole for plush comfort. This new cushioning technology is engineered to deliver a more energetic rebound than its predecessor. This material is also responsible for providing a soft and responsive ride. 

Enhancing this lightweight running shoe’s flexibility are the laser engravings integrated into the lateral landing zone. The carvings on the midsole are designed to lessen the shoe’s overall weight, allowing for a more efficient running experience. This technology also helps soften the landing. 

The shoe also utilizes an Ortholite sockliner for added comfort. The sockliner also delivers significant moisture control to combat sweat. Other popular running shoes that use an Ortholite sockliner are the Brooks Transcend 6 and Asics Gel Contend 5.

The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v10 features a bootie construction for a soft and irritant-free wrap. 

Engineered Hypoknit technology is utilized in the upper unit for cutting-edge comfort. Hypoknit technology ensures a more dynamic fit and provides optimum support for the foot.

The ultra heel integrated into the shoe offers a supportive fit. This component holds the heel comfortably in place to prevent the foot from sliding up and down while running. 

The shoe’s gusseted tongue and lacing system provide midfoot lockdown. These elements give a snugger fit and prevent the foot from quivering during the run. 

The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9, the predecessor of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v10, is also a highly cushioned everyday running shoe. It features a similarly blown rubber outsole designed to boost the shoe’s cushioning. 

The main difference between these running shoes is the materials and technologies used in their outsole, midsole, and upper units. 

Outsole

  • Blown rubber outsoles are integrated into the Fresh Foam 1080 v9 and Fresh Foam 1080 v10 for improved cushioning and responsiveness. The latest version, the Fresh Foam 1080 v10, uses an updated groove pattern that allows for greater flexibility and grip compared to its previous version. 

Midsole

  • The Fresh Foam 1080 v9 utilizes the Fresh Foam midsole cushioning, while the Fresh Foam 1080 v10 uses the Fresh Foam X technology. The Fresh Foam X is the New Balance’s latest foam midsole technology, making the Fresh Foam 1080 v10 softer and springier than its predecessor. 
  • Additionally, the improved laser engravings on the Fresh Foam 1080 v10’s midsole made it lighter and more flexible than the Fresh Foam 1080 v9.

Upper

  • The Fresh Foam 1080 v9 features an engineered mesh for improved breathability, while the Fresh Foam 1080 v10 uses the engineered Hypoknit technology for optimal support and dynamic fit. The Fresh Foam 1080 v10 also incorporates a more stylish, modern upper design. 

 

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