Gear Geek: New Balance Fresh Foam 1080

Previous models of this shoe provided runners with features that could only be described as a light weight, responsive to a "Premium" cushioned trainer. The low volume midsole felt firmer and provided a different experience than designed for high volume running. The specs of the shoe physically didn't stack up against other premium models in the industry when runners tried on other shoes in comparison. 

2016 brings a change. 

New Balance adapts the latest version 6 with their Fresh Foam midsole technology. New updates provide a completely different feel from the lineage, a welcomed addition to the performance running line.

The 1080 fills the void of a cushioned option under the feet. This shoe now sees premium features that deliver on the expectations of what this category should provide for the feet. With 30mm in the heel and 22mm in the forefoot, the volume approaches the new coined "Maximal" category. 

Simply put, the1080 updates provides instant gratification out of the box. All the features come together to sell the Fresh Foam concept when lacing up the shoe and taking your first steps.

Features of this shoe are easily comparable to technology that is already in their footwear selection in the Zante and Boracay. I would really encourage this shoe for recovery runs or mileage building to ease the pounding on the legs. 

The "Bootie" upper structure removes unnecessary seams but uses a much softer touch of material. The fit is very accommodating through the in-step and toe box. I had to tighten the lacing after warming up in the shoe. 

Runners with smaller lower volume feet might need to adapt the size to dial in the fit. Women's will have additional Narrow and Wide options to help, whilst the Men will only have wide options.

The midsole is really the discussion point of this update. The design delivers a single density midsole with a smooth transition. The heel through the mid foot offers a supportive solid touch with a lively and responsive forefoot. The balance feels to break at the right points under the foot not feeling too bulky or hindering mechanics.

The full coverage outsole materials are similar to the Boracay with an additional high abrasion pod on the heel.