I guess I am getting more daring and adventurous as I get older. First I branched out and tried Mizuno running shoes, now I can add New Balance to my list. I have honestly never even considered buying a pair of New Balance until a month or so ago. They never caught my eye, I never knew anyone that recommended them, and I always pictured the plain gray ones my dad has always worn. It just didn’t interest me. However, when I walked by the shoe wall at Sport Seasons, the whole new row of New Balance Fresh Foam caught my eye. The customer feedback had apparently been good, so I tried them on. I was really very pleasantly surprised. They were SO comfortable. They reminded me of my Brooks Glycerin which I have always considered the Cadillac of neutral cushion running shoes. I decided go big or go home, so I went for the New Balance 1080’s (which are their top of the line cushion shoe), and I chose the boldest color of course.
New Balance touts this shoe to be a long lasting cushion running shoe. It is definitely very cushioned and has a fairly wide (not overly wide though) toe box. I like that because it gives your toes room to sweat and spread without causing blisters. The feel is very much like that of a Saucony Triumph or a Brooks Glycerin. It’s great for a distance run because the comfort is there. Since I have mainly been running in my Mizuno Wave Creation, I kind of missed the easier lift off the firm cushion the Creation has. However, the cushion is a little more firm than most cushion running shoes in the Brooks or Saucony line. I would say it falls in the middle, which is a good thing. I would probably choose the Mizuno Wave Creation for a shorter race or speed work, when I needed less cushion. However nothing about this New Balance 1080 disappoints on a long run. The more I wear them, the more I like the Fresh Foam cushioning.
I will say that it is a bulky shoe. It’s on the heavier side for a running shoe. Some runners don’t mind that and they actually like the cushion and the protective feel that comes along with it. I like it at times, because the comfort is there. However, if you like a sleeker shoe, this may not be the one for you.
I do love the soft, plush, cushy tongue of the shoe. I don’t like when the tongue of a shoe is too firm and rubs into the top of my foot. I do also feel like the cushion has conformed somewhat to the shape of my foot in the midsole. While the forefront of the shoe is wide, it is fitted in the midsole which makes my foot feel supported.
Overall I think New Balance did a great job with this shoe. I would not hesitate to buy them again. It’s worth stopping in to try on!