New Balance (Fresh Foam) 980 Review

The New Balance 980 is another “comfy” shoe that came out recently. Normally, I wouldn’t even try a shoe like this, but I saw a pretty fast runner wearing them at Fleet Feet and it piqued my curiousity (one point for Fleet Feet marketing).

These shoes are supposed to be wider in the toe box, but I tried on a 2E width anyways. It fit just right, so I’m guessing the shoes aren’t quite as wide as advertised. Much like the Kinvara 5’s, these were extremely comfortable right out of the box.

These felt fast. Again, similar to the Kinvara 5’s, they felt more like a racing shoe than a training shoe. They have an extremely soft upper and a midsole that is made out of Fresh Foam, New Balance’s new gimmick. You would probably only want to run with these on the roads, and even then, I question the durability of the shoe. With that being said, it would certainly be adequate for racing!

The shoe has a 25mm heel and a 21mm forefoot – a 4mm drop.

The size 10 (2E) weighed 9.8 ounces on my scale.

Pros:
– very comfortable
– lightweight
– soft upper
– would make a good racing shoe
– available in widths at Zappos by clicking here.

Cons:
– questionable durability
– gimmicky – what makes “Fresh Foam” better?
– questionable traction

Have you tried these shoes? What did you think?

Have you tried other shoes by New Balance? Which ones?

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6 Responses to New Balance (Fresh Foam) 980 Review

  1. carmyy says:

    I hear good things about it but I just can’t get over how strange it looks compared to a traditional running shoe! The bottom of the shoe kind of reminds me of those platform sneakers I used to wear from Sketchers when I was 12

  2. Dan Button says:

    Good stuff, I’ve been debating getting a pair. I race in NB 1600, train in 1400 and just generally love the brand.

  3. bgddyjim says:

    I love New Balance shoes, love ’em. I dug your “gimmicky” con. Classic. And probably true. 😎

  4. We sell a lot of those shoes at the store. I think they are nice but not for me. I think their gimick is that they can be used for motion control or not. “Apparently everyone can use them”. That being said I haven’t sold any to anyone needing motion control.

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