NEW BALANCE 1080 V11 REVIEW
Brian Metzler | January 22, 2021
The New Balance 1080 v11 is a thickly cushioned, neutral trainer. It's one of the marquee shoes in the New Balance line and one of the best-selling models in recent years.
The 1080 is an everyday workhorse that can handle most paces and distances well. It has premium midsole cushioning, a premium engineered knit upper and it serves up a soft, smooth, stable ride.
The latest edition of the Fresh Foam 1080 has been given minor updates that improve the fit and make it one of the top-tier high-mileage trainers available for spring 2021.
The stretchy material of the upper has been loosened a bit to provide more comfortable and dynamic movement of the forefoot. All the while, the rear heel tab is more distinctly flared to reduce tension off the Achilles tendon.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The 1080v11 fits true to size with a medium volume interior from heel to toe. (Our review is based on a medium-width sample, but the men’s and women’s models are available in four different widths.)
The step-in feel is soft, cozy and plush. The shoe has a locked-down feel, thanks to the gusseted tongue and snug forefoot mesh. The ride is soft and sublime and a little bit resilient at slower speeds, but increasingly bouncy the faster you run.
The wide overall footprint of the 1080 v11 contributes an unexpected feeling of stability. This does limit the shoe’s agility if you try to run faster than tempo pace.
WHO IT'S BEST FOR
Runners who appreciate thickly cushioned neutral shoes for high-mileage training will embrace the Fresh Foam 1080v11.
New runners will love it for its secure fit and comfortable ride. Advanced runners will appreciate the 1080 v11 for its mildly energetic cushioning, plush step-in feel and hint of stability.
If you’re looking for a reliable, well-cushioned everyday trainer, the 1080 v11 is a good shoe to consider.
PROS: New Balance 1080 v11
Last year’s Fresh Foam 1080v10 was an amazing shoe. Fortunately, New Balance didn’t drastically change it too much with the minor updates to the 1080v11.
In fact, the well-liked midsole and outsole of the v11 have returned unchanged from the previous edition.
The resilient Fresh Foam X midsole foam that debuted in the previous edition of this shoe serves up a consistently soft, moderately bouncy and reliably stable foot strikes and toe-offs.
It seems to be slightly more responsive at faster speeds, but never excessively bouncy.
With a lightweight feeling and modestly energetic demeanor, the Fresh Foam 1080v11 is ideal for long weekend runs. It doesn’t give off the sensation of being race-day fast, but it’s proficient for consistent running slow to moderately quick paces.
The Hypoknit engineered mesh upper accommodates a wide range of foot shapes. It’s slightly more relaxed and less stringent than the upper of the 1080v10. (The laces also seem a little bit less stretchy than the laces on last year’s model.)
This Hypoknit gives a good amount of locked-down hold. It also gives the sensation of having more wiggle room in the forefoot. This allows your toes to flex and splay just before the toe-off phase.
A series of seven blown rubber outsole lug segments contribute to the premium ride sensation. This provides ample traction and allowing for compliant flexibility. This also helps keep the overall weight as low as possible.
If you liked the Fresh Foam 1080v10, you’re probably going to like the 1080v11. The minor updates have improved the fit but haven’t negatively impacted the ride.
The forefoot and heel will feel slightly different, but neither is something to get hung up about. This feeling tends to disappear as soon as you start running in it.
CONS: New Balance 1080 v11
The Fresh Foam 1080 has never been a speed burner and the v11 is no different.
It’s capable of faster long runs and tempo runs, but it’s not really built for the fast turnover you’ll want for long intervals, track workouts or short-distance racing.