New Balance 1080V4 Review

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New Balance, no stranger to making solid training shoes has recently come out with their update to the New Balance 1080, making this the 4 iteration of this running shoe.  The New Balance 1080V4 is a cushioned neutral running shoe that is great for runners looking to log a lot of miles whether you’re training for  marathon or training for life(my term for runners that don’t necessarily race).

New Balance 1080V4 Performance

The New Balance 1080V4 is the update to the New Balance 1080V3 which was well accepted by thousands of runners.  After running hundreds of miles in the V3, I can attest that the designers of the V4 had big shoes to fill, no pun intended.  I’ve logged a few hundred miles in the New Balance 1080V4 running shoes and I have found these shoes to have a similar ride to the V3, which is a cushioned neutral running ride and feel.  The 1080V4 is great at logging both short and long miles.  The longest distance I’ve logged in these shoes is 16 miles and I’ve also logged a number of short to mid distance runs ranging between 3-10 miles.  On each run, I’ve found the New Balance 1080V4 to be very plush and durable.

1080V4 Shoe Upper

The upper of the New Balance 1080V4 has a mix of mesh and synthetic overlays which is standard for most running shoes these days. The airy mesh that is typically used only in the toe box of most running shoes is used throughout the 1080V4 which allows the shoe to breath a little better and helps cut down on weight.  In line with reducing weight and using less material, the synthetic overlays are laminated onto the upper of the shoes which eliminates the needs for stitching  and reduces weight.  The laminating process is typically a more expensive process, so you don’t often see laminating and welds in lower priced shoes.  As a reminder, purpose for synthetic overlays is to provide structure to a running shoes supper.

Around the heel of the New Balance 1080V4, there is a foam layer that does a nice job of securing the heel in the rear of the shoe without causing unnecessary rubbing on the ankle.   For the toebox, I found the fit to be pretty standard up front, not being too wide and sloppy and not being too tight and narrow for the average foot width.  For those with wide feet, the New Balance 1080V4 comes in the following widths: B,D, 2E, and 4E.

1080V4 Midsole and Outsole

For the runner that is looking for a plush ride, the New Balance 1080V4 is a great option.  This shoe is one of the more cushioned shoes from New Balance and if you’re a runner that likes a cushioned shoe, you will not be disappointed.  The midsole of the 1080V4 is made from ACTEVA LITE which is New Balances foam which they state is 24% lighter than the average foam.  I have not seen the report on this, but compared to other high end shoes from brands such as Brooks, Asics, Nike, it is probably par for the course.

In the forefoot and heel of the shoe, New balance added N2 Burst which is highly responsive which makes you feel nice and light on each stride.

Specs worth Noting

As noted on the NewBalance.com the heel to toe drop is the 1080V4 is 8mm with potential small variations due to the shoes being made in different factories.  I find an 8-10mm is a good drop difference for most runners.  This shoe weighs in at 10.2 oz which is in line with most high end cushioned running shoes.

Final Thoughts

For runners looking quality and dependable cushioned running shoe, the New Balance 1080V4 is an excellent option.  Comparable cushioned running shoes include the Brooks Glycerin and Asics Nimbus.

For more info on the 1080V4 and other New Balance footwear, visit www.newbalance.com.

Kevin_Fonger:
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