New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 Review Analysis (2022)
Last update: June 2023
The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 is a very good running shoe with a durable, responsive and lightweight configuration for daily training.
Psst… there’s a new version available. Check out the NB 1080v12!
Let’s start with what hasn’t changed: the sole and its Fresh Foam X foam. The stack height is 30 mm under the heel and 22 mm under the forefoot (8 mm drop). The cushioning is still firm, although some testers note that the forefoot is slightly softer. Striking the right balance between firmness and softness is always a subtle balancing act, and NB continues on the middle path to reconcile the two as much as possible. If you liked the previous model’s cushioning, you will undoubtedly like the one of the v11! Also, some runners note that this configuration has the advantage of being slightly more responsive. This makes the 1080 v11 particularly suitable for daily training and long distances as well as faster tempo sessions. The only downside is that some runners didn’t find the shoe pleasant at slow paces because of the heel’s harshness. A versatile model overall then, except perhaps for recovery runs.
The rubber-covered outsole (soft under the forefoot, firmer under the heel) is sturdy and provides a good grip. Nothing else to say on this front, and that’s a good thing.
Things get complicated with the upper. The front part is flawless—the toe bumper even goes lower over the toes, which takes some pressure off and gives more space. Besides, the Hypoknit mesh is breathable despite its thickness, which makes the shoe comfortable even on warmer days. Unfortunately, the back part of the upper is not as convincing. It seems that New Balance slightly changed the design of its Ultra Heel and several testers experienced discomfort or even pain in the Achilles tendon as a result. It’s far from ideal, and it’s difficult to know in advance if you will have the same issues without trying the shoes. For this reason, it may be wise to stick to the v10 for now (it’s cheaper anyway!). Finally, one of the previous versions’ issues is still there: the midfoot fit is still a little tight, which may be uncomfortable if you have wide feet.
In summary, the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 is a very good, versatile, and sturdy running shoe, ideal for daily training. However, a seemingly minor change at the heel counter ruined comfort for some testers. Hopefully, NB will address this point in the next iteration and confirm the 1080’s edge in the cushioned trainer category.
- Good overall comfort
- Flexible and responsive platform
- Good shock absorption, especially under the heel
- Cushioning well balanced between softness and firmness
- Wide and stable platform
- The heel counter is not comfortable for some runners
- The midfoot fit is still tight
- The outsole of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 features firm rubber under the heel and softer blown rubber under the forefoot. The goal is to maximize shock absorption, flexibility and grip on roads.
- Also, flex grooves allow for a more flexible ride.
- The midsole uses Fresh Foam X, a new version of the signature foam by New Balance. It’s lighter with a snappier ride.
- Also, laser engravings make the midsole more suple to soften the platform.
- The removable sockliner is by Ortholite and enhances in-shoe feel.
- The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11’s upper is Hypoknit, a knit engineered to provide a snug yet pleasant foot support. NB collected data from many athletes through studies to craft this knit upper. It comes with stretch zones to allow the foot to move when it needs to.
- The Ultra Heel has a unique flared design and is supposed to be comfortable for the Achilles for less irritation while enhancing foot lockdown to prevent slippage.
|Heel stack height||30 mm|
|Forefoot stack height||22 mm|
|Weight (men)||271 g/9.6 oz|
|Softness (1-5)||2 – Firm|
|Bounce (1-5)||3 – Moderate|
|Outsole||Firm rubber, flex grooves|
|Midsole||Fresh Foam X, laser engravings, Ortholite|
|Upper||Hypoknit, Ultra Heel|
|Distance||Mid, long, 10k, half marathon, marathon|
Reference: NB’s official site
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Comparisons – New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 vs.:
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v10
The newer version comes with few changes, so there’s no reason to rush to the v11 if you already have the v10 or can find it for cheap (during sales, for example). Some runners have also complained about the new heel counter, which can potentially irritate the Achilles, so the 1080 v10 seems a more prudent choice.
New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon v3
The Beacon offers a thinner sole (26 mm under the heel) with a lower drop (6 mm compared to 8 mm for the 1080v11). Its cushioning is also relatively firm but more responsive, according to athletes who have tested both models. The Beacon has the advantage of being lighter, with nearly 50 g/1.8 oz less, but its outsole is less resilient and has less grip. So it’s all a matter of preference. We recommend the 1080 overall for its greater versatility and durability.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37
Athletes found the Pegasus 37’s cushioning even firmer than the 1080 v11 (despite the Air unit under the former’s forefoot). They noted that the Pegasus’ upper was even better, but overall they preferred the NB because of its versatility and more responsive cushioning.
New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v11
See the side-by-side comparison.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, athletes who tested this model confirmed that it fits true to size. Therefore, you can buy your regular size for running shoes. Nonetheless, if this is your first pair of New Balance shoes, it may be wise to give them a try in-store to be safe.
Yes, this model should be suitable for everyone. Indeed, it’s a neutral running shoe. As such, its goal is to suit all runners independently from their pronation type. It’s not equipped with stability features to guide the movement and reduce overpronation. At any rate, let’s note that no empirical data is proving that stability running shoe models are more effective than neutral shoes in preventing injury.
Yes, these shoes should be suitable even if you’re a heavyweight runner as their stack height is relatively high, with 30 mm under the heel. Such configuration is ideal for most runners. As a general rule (based on scientific studies), only minimalist shoes (so with a thin sole) can be an issue if you’re heavyweight.
This New Balance running shoe is very versatile and well suited for different distances and workouts. It has comfortable and relatively lightweight cushioning. According to the testers, the cushioning is responsive enough to be suitable for faster paces without being incredible. This makes the FF 1080 v11 a good option for half marathon/marathon training and perhaps racing.