“Run Your Way” is the name of the New Balance campaign this season and I like that message. Who wouldn’t? The shoe that’s garnished the most recent attention is the New Balance Fresh Foam x 1080v13. Any shoe in its thirteenth iteration is astounding, given how quickly things change. But the 1080? Runners love it. “If we only made one shoe, this would be it,” says New Balance in their press release.
Well, in testing the newest 1080, it’s got that “something for everyone” appeal. It’s light and cushiony and responsive, and also affordable and stylish and cozy. It feels good long into a run and it’s durable, which has inordinate appeal in the wake of ADIDAS offering a new single-use racing shoe. If that seems absurd, a sneaker you only wear once, you’re not mistaken. More runners, most runners, need something like the neutral 1080 with its 6-millimetre drop and Rocker last: it feels comfortable out of the box and it’s fast enough for speed work. The shoe is an improvement over its previous iteration, feeling almost like an extension of my foot, somehow connected to my body, on really intense runs.
I wore the 1080 v13 for two months on all my workouts except my goal race and, after my goal race, putting them back on, they felt just as good. They kept their bounce, and that includes after several runs in the rain.
Some of the iterations of the v13 are the Fresh Foam X midsole, which their senior designer said used data to create the brand’s smoothest ever landings and take-offs. You can really feel that on the run, especially as you increasingly become tired. The elasticity in the shoe acts like a spring, and, for around $200, it’s probably the only thing you need through the winter. I didn’t sub out the 1080 v13 for other shoes.
Durable, light—262 grams—and attractive (it may be true that I wore them not only for two months on my runs but also on my weekend nights out), the Fresh Foam X 1080v13 feels like a good new arrival for a brand that’s been running since 1906.
Lots of you will have just finished your goal race and be looking to selectively, gingerly, dip your toe back into a shoe again and go train. I’m still wearing my new 1080s. if you’re a fan of the model, or come to rely on the underfoot cushioning for light, cloud-like support, the newest iteration of a classic shows New Balance still owning the finish line.