New Balance 1080v5 General Info
The New Balance 1080v5 is the 5th iteration of the 1080 series. I haven’t worn New Balance of any kind in several years, and even then, they were trail shoes, not road.
I am a big fan of a well cushioned shoe though, as I’m a high mileage, forefoot striking, neutral runner. I have most recently worn Saucony’s Triumph ISO road shoes, and was eager to compare.
I loved the looks of the 1080v5 right away, with its striking orange and purple color scheme and cool looking tread pattern. They also felt quite light in-hand.
New Balance 1080v5 Sole Info
I found the sole unit of the 1080v5 to be reasonably well cushioned. Compared to the Saucony Triumph ISO and the Mizuno Wave Enigma 4, I felt the degree of cushion was lacking in a shoe touted to be a line’s most cushioned model.
However, switching to the mindset of a person not looking for a very high degree of cushioning, this shoe was very acceptable.
It did have a good amount of cushion, while still providing a very good feel of the road. I quite enjoyed doing daily runs in them, but not my longer runs.
The traction was quite good, gripping well even on wet pavement. And the tread pattern left a cool looking footprint, which of course isn’t important, but fun.
One small quibble though, I several times found myself getting a small pebble stuck in the tread.
The 1080v5 has an 8mm drop, and an asymmetric heel counter to promote a slight amount of support at the heel, along with New Balance’s T-beam shank for rigidity through the midfoot.
I enjoyed both of these nods to support, as they weren’t too much for a neutral foot strike.
New Balance 1080v5 Upper Info
I found the fit to be, while not exceptional, well above average. They are slightly too narrow through the forefoot, leading to blisters on my small toes on longer runs, but no problems on runs shorter than 10-12 miles.
The heel fit quite nicely, with no slippage while going uphill or otherwise. It was secure in the heel and across the arch of my foot, feeling comfortably snug but not tight.
I wore them for quite a few miles through rain and mud, and they held up quite well.
The aesthetic design of the upper also helped increase my enjoyment of this shoe. While not the most important factor, as someone who lived through the all-white running shoes of the past, if a shoe can look good, it should look good.
New Balance 1080v5 Conclusions
In reality, I quite liked the 1080v5. It worked well for me on short to medium runs, giving sufficient cushion and excellent feel for the ground, with only a minor amount of blistering, and even then only on long runs.
And it was well designed aesthetically, with striking colors. My problem isn’t with the shoe itself. My problem is with its classification as a “high cushioned” shoe.
It’s degree of cushioning pales compared to the high cushioned shoes from Mizuno, Saucony, and Asics, and the propensity for the treads to collect pebbles makes me unlikely to wear them on non-technical trails, as I’ll often do in the drier months.
If you’re a person who does well with a more lightly cushioned shoe, I’d have no problem recommending this. But if you’re looking for high cushioning, this may not be the shoe for you, at least not on longer runs.
I can honestly say, the only reason I didn’t rank the 1080v5 higher is due to the fact that I anticipated softer cushioning.
We thank the nice people at New Balance for sending us a pair of 1080v5 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.