Who should buy the Fresh Foam 980

The Fresh Foam 980 from New Balance is a road running shoe that uses the brand’s Fresh Foam midsole technology, known for its comfort and responsiveness. The Fresh Foam 980 is ideal if:

  • You are a neutral pronator looking for a running shoe ready for all-day wear.
  • You want a low-drop running shoe for long-distance training or marathons.

New Balance Fresh Foam 980 ff 980

Updates to the New Balance Fresh Foam 980

  • Enhanced midsole is made more bouncy and resilient with just the right amount of firmness
  • A form-molding upper that offers a glove-like fit that moves well with the foot
  • A new midsole geometry that provides support to make the ride smooth and stable

New Balance Fresh Foam 980 NB logo

A full-contact outsole for maximum traction

The outsole is full-contact with just enough rubber patterns for decent traction on light trails. Like most outsoles with an almost flat underfoot, it helps with the stability of the shoe as there is a consistent platform for the runner to use. New Balance uses blown rubber for enhanced traction. The concave and convex rubber pattern on the outsole coincides with the midsole design for the right blend of stability and flexibility.

New Balance Fresh Foam 980 outsole

The 980 is named after the midsole foam that New Balance is using for the first time—the Fresh Foam. It is made with the help of 3D printing, which is one of the reasons for its very light nature. Together with proprietary materials and other technologies, this one-piece foam has excellent durability and delivers plush cushioning with dynamic responsiveness. 

A unique midsole design for a natural feel

Sophisticated technology is not just limited to the new foam, but also includes the whole midsole. New Balance uses a convex design in the midsole near the midfoot for more support to the arch. This helps runners who love to pile on the miles or do ultra-long runs. The stability will help them with their form as the distance lengthens. Going to the forefoot, New Balance changes the design into concaves for better flexibility and a more natural feel.

New Balance Fresh Foam 980 fresh foam

The Fresh Foam 980’s glove-like fit

The main upper material is the Air Mesh, blanketing a large part of the shoe in breathable fabric. With a nice touch of flexibility, the mesh allows natural movement and a foot-wrapping fit. 

New Balance Fresh Foam 980 fresh foam upper

It has synthetic overlays for structural control and a seamless construction for irritation-free and superb interior comfort.

New Balance Fresh Foam 980 overlays

A traditional sock liner increases underfoot cushioning and fit. The tongue and heel collar are well-padded.

New Balance Fresh Foam 980 collar

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 252g / Women 210g
Drop: 4mm
Arch support: Neutral
Forefoot height: Men 24mm / Women 20mm
Heel height: Men 28mm / Women 24mm
Collection: New Balance Fresh Foam

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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.