Different knitting patterns and densities of the weave create the stretch over the toe box and the support around the midfoot. The intarsia knitting process also means the upper is seamless, making it more comfortable and lighter than before.
“Previously, if you wanted something stretchy and something breathable in the vamp, you’d have to use different materials,” says Nyssen. “With intarsia knitting, the same machine can make one part stretchy and one part more supportive.”
New Balance then paired the breakthrough upper with its new Ultra Heel. The improved heel cup is slimmer and less rigid than before, and the collar flares away from the Achilles tendon for a more comfortable fit.
Fresh Foam X
By tuning Fresh Foam for improved cushioning, designers are creating a premium collection of New Balance running shoes called Fresh Foam X.
New Balance recorded pressure mapping and footstrike data and then applied precise lasering and various cushioning densities to create a smarter, more performance-minded 1080.
“The Fresh Foam 1080 sets new direction for what people will expect from New Balance,” Nyssen says. “From everyday runs to someone who wants their foot wrapped in comfort. It’s kind of a new day at New Balance Running Design.”