New Balance 1080v9 Intro
The high cushioned offerings on the market are vast, and each brand has their flagship. You’ll find that most of these shoes offer differing technologies and vastly different feels.
The most popular ones all compete for time on peoples feet, whether that be Brooks Glycerin, ASICS Nimbus, Nike Vomero, Saucony Triumph ISO, and not to be forgotten in the list is the New Balance 1080v9.
These shoes offer a high level of cushion while retaining a responsiveness and quick turnover of a more speed oriented shoe.
New Balance 1080v9 First Impressions
When these shoes showed up, I found them to be quite attractive. They have a very low profile and a subtle but attractive design.
I was sent the black and white colorway, of which usually I am not the biggest fan, but this was a nice one that I felt looked good in all the settings in which I wore them.
They handled the all-day teaching test incredibly well, soft but not so soft that they felt squishy. But where they shined was on the run.
My first run was a quick 5-miler with some tempo work in the middle. They were up to the challenge with no break-in time from the start. Very impressive.
New Balance 1080v9 Sole Unit
In the past couple of models of the 1080s, runners had been complaining about the firmness of the cushion and the fit of the upper.
The company listened to the complaints and completely redesigned the sole unit to increase the cushion underfoot and make for a smoother ride.
In the v9, New Balance added a higher level of their Fresh Foam midsole material than ever while increasing the Laser Engravings on the outside of the midsole to help soften the landing.
These changes have made for a much softer landing while still retaining much of the responsiveness that New Balance is known for.
On the bottom of the midsole, they have completely redesigned the outsole. Using blown rubber for high durability and low weight while offering a high amount of traction.
This model they redesigned the outsole pattern using the hex-design from their trail shoes, but not made by Vibram. This design sheds water/snow quite well and offers a lot of gripping surface.
It also allows for a more flexible outsole, that while coupled with Flex Grooves, the shoe rolls quite well from heel to toe.
The design of the sole unit includes New Balance’s usual aggressive upturn on the toe. This upturn design helps you up your pace and transition into your toe-off.
This design truly shines when you up the pace and run speedwork and tempos. I truly enjoy this aspect of the sole unit.
New Balance 1080v9 Upper Unit
The new 1080 upper is breathable and very comfortable. It fit true-to-size on my size 13. They say the PL-8 last is a running-specific last with a standard heel width, toe-box height, and forefoot width.
However, I feel as though the heel was wider than needed and if I didn’t tie my shoes correctly my run could feel washy. The width of stays medium through the midfoot and does a good job of splaying in the toe-box.
The toe-box is one of the shining pieces of the upper, as it is wide, roomy and incredibly comfortable.
Not only is it nice and wide, it offers a great height that leaves room for your toes to flex and move but not so much so as to not get structure as well.
Using engineered mesh and “Fantom Fit” the upper has a very comfortable feeling. The Fantom Fit combines two materials in a no-sew process that offers support through the midfoot and the mesh is flexible and breathable.
This all finishes up with a bootie collar which is soft, comfortable and flexible.
New Balance 1080v9 Conclusion
Overall, this shoe is a very good one. It is not the best in which I’ve run, however they a very solid offering that I would happily keep in my rotation. They really shine when I took them on longer runs at higher paces.
Although designed for the long run, I think that they shine the most when you up the pace. And that combination of distance and speed is the sweet spot for these shoes.
By far the best run I had was a long-run race simulation; I did a 9-mile run starting slowly and working to half-marathon pace and holding it there. They felt fresh and fast at the end just like at the beginning.
At this point in time, I think I’ll be using these as my long-distance race shoes for this combo.
If you’re looking for a distance shoe that can up the pace, this may be the one for you.
We purchased a pair of New Balance 1080v9 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.