Neutral / cushion / high arch
Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.
Stability / overpronation / normal arch
Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.
Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet
Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.
Good to know
Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.
Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.
Good to know
If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.
WeightMen: 10.4ozWomen: 9oz
Heel to toe dropMen: 8mmWomen: 8mm
The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.
There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.
Heel heightMen: 30mmWomen: 30mm
Forefoot heightMen: 22mmWomen: 22mm
WidthMen: narrow, normal, wideWomen: narrow, normal, wide
Release dateDec 2018
Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.
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94 / 100 based on 6 expert reviews
The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v9
Why did I buy the New Balance 1080v9? Well, really don’t like running landing on rocks when I’m running on hardpack dirt/gravel roads so I like a highly cushioned shoe for those runs. I had worn the Vomero 12 but just retired those and tried on the New Balance 1080v9 at a New Balance store and fell in love.
To me, it felt like a definite upgrade from the Vomero 12 that I had been running in. The Vomero 12 was fine to me for running on dirt/gravel roads because I kind of viewed it as a boat that protected my foot from those rocks.
Although, I never found myself reaching for those shoes when I was going to run on the roads or cement bike paths because it just felt clunky on smoother surfaces but not with the New Balance 1080v9.
I bought them because I liked the look and feel of them in the store and thought they could be a good replacement. But once I ran in them, I absolutely loved them.
It protects my foot from those rocks when I run on hardpack dirt/gravel roads but continues to have a smooth ride on roads and smoother surfaces. For me, this is a lighter shoe than what I was used to for those kinds of runs (down to 10.4 oz from 11.8 oz).
It’s probably a little bit of everything, the slightly smaller drop at 8mm instead of 10mm or the flex groove pattern on the outsole of this shoe that I find myself reaching for these shoes for anything except for maybe faster efforts (4 min per km).
I have an average width foot with a very high arch & roof of my foot. Sometimes getting a shoe to lock down well so that my heel doesn’t slip, without ratcheting down the laces too hard and causing me to have pain on the top of my foot, can be a challenge.
So far, I haven’t had any issue with the 1080v9 upper. It feels very comfortable and secure on my foot and hasn’t given me any problems. I have seen complaints of a shallow heel causing some slipping, but I haven’t experienced this.
This is a highly cushioned trainer, so the stack height is a little on the large side - 30mm in the heel, 22mm in the forefoot for an 8mm drop. It feels very comfortable on foot as soon as you try it on and walk around in it.
I tried on the 1080 v8 while I was in the store and I believe they did something with the Fresh Foam between last year and this year that makes quite a difference, as this version felt much more plush and softer.
The 1080v9 has an almost full length blown rubber outsole, with flex grooves in the mid to forefoot area that allows the shoe to be just flexible enough to have a smooth ride.
I think a big part of why this shoe works for me so well is that the outsole provides just enough protection without getting in the way of the smooth ride. The traction has been good on all the places I’ve been in this shoe, which includes wet roads/paths and hardpack dirt/gravel roads.
I feel like I have discovered a hidden gem in this running shoe. It is on the pricier side, but it feels great, and it is built to handle a lot of miles, so I feel like I will get my money’s worth out of it. It has even expanded my perception of what this category of a shoe can be used for.
It’s heavily cushioned and offers a lot of protection, but with a smoother ride than any other shoe, I’ve tried in its category so far. If you’re a neutral runner interested in trying a highly cushioned running shoe, I would definitely encourage you to give this shoe a try.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
However, how it’s designed feels light, really responsive and quite whippy on the foot. I tip my hat to New Balance and their engineering department and what they’ve done with this v9.
I did notice that the shoe is a lot lighter and I do really appreciate that they stayed true to their thicker outer.
While vastly improved all around the outsole's full coverage contributes to weight and could be slimmed down in non high wear areas.
Updates to New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9
- 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.
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9 size and fit
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 bootie 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.
The meaning of the 1080 number in the New Balance 1080 v9
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.
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9 review
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.