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Road Running Shoes • September 13, 2023

New Balance 1080v13 Review: Put Your Hands in the Air

new balance 1080v13 - feature

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What You Need To Know

Weight

9.2 oz. (260 g) for a US M9,

7.3 oz. (207 g) for a US W8

Stack Height / Drop

38 mm in the heel, 32 mm in the forefoot (6 mm drop)

Best For

Daily training or long runs in comfort

Key Features

Fresh Foam X midsole, comfortable and lightweight engineered upper, enhanced rocker

On The Run
Comfortable and bouncy ride Lightweight on the foot Maybe runs a half size long
Price & Availability

$165, October 13

Introduction to the New Balance 1080v13

MEAGHAN: It’s been a rollercoaster ride of emotions with the New Balance 1080. The flagship daily trainer/workhorse in the New Balance lineup, the shoe has seen its ebbs and flows over the last few years. Version 10? Amazing. Version 11? Horrible. Version 12? Ehhhhh. I kept my hopes high for lucky number 13, but honestly had no expectations. Would this new upper and midsole formulation get us back on the up and up? Or would our stomachs drop as we fell into another dip? Get your ticket and jump on the ride, and let’s see where this ends up. 

THOMAS: Picture my hands up in the air as I ride the coaster with Meaghan cause I would agree that the 1080 experience has had its ups and downs. The good news is, the v13 has us excited to take a ride.

new balance 1080v13 - blue lateral

New Balance 1080v13, men’s release colorway

CHAD: Prior to joining Believe in the Run, my only New Balance running shoe experience was the 860v12, one of New Balance’s stability offerings. Since then, I’ve run in the More v4, the RC Elite v2, the SC Trainer v2, and the Vongo v6 (which I have in the testing rotation). Each shoe has been an absolute hit for me in its individual category, and my experiences have turned me into a certified New Balance fan.

So when I found out that I’d be testing the 1080v13, three words came to mind: Oh hell yeah! Having run in the max-cush Fresh Foam shoe in the More v4 and the Fresh Foam stability shoe in the 860, I was excited to try out the shoe that New Balance considers to be one of its most versatile daily trainers. The 1080v13 features a mid-to-high stack height in a reasonably weighted package, at 9.24 oz. for a US M9 (7.27 oz. for a US W7).

new balance 1080v13 - heel

Padded heel tab

CARYN: In a previous review, I quaintly described how for the better part of a decade, I wore exactly one style of running shoe. After joining a training group and taking a job in specialty run, my eyes were opened (quite literally, in the stock room) to the plethora of options that were not my beloved Gel-Kayano. This was the precipice of the max cushion, carbon-plated revolution– think Chicago Marathon starting line 2018, neon Vaporfly 4% erry’where. Seeing as I opted to run that marathon in a pair of Brooks Adrenaline because they were lighter than my Kayano (again, I’ll let you mull that one over for a minute), I clearly wasn’t sold. 

With the dawn of the 4%, stack heights crept up slowly, and then explosively. It wasn’t until a shipment of the 1080v10 arrived at our store that I felt drawn to the cush. The 1080v10 had this fabulous combination of New Balance’s Fresh Foam X, which was soft yet somehow still a touch responsive, and a supportive knit upper that hugged your foot in the best way.

The 1080v10 was my gateway into the max cushion universe, and remains in my top five favorite daily trainers of all time (yeah, I said it). I went so much as to continue buying it on eBay for years, because future iterations just didn’t come close to replicating the magic of version 10. Versions 11 and 12 both lacked structure to me, with the sizing way off and the upper sagging in various places. When Version 13 showed up on my doorstep earlier this summer, I couldn’t help but hope it would be a true return to the 1080 glory days.

What we like about the New Balance 1080v13

MEAGHAN: If you ran in the previous model of this shoe, you know the knit upper left a lot to be desired. On step-in, it was clear this was no longer the case. The completely new mesh upper is structured and highly padded around the tongue and collar for a comfortable, locked down fit. It’s stretchy, but not so much that your foot slides around, as it did in the previous version. 

Beneath the foot also feels like a huge upgrade. The new formulation of Fresh Foam X is soft yet bouncy and responsive. It felt good on step-in and even better out on the roads. With 35 mm of stack underfoot this shoe doesn’t make it into the max cush category, but it felt like plenty of shoe. My W7.5 came in at 8 oz/240g which falls right into the middle range for daily trainers. 

THOMAS: The 1080 is the one shoe in the New Balance lineup that is designed to work well for the widest variety of runners. The shoe delivers a premium neutral daily trainer fit and feel. The Fresh Foam X is so plush I wonder why you would need the New Balance max cush More v4. If you like the good sweet cush, this is a daily trainer for you. The 1080 v13 smoothes out the road but still gives you a little zing. This is not one of those cushioned shoes that sacrifices pop for squish. I’m not saying the 1080v13 is super responsive, but it is not a foot pillow. 

My size 10.5 weighs a middle of the road 10.2 oz/289g. The upper is a massive improvement over the previous model. The standard D width fits my narrow foot almost perfectly and runs true to size. There is zero puckering at the bottom of the U-throat. I had no hot spots, rubbing, or heel lift. 

new balance 1080v13 - nyc edition tongue

New York City Marathon details on tongue

new balance 1080v13 - both shoes

CHAD: I usually always say that comfort is key when it comes to running shoes, and New Balance always seems to listen to me. The step-in feel and comfort of the 1080v13 is top notch, both in the upper and underfoot. The upper provides a solid lockdown while also having adequate room for high volume feet. Underfoot while walking around, the cushioning and bounce of the Fresh Foam X midsole is noticeable and much appreciated. I could see this being a shoe I would wear casually or on a day trip that would require lots of walking, especially since it also has a real clean-cut aesthetic that I like.

If you think I enjoyed the comfort of the shoe while walking around, it got even better once I started running in the 1080v13. I don’t know how they did it, but this iteration of Fresh Foam X has the perfect blend of softness and bounce that lasted throughout each of my runs, with no bottoming-out or going dead.

This might be blasphemy, but the bouncy responsiveness of the 1080v13 reminds me of the Asics Novablast 3, one of my favorite shoes of 2022. Add in the softness of the cushioning that protects the joints and you get an incredibly smooth ride.

I also appreciate that New Balance dropped the– *looks around*– drop on the 1080v13 to 6 mm. I think with the geometry of the shoe and the toe spring, the lower drop helps to transition me through each stride, and takes pressure off the knees and hips.

CARYN: Things started off well when I opened the box to a soothing, white and lilac colorway. My affinity for white shoes has no limits (seriously, my closet is embarrassing), and this shoe fits right in. While the overall aesthetic has evolved from recent 1080 territory (anyone remember the elf heel?), it’s nice looking– less funky and more approachable.

The step-in feel was lovely – New Balance does a fantastic job with their toe boxes so I knew I’d have a ton of room. The upper is a more standard, no-nonsense lightweight mesh that breathes well and allows for good lockdown on the run. The new formulation of Fresh Foam X has a little more rebound to it, which I love.

I’ve admittedly found myself wearing this shoe outside of running as well; it seems to hold up to 14 hours of ICU nursing just as well as a 10-mile east run. Overall, this shoe feels nearly identical to another one of my favorites, the Hoka Clifton 9, with just a touch more pop and some extra space in the toe box. Let’s be real, who doesn’t want more pop?

Shop 1080v13 - Men Shop 1080v13 - Women

What we don’t like about the New Balance 1080v13

MEAGHAN: Really digging for this one, but it’d be cool if this shoe was a little lighter. There’s something (100% all mental) about seeing a 7.xx oz vs 8 oz that just feels right. That’s all I got. 

THOMAS: My complaint is personal regarding the organic cellular tooling on the midsole. The soft ellipses are the last design elements tying the v13 to the v12. This shoe is good enough to have launched an entirely new look for the 1080 line. A line in the sand if you please.

new balance 1080v13 - outsole

Similar outsole to the last version

CHAD: There’s only one thing I can list in the negatives about this shoe, and that is its stability. I tend to prefer shoes that are stable-neutral or stability shoes, and the 1080v13 is neither of those. This is a very neutral shoe. It wasn’t unstable to the point of causing me issues or pain in my Achilles or post-tib tendon, but it is something worth noting if you prefer some stability in your daily trainers.

CARYN: I have very little to say here, but if I’m going to be nit-picky, I didn’t love the upper as much as I wanted to. It was certainly a change from previous versions of the shoe– more traditional, less knit– and I missed that component more than I thought I would. The tongue felt stiff and a bit bulky, but like I said, we’re talking pretty minor details at this point.

Shop 1080v13 - Men Shop 1080v13 - Women
new balance 1080v13 - men

Tongue details on the standard men’s version

new balance 1080v13 - nyc edition women

New Balance 1080v13 Conclusion

MEAGHAN: After a few years of riding the coaster, the New Balance 1080v13 feels back on track. It’s comfortable, responsive, and works for all kinds of running, from recovery days to long runs. I would put the 1080v13 in the same category as the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 or Hoka Clifton 9 (two of my favs), but with a little more pep… and we all love a little more pep. 

THOMAS: The closest competitor to the 1080v13 would be the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25. Our entire team loves the Nimbus 25 and the New Balance 1080v13 has just a touch more responsive feel packed into the Fresh Foam X. Other shoes I would compare are the Puma Magnify Nitro 2, Brooks Ghost Max, Nike InfinityRN 4, and Skechers Max Road 6.

The feature all these shoes share is the max cushioning. However, they all differ in softness and weight. Between the options you can find the right shoe to give you miles of comfort. Check out our reviews on the other shoes to suss out the details.

new balance 1080v13 - medial

Medial side of the New York City Marathon edition

CHAD: The New Balance 1080v13 is a great daily trainer for someone looking for something with a little bit of cushioning and bounce and a neutral ride. I thoroughly enjoyed the responsiveness from this shoe during my runs in it. While I personally won’t be taking it out much because of my preference for a little stability, there’s definitely a reason that the 1080 series is considered one of the most premium trainers on the market.

CARYN: Guess who’s back (back again)? The 1080– and you should definitely tell a friend (hopefully someone will still be friends with me after that one). In all seriousness, thank you New Balance for bringing this favorite of mine back around for the better.

I’m so glad that this iteration of the 1080 was the glow-up we were waiting for, because it’s one of my top picks this year for a true daily trainer. Thanks to the combination of a new upper and a peppier Fresh Foam X, the 1080v13 is the Real Slim Shady, and you can find me happily putting many more miles on mine throughout the fall. 

You can pick up the New Balance 1080v13 for $165 directly from New Balance using the buttons below.

Shop 1080v13 - Men Shop 1080v13 - Women

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New Balance 1080v13 | Full Review

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Comments

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  1. Brian says:

    All things I was hoping to hear. I think the 1080 lost me at V10 – that one just didn’t work for me. I skipped the 11 and now have the V12. It’s not a bad shoe, but with how big it fits and how marshmallow-y the foam is I only use it for long and easy runs. It sounds like the new version addressed at least some of those issues.

  2. Tom says:

    Thanks so much for the review. I’ve been running in 1080s since v9 and always buy the same model until there’s no more size 14s on the planet and then reluctantly buy the next version.

    Question for all of you. With this seemingly being more plush leaning towards super cushioning, would you say stacking orthotics on top of it all will be unstable? I’ve heard one of you mention stability and other reviews saying they’re a bit unstable especially on a trail/gravel.

    Tom

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Authors

meaghan nyc marathon
Meaghan Murray
Boss Lady
  • Strava
  • Instagram

Meaghan signed up for her first marathon three weeks before the race, because it was $10 more than the half she planned to run. She learned everything in running the hard way. Now a USATF & UESCA certified run coach, she loves encouraging friends to go for big goals as she continues to chase faster times. She enjoys a hot cup of coffee, a cold martini, and making bagels for friends and family.

More from Meaghan
Shoe Size

7.5

Fav. Distance

26.2

PRs
  • 2:45

    Marathon
  • 1:21

    Half Marathon
  • 18:51

    5K
Thomas Neuberger
Founder
  • Strava
  • Instagram

As the founder of Believe in the Run, Thomas’s goal is to help runners pick the shoes and gear that will make their running experience the best that it can be. 

More from Thomas
Shoe Size

10.5

Fav. Distance

26.2

PRs
  • 10:28

    50 Mile
  • 5:43

    50K
  • 3:20

    26.2
  • 1:36

    Half Marathon
Chad Zimmermann
Clydesdale Reviewer
  • Instagram
  • Strava

An attorney by day, Chad lives in Central Pennsylvania with his wife and three kids. Never much for running growing up, Chad began running as a way to improve his physical health. He went from his first 5k in 2015 to running the Paris Marathon in 2016.  Given his larger physical build, Chad is the resident Clydesdale runner, providing shoe and gear insights for those with a bigger build and taller stature.

More from Chad
Shoe Size

11.5

Fav. Distance

10K

PRs
  • 5:42

    Marathon
  • 56:33

    10K
  • 26:34

    5K
  • 2:11:05

    Half Marathon
Caryn Just
Road Reviewer
  • Instagram

Caryn is a recovering ball sports athlete and native Baltimorean who used to cry before the timed mile in gym class. Discovered running somewhat reluctantly when her pants stopped fitting in college, now a big fan of the marathon– go figure! Pediatric ICU nurse and avid UVA sports fan. Can usually be found with her chocolate lab, Gus, looking for a good cup of coffee.

More from Caryn
Shoe Size

9

Fav. Distance

26.2

PRs
  • 2:52

    Marathon
  • 1:21

    Half Marathon
  • 18:45

    5K
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