We take the New Balance FreshFoam 1080v11 for a track trial

Posted on January 28 2021

We take the New Balance FreshFoam 1080v11 for a track trial


The New Balance 1080 has been one of our most enduring best sellers. The addition of Freshfoam has made this an even better everyday trainer. 

The Gone Runners had the opportunity of taking the latest version out for a spin at our regular Track Session which we hold every Tuesday morning (and evening when the tracks are open).

Watch the video below to see what the reaction was.

I had taken them out for a few runs before that including straight out of the box on my Sunday long run. Some would say, not the smartest move but shoes these days rarely need much breaking in so I figured it was worth the risk.

Fresh out of the box, the impression is of a well engineered shoe. New Balance really seem to be crafting very nice looking shoes these days. Sleek, nicely detailed and just very well put together. I liked the slim looking, sock fit around the ankle, so good in Hong Kong to avoid absorbing copious amounts of rain or bodily fluids. 

Slipping them on, they do seem to run long for size. As a usual US10.5 I could have probably gone down half a size without much problem. 

They have a lot of fresh foam in that mid-sole but despite that still feels stable and at 263g not particularly heavy for such a well cushioned shoe. 

My first run was a combination of relatively non-technical/technical trail and road, with some decent ascents and long descents which I figured would be a good test for the shoe. 

Throughout the run the shoes felt pretty comfortable, to the point where they did not interfere with my enjoyment of the run (unlike the out of control dog I encountered) and performed perfectly. No drama, nice a stable, suitably cushioned and coped with the non-technical trail well. I tested the rock protection and the depth of the freshfoam seemed to handle that without a problem.

I did have to mess around with the lacing initially because I felt the one piece and shaped heel cup was allowing for a bit of heel lift, strangely mostly on my right foot. Using a runners knot in the last lacing hole seemed to solve the problem. I noticed this particularly going uphill obviously as I spent more time on my toes.

The run includes a 3.5km downhill which means a lot of pounding and a bit more heel striking. No problem here. Nice and cushioned and more importantly, stable. I worry that a lot of the really soft cushioned shoes, when you get onto the heel, they become a bit unstable. I didn't feel that here. 

The last section of the run is a technical, uphill trail which should be a challenge for most road shoes. It did ok here, stable enough. Not sure I would trust the grip in anything other than dry conditions, but this isn't an environment the shoe was built for. 

At the end of the run I felt it had been a good shoe choice for these conditions on this combination terrain. 8.5/10 I would say, only the heel lift being the comment. This could have been to do with the shoe feeling slightly large but it wasn't a major problem after the lacing fix. I liked the stability which given the softness of the foam was a nice surprise.

So on to the track trial and chance for a few other Gone Runners to give their views. 

Seemed to go very well. Rating increased to 9/10 :)




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