New Balance 1080 v8 Shoe Review

New Balance 1080 v8 Shoe Review

Brand

New Balance

Model

Fresh Foam 1080 v8

What Activity Were These Shoes Used For?

3-4 days of activity per week

Goals

I am training to run a 10k in the spring, and my first half marathon in the fall.

Comparable To…

n/a

True To Size?

Yes

The New Balance 1080 v8

It’s been a few years since I’ve run in a New Balance shoe. Overall, I really enjoyed running in the 1080 v8. I wore the shoes on runs ranging from 5-10km. Most of these runs were on the road, but I also tested the shoes on easy trails.

Fresh Foam 1080 v8 from New Balance is a premium cushioned shoe, which New Balance designed to provide the runner with a plush ride over many kilometres. This year’s version, the v8, incorporates a few changes that are designed to improve the fit and feel of the shoe compared to the v7

On my first try, I found the shoes very comfortable due to the engineered mesh upper and padded tongue and collar. This feeling continued throughout each run I went on.

READ MORE: New Balance 1080 v7 Shoe Review

Outsole

Starting with the outsole, the 1080v8 continues to use blown rubber through the majority of the tread with a harder crash pad at the heel. This makes the outsole very durable and it performs well on road, treadmill, track, and light trails. One change to the outsole is the flex grooves that are built into the forefoot. These have been newly reconfigured and are designed to promote an efficient push-off.

Midsole

As for the midsole, the 1080v8 uses Fresh Foam which is designed to be cushioned yet responsive. This year’s version of the shoe contains small dimples in the midsole at the outside of the heel, as well as concave shapes along the outside of the midfoot. If you compare this to the medial side of the shoe, you will see that the shapes are convex. This design is intended to allow the Fresh Foam to compress a little more when landing, and then provide a firmer base for when you are trying to push-off the ground.

There is a midfoot saddle that helps to lock in the midfoot, but the shoe may be a better fit for those runners with a standard-to-wide width foot. I found that the shoe felt slightly firmer than other models in the premium cushion category, however, this can be beneficial for some runners as the firmness provides great stability. Because of the stiff midsole and strong heel counter, the shoe also works well with a supportive insole or orthotic if additional support is required. The heel-to-toe drop of the shoe is 8mm. 

Upper

The upper of the 1080v8 does not incorporate any major changes when comparing to the previous version. A breathable, engineered mesh makes the upper very comfortable and I did not notice any ‘hotspots’ during my runs.

 However, I did find that I needed to tighten the laces more than I typically would. For me, the toebox and midfoot had quite a bit of room, so for those runners that have a wide foot, this shoe could be an excellent option.

What Activities is this Shoe Right For?

While the shoe is designed for mid-to-long distance running, it also functions well as a comfortable walking shoe. 1080 can also be a helpful tool for people dealing with certain foot conditions. The wide toebox with its soft mesh works well to accommodate bunions and hammertoes.

The stiff forefoot rocker can also be helpful for runners or walkers dealing with conditions such as metatarsalgia, plantar fasciitis, or osteoarthritis of the foot or ankle. This felt great, especially while I was trying out faster paces. I felt it helped provide a smooth transition to toe-off and made the shoe feel quite fast, even though it is fairly heavy at 11 ounces for a men’s size 9.

With that being said, the 1080 is by no means a ‘speed’ shoe. It is designed to be a highly cushioned, high mileage trainer that would pair well with a shoe like the New Balance Vazee Pace 2, Saucony Kinvara, or Brooks Neuro 2 for interval sessions or tempo runs.

Star Rating

★★★★★

Why?

While the shoe may not feel as soft and cushy as a Hoka Bondi or Brooks Glycerin, it did a great job of absorbing impact on both road and trail. The 1080 has a stiff forefoot rocker which felt great, especially if you’re trying out faster paces.

Overall, I was very impressed with how the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8 felt and performed and I would recommend it to those runners looking for a durable, highly cushioned long-distance training shoe.

Travis Vugteveen
Kintec Clinician

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