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New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 (2024): Still Comfortable?

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v13 review
The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 is a running shoe with maximal cushioning that offers great comfort and versatility for training.

Our Verdict

9.2Overall Score

Outstanding running shoe with lots of cushioning and versatility for daily training.

Don’t have time to read the full review? Here’s what you need to know.

The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v13 is a running shoe renowned for its maximal soft cushioning and comfort for daily runs. This new iteration is no exception to tradition, being higher than its predecessor (38 mm), yet 0.9 oz / 25 g lighter.

Despite these changes, the Fresh Foam X remains generally not very responsive. Nevertheless, the ride is still very pleasant at moderate paces, with formidable shock absorption.

To this, we can add an airy but, above all, comfortable upper with a good lockdown, even if it could be a little closer to the foot.

The outsole is slightly different but gives the same result in terms of efficiency and durability.

In short, it is a shoe for those who prefer cushioning, comfort, and stability over performance.

Please read our full review of the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 for more information.

Foot lockdown and protection


  • More cushioning for optimum shock absorption
  • Very comfortable
  • Stable and pleasant ride
  • Versatile and durable daily trainer


  • Lack of responsiveness
  • Grip on wet surfaces could be better
  • Narrow feet may struggle to find the right fit


extremely comfortable shoe due to presence of soft fresh foam x midsole

Every brand has its iconic model, with signature max cushion and ultimate comfort runners crave. For New Balance, it’s the Fresh Foam 1080 line that sits atop this category. I have already run in several previous versions; does this one measure up?

That’s what we’re going to find out in this in-depth review based on test runs of over 180 miles / 300 km on all types of workouts and in competition.


new balance fresh foam with a wide base for stable landing

The midsole is still composed of Fresh Foam X. However, its new composition is less dense and lighter. This gives a new geometry and a higher stack to the shoe.

Dimensions are maximal, with 38 mm in the heel and 32 mm under the metatarsal. Hence, the shoe is less close to the ground and feels even softer.

The laser perforations in the v12’s foam are absent, but the ride is smooth and not much different. I would be hard-pressed to find a model with better shock absorption than the New Balance 1080 v13, which is optimal for any distance.

Despite the additional padding, the new 1080 v13 remains a light weight daily trainer

A word of caution: the heel-to-toe drop of these shoes has decreased to 6mm. Good or bad, reviews differ on this point. Personally, I find it interesting, but it may take some getting used to.

Energy return

runner wearing the latest version of new balance fresh foam x shoes

With a weight of 8.8 oz / 250g in 41.5, this new version is over 0.9 oz / 25g lighter. You can feel it: transitions are smoother. However, the foam’s lack of density gives a soft feel that’s certainly very pleasant but with a fairly low bounce.

There is little forward propulsion with a moderate rocker and, therefore, little rebound. This point needs to be put into perspective, as there has been so much progress in recent years that the expectations are higher than ever.

Nonetheless, the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 offers a lively ride that remains satisfactory and will suit runners who don’t make it their number 1 selection criterion.

padded and plush heel collar

Support and stability

The noticeably softer feel that could lead to imbalance is compensated by a wide platform that provides a secure, stable ride – an important parameter for a daily training companion.

This is a neutral shoe.

well-padded heel counter

Foot Lockdown

The shoe’s upper still uses the Hypoknit technology, but it’s been redesigned to be lighter and more comfortable. So, when you put the shoe on, you feel like you’re in slippers; it’s one of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned.

engineered mesh upper

Despite the increased padding, it remains breathable for good performance in summer and winter alike.

Moreover, the overlays help ensure a snug fit, even though the 1080 v13 is still quite roomy like its predecessor. My wide foot appreciated it, and I found the lock satisfactory, but it may not be the case for narrow feet.

Hypoknit 1080 v13

The gusseted tongue is wider, and the heel collar is more padded than it was in the prior versions. Also, the heel cup is structured and molded to provide good support in this area, keeping the heel firmly in place.


The New Balance 1080v13 has a sturdy rubber outsole with NDURANCE technology, similar to the last version, at least at first glance. But, if you look closely, the pattern of hexagonal shapes in the new 1080 v13 has changed in density and, most importantly, in distribution. This has been done to give greater protection to the impact zones most exposed to wear.

Moreover, the grooves on the rubber are arranged to ensure good flexibility. The result of this improvement is great traction and overall grip.

solid rubber outsole

A word of caution: some runners have noted slippage on wet roads. Otherwise, as a good training partner, the 1080 v13 will accompany the runner on non-technical trails without any worries.


Julien Guyod testing running shoes

It’s hard to pin the Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 down to one category, but the American brand has designed a versatile shoe to make it suitable for a wide audience.

Its consistent, comfortable, and stable cushioning makes it suitable for all types of long runs at a moderate pace, regardless of the level (beginner or experienced) or morphology.

Needless to say, comfort and stability make it a reliable partner for daily runs.

But the 1080 v13 will likely be less effective for faster paces or racing. Therefore, performance-driven runners will want to opt for lighter, more responsive models.

shoe feels comfortable with ample toe box space

Quality and Durability

The 1080’s reputation for quality is well-established. For this new model, in particular, the outsole is even more durable than that of the previous version, and the mesh is robust. So the lifespan is very good.

The price remains high but comparable to equivalent models from other brands.

unboxing the new balance fresh foam x 1080 v13

Carbon footprint and animal welfare

New Balance’s Green Leaf standard is an example of a more sustainable design. For textiles (e.g., upper, tongue), 50% or more of the materials come from recycled fibers or sustainable cotton.

Lastly, according to our information, 1080 is not vegan.


road running shoes

The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 brings a few changes to the previous version but retains its DNA — that of a shoe acclaimed for its cushioning and versatility.

It will be the ideal daily trainer for all types of runners, from beginners to experienced ones. It can effortlessly accompany runners for long distances like the marathon. However, more demanding runners with a PB in sight will go for dedicated performance shoes for racing.


Technical Specs

Pronation typeNeutral
Drop6 mm
Heel height38 mm
Forefoot height32 mm
Weight (men)250 g/8.8 oz
Weight (women)206 g/7.3 oz
FeaturesRecycled materials
Release year2023
PriceCheck prices




MidsoleFresh Foam X
UpperHypoknit Technical Breathable Mesh


SpeedSlow, Moderate
DistanceMid, 10K, Half marathon, Long, Marathon
WorkoutDaily running

Comparisons – New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 vs.:

1080v13 original box

New Balance 1080 v12

There have been a number of changes that mark an overall positive development:

  • Weight loss of 0.9 oz / 25 g.
  • Higher stack height with an enhanced rocker geometry, and improved midsole foam.
  • Different distribution of hexagonal shapes on the outsole.
  • Lighter, closer to the foot upper.
  • Heel-to-toe drop of 6 mm instead of 8 mm.

Despite this, the sensations remain more or less the same, and you can go for the v12 if you find it during promotion periods.

Julien Guyod

Julien Guyod

Julien Guyod, 40, is a math teacher and freelance writer. He took up running in 2015 and specializes in marathons, clocking in with a 2:38 personal best at the La Rochelle marathon in France. He's passionate about running shoes and loves to share his impressions of the models he's tested, always pushing the mileage further to discover more insights!

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