By: Matt Setlack

Overall Rating:  73/100

Ratings (out of 10):

  • Comfort: 8.0
  • Fit: 8.0
  • Responsiveness: 7.0
  • Speed: 7.0
  • Ride Quality: 6.5
New Balance 1080 V8 - Matt Setlack - 1.JPG

The Good

  • The New Balance 1080 V8 has a very plush, soft, underfoot feel. None of materials broke down after use and the shoe generally held up quite well. New Balance successfully improved breathability from the v7 to the v8, good air flow throughout the shoe kept my feet dry and comfortable for most runs. If you prefer a cushioned shoe when striking the ground, you will love these shoes.

The Bad

  • The 1080 V8 felt very bulky and underfoot feel was minimal. In addition to the bulky feel, the ride was inflexible and stiff. It almost felt as though the mid-sole Fresh Foam was old. If you prefer running in a minimal shoe, this probably isn’t the shoe for you as there was little to no ground feel.
  • In terms of the look and craftsmanship of the 1080 V8 tread, the transition between the three colours on the tread (lime yellow/grey/black) is not a clean line. The transition between the colours looks sloppy. Perhaps this particular shoe was one of the first batches? This may seem like a minor thing but for a $150 USD pair of shoes, I was expecting cleaner lines and a higher look of quality of the tread.
New Balance 1080 V8 - Matt Setlack - 2.JPG

Price

MRSP: $150 USD

Specs

  • Heel Drop:  8mm
  • Weight (oz):  11.1 oz (men’s size 9), 9.3 oz (women’s size 8) (Matt Setlack’s Men’s US Size 10.5 were measured to be 658g per pair)
  • Heel height: 27mm
  • Forefoot Height: 19mm

THE VERDICT

The 1080 V8 is considered New Balance’s premium high cushioned neutral shoe. Although it had plush cushioning and a soft underfoot feel, it felt rigid and stiff. Minimal changes from the V7 to the V8 were made. New Balance kept the shoe almost exactly the same to the V7. Additions to the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V8 resulted in a 0.5 ounce increase in weight of the shoe. A TPU heal clip for added heal support. While New Balance markets this shoe as soft and highly cushioned, other shoes on the market currently offer a more cushioned ride at a lower price point. Alternatively, if you prefer minimal shoes, this is not the shoe for you.

New Balance 1080 V8 - Matt Setlack - 3.JPG

FULL REVIEW

Comfort

As the name suggests, Fresh Foam was designed for comfort. The Fresh Foam mid-sole cushioning provided good shock absorption on the roads with low energy return. Although these shoes are marketed as Fresh Foam, I personally did not notice any difference between the Fresh Foam and the regular eva foam running shoes that I have worn. The improvement of the engineered mesh provided good breathability, my feet stayed cool and dry on almost every run.

New Balance 1080 V8 - Matt Setlack - 4.JPG

I am not a big fan of the flat laces because they flop around while running and your opposite shoe wacks the laces as you run (compared to the circular cross section of the Brooks Glycerin 14 laces). Not a huge deal as this can easily be fixed with a pair of scissors.

Fit

For me, the 1080 V8 had a good fit lengthwise and widthwise. The heel cup seemed to keep a relatively snug fit. Fit was true to size and my foot splayed nicely in the toe box with no issues of any rubbing or blistering. The engineered mesh upper had a good wrap around my mid-foot leaving my foot feeling secure and snug. The New Balance 1080 V8 reminded me of the Brooks Glycerin 14 but the 1080 V8 feels a little lighter. The toe box width feels similar to the Glycerin 14.

New Balance 1080 V8 - Matt Setlack - 5.JPG

The 1080 V8 had a lot of volume. I felt like I needed to tighten the 1080 V8 a little more than usual to get the proper fit. I did not use the heel lock shoelace holes. The 1080 V8 were the same size I always wear (10.5 US men's) but there is a lot more volume in the 1080 V8 compared to another training shoe like the Brooks Glycerin 14 and Brooks Launch 3 and 4. I felt like the 1080 V8 had a similar amount of volume as the Hoka Clifton 2. The fore/aft length of the hole where you stick your foot into the shoe is longer than the foot hole in the Glycerin 14.

Responsiveness

I didn’t find the shoe to be very responsive, energy return was quite low and my foot felt a bit lost without the feel of the road underneath me.

Speed

Definitely not designed for speedy days, this shoe is ideal for long steady grinds at a slower pace. Weighing in at 11.1 oz, which is a 0.5 oz increase from the 1080 V7. The weight of the shoe and lack of ground feel made it difficult to get a good energy return and toe off.

New Balance 1080 V8 - Matt Setlack - weight.JPG

Ride Quality

Maximum cushioned shoe designed for general mileage. The Fresh Foam mid-sole was very inflexible, it was difficult to enjoy the cushioned ride due to the weight, bulk of the shoe and inflexible midsole.

The very first thing I thought after running the first 100 meters in the 1080 V8 was that the heel felt “flat” (very little shock absorption). I'm predominantly a heel striker (for easy runs) and the 1080 V8 did not provide a smooth transition from the very back of the heel to the midfoot to the toe off (unlike the Glycerin 14, which I found was kind of like a rocking chair that your grandparents would sit on; The Glycerin 14 has a nice smooth rolling/rocking motion from the very aft part of the shoe to the midfoot and then toe). The flat shape of the heel of the 1080 V8 and the fact that the Fresh Foam felt hard caused discomfort in my heels while running.

New Balance 1080 V8 - Matt Setlack - 6.JPG

The pair of 1080 V8s that I received looked new but they felt very old while running in them, like these shoes have been sitting in the back of a warehouse for several years and the foam has hardened. My other shoes that have 500+ km on them feel more springy/bouncy than these. Initially, I thought that maybe my feet were feeling uncomfortable because of my running mileage so I went for a run in the Brooks Glycerin 14 and all of a sudden, there was no discomfort at all (night and day difference).  

NOTE: I have NEVER had this bottom of heel discomfort issue with other running shoes and I run 5,000 to 6,000 km per year.

The honeycomb tread pattern picked up one or two small pebbles while running on the road.