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New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 review

7 expert score
0 user's score
As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples. We purchased this pair at Running Warehouse with our own money.
Review written on 28th February by Larry Lam Larry runs since high school any distance up to 50k.
13 other reviews

New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 Verdict

The New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 is a neutral daily trainer that has many professional runners using it as their favorite shoe. It’s versatile enough to work as an easy day shoe up to a tempo-like pace. I was a little disappointed by the shoe as it doesn’t have much cushion, doesn’t give much energy return, and is priced a bit high for what you get. I can see how it can work for many different types of runners as a daily trainer but it falls short at its price ($140 USD) in terms of value for the money.

The pros

  • responsive
  • durable
  • stable
  • wide widths available

The cons

  • nothing stands out

Where to buy

Best offers today in United States, all prices in USD

Rating breakdown

Comfort
9.0
Build quality
10
Upper
9.0
Sole unit
8.0
Landing
9.0
Transition
9.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
9.0
Durability
10
Value / Price
7.0

Facts / Specs

Model
Fresh Foam X 880 v14
Previous model
Weight
9.2 oz (261 g)
MSRP
$140.00

Heel
33 mm.
Toe
25 mm.
Heel drop
8 mm.
Carbon plate
No plate

Size/Fit

Sizing
True to size
Heel fit
Normal
Midfoot fit
Normal
Toebox fit
Tight

Cushioning & ride

Type of cushioning
Responsive
Amount of cushioning
Medium cushioning
Stability
Very stable
Flexibility
Rigid

Usage

Racing
Speedwork
Daily training  
Long distance racing
Ultra distance racing

Who should buy the New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 ?

This is a shoe for just about any runner looking for a shoe that can handle nearly any daily run. Runners looking for a shoe that is stable, relatively lightweight, and durable will enjoy this shoe.

Who should not buy the New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 ?

If you’re looking for a shoe with energy return, soft cushioning, or something for speedy runs, then you will want to look elsewhere. People with a slightly wider toe box will want to opt for a wide option in this shoe.

New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 Introduction

Picture of New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14

The New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 is a neutral daily trainer built with cushioning from New Balance’s Fresh Foam X technology.

What’s curious about the Fresh Foam X technology is that not all of the foam in their different shoes seems to be similar.

Having tested the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13, the midsole experience was very different as that shoe was softer where this shoe is much more stable but also more responsive.

This shoe falls in a competitive lineup with the Asics Gel-Nimbus 26 and the Saucony Ride 17. This shoe is built well from a durability perspective but the energy return from both the Gel-Nimbus and Ride are going to be better.

The shoe comes in at 9.5 oz for men’s size 9, which is a good weight for the purpose of the shoe. At $140, the shoe is priced below many of its competitors.

In terms of updates from last year, there are a few. First, the toe-to-heel drop has gone lower from 10mm in last year’s version to 8mm in this year’s version. The overall stack heigh is relatively the same, just a lower heel drop.

The shoe is slightly lighter – 0.5 oz – than last year’s as the foam is now updated with the Fresh Foam X cushioning.

The upper on the shoe has changed slightly as well, which makes the shoe feel a little more form fitting than last year’s model.

New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 First Impressions

Picture of New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14

When first taking this shoe out of the box, I noticed that it was relatively lightweight.

The construction of the upper looked smooth and the rubber on the bottom looked like it was built for many miles. My first run in the shoe was my first easy run after taking a week off.

The shoe was relatively smooth and stable. I didn’t feel much energy return but it responded well as I played around with my paces. The shoe never felt like it was helping me but it also did not get in the way either.

My later runs in the shoe included strides, hill repeats, and tempo efforts. The shoe handled all of these with ease. I definitely understand why some people love this shoe as it can handle a variety of runs and just doesn’t get in the way.

As I said earlier, there’s not much energy return so it doesn’t feel like you’re getting much help either. For one effort, I wanted to push the pace a bit but seemed to struggle doing it with this shoe.

It’s not light or bouncy enough for the experienced runner to push to those higher, threshold paces. For the more novice runner, it’s a great all-around shoe.

New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 Upper

Picture of New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14


The construction of the upper on this shoe is very good. It’s a fine mesh with sufficient padding all around.

The design is different this year as the upper is now one piece. I had no issues with the lacing system and the shoelaces stayed tied even on a single knot.

The tongue was redesigned this year and seems to stay in place better than last year’s version. The shoe fits true to size. The toe box was slightly tight but not enough for me to want to get a wide width.

New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 Sole Unit

Picture of New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14

The midsole features the Fresh Foam X technology. It is not a thicker midsole than in v13 but the heel drop has changed from 10mm to 8mm. Because of the change in foam, this version is lighter than the previous iteration as well – albeit not a huge difference.

As I had mentioned earlier, this foam is not the softest nor does it give much energy return. It’s not nearly as soft as the 1080 v13 even though the technology is similar.

The lower heel drop does help give a smooth, comfortable ride for those easy miles. It’s also decently more responsive and stable – handling different paces within the same run very well.

The traction on the outsole is good. I never felt slippage in rainy conditions and it gripped as well as a road shoe would on grassy or gravel surfaces. The outsole is made of Ndurance rubber, which is NB’s proprietary rubber that claims to enhance durability. It is the same material as in the previous version but the layout is a bit different this time, hoping to increase traction in high wear areas while also using a bit less rubber overall. This is likely the contributing factor to the shoe’s weight loss in this new version.

In comparison to the Gel-Nimbus 26, this shoe is feels firm and doesn’t have the same energy return as the Nimbus. While I thought the Nimbus was firm, this shoe is firmer.

That being said, this shoe is lighter and has a lower stack height. This shoe feels more responsive and can handle some of those faster paces better than the Nimbus.

The outsole grips are relatively similar to me.

New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 Conclusions

Picture of New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14

The New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 is a great daily trainer that plays a part for just about any runner.

For the experienced runner, it’s a great easy day shoe where you might end up incorporating some strides or pickups. For the novice runner, it’s a great everyday shoe with great versatility.

This shoe will stay in my rotation as an easy day shoe or some of those group runs where the pace picks up just a bit past easy.

My biggest issue remains the price point. For just a little bit more, you can get other shoes with better energy return, softer cushioning, or lighter weight.

There isn’t enough in this shoe for it to stand out from others and to justify saving a few bucks. I do think it does the job as a workhorse shoe.

How does the Fresh Foam X 880 v14 compare?

Asics Gel Nimbus 26
New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14
Saucony Ride 17
Expert score
10
7
9
User score
Retail price
US$159.95
US$139.95
US$140
Weight
10.7 oz
9.2 oz
10.1 oz
Heel Drop
8 mm
8 mm
8 mm
Recommended for
Daily training
Daily training
Daily training
Cushioning type
responsive/balanced
responsive
responsive/balanced
Cushioning amount
Highly cushioned
Medium cushioning
Medium cushioning
Flexibility
medium
rigid
flexible
Stability
some stability
very stable
very stable
Sizing
true to size
true to size
true to size

Why you can trust us

As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of New Balance at Running Warehouse  with our own money.

This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about our policy.
Lowest price:

$139

New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 price comparison

Best offers today in United States, all prices in USD

Reviewed by Larry

This review was written by Larry Lam on 28th February.
Larry lives outside of Raleigh, NC with his wife, 3 kids, and his dog. He's been running since high school and loves pretty much any distance up to the 50k. Larry enjoys running for both fun and competition - in that order. Outside of running, Larry chauffeurs his kids around to their various exploits - soccer, swimming, track, dance, music, etc.

User feedback (1)

  • avatar-comment-1035846
    George H
    2 months ago

    Thanks for the 880v14 review. I’ll hopefully grab a pair or these at some point in the future. I hope they are as comfortable as the v9. I have a v12 and they are terribly stiff. Hardly any cushion. I have 1080’s as well.

Lowest price:
$139

Where to buy

Best offers today in United States, all prices in USD

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