New Balance 880 v13 Review

A side profile view of the women's New Balance 880 v13.

Step into the New Balance 880 and you’ll feel like you’re test driving a Honda Civic. What it might lack in excitement for some, it more than makes up for in comfort and dependability. The 880 has been New Balance’s go-to trainer for neutral runners for over a decade, and the latest model stays true to form as a reliable choice for everyday miles.

“The 880 is such a classic shoe,” Kate says. “It’s been my go-to shoe for the past six or seven years because, even when it gets updated, it’s always well-built, comfortable and versatile. I could wear it for an initial eight-mile test run and feel confident that I’ll have the support that I need without fear of rubbing or other issues.”

The latest updates to the 880v13 are a redesigned engineered mesh upper and a new, high-density foam combined with New Balance’s Fresh Foam X midsole foam to create a firm, engaging ride. Plus, the 880v13 is available in fun, Fleet Feet-exclusive colorways, so you can stand out from the crowd.

Fleet Feet reviewers put these shoes to the test during easy-paced miles and recovery walks. Here’s everything you need to know about the 880v13.

Tech Specs

New Balance 880 v13

Weight 8.4 oz (W), 10.6 oz (M)
Heel-to-toe drop 10 mm
Stack height (heel/forefoot) 27 mm/17 mm
Category Neutral
Surface Road
Comparable to... Brooks Ghost 15, Saucony Ride 15

Ride

Cushioning

Energy

New Balance 880v13 Delivers Balanced, Dependable Ride

A man runs in the special, Fleet Feet exclusive colorway of the New Balance 880 v13.

Dependability is where the New Balance 880v13 shines. It may not have all the fancy bells and whistles of a super shoe, but it consistently delivers a smooth, comfortable ride that runners have flocked to for years.

The New Balance 880v13 is built with a dual-density midsole comprised of Fresh Foam X, New Balance’s softest midsole compound, under the heel and a firmer, high-density foam beneath the forefoot. It’s the same foam used in the New Balance 1080v12. The result is a nicely balanced ride that feels soft upon landings but energetic during takeoffs.

“I like how the underfoot feel is soft enough to absorb impact but firm enough to give my body good feedback and energy response on the road,” Kate says. “I prefer a firmer shoe to a squishy shoe, and the 880 strikes the perfect balance for me.”

While the shoe provides a firmer sensation, it offers enough flexibility to move with you as you run and consistently ranks as one of the best neutral running shoes we see every year.

“Of all the comparable neutral trainers, I feel like the 880v13 is the most flexible, which I enjoy,” Caroline says. “Running in super rigid shoes often leaves my feet and calves sore, but the 880 is so smooth that my strides just rolled along.”

The 880v13 also offers 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.

There’s a small section of exposed midsole foam right under the heel, but it won’t touch the pavement because it curves slightly upwards. Many shoes leave portions of exposed midsole foam to reduce the excess weight added by the rubber outsole, but reviewers noticed the 880v13 feels much more durable than competitor models in the same category.

“Other brands make their own version of the 880, but no one can compete with its durability,” Max says. “The rubber on the outsole feels like it has multiple lives, like a cat. It gives me confidence that this shoe will last past its suggested mileage.”

Reviewers also noticed that the outsole, while primarily designed for road running, can hold its own on certain trail surfaces. While we recommend using trail shoes for trail runs, the 880 can work in a pinch if you have to cut through a small section of well-maintained terrain.

“I took the 880 out for seven and a half miles over a mix of pavement, dirt road and a bit of trail,” Nate says. I feel well balanced and stable in this shoe. The durable outsole provides plenty of grip, even on wet and slippery surfaces, and it gives me confidence that I can rack up some miles on this shoe without excessive wear and tear.”

Mesh Upper Offers Accommodating Fit

A close up shot of the men's New Balance 880 v13.

Another reason why the New Balance 880 is a classic fan favorite? It accommodates more foot shapes and sizes than your typical running shoe. The 880v13 is available in narrow, standard, wide and extra-wide sizing. So, if you like the overall feel of the shoe, chances are good that you can find the right fit.

“The 880v13 fits true to size,” Caroline says. “It’s roomy in the toe box with a snug, lock-down feel in the midfoot and heel. I used the extra eyelets to tie the marathon loop to keep my heel from slipping and it worked perfectly.”

Reviewers appreciated the slightly padded materials that offer extra comfort and support without feeling bulky or heavy.

“The 880 feels like a no-nonsense daily trainer with just the right amount of plush, comfy detailing,” Nate says. “I love how wide the tongue is, and while it’s on the thinner side, it still feels really good on top of my foot. There’s just enough give in the upper to let my toes move around while feeling secure through the midfoot. Simply put, this shoe fits true to size and just feels good.”

Plus, a redesigned mesh upper offers more breathability than previous version, while reflective details in the heel provide extra visibility for early-morning or late-evening runs.

“The mesh upper feels really nice against my feet, and the perforations in the toe box and along the midfoot offer some much-needed ventilation,” Caroline says. “The 880v13 felt really breathable during a muggy, humid morning in South Florida.”

New Balance 880v13 vs 880v12

A side by side comparison of the New Balance 880 v13 and 880 v 12.

Tech Specs

880v13

880v12

Weight

8.4 oz (W), 10.6 oz (M)

8.3 oz (W), 10.5 oz (M)

Heel-to-toe drop

10 mm

10 mm

Stack height (heel/forefoot)

27 mm/19 mm

27 mm/19 mm

Category

Neutral

Neutral

Surface

Road

Road

You’ve heard the old saying “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” and New Balance took that to heart when it came to updating the 880. The latest version is remarkably similar to the previous model, with the main differences being the new, engineered mesh upper that adds breathability and the dual-density midsole that adds responsiveness.

The 880v13 remains true to form as a moderately cushioned, neutral trainer that can be enjoyed during a variety of activities, thanks to its stable platform and classic fit.

“The 880 can be worn for just about anything,” Ashley says. “It’s a great shoe to bring in your bag when you’re going on a trip because you can wear it not just for a run, but to the airport, to the store, to the zoo, et cetera.”

How Does the New Balance 880v13 Stack Up?

A woman laces up the New Balance 880v13.

We took a look at some comparable shoes and how they stack up against the 880v13. Here’s what we found.

Tech Specs

New Balance 880v13

Brooks Ghost 15

Saucony Ride 15

Weight

8.4 oz (W), 10.6 oz (M)

8.8 oz (W), 9.8 oz (M)

7.8 oz (W), 8.8 oz (M)

Heel-to-toe drop

10 mm

12 mm

8 mm

Category

Neutral

Neutral

Neutral

Surface

Road

Road

Road

Price

$140

$140

$140

The New Balance 880v13 is a moderately-cushioned neutral trainer that sits right in the middle of their lineup. On a scale from low-cushion to high-cushion, it’s one step below the 1080v12. This puts it right on par with the Brooks Ghost 15 and the Saucony Ride 15 and, as you can tell from the tech specs, the shoes are pretty similar in terms of weight, heel-to-toe drop, category and price.

Reviewers felt that the 880v13 offers the firmer ride than the Ghost 15 and a similar ride to the Ride 15.

Who is the New Balance 880v13 Best For?

The heel of the men's New Balance 880v13.

The New Balance 880v13 is perfect for runners who want a simple but comfortable running shoe without unnecessary bells and whistles.

“This shoe reminds me of vanilla ice cream. While it doesn’t have any extra sprinkles or cookie chunks, it’s still delicious,” Nate says.

It’s especially delicious for new runners who are just building their shoe rotation and want to start with a daily trainer they can use for the majority of their training.

And because it’s available in extended size offerings, it’s a great choice for runners and walkers seeking a roomy toe box due to wide feet, bunions, hammertoes or other ailments.

The New Balance 880 is an ode to dependability. With so many running shoes using funky geometry and unique technology to increase speed and stamina, it’s refreshing to see a shoe that simply gets you to your destination—with added comfort and support along the way.

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