2021 New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 Running Shoe Review

2021 New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 running shoe review.

2021 New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 Running Shoe Review

The Shoe

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11 2021
Type: Neutral
30mm / 22mm
8mm drop

We put the new 1080v11s through their paces on grass, asphalt and concrete. We tried the shoe heel, midfoot and forefoot striking. For most, including heel strikers (most beginner and social runners) the Fresh Foam 1080 v11 is a good shoe. It provides the extended cushioning that we are seeing from more and more brands. For the more experienced and/or competitive runner the 1080 v11 would be adequate as a long, slow mileage shoe.

The outer sole of the 1080v11 looks like it will be hard wearing. I have been running in a few shoes lately that have minimal ‘hard wearing’ rubber on the outer sole which can impact the life of a shoe. The 1080v11 looks like it will wear well underneath. This is a good thing considering the market that it is ideal for.

The upper is very comfortable. The mesh gives the shoe a sock like feel. For social runners this will be a good selling point.

The 1080v11 toe box had plenty of room which is often an issue for me. I have a slightly wider than average, but not wide foot. That is a tick for the v11s.

The heel collar is one of the lowest I have come across. I felt like I needed to ‘lock the laces’ to give me some added hold which I do not normally bother about. Some of my running shoes I run quite loose in so this would not normally bother me. I even went through a period when I used to get my heels chopped low so they didn’t rub into my Achilles, so I am used to a low heel collar. However, I was constantly feeling like my heel was going to pop out. When comparing to the 2021 New Balance FuelCell Rebel that I am also reviewing there was a noticeable height difference in the heel cup. I felt a lot more secure and ‘normal’ in the FuelCells.

The red lines show where the cupping ends. 1080v11 on the left and Fuel Cell Rebel v2 on the right.

While putting these new shoes through their paces I ran a reasonable paced (for me at the moment) parkrun in the Fresh Foam 1080s. They felt better when on the midfoot/forefoot at a faster pace. This is more relative to someone who is an above average runner however, I felt they lacked response which would be an issue for someone who is a faster runner.

As mentioned the upper is soft and the shoe felt like a sock. One issue I had was that the ‘split’ in the top of the upper did not go down towards the toes enough and was quite tight across the top of my foot. Even loosening the laces did not alleviate this.

Fuel Cell Rebel v2 on the left and Fresh Foam 1080v11 on the right with the red lines showing where the top opening of the shoes stop.

The 1080v11 has a noticeable ‘slap’ when you strike. This is one of the louder ‘slaps’ I have heard since a high-profile shoe changed about 6-7 years ago. This could be to do with the harder rubber on the outer sole which, as mentioned, looks like it is hard wearing. This could be a trade off and will not bother most social runners.

The Verdict

This shoe is ideal for the social runner who wants comfort, good wear and a shoe that will keep their feet well cushioned, making the running enjoyable. I would recommend that you go in to get fitted to make sure that the 1080v11 fits your feet. Particularly make sure that the shoe does not feel tight across the top of the foot and your heel feels secure.

We have also reviewed the Fuel Cell Rebel v2. Click here to read. If you are a more experienced runner check this review out.

For social runners this shoe is a very good all round shoe. New Balance have refined the 1080 and along with some of their other recent releases they are producing some good running shoes.

For the more advanced runner this shoe is not a ‘fast’ shoe. There isn’t enough response through the midsole when on the mid-forefoot.

Make sure you go to a running store that specialises in fitting running shoes and try these on before you buy. Buying online always has inherent risks especially for the social runner who does not have a lot of experience with shoes.