New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 Review

The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13.

If you’ve watched cable television any time in the past few years, you’ve likely seen the commercial for customizable smart beds asking, “What’s your sleep number?” The commercial usually features a couple with different penchants for firmness lamenting over sharing a bed. Their problem is easily solved by purchasing a smart mattress that can be adjusted on both sides of the bed.

When it comes to running, you could ask “What’s your cushioning number?” Maybe it doesn’t have the same ring to it, but no two runners are alike when it comes to cushioning preferences—and this especially rings true when it comes to our Fleet Feet reviewers.

Somehow, through some type of shoe sorcery, New Balance was able to create a shoe that catered towards all of our preferences. The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 offers a plush bed of light, bouncy cushioning that feels both soft during landings and energetic during takeoffs.

Read on to learn more about the new Fresh Foam x 1080 v13, available soon, and why one reviewer compared it to her memory foam pillow.

Tech Specs

New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13

Weight 7.3 oz (W), 9.2 oz (M)
Stack height (heel/forefoot) 38 mm/32 mm
Heel-to-toe drop 6 mm
Category Road
Surface Neutral
Comparable to... ASICS GEL-Nimbus 25, Saucony Triumph 21




Fresh Foam X delivers buttery-smooth cushioning

A pair of the men's New Balance 1080 v13.

Step into the New Balance 1080 v13 and your feet are instantly welcomed by the plush, luxurious-feeling cushion underfoot. Fresh Foam X, New Balance’s proprietary midsole blend, delivers a soft yet energetic ride.

What’s a midsole? Learn about the parts that make up a running shoe.

While your feet sink into the midsole as you land, they spring back up during your toe-off phase for energetic strides that feel as smooth as butter sliding across your post-run pancakes.

“Running in the 1080 v13 feels like running on one of those huge bouncy balls that you’d get as a kid, and the experience is just as exciting as picking a new ball out,” says Mandy. “It’s soft, it’s bouncy and it’s exciting for every mile.”

Part of the bounciness can be attributed to a solid rubber outsole, which provides a rigid platform under the forefoot to create a more propulsive toe-off sensation. A gentle rocker shape also adds to the energetic feeling.

“The rocker geometry of the 1080 really helps propel me through my stride, allowing me to easily pick up the pace,” says Travis. “This is truly one of the most versatile daily training shoes I have worn—it’s a very comfortable recovery shoe but also super energetic for faster paces.”

However, some reviewers disagreed and found the 1080 v13 too soft for hard efforts.

“Once I started running in the 1080 v13, all of the soft cushioning totally translated into a super pleasant feeling beneath my feet,” says Alex. “While the shoes are probably a little too laid-back for intense speed work, they’re pretty darn comfy.”

The latest version of the 1080 features a higher stack height (four millimeters in the heel and 6 millimeters in the forefoot) and a lower heel-to-toe drop. Despite the increased stack height, the shoe has shed a considerable amount of weight—a full ounce in the women’s model and a 1.1 ounces in the men’s.

“When I first start to run in the 1080 v13, I feel a bit like I’m floating,” says Kate.

The 1080 v13 is rounded out with New Balance’s NDurance rubber outsole, a rubber compound that helps the shoe stand up to the wear and tear that comes with pounding the pavement. The rubber is strategically placed in areas that see the most impact, like the edges of the heel and the forefoot.

All hail New Balance’s engineered knit upper

The women's New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13.

If you’ve read enough of our shoe reviews, you’ll know that knit uppers can be hit or miss when it comes to running shoes. While some knit uppers wrap comfortably around your foot, providing the perfect balance of stretch and support, some lack structure and feel like a loose-fitting sock.

The New Balance 1080 v13 easily falls into the former category, and reviewers of all foot shapes found their perfect fit.

“The heel collar is snug and locks in the fit, while the mesh upper has a touch of flexibility with solid breathability,” says our wide-footed reviewer, Nate.

“The new 1080 has a more stable fit when compared to the previous version,” Max, our narrow-footed reviewer, says. “I didn’t get any blisters, hot spots or heel slippage. Plus, the plastic overlays on the heel counter gives the heel more structure and shape for a better fit.”

Reviewers noticed that, while the previous version of the 1080 ran long, this version fits true to size.

New Balance 1080 v13 vs 1080 v12

The New Balance 1080 v13 vs the New Balance 1080 v12.

Tech Specs

New Balance 1080 v13

New Balance 1080 v12


7.3 oz (W), 9.2 oz (M)

8.3 oz (W), 10.3 oz (M)

Stack height

38 mm/32 mm

34 mm/26 mm

Heel-to-toe drop

6 mm

8 mm




New Balance shoe designers have been on a mission since 2019, when they completely overhauled the 1080, to make it a premium running shoe that can stand up to any competitor. They even state on their website that, “If we only made one running shoe, that shoe would be the 1080.”

It’s easy to see why. The 1080 is cushioned enough to be considered a max-cushion option, but springy enough to handle uptempo paces if needed (depending on who you ask). And the latest version of the 1080 is arguably the best one yet. It combines all the improvements made since the v10 into a neat package.

New Balance replaced their mesh upper with a stretchy knit material in the 1080 v10, and haven’t looked back since. The latest version hugs your foot in all the right places and fits true to size, which is an improvement over the slightly long 1080 v12.

But the midsole is really where the 1080 v13 shines, with even more soft, squishy Fresh Foam X.

“The latest version of the 1080 definitely feels more cushioned than the previous two versions,” Caroline says. “I think the cushioning was slowly watered down so to speak after the complete overhaul in the v10, so I’m happy to see them add some more stack height. I wore the 1080 for two easy runs and the Fresh Foam X midsole provided ample softness and plushness for my feet, which have been feeling pretty beat up.”

Even with the added cushioning, the 1080 v13 managed to shave off a full ounce of weight, making it one of the lightest shoes in the max-cushioned daily trainer category. For this reason, reviewers felt it was worthy of the five dollar price increase.

How does the New Balance 1080 v13 compare?

We took a look at some comparable models to see how the New Balance 1080 v13 stacks up. Here’s what we found.

Tech Specs

New Balance 1080 v13

ASICS GEL-Nimbus 25

Saucony Triumph 21


7.3 oz (W), 9.2 oz (M)

9.1 oz (W), 10.3 oz (M)

8.8 oz (W), 9.8 oz (M)

Heel-to-toe drop

6 mm

8 mm

10 mm

Stack height

38 mm/32 mm

41.5 mm/33.5 mm

37 mm/27 mm





The New Balance 1080 v13, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus and the Saucony Triumph 21 all offer thick, soft cushioning catered towards neutral runners who don’t need extra stability. Reviewers found the underfoot feel of the 1080 to be similar to the Nimbus and Triumph.

“Both the Triumph and the 1080 offer thick, soft beds of cushioning, although the Triumph feels just a bit peppier,” says Caroline. “The softness of the cushioning in the 1080 is more akin to the ultra-plush Nimbus 25.”

While the stack heights of all three shoes are comparable, the 1080 v13 leads the way in terms of weight savings—it’s over a full ounce lighter than the Nimbus and significantly lighter than the Triumph, too.

Who is the New Balance 1080 v13 best for?

A men's New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13.

Thanks to a thick, plush bed of Fresh Foam X foam, the New Balance 1080 v13 is well suited for runners seeking maximum softness for their training, or for those who spend long days on their feet.

“I would recommend the 1080 v13 to anyone who is a true squishy cushion lover,” says Kate. “It’s truly pillowy-soft. It literally reminds me of my pillow, which is a memory foam one that I have had forever. When I step into the 1080 I can feel myself sinking down a bit, then rising back up.”

Plus, the shoe’s stretchy knit upper is able to accommodate a variety of different foot shapes.

While the 1080 isn’t catered towards runners seeking extra stability for overpronation (the excessive inward rolling of a runner’s foot during landings), it has a wide base for stable landings. We recommend this shoe for runners who have high to medium arches, as they tend to have rigid feet that feel best in a flexible shoe.

If you aren’t sure about the shape of your arches, be sure to head into your local Fleet Feet for an expert one-on-one outfitting. Fleet Feet outfitters use 3D fit id® foot scanning technology to gather information about your feet and the support they need by taking precise measurements of your foot length, width and arch height.

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