written by 3RRC President and Owner, Brad Altevogt
I’ve been running in a pair of the NB Fresh Foam 1080’s for a few weeks. The 1080 is a neutral cushioned shoe, made for those who don’t need additional stability in their shoe. In the case of the 1080, when New Balance says cushioned, they mean CUSHIONED.
The Fresh Foam midsole is a cushioning material and technology that New Balance came out with a couple of years back, and overall it has been well received. The 1080 takes that cushioning to a new level. I’ve gone through several pairs of the NB 980’s with Fresh Foam cushioning. The 980’s are lightweight performance trainers, and have been a good shoe for me.
The only issue I ever had with the 980’s was that it seemed to take quite a few miles of running in them before the Fresh Foam cushioning seemed to feel right. That hasn’t been the case with the 1080’s. They felt great right out of the box.
The Fresh Foam midsole cushioning in the 1080’s provides a very smooth ride. While the cushioning is fairly soft – even plush – the outsole has flex grooves that work in concert with the midsole cushioning to provide very good flexibility through the gait cycle.
The upper in the 1080’s is made of a soft breathable mesh material and is constructed with the so-called bootie construction. In other words, the upper material is one piece such that the tongue of the shoe is sewn in as part of the upper and the mesh material wraps around the midfoot so that you get a snug but comfortable fit. The overall construction of the upper allows it to stretch and fit a wide variety of feet.
The substantial cushioning in the 1080’s should provide good durability, allowing you to put a lot of miles on these shoes. Despite all the cushioning, they are a relatively light shoe. My size 9.5’s weigh 10.7 ounces. While the cushioning in this shoe should make it a great shoe for long runs and everyday training, it’s not necessarily a shoe that’s built for speed. They’re not necessarily bad for speedwork days, it’s just not what they are built for.
Overall, I have been very favorably impressed with the 1080, and would recommend it for anyone who needs a high mileage neutral cushioned shoe. They have a great fit and feel.