New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 Review Analysis (2021)

Last update: January 2022

The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 is a very good running shoe with a durable, responsive and lightweight configuration for daily training.

The Consensus

9.1Overall score
Very good, versatile, and robust road running shoe for daily runs
The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 is a running shoe for daily training with generous cushioning. Considering the success of the v10, the American brand could have just decided not to take any risks and make only a few changes to this new version. For the most part, it did, except for one important detail that divides runners.

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.
Comfort
9
Durability
9.5
Value for money
9
Design
9
PROS
  • 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
CONS
  • The heel counter is not comfortable for some runners
  • The midfoot fit is still tight

Technologies

Outsole

  • 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.

Midsole

  • 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.

Upper

  • 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.

Facts

Technical Specs

TerrainRoad
Pronation typeNeutral
Drop8 mm
Heel stack height30 mm
Forefoot stack height22 mm
Weight (men)271 g/9.6 oz
Release year2021

Cushioning

Softness (1-5)2 – Firm
Bounce (1-5)3 – Moderate

Technologies

OutsoleFirm rubber, flex grooves
MidsoleFresh Foam X, laser engravings, Ortholite
UpperHypoknit, Ultra Heel

Use

SpeedModerate, fast
DistanceMid, long, 10k, half marathon, marathon
WorkoutDaily runs

Reference: NB’s official site

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)

Does the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 fit true to size?

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.

I have overpronation. Can I run in these shoes?

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.

I weigh 198 lbs/90 kg or more. Are these shoes adapted for me?

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.

Is the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 adapted to run a marathon?

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.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

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