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New Balance 1080 Review : From First Mile to Marathon How the 1080 Series Changes the Running Game

Introduction to the New Balance 1080 Review

The New Balance 1080 series has long stood at the pinnacle of running shoe technology, offering a blend of comfort, durability, and performance that appeals to a wide range of athletes. From casual joggers to dedicated marathon runners, the 1080 series has garnered a loyal following, thanks to its innovative design and superior cushioning. In this review, we delve deep into the latest model of the New Balance 1080, exploring every aspect from its design aesthetics to its performance on the track. Our aim is to provide runners with a comprehensive overview of this iconic shoe, helping them make an informed decision on whether it's the right fit for their athletic needs. Join us as we unravel the features, benefits, and potential limitations of the New Balance 1080, and discover why it continues to be a favorite among the running community.

New Balance 1080 Review Key Takeouts

  • Unmatched Comfort and Support: The New Balance 1080 series sets a high standard for comfort in running shoes, thanks to its Fresh Foam X midsole. This technology provides a plush yet responsive cushioning that caters to long-distance runners and those in search of superior underfoot comfort.

  • Innovative Design for Peak Performance: The integration of advanced technologies such as the 3D Heel Counter and engineered mesh upper ensures that the shoe not only fits securely but also offers the flexibility and breathability needed for optimal performance across a variety of activities and conditions.

  • Versatile Across Terrains: With a focus on versatility, the New Balance 1080's durable outsole design makes it suitable for both road running and light trail use. This adaptability ensures that runners can confidently tackle diverse terrains without compromising on traction or durability.

  • Worth the Investment: Despite its premium price point, the New Balance 1080 series represents a worthwhile investment for serious runners. The shoe's durability, combined with its comprehensive list of features, means it can endure high mileage while providing consistent comfort and performance.

  • Aesthetically Pleasing with Options for All: The 1080 series offers a range of colorways and design variations, ensuring that there's an option to suit every runner's style. Its sleek, modern design complements its performance features, making it a stylish choice for both running and casual wear.

  • Suitable for a Broad Audience: Whether you're a seasoned marathoner, a casual jogger, or someone who values comfort in everyday wear, the New Balance 1080 series offers benefits that extend beyond its intended athletic use, making it a versatile addition to any shoe collection.

  • Detailed Overview of New Balance 1080 Series



Target Audience

Runners of all skill levels from beginners to marathoners, individuals prioritizing comfort during runs or daily activities, and athletes looking for a versatile shoe capable of performing on varied terrains including road and light trails.

Primary Uses

Ideal for long-distance running including marathon preparation and endurance training, suitable for daily training routines offering durability and comfort for high-mileage sessions, and can be used as casual wear thanks to its stylish design and superior comfort.


Cushioning utilizes Fresh Foam X technology for a plush yet responsive underfoot feel. Weight is designed to strike a balance between cushioning and lightweight performance. The upper construction features an engineered mesh upper for flexibility, breathability, and a secure fit. The outsole is made with blown rubber for durability and excellent traction on various surfaces. Positioned in the premium segment, reflecting the investment in advanced features and technology.

  • Pros and Cons



Superior comfort and cushioning

Higher price point

Versatile performance across terrains

May be too cushioned for preference of some runners

Durable design for high mileage

Design may not appeal to all aesthetically

Breathable, lightweight upper

Heavier than some competitive racing shoes

Wide range of sizes and widths

History of the New Balance 1080 Series

The New Balance 1080 series represents the pinnacle of the company's commitment to combining cutting-edge technology with unparalleled comfort for runners. Since its inception, the series has undergone numerous iterations, each improving on the last, to meet the evolving needs of athletes around the world.

The Beginnings and Evolution

The journey of the 1080 series began as an answer to the demand for a high-cushioning, high-performance running shoe that could cater to long-distance runners and those seeking maximum comfort during their runs. What set the 1080 apart in its early days was its emphasis on incorporating advanced materials and technology to achieve a balance between cushioning and responsiveness.

Key Innovations

Over the years, New Balance introduced several key innovations within the 1080 series. Notably, the introduction of Fresh Foam technology marked a significant milestone. This proprietary foam offers a plush, yet stable ride, adapting to the runner's foot strike to provide tailored cushioning. Another significant advancement was the development of the Ultra Heel design, which enhanced the shoe's fit and comfort around the heel, reducing the risk of blisters and improving support.

Recent Models

The latest models of the 1080 series have continued to push the boundaries of what runners can expect from their footwear. The use of data-driven design has allowed for the outsole and midsole to be finely tuned for different running experiences, whether it's a gentle jog or an intense marathon. The incorporation of a 3D engineered mesh upper has not only reduced the shoe's weight but also improved its breathability and fit.

Each iteration of the 1080 series has built upon the successes of its predecessors, incorporating feedback from the running community to refine and enhance the running experience. The series' evolution reflects New Balance's commitment to innovation, comfort, and performance, making the 1080 a staple choice for runners seeking the best in footwear technology.

Design and Aesthetics

The latest model of the New Balance 1080 series continues to blend form with function, presenting an aesthetically pleasing design without compromising on the performance runners have come to expect. This section explores the visual and structural design elements that make the New Balance 1080 a standout in the running shoe market.

Visual Design

The New Balance 1080 showcases a sleek, modern design that appeals to a wide array of tastes. With an eye-catching silhouette, the shoe features a blend of smooth lines and dynamic curves, embodying a sense of motion even when stationary. The color palette is diverse, offering options ranging from bold and vibrant to subtle and understated, ensuring that there is a style to suit every runner's personal taste. The attention to detail in the design, including the iconic "N" logo placement and the strategic use of contrasting colors, emphasizes the shoe's quality and New Balance's commitment to craftsmanship.

Available Colorways and Design Variations

Each model release sees a variety of colorways, from classic combinations to limited edition prints that cater to different personalities and styles. The design variations often reflect current trends, while still maintaining the timeless appeal that the 1080 series is known for. Whether runners prefer a minimalist look or a statement piece for their workouts, the New Balance 1080 delivers with its wide range of design options.

Analysis of the Materials Used

The New Balance 1080 doesn't just excel in visual design; it's also built to last. The shoe utilizes premium materials, including a sophisticated mesh upper that offers both durability and breathability. This engineered mesh is designed to provide a comfortable, sock-like fit while maintaining the structure and support needed for long runs. The use of Fresh Foam in the midsole represents the pinnacle of New Balance's cushioning technology, providing a plush feel underfoot without sacrificing responsiveness or longevity.

Durability and Quality of the Build

New Balance has a reputation for constructing shoes that stand the test of time, and the 1080 series is no exception. The quality of the materials used, combined with meticulous assembly, ensures that the shoe can withstand the rigors of daily training. From the reinforced rubber outsole designed for excellent traction and durability to the carefully crafted upper that resists wear and tear, every aspect of the 1080 is built with longevity in mind.

The design and aesthetics of the New Balance 1080 series not only meet the functional demands of serious runners but also cater to those who value style and durability. Through its blend of high-quality materials, innovative technology, and appealing visuals, the 1080 continues to set the standard for what a running shoe can be.

Comfort and Fit

The New Balance 1080 series is renowned for its exceptional comfort and fit, a crucial aspect that has contributed significantly to its popularity among runners of all levels. This section explores how the latest 1080 model ensures an unparalleled wearing experience, focusing on its comfort during various activities and the improvements made over previous versions.

Experiencing Comfort Across Activities

At the heart of the New Balance 1080's design is the commitment to providing a comfortable ride, irrespective of the activity. Whether embarking on a long-distance run, a quick jog, or even using the shoe for everyday wear, the 1080 series offers consistent comfort. This is largely attributed to the advanced Fresh Foam midsole, which delivers precise cushioning by absorbing impact forces and reducing pressure on the foot. Additionally, the Ortholite sockliner adds an extra layer of cushioning, enhancing the overall comfort feel.

The engineered mesh upper plays a pivotal role in comfort, too, offering flexibility and breathability. It adapts to the shape of the foot, providing a snug, yet non-restrictive fit that supports natural movement. Vents strategically placed throughout the upper ensure airflow, keeping feet cool and dry even during intense workouts.

Comparing Fit with Previous Models and Competitors

When compared to its predecessors, the latest New Balance 1080 model showcases notable improvements in fit and comfort. Adjustments in the shoe's structure, such as a more refined heel counter and a wider toe box, have been made in response to feedback from the running community. These changes enhance stability and allow for natural toe splay, reducing the risk of blisters and discomfort during long runs.

The fit of the New Balance 1080 also stands out when compared to competitors. Its balance between snugness and space, particularly in the midfoot and forefoot, caters to a broader range of foot shapes without compromising on support or performance. This versatility makes the 1080 a go-to choice for runners who prioritize both comfort and a tailored fit.

Impact on Overall Foot Health

The New Balance 1080's design not only focuses on immediate comfort but also on promoting long-term foot health. The shoe's cushioning system works to evenly distribute pressure across the foot, minimizing stress on any single point. This, combined with a supportive arch and a flexible outsole that mirrors the foot's natural movement, encourages a healthier running gait and reduces the likelihood of injury.

In conclusion, the New Balance 1080 series sets a high benchmark for comfort and fit in the running shoe category. Its thoughtful design, combining innovative cushioning technologies with a focus on foot health, ensures that runners can enjoy a comfortable, supportive experience across a wide range of activities.

Performance and Technology

The New Balance 1080 series has consistently been at the forefront of incorporating cutting-edge technology to enhance athletic performance. The latest model continues this tradition, integrating several innovative features designed to improve efficiency, speed, and comfort for runners. This section delves into the technological advancements present in the New Balance 1080, assessing their impact on a runner's performance.

Breakdown of the Technology Used

  • Fresh Foam X: The cornerstone of the New Balance 1080's performance technology is its Fresh Foam X midsole. This latest iteration of New Balance's proprietary foam technology offers an optimal balance of plush comfort and firm support. Engineered through precise data to capture impact and provide an efficient energy return, Fresh Foam X enhances the runner's stride, reducing fatigue over long distances.

  • 3D Heel Counter: The shoe features a meticulously designed 3D heel counter, which cradles the heel for a secure fit, reducing internal movement. This design not only minimizes the risk of blisters but also ensures a more stable launch with each step, crucial for maintaining speed and form.

  • Engineered Mesh Upper: The use of an advanced engineered mesh for the upper provides a lightweight, breathable environment for the feet, adapting to different foot shapes for a custom fit. This flexibility allows for unrestricted movement, essential for optimizing running mechanics.

  • Blown Rubber Outsole: Durability and traction are addressed with a blown rubber outsole, featuring strategically placed grooves and patterns to grip various surfaces effectively. This adaptability makes the 1080 suitable for a wide range of conditions, from track to trail.

Impact on Performance

The integration of these technologies into the New Balance 1080 series offers tangible benefits to running performance. Runners report a noticeable improvement in comfort and reduced fatigue, attributing this to the superior cushioning and support provided by the Fresh Foam X midsole. The secure fit and enhanced stability offered by the 3D heel counter contribute to improved efficiency in each stride, allowing for faster recovery times and more consistent training sessions.

New Balance 1080 Series vs. Competitors Comparison Table

The following table compares the New Balance 1080 series to other leading running shoes in the market. It highlights key features such as cushioning, weight, durability, price, and unique selling points, providing a clear overview for potential buyers.


New Balance 1080 Series

Brooks Glycerin

Hoka One One Bondi


Fresh Foam X (High)


GEL Technology (High)

EVA Foam (Very High)










Moderate to High

Best For

Long Distance, Daily Training

Long Distance, Comfort

Long Runs, Comfort

Ultra-Distance, Maximum Cushion

Price Range





Unique Selling Point

Versatile Performance, Superior Comfort and Fit

Exceptional Softness, Smooth Transition

Balanced Support and Comfort, Durable Outsole

Maximum Cushioning, Unique Rocker Design

Upper Construction

Engineered Mesh

Engineered Mesh

Engineered Mesh

Breathable Mesh

Midsole Technology

Fresh Foam X


FlyteFoam, GEL Cushioning

Full-Length EVA

Outsole Durability

Blown Rubber

Durable Rubber

AHAR Rubber

Hi-Abrasion Rubber

Stability Features

Neutral with Enhanced Heel Support

Neutral with Plush Transition Zones

Neutral with Guidance Trusstic System

Neutral, Designed for Stability in Cushioning

Width Options

Multiple (Narrow to Extra Wide)

Multiple (Narrow to Wide)

Multiple (Standard to Wide)

Standard, Wide

This table serves as a comprehensive comparison, showcasing how each model stands out in its own right. While the New Balance 1080 series excels in providing a versatile performance with superior comfort and fit, each competitor brings its unique strengths to the table, such as Brooks Glycerin's exceptional softness, ASICS Gel-Nimbus's balanced support, and Hoka One One Bondi's maximum cushioning and unique design. Potential buyers should consider these aspects in relation to their specific needs and preferences when choosing their next pair of running shoes.

Pros and Cons

The New Balance 1080 series, while celebrated for its advanced technology and performance features, like any product, has its set of advantages and limitations. This balanced view helps potential buyers make an informed decision based on their specific needs and preferences. Here, we discuss the pros and cons of the latest New Balance 1080 model.


  • Superior Comfort and Cushioning: The Fresh Foam X midsole is a standout feature, providing a plush, comfortable ride without sacrificing responsiveness. This makes the shoe ideal for long-distance runs and high-mileage training.

  • Enhanced Stability and Fit: The engineered 3D Heel Counter ensures a secure, locked-in feel, reducing the risk of slippage and blisters. This stability is crucial for runners who prioritize a safe and supportive fit.

  • Versatile Performance: With a durable blown rubber outsole, the New Balance 1080 is adept at handling a variety of surfaces, from asphalt to light trails. This versatility makes it a go-to shoe for runners who encounter diverse terrain.

  • Breathable, Lightweight Design: The engineered mesh upper not only provides a snug, adaptive fit but also promotes excellent airflow, keeping feet cool and comfortable during runs. Despite its robust cushioning, the shoe remains relatively lightweight, allowing for nimble movement.


  • Price Point: The New Balance 1080 series is on the higher end of the price spectrum for running shoes. While its features justify the cost for many, budget-conscious runners may find it a significant investment.

  • Aesthetic Appeal: While the design has evolved to be more modern and aesthetically pleasing, some users may find the color schemes and overall look not to their taste, highlighting the subjective nature of design preferences.

  • Not Suited for Every Runner: The high level of cushioning, while beneficial for many, might not appeal to runners who prefer a more minimalistic, ground-feel experience during their runs.

  • Weight for Speed-Focused Runners: Although it's considered lightweight for a cushioning shoe, some speed-focused runners might find the 1080 slightly heavier than competition-focused footwear, potentially impacting performance in speed work and races.

In summary, the New Balance 1080 series excels in providing comfort, stability, and versatility, making it an excellent choice for distance runners and those seeking a premium running experience. However, its higher price point and specific design choices may not align with every runner's needs or preferences. As with any high-performance running shoe, weighing these pros and cons in relation to personal priorities and running goals is essential.

New Balance 1080 Review Frequently Asked Questions

The New Balance 1080 series, with its rich history and advanced technology, raises numerous questions among potential buyers and running enthusiasts. To address common queries and provide clarity, we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the latest model of the New Balance 1080.



What makes the New Balance 1080 series stand out from other running shoes?

The 1080 series is renowned for its Fresh Foam X midsole, offering a superior balance of plush comfort and responsive performance. Its engineered mesh upper and 3D Heel Counter also contribute to a secure, breathable, and comfortable fit, making it stand out in the realm of high-cushioning running shoes.

How does the latest model improve upon the previous version?

Each iteration of the 1080 series aims to enhance comfort, fit, and performance based on runner feedback. The latest model features advancements in midsole technology for improved cushioning, a refined mesh upper for better breathability and fit, and updates to the outsole design for increased traction and durability.

Is the New Balance 1080 suitable for marathon training?

Absolutely. The 1080's cushioning, support, and durability make it an excellent choice for marathon training, providing the comfort and stability runners need for long-distance preparation.

Can the 1080 series be used for daily wear, not just running?

Yes, the 1080 series' comfort and stylish design make it suitable for daily wear, beyond just running. Its cushioning and support can benefit anyone on their feet for extended periods.

What is the lifespan of the New Balance 1080?

The lifespan of the 1080 series varies based on usage, but it is designed to withstand high mileage. On average, runners can expect to get 400-500 miles out of a pair, with proper care.

How does the shoe perform in wet or slippery conditions?

The blown rubber outsole of the 1080 provides reliable traction on various surfaces, including wet and slippery conditions, making it a versatile choice for different weather scenarios.

Are there any special care instructions to extend the life of the shoe?

To extend the lifespan of the shoe, it's recommended to clean them gently with a mild detergent and air dry, avoid machine washing/drying, and rotate with another pair if running daily to allow the midsole to decompress.

What sizes and widths does the New Balance 1080 come in?

The New Balance 1080 is available in a wide range of sizes and offers multiple widths, including narrow, standard, wide, and extra-wide, catering to various foot shapes and preferences.

How does the New Balance 1080 handle different types of terrain?

While primarily designed for road running, the 1080's durable outsole and versatile design also make it suitable for light trails and uneven surfaces, providing a balanced performance across different terrains.

Is the shoe worth the investment for casual runners?

For casual runners seeking a high-quality, durable shoe that offers exceptional comfort and support, the New Balance 1080 can be a worthwhile investment, enhancing the running experience across a variety of distances and conditions.


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