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The New Balance 1080v13 update features more cushioning with a higher stack height than its predecessor all while dropping the overall weight of the shoe. The coziest step-in feel sucks you in and it does not disappoint once you start running.
Weight: 9.2 oz / 260 g (men), 7.3 oz / 207 g (women)
Stack Height: 38 mm in the heel, 32 mm in the forefoot
Midsole Drop: 6 mm
Cushion Level: High
Keith: The New Balance 1080v13 is like a chef inspired fusion dish, borrowing some of the best aspects of its competitors and putting them together to make something very tasty to the wearer's feet! There are softer shoes out there. There are bouncier shoes out there. There are more supportive shoes out there. Very few, however, do such a good job of combining all of these aspects together in the way that New Balance has blended them into this shoe. I will admit the first time I put them on I thought, "Hmm, a little waterbed-like." To my delight, though, the midsole sprang to life as soon as my feet started hitting the pavement, with a lot of comfort, I might add! No longer did my feet feel like they were sinking, but instead they were being propped up, supported, and lifted off the road throughout my run. I felt like I could run forever! That is until my run came to a screeching halt when I stepped on the lip of a sidewalk and rolled my ankle hard!! I don't blame the shoes for the twisted ankle. I would have rolled it in any shoe. This does, however, bring me to the one downside of the 1080v13, the heel. The heel can be quite unstable, so if you are prone to rolling your ankle, it's not going to help your cause. I have had plenty of subsequent runs with no issues, and if you are paying attention, like I wasn't, you should be just fine. My overall experience has made me a big fan of the 1080 again, like I was five or six years ago!
Jen: Before we dive into this review I would like to mention that most of my review will be comparing the new version New Balance 1080v13 vs it's predecessor the New Balance 1080v12.
With the full length Fresh FoamX compound, this shoe is built for long miles and/or long days on your feet. New Balance has stiffened the foam of the forefoot slightly which allows for a more responsive toe off as you go through your stride.
My first impression of the shoe was very positive and they were tested during a race expo which is on a hard surface for long hours. At that time, I was running back and forth for short periods but mostly walking and standing. Once I was able to get them out on the road for longer distances, each run felt smooth and responsive. I didn't have to think about the shoe which to me means the weight of the shoe is spot on and the transition through my gate was very natural. I have put about 120 running miles on my shoes plus an additional 20 miles of walking on hard surfaces. Every time I put the shoes on, they feel fresh and ready to go.
Keith: The 1080v13 fits slightly smaller than previous versions. I go between 10.5 and 11 and I am more comfortable in the 11. You won't necessarily have to size up unless you are borderline. The feel of the upper is soft and non-restrictive. It stretches well even though the toebox is a bit narrow. I had no issues with heel slip, and I like that the tongue is soft and protective, not super thin to pointlessly shave grams off of a max cushion shoe. I especially like the way the collar sits low and doesn't grind up against my boney ankles.
Jen: The toe box is more rounded and allows for natural splay of the toes. The size is more true compared to version 12 and it very well could be the change in the upper. For those that have worn the version 12, you recall that the upper fabric was stretchy and as a professional in the running industry I found that we would have to downsize with the version 12. In the current version, there is a slight stretch to the upper but more reinforced giving the consumer a true to size feel. The tongue and the heel cup is soft and both components give the shoe a premium feel. New Balance has really dialed in the heel fit and structure with this version compared to past 1080 versions.
Keith: The new midsole made of FreshFoamX is a winner. I mean they took a really good foam and made it softer and much springier. Lowering the drop of the shoe to 6 mm gives it a much more consistent cushion feel as well. The forefoot is one of the best I have felt. It's lighter than previous versions and takes the wearer for a luxuriously smooth ride. It's a huge win for the New Balance lineup and makes this shoe feel premium compared to its predecessors and many of its competitors. There is still that one little issue of needing to shore up that heel to give it a little more of a stable ride.
Jen: As mentioned above, the cushion has been updated with the addition of the full length Fresh FoamX compound. Having worn the previous version for runs, I knew what to compare the current version with. The base of the version 13 is slightly wider than the previous version which gives the user a stable feel. Even though the 1080 is a higher cushion shoe, I never felt unstable or wobbly which can be a common theme with some high cushioned shoes. I have also used the shoes for cross training purposes such as one legged squats and weight lifting. Personally, the cushion was a little too much for those types of activities but that is just my opinion. For those dear readers that are new to the 1080's and interested in trying it out, a few models that are comparable would be the Asics Nimbus 25, Nike Invincible 3, Brooks Glycerin 21 and Saucony Triumph 21.
Keith: The New Balance 1080v13 stacks up against all of the other traditional powerhouses of the high cushion category as follows: If you want a shoe that is even softer, go for the Asics Gel-Nimbus. If you want a shoe that is springier, go for the Saucony Triumph. If you want a shoe that is more stable, go for the Brooks Glycerin. If you don't want to compromise and want a shoe that feels pretty darn good in all of these categories, then you may have just found it in the 1080v13. This shoe feels good at mile 3, but it feels great at mile 10+. I would keep it mainly as a long run shoe but could be your go to daily trainer as well!
Jen: The 1080V13 is a great everyday trainer to log those longer miles in or it is also a great option for those not running in the shoe to wear as an everyday work shoe as well. For me personally, I would recommend the 1080v13 for the longer distances or recovery days. I did not feel as though the shoe was clunky or bulky which is a bonus for an everyday trainer. Anytime I can put a shoe on and I don't have to think about it then it will become a top pick in my daily rotation.
Keith: All in all, the 1080v13 is a victory for New Balance. The cushion got better, the looks got better, as did the fit! It is a vast improvement over the previous model. The only tweaks I would want to see is possibly a deeper heel cup for more stability and a little roomier toebox, but that's being nitpicky as I really do enjoy the shoe in its current form.
Jen: I definitely like the new update on the 1080 and I hope that New Balance stays consistent with this one. The heel fit/construction and upper change has been something that this shoe needed.
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Running has always been a part of my life. When I was younger it was mainly a way to stay in shape for soccer. Running track in the off-season was a way to train hard and stay competitive. I liked it, but it wasn't until my first marathon in my late 20's that I really fell in love with running. Since then I have completed 9 marathons, a 50-miler, and three 100-milers while also competing in countless 5k, 10k, and half-marathon races. I enjoy running just about anywhere except the treadmill. I prefer trails in the woods to the road and my favorite spot so far is the Corsair Trail System in the Huron National Forest near East Tawas, MI. I also frequent the many trails we have in Southeast Michigan. I currently work at Running Lab and have worked there for a total of just over 5 years, while also working as a personal trainer. My favorite thing about running is that it can be super competitive, yet the running community is so supportive of each other.
Running has been a huge part of Jen's life for 20+ years. She enjoy running trails the most as it allow her to be in nature, it challenges herself more with different terrains and allows her to be flexible with my distance whether long or short.
She has worked in the running specialty industry since 2014 and is fascinated by how much change there has been through the years. The constant science and innovation on footwear definitely keeps us all on our toes.
She does a wide range of distances and enjoys any day that she is able to get out and run. Jen loves being able to talk to people about running and their personal goals. She gets much excitement when she can help first time runners and offer experience and advice. Jen's favorite thing about running is how it makes her feel during and after. It has given her the opportunity to meet many people from all walks of life.