Built for maximum cushioning, performance fit and flexibility Miles are no match for NB's premier neutral running shoe! This update to the popular 1064 sports a modernised, streamlined upper and plentiful N-ergy cushioning! Built for maximum comfort, performance fit and flexibility, you can count on the 1080's ultimate soft ride and smooth transition from heel to toe to make the most of every run.
- Item Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
- Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
- ASIN: B005CHJ3MC
- Item model number: M1080v2-M
Big Improvement Over the Awful 1080(V1), Almost Back to the Standard of the 1060 Series
New Balance had a SWEET thing going before the 1080V1, namely the 1060 Series (i.e. NB 1060 through 1064)… which were all more or less awesome shoes. Terrific shock absorption, great fit, very neutral, made in the USA, came in widths. Even usually had a few ‘grown up’ color schemes. 1060 Series was pretty much EVERYTHING you’d want in a shoe, or close.
Then New Balance decided to ‘fix’ what didn’t need fixing. Result was the crap-tastic 1080V1.
The V1 somehow managed to be a neutral cushioning shoe that was neither neutral nor cushioning. The fit was still good, but the shoe’s tendency to roll your foot strongly to the outside was ridiculous for an allegedly ‘neutral’ shoe, and this only got worse with age as the foam broke down. They also felt stiff and downright ‘weird’. This was the shoe that sent me back to Nike briefly.
But Nike screwed the pooch too… the Vomeros I had were superior cushioning-wise, but they were also very high and narrow in the last (i.e. were ‘ankle-breakers’), even in their allegedly ‘wide’ width (I take a 2E). Nike apparently likes to save money by using the same last in different-width shoes, only the uppers get wider, apparently. New Balance, on the other hand, will usually give you a wider last/platform in their wide shoes, as the shoe gods and common sense intended.
So okay, let’s give New B another chance. Will they screw it up twice?
1080V2 comes out. Cushioning is improved over the 1080, though still not quite back to 1060 Series standard. But they’re ‘cushiony enough’, and I like the low ride height, which helps keep me from turning an ankle on potholes/ruts and the like. Fit is generally good, tight enough in the heel to prevent slippage, yet there’s plenty of width in the toe box… exactly the combination you want. Shoe is noticeably light too, hopefully this does not have any major implications for durability, but it sure feels nice.
But most of all, the 1080s actually do feel very *neutral* this time around. Am crossing my fingers that it stays this way through the life-cycle of the shoe. Have a feeling it will.
Criticisms/areas for improvement?
* They may have taken the whole ‘fitted’ thing too far in the ankle area. The collar of the shoe is quite aggressively/tightly fitted to you… some may like this, but it definitely annoyed me. Size-wise, I can wear either a 9.5 or a 10, and I chose the larger shoe just to get some relief from the aggressive collar. With the size-10s it’s no longer an issue for me, and I can definitely see others choosing to buy these a bit large too. With the V1s and the 1060 series shoes, I was wearing the 9.5s.
* In the forefoot area, the V2s nail it in terms of width, but the amount of *vertical* room inside the shoe @the forefoot is a bit lacking. Again, another overly-aggressive stab at making the shoe extremely ‘fitted’ to you. And again, another reason to go a tiny bit large when buying this shoe.
* NB could up the cushioning slightly. These feel more ‘bouncy’ than plush, as if they used a more resilient foam with lots of ‘recoil’. Is fairly cushiony even so, but the bouncy foam seems slightly harder on my knees than the plusher shoes I’ve worn. However, ‘more plush’ shouldn’t be done if it will turn the shoe into a tall, high ride-height ‘ankle-breaker’ -type deal. But if it’s just a matter of the shoes weighing a half-ounce more…
* Could use the tiniest bit more arch support. Are a tad bit too ‘flat’ front-to-back. Even a significantly inferior (but popular) shoe such as the Nike Pegasus gets this more right than the 1080 does, last I checked anyway.
* Needs a color option for grown-ups. Yes, the silver & navy color scheme is that, but it’s only readily available in the UK, not the US. The three color schemes that *are* available here are varying degrees of ‘almost, but not quite’. C’mon New Balance, many of your buyers are over 30 and aren’t afraid to look it. In other words, you don’t have to be a ‘Nike’ about this… you aren’t hip, and that’s what’s hip about you. Just ONE fully grown-up color scheme, that’s all we ask.
(edit- Just saw the color choices on the new 1080 V3, and sadly NB seems to have ignored the advice in the above paragraph… all 3 color schemes are varying degrees of getting whomped with the ugly stick. What’s so hard about that ONE grown-up color choice, NB? Some of us not only run in our shoes but also like to go to work in them too. Sigh.)
Points for improvement aside, the V2′s still a worthy shoe overall, and a vast improvement over the V1. I’m happy I got ‘em – in fact, I’m now on my third pair, and I may order a couple pairs more before they’re sold out (in part to avoid the awful V3 color schemes =o ).
And if future 1080 versions fine-tune the ‘fitted feel’ and cushioning for the better, the unthinkable may actually occur… we might not miss the amazing 1060 Series anymore.
Well, at least until New Balance again ‘fixes’ what doesn’t need fixing, of course. =
Terry, Olathe KS
New Balance Men’s M1080v2 Running Shoe
Am very glad I did. Great fit, good shock absorption, high quality. Terrific shoes all around!