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New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v13 Review: A Wogger's Friend
By Senior Contributor Nathan Brown and Chief Editor/Founder Matthew Klein

The 880 line has been a staple model for New Balance. It is the type of model that sees slow, incremental changes, and targets a wide variety of users beyond simply running. This breed of shoe can sometimes flop as a true daily training shoe, but in the past New Balance has been able to make this model a serious running shoe while still servicing a lot of groups such as walkers and people who work on their feet. Let's see what is new with version 13.

Price: $139.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 10.9oz, 309g (men's size 9), 8.6oz, 243g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: Not Provided
Drop: 10mm
Classification: Daily Trainer, Walking, Wogging


Matt: The New Balance 880 v13 is a traditional daily training shoe for those who want a moderately soft, durable, normal-fitting shoe for walking and running. A softer bed of Fresh Foam X runs the length of the shoe, providing a comfortable landing wherever you land. A traditional and noticeable 10mm drop is present with a gentle rocker that eases transitions. A normal-width, sturdy upper sits up top with a secure fit. An excellent option for those who want something that feels familiar with some extra cushion, The New Balance 880 v13 will work many as a solid daily running and walking shoe. 

Nathan: The New Balance 880 v13 is a traditionally shaped walk and running shoe that had an accommodating fit, mildly soft feel, and very durable construction. It will be best for those wanting a versatile shoe for some running, some walking, and spending lots of time on your feet. It is a more than capable daily trainer given the adequate geometry and quality underfoot feel.

: Brooks Ghost 15


Matt: The New Balance 880v13 fits me true to size in my normal US men's size 10. The width is normal throughout, fitting neither too wide or too narrow. The forefoot is normal in width with a slightly rounded toebox. I had enough room without it being too snug or too wide. There is a bit of extra volume height-wise, which provides a little extra stretch/room. The midfoot is normal to slightly snug with a normal thickness non-gusseted tongue. The heel fits normally with some mild heel collar cushioning and a moderately stiff heel counter. The counter is rounded, so it did not bother me much, but those extremely sensitive should be cautious. The security is solid and I have not experienced any slippage. I would encourage the use of socks with this upper as there are some seams internally. Overall, "normal" and "standard" fit this shoe well.

Nathan: In general, New Balance does a great job with having an accommodating fit in the toe box while staying secure in the heel. This is certainly true in the 880 v13. It fits true to size with an anatomic-like toe box that has a relatively stretchy upper. The midfoot and heel are moderate in fit but have nice padding in the tongue and heel helping with lock-down. The tongue is not gusseted, but I did not have any movement of the tongue with running. The upper itself is an engineered mesh that is built to last, meaning that it is a bit thicker but still has a bit of airflow.


Matt: The New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v13 is a traditional walking and daily training running shoe. I has a 10mm drop that is noticeable. There is a posterior lateral heel bevel that is mild to moderate in size. The Fresh Foam X provides a cushioned ride in the heel that is slightly bouncy/soft with a firmer feel in the forefoot. The forefoot has moderately flexible with a moderate forefoot rocker and mild toe spring. The transition at the heel and forefoot are both slow and easy which match the pace this shoe excels at. The 10.9 oz weight (men's size 9) is noticeable and the shoe does feel heavier. The slight bounce takes the edge off of this, but trying anything even uptempo feels awkward in this shoe. This makes it best for easy runs, recovery runs and easy long-run efforts. The outsole is extensive and even after 25 miles I have not been able to wear any of it away. Thus, I expect this shoe to last for an above-average number of miles for a daily training shoe. 

Nathan: I want to start by simply talking about performance as a running shoe. The construction is very traditional with minimal rocker or toe spring, a higher drop, minimal sole flaring, and a moderate stack height. Sometimes shoes with this construction can feel clunky in transitions, but the 880 has just enough laterally-biased heel bevel and full-depth flex grooves in the forefoot to make it smooth throughout. The Fresh Foam X midsole has some softness, but it feels a bit firmer due to the thick rubber outsole throughout the length of the shoe. The ride is unremarkable without a notable pop or propulsion, just a mild cushion throughout. I took this shoe on a variety of runs including hill repeats and a long run (1:30+) and found that it was best for easy paces and easy longer runs. Given the foam compound and outsole, I would see this shoe lasting a long time.


Matt: The New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v13 is a neutral shoe without any traditional stability elements. There are no sidewalls, no posting and the midfoot is narrowed. The heel and forefoot sole are slightly wider and the upper is secure. Overall though, this is a true neutral shoe that is not unstable but will work well for those that sensitive to some of the newer methods of guidance.

Nathan: The 880 v13 is a neutral shoe on the verge of being stable neutral, but it isn't quite there. What it has going for it is a slightly firmer ride, nice transitions, a thicker outsole, and a secure upper. What keeps it in the neutral category is the more narrow midfoot contact, lack of strategic sole flares, and lack of side walls. 

Thoughts as a DPT: The Making of a Good Walk/Run Shoe
By Nathan Brown

The demands of running and walking are obviously different. It is different levels of impact, different range of motion demands, and different amounts of time on each section of the foot. Therefore shoe design can certainly make a shoe more geared toward running or walking. This is becoming more and more pronounced with the introduction of higher stack heights, rocker soles, new foam compounds, and stiffening agents (like carbon-fiber plates). The New Balance 880 v13 is one of those shoes that bridge the gap and can work for running and walking.

As a walking, walk/run, or shoe for the new runner, the construction of this shoe really stands out. We talk about finding a first running shoe that is most similar to the shoes you've walked or worked in in the past. This shoe, given the lack of a rocker or propulsive feel and higher drop, checks a lot of those boxes. It has a flexible enough forefoot because of the flex grooves that allow bending of the sole while walking to allow natural use of the forefoot rocker (extension of the big toe). Not that walkers shouldn't have rocker-soled shoes (in fact there are many cases where that is more appropriate), but for someone wanting no-frills shoe, the 880 gives cushioning and the ability to use the natural rockers of the foot. So, for new runners or people who do run-walking or a combination of both, this can be a really nice option.


Matt: The New Balance 880 v13 fits in the now rare traditional run/walk shoe category. Everything about this shoe says normal, which is fine as it is still something some people look for. My only suggestions are to consider dropping the weight and filling in the midfoot (which may be contradictory but I'm trying to help). Even while walking, extra weight places additional stress on certain structures and reduces economy during walking and running. Dropping this to a lighter weight will both make this more comfortable over mileage, but also will make it easier for people during the swing phase of gait. I also would suggest filling in the midfoot. This shoe doesn't need to be a stability shoe, but will certainly more accessible if that was filled in to reduce contrast between the midfoot and the rest of the shoe. 

Nathan: The 880 v13 has stayed consistent with previous models and is no-nonsense. I think an easy change to help this shoe be appropriate for even a wider group of runners and walkers is to fill in the midfoot contact area to widen the base of support. This could further stabilize the platform without changing the ride for those who like the current platform. 


Matt: The New Balance Fresh Foam 880 v13 is a traditional shoe that will work for runners, walkers and others that want a familiar fit and ride. This shoe is a durable, high-mileage option with a solid fit. Everything about this shoe is "normal" and tradition. This is great for many that want this, while those wanting something new should check out other models like the 1080 and FuelCell series. This type of shoe still has a place, but New Balance will need to decide when to update this. The 880 is popular among walkers, so I would assume it will continue to sell well. As other companies progress forward and aggressively update their designs, New Balance will eventually need to decide when they will also take that leap. What the future holds for the 880 is uncertain, but I am curious to see what happens to this staple workhorse. 

Nathan: The 880 v13 fits into a nice space of working for walkers, runners, and everything in between. This is similar to shoes like the Brooks Ghost as it doesn't necessarily shine as tempo running shoe option, but can handle high mileage for runners who don't need any extra guidance or support at easy and daily running paces. It is best for people wanting a running shoe that can double well as a walking shoe or one for work or other outings on your feet. If you're looking to do high-mileage training with specific running-related goals, there are more versatile daily training options.


Fit: B+/A- (Normal fit with a little extra volume. Works well for all day wear)
B (Good for walking and daily training. No versatility for uptempo paces)
Stability: B [Neutral] (No traditional or new methods of stability with slightly narrowed midfoot)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (Nothing new or innovate, but a traditional shoe that works)
Personal: B (Comfortable shoe for walking but too heavy and not stable enough to be added to my rotation)
Overall: B


Fit: A- (Nice fit in the toe box, lack of gusset can be a pro for some and detriment for others, a little thick upper)
B+ (Performs well as a walk/run shoe, and at slower paces)
Stability: B+ (Neutral shoe due to narrow midfoot, lack of sole flare, and lack of side walls)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (Good geometry that works well for walking and easy running)
Personal: A- (Fit is very comfortable, nice for working, enjoyed for easy runs)
Overall: B+ 


New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v13
Price: $139.95 at Running Warehouse

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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your
local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at New Balance for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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New Balanace FuelCell Propel v4

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