Out the box and on the foot this shoe is great. Fit and feel of the upper is first class, and the last shape is great. My big gripe here, is that once I ran in the shoes, I was really let down by the lack of response from the midsole compared to some of the competition on the market right now. The Fresh Foam is decent, but its getting surpassed by other technologies on the market right now, and for the price, I really believe you can buy better. I have run in the Brooks Ghost 10, Saucony Ride 10 and the Nike Vomero recently and all had much better midsole cushioning than the NB1080v8.
There is an update to the midsole from the 1080v7 and NB have added some better flex grooves to the forefoot, and de-coupled the heel more (made some cut outs in the midsole) so that on impact the midsole collapses better, for a smoother heel to toe transition. Overally, the shoe runs from heel to toe very well, and the toe off is smooth, thanks to a lovely toe spring BUT i really did not like the feel of the cushioning compared to shoes that I have tried recently. Fresh Foam is the best that NB offer, but it feels a little dead when compared to other foams on the market. It is a firm ride, and if you liked the 1080v7 you will enjoy this version too as I could find almost no difference between the two. For a higher priced product, the 1080v8 with a single density midsole is not cutting the mustard and Fresh Foam is all of a sudden looking a little dated in comparision to some other technologies on the market right now.
Easily the strongest part of this shoe is the excellent upper, with its sock like fit and smooth interior. The new engineered mesh is hightly breathable and the overlays have hardly changed for the 1080v7, so its intrisically the same upper with minor tweaks. As expected from a New Balance shoe, the last is excellent, and therefore the fit is superb. The toe box is roomy, the midfoot is snug but unrestrictive and the heel counter solid but not constrictive.
A solid perfoming outsole, with good rubber coverage over the whole outsole, giving great durability and the flat top hexagonal lugs give decent grip on any surface including light trail yet enough surface contact to perform excellently even on wet roads. the new flex grooves in the forefoot, and the de-coupled heel area are inprovements on the the previous shoe, but combined with the midsole its difficult to tell its been upgraded. the blown rubber forefoot, even after 50+ miles is holding up well, and is quite and smooth on the road.. This is a good outsole, and performed well in all conditions that I tried it in.
A smooth riding shoe, that is really nice to run it, performs as you would expect. A great heel to toe transition with nice toe off, from a well shaped product, but its lacking the modern advanced cushioning of some competitors at a similar price. Fresh Foam is all of a sudden feeling a little dated, and in need of an upgrade if New Balance are to keep up with the competition in the advanced cushioning stakes. i liked the shoe, it was good to run in, but I have run in more responsive shoes recently.
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