Shoe Review: New Balance 1080 v9

Women's New Balance 1080 v9 running shoe

Cushion to Go the Distance

The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v9 cruises into 2019 as a first-class road running shoe capable of helping you crush your New Year’s resolutions.

Built with a formidable cushion-to-weight ratio, the new 1080 checks all the boxes you’d expect from a high-end everyday training shoe. The Fresh Foam midsole packs superior protection against the pounding of big mileage while its light weight make it well-equipped to pick up the pace.

These updates to the 1080 are sure to make it one of the top New Balance running shoes this year.

  • Heel-to-Toe drop: 8 mm
  • Weight: 9 oz, women’s; 10.4 oz, men’s
  • Category: Road, neutral
  • MSRP: $150

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The women's New Balance 1080 v9 running shoe


New Balance streamlined the upper on the 1080 v9 by removing some of the overlays from the engineered mesh. By stripping the overlays, designers cut about half an ounce of weight from the v9 compared to the New Balance 1080 v8 and gave it a stylish new look.

After praising the performance on long and recovery runs, one Fleet Feet tester said, “Aside from being a great running shoe, if you’re looking for a casual work or travel shoe and know you’ll be on your feet all day, these would be perfect.”

That redesigned double jacquard mesh upper with a bootie construction is also accommodating. Another tester who has a wider foot says the shoe fit snugly but he didn’t feel any uncomfortable pressure in the normal width shoe while logging miles.

One tester noted a slightly shallow heel cup, and another experienced a bit of heel slippage but solved it with marathon lacing.

Overall, the fit is comfortable over long runs—or just long days on your feet.

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The outsole of the New Balance 1080 v9


Sometimes a big stack of foam can feel squishy or can sap the energy out of your run, but the height of the full-length Fresh Foam midsole belies the shoe’s exceptional performance.

The healthy dose of Fresh Foam gives the 1080 v9 high-quality protection against repeated pounding on pavement. But the proprietary foam compound feels bouncy under foot, instead of feeling like you’re stomping through sand.

Underneath, New Balance reconfigured the tread on the v9’s blown rubber outsole for improved traction and scored grooves into it to optimize how the shoe flexes with each step.

The updates made a difference: Testers praised the shoe’s responsiveness through the midfoot and flexibility in the forefoot, which lead to easy takeoffs, and the shoe stuck to pavement around tight turns.

While the v9 is a neutral running shoe, its wide, stable base could make it suitable for mild overpronators.

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New Balance 1080 v8 vs. New Balance 1080 v9

New Balance tweaked the design of the 1080 v9 for a more minimal look, but the new version is still a classic neutral running shoe with plump cushion.

The aesthetic changes between the outgoing and current models are evident when you compare the shoes side by side. New Balance removed some overlays from the v8, opting instead for a clean engineered mesh forefoot that extends into the midfoot. Designers also reworked the design of the molded foam collar and heel.

A generous helping of Fresh Foam cushion runs the entire length of the new shoe, just like the v8, though New Balance says the v9 includes more foam than its predecessors. Engineers also used a laser to engrave a new pattern on the midsole.

The outsole received a couple small changes, as well. New Balance used five flex grooves in the forefoot instead of the two grooves worked into last year's model. The result is a natural bend in the shoe that doesn't fight your foot when you toe off.

New Balance 1080 v9 Technology

New Balance uses some of its top technology in the 1080 v9. Here's what's inside:

  • Fresh Foam. New Balance's premier cushioning is the result of data collected from thousands of athletes. It's NB's softest, lightest cushioning ever
  • Blown rubber outsole. The rubber outsole provides excellent durability to keep shoes in top shape, and it's designed with pressure mapping colors to show common impact zones
  • Laser engraving. Designers used laser engraving to perforate the Fresh Foam midsole, which removed excess weight and increased comfort where you need it the most
  • Ortholite insole. The sockliner insole provides serious comfort, mile after mile


With a modern look and comfortable fit, the New Balance 1080 v9 is a premium all-around neutral road running shoe. While it can manage speedier splits, the v9’s generous loaf of Fresh Foam in the midsole makes it best suited for everyday mileage, long runs or taking it easy after a hard workout.

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Still not convinced? Don’t sweat it. Fleet Feet's return policy means you can test drive your shoes and gear without risk. If you’re not happy with the way your gear performs, looks or fits, we’ll take it back within 60 days. Plus, you’ll get free return shipping on all orders. That's our Happy Fit Guarantee.

By Evan Matsumoto. Evan played many sports growing up but didn’t go pro in any of them. Now, he’s the digital copywriter for and editor for the Fleet Feet blog where he writes about different foam densities and engineered mesh uppers.

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