This is a shoe for just about any runner. If you’re looking for a daily trainer that can handle just about any kind of run than look no further.
The only person that might not like this shoe is someone who is looking for a some stability. This is a shoe that has very little stability to it so it can make you feel a little unsettled on uneven terrain or tight turns.
The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 is a daily trainer with a high amount of cushioning from New Balance’s Fresh Foam technology.
The Fresh Foam X technology is made for high amounts of cushion while also giving it a bouncy feel to help provide a smooth transition.
All of these are the brand’s high cushion shoe that doubles as a daily trainer. At $165, it’s price is right in line with many of the options from the other brands.
When first taking this shoe out of the box, I couldn’t help but notice how light it felt even though there was a fairly thick midsole.
When I first put it on my feet, it really felt like I was walking on clouds. My first run in the shoe was a fartlek workout. I felt like I was bouncing during the faster parts of the run while gliding comfortably during my easier parts of the run.
The shoe handles high mileage with ease and is also a great recovery shoe. I used this shoe on my first few runs post-marathon and my legs were thankful for the soft ride.
The tongue and heel collar feel very soft and neither created any issues with hot spots or blisters for me. The tongue is gusseted (i.e. attached) and the heel collar is padded.
The laces were fine and never came undone when tied with a single knot. The whole upper is made of a soft knit mesh that is very breathable yet can handle some of the colder air. The shoe fit true to size for me with plenty of room in the toe box without making it too roomy.
The midsole is the feature element of this shoe with the Fresh Foam X technology. There is a thicker midsole than in v12. The heel drop in v12 was 8mm and this version it is now 6mm.
Because of the change in foam, this version is lighter than the previous iteration as well – a weight difference that feels notable. As noted earlier, you will feel the bounce on this shoe throughout your run while also feeling you’re riding on a cloud with the soft underfoot.
There is a rocker technology that New Balance has added to this shoe to help with the ride. The shoe has a stiffer forefoot which is supposed to help with a faster transition from heel to toe. It was noticeable when running as easy runs feel easier while some of those faster runs also seemed like a good ride.
The traction on the outsole is good even in slick conditions. Running in the rain a few times never seemed to raise any concerns on my part. The only parts of the sole that were uncomfortable was the stability of the shoe. I never felt comfortable taking tight turns quickly.
I also had difficulty during some of my single leg warmup moves. I typically have decent balance but felt like I was working much harder while wearing this shoe.
The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 is a great daily trainer that will remain a part of my rotation.
While I think it can be used for nearly any type of run, I will mostly use it for easy and recovery runs and some of my longer runs.
I will likely avoid using it for any tempo runs, speed workouts, or fast-finishing long runs.
I don’t think it’s the best shoe for it but I do think there are plenty of folks where this shoe can be everything for you.
I can even imagine enough folks using this for their first marathon to keep their feet happy.