Verdict from 8 experts and 6 user reviews

7 reasons to buy

  • Ride: The majority of experts agree that the ride is snappy, lively, and feels just as "springy on mile 1 as it does on mile 20."
  • Comfort: Upon step-in, the shoe feels plush. So much so that it doesn't require any break-in period.
  • Toe box: Those with wide feet appreciate the "amply sized" toe room, saying that it allows for natural toe splay.
  • Upper stretch: The upper is pliable enough that it can adapt to any foot shape. Runners say that it's very easy to slip into the 1080 v11.
  • Breathability: The shoe did well in warm temperatures up to 80+ F, and no one experienced any hot spots.
  • Traction: It's perfect for any asphalt roads and hard-packed terrain.
  • Fit: It's snug, but it's "not overly compressive," neither tight nor loose in feel. Athletes say it's "well-tuned." 

4 reasons not to buy

  • Poor heel hold: There have been reports of heel slip due to the light ankle padding. This design has also caused distinct heel pressure, rubbing, and pain.
  • Tight midfoot: A lot of runners dislike the stiff "N" overlay across the midfoot. It causes some tension on the midfoot, leading to pain and restriction. 
  • Lockdown issues: The upper does not "securely hold the foot in place," making the shoe feel sloppy and unstable.
  • Not for winter roads: When faced with snow-covered and slick surfaces, the shoe slips.

Bottom line

Following the success of the Fresh Foam v10 from New Balance, whether the v11 is an improvement or a stepback remains a debate among runners. One thing they can agree on is that it's a solid choice as an addition to your daily running shoe rotation. 

It shines best when you pick up the pace. And although it's cushioned, it's not in any way a couch to the foot.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

Video reviews

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11: Why change what works 

The 10th version of the Fresh Foam 1080 collection has been highly regarded by runners for its comfort and locked-in fit, earning its title as one of the best daily trainers of 2019. With the newest Fresh Foam 1080 v11 release, the model only features minute upper changes, with experts saying that this version can be very much "written off as a new release of colorway," as it maintains the same Fresh Foam X midsole and outsole traction pattern.  

So what exactly are these updated upper features? 

  • new Hypoknit upper for a snugger fit
  • updated Ultra Heel to eliminate Achilles rubbing
  • enlarged NB logo for enhanced midfoot security

Who and what is it for? 

Experts find the shoe most fitting for high-mileage, fast runs with its lively cushion and rockered geometry. However, the shoe is not really suitable for recovery nor any slow-paced run as the midsole "easily deforms," making the ride awkward.  

New Balance 1080 v11 vs. v10: Is the new better? 

Here are some of the thoughts from various reviewers on the changes made to the Fresh Foam 1080 v11 vs. the 1080 v10:

What got better:

  • Roomier toe box: The shoe has more space for natural toe splay, eliminating the feeling of crampedness.
  • Lighter weight: Attributing the weight reduction to the new Ultra Heel, reviewers laud the change (from 10.1 oz to 10.04 oz in US M10.5), especially for its amount of cushion.
  • Better wrap: According to several testers, the shoe's upper keeps the foot in place without compromising pliability. 

What got worse: 

  • Worse heel lockdown: Runners who tried the 1080 v10 have stated that the shoe's "weakest part" is the heel, and this time around, "it got weaker." It's thin, causing abrasion, and virtually has no structure for a locked-in fit. 
  • Constricting midfoot fit: The larger midfoot logo helps in the shoe's fit, but in this case, several have found it more motion-limiting than helpful. 

Overall, the Fresh Foam 1080 v10 and v11 are very much alike that it doesn't matter if you go for either one of them, depending on the price and your own personal preference. 

How Fresh Foam 1080 v11 compares

This shoe: 89
All shoes average: 82
57 93
This shoe: £140
All shoes average: £110
£40 £280
This shoe: 285g
All shoes average: 270g
100g 437g
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