Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

Post Page Advertisement [Top]

New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v13 Review: Fresher than Fresh
By Matthew Klein and Andrea Myers

Premium, highly cushioned neutral shoes have been around for a long time. They are typically characterized as being more expensive due to having softer/more cushioned soles with higher-quality uppers. In the past, that usually meant heavier shoes where lightness was sacrificed for protection and comfort (supposedly). The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v13 flips this concept, bringing a highly cushioned premium shoe to market with an astoundingly low weight for this category. Not only is it one of the softest shoes in its category, but it is also (currently) the lightest premium neutral training shoe on the market. It is even lighter or as light as many of the more in-line daily trainers, making it a shoe certainly worth talking about.

New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v13
Price: $164.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 9.2 oz, 262 g (men's size 9), 7.3 oz, 206 g (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 38 mm / 32 mm
Drop: 6 mm
Classification: Premium Cushioned Daily Training Shoe


Matt: The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v13 is an incredibly plush, higher stack premium daily training shoe for those who want a soft neutral ride for daily miles. A new version of FreshFoam X provides an incredibly soft, compliant ride throughout the length of the shoe. A knit upper provides a normal fit with a lower volume toe box and a sock like fit. This shoe oozes comfort and softness, making it a great easy run, walking and standing shoe as long as you have stable mechanics. 

Andrea: The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v13 is a soft, relatively lightweight daily trainer. This is the softest shoe with Fresh Foam X that I have tested, including being noticeably softer than the More v4. This shoe will be a great option for runners with neutral mechanics who prefer a high stack, compliant midsole. The mildly rockered ride is not aggressive and does not force motion in any way. The knit upper and padded heel collar make the fit of this shoe both comfortable and secure.

: ASICS Novablast 3


Matt: The 1080v13 fits me true to size in my normal men's US size 10. The knit mesh fits close throughout the length of the shoe with a slightly lower volume that almost made me feel this shoe was slightly short. The toebox has a normal width but it sits low especially over the tops of the toes, especially the 1st one (Hallux). Those sensitive to pressure there may want to go up a half size. On the run (and once you get used to it), the upper disappeared yet still seemed to keep me on the platform. The tongue is moderately thick and gusseted well. The midfoot wrap seems to be good, although I did have to tie down the laces to offset a normal and what felt like a slightly loose heel. Once I tied down the laces, I had no issues with heel slippage. The heel has a moderately thick amount of heel collar cushioning with a stiff but padded heel counter. The round counter did not bother me but those sensitive to stiff heel counters may not do well here. The security of the upper is decent and will work best for easier mileage on stable terrain. I did take this shoe on trail and found that turning quickly and trying to be nimble was not something the upper is great at due to its knit flexibility. As long as you stay running or walking in a straight line, you will be fine. In regards to socks or no socks, this upper is extremely comfortable against bare skin. Running short to moderate distances and even during all-day casual wear, wearing these sockless provided the right balance of breathability and comfort. So those looking for a plush, sock-like/close-fitting knit upper that can handle sockless wear will enjoy the 1080v13.

Andrea: The 1080v13 fits true to size in my usual women's 9.5. There is plenty of width in the toe box for me, but the toe box is lower volume as compared to the More v4. I was concerned that it would bother my toes, but I did not notice it at all while running. Some knit uppers have too much stretch, which allows the foot to move around in the shoe, but fortunately, I did not experience this issue in the 1080v13. The midfoot and rearfoot are normal width and the midfoot definitely has greater volume as compared to the forefoot. It was easy to achieve lockdown in the shoe without needing a heel lock. The gusseted tongue is plush and stays securely in place, with a lace loop to provide additional security. There is a semi rigid heel counter and the heel collar is well padded, which I found to be comfortable and further help secure my foot in the shoe. The overall fit and feel of the shoe for me can best be described as plush. The soft midsole is apparent the second I walked around in the shoe, and the combination of the knit upper, padded tongue, and padded heel collar give the shoe a premium, soft feel. 


Matt: The 1080v13 is an extremely soft, premium neutral daily training shoe. The midsole features a newer blend of Fresh Foam X and may be one of the softest and most compliant midsoles I have experience. The step in feel is extremely soft with the foam compressing equally well in the heel and forefoot. The rearfoot features a large bevel that transitions so smoothly forward. The toe-off is easy, feeling neither flexible or stiff. The forefoot rocker is long, gentle and provides a equally smooth transition forward as the heel. There is a 6mm drop, which feels even lower due to how much the foam compresses when I land on the heel. Those that like cushioned, lower heel drop shoes will like the feel of the 1080v13.

Purpose-wise, the 1080v13 is best for easy miles and longer miles if you have stable mechanics (see the stability section). The foam, while extremely cushioned, is not responsive. It is highly compliant, but not resilient, making it best for relaxed efforts and recovery runs. The weight is extremely light for a shoe of this stack height and category both in feel and listing (9.2 oz men's size 9). This initially makes it feel like it should be able to go faster until you compress the foam and realize how relaxed this shoe wants to stay. The outsole traction is good for road running but has a decent amount of exposed midsole. I would NOT recommend this shoe on trails as any rocks or aggressive terrain will rip up the outsole. On smooth dirt trails it was fine but the combination of soft trail and soft midsole was a bit too much for me. On the road, durability has been fairly average. I have about 30 miles on my pair and have begun to see wear in my normal spot. I would expect average to maybe slightly below average durability on these secondary to how soft the midsole is but I will have to get more miles to accurately determine that.

Andrea: The New Balance 1080v13 is a soft, high stack daily trainer that I found best for easy miles. I have run in many New Balance shoes with Fresh Foam X, and this is by far the softest feeling Fresh Foam X shoe I have tested. This is definitely not the Fresh Foam X of the Beacon or even the More v4. What I particularly noticed in the 1080v13 is how soft the forefoot is. This felt really nice for slow recovery runs, but felt a little lagging for me if I picked up the pace at all. The shoe does feel moderately light on foot, which is impressive considering its high stack. The shoe feels like its stated 6mm drop for me as a midfoot striker. The platform of the 1080v13 is generally stiff and the mild forefoot rocker does not feel like it forces motion. This shoe really makes you do the work, as opposed to some shoes with more aggressive rockers propelling you into push off. The shoe has decent rubber coverage on the outsole and I had no traction issues running on wet roads, but slipped some when running on wet grass. I have 25 miles on my pair and the rubber is showing mild wear at the lateral midfoot, which is a little surprising. I agree with Matt that this shoe may have lower than average durability due to the soft midsole and how much wear is visible after a relatively low number of miles.


Matt: While there are some normally stable elements to the 1080v13, it is a neutral shoe. There are sidewalls on the medial and lateral sides of the heel and midfoot, which gentle hug your foot (this is especially comfortable while standing). The midfoot does not taper as much as it could and widens quickly into the forefoot. However, the midsole foam is so compliant and soft that there is little structure to this shoe. If you land and are moving in a certain direction, there is little the shoe will do to stop you. It is incredibly comfortable and works great for me during shorter efforts, but anything longer I start to fatigue. Thus, this shoe will work best for those with stable and/or neutral mechanics and not as well for those with stability or guidance needs. 

The 1080v13 is definitely a neutral shoe, and one that is made mildly unstable by the soft Fresh Foam X midsole. While it does have some stability elements, including the heel bevel, mild forefoot rocker, and wide base; these elements are somewhat negated by how compliant the midsole is. As a midfoot striker, I find shoes with too much compliance in the forefoot to feel mildly unstable. This is why the 1080v13 worked best for me for shorter recovery runs, but I would not use it for longer easy runs. 

Thoughts as a DPT: Compliant vs Resilient Foams
By Matthew Klein 

The new Fresh Foam X formula is one of the most compliant foams I have experienced. Compliance refers to the amount that a foam will compress under load (Hoogkamer et al., 2018). The higher the compliance, often (but not always), the more people will describe a shoe as "cushioned" or having "soft cushioning." This is different than resilience, which refers to how much or quickly the foam compresses and returns to its original shape (Hoogkamer et al., 2018). A highly resilience is a shoe that people will often describe as "responsive" or "energy returning" or "bouncy". A low-resilient foam will often be described as the opposite as it will not bounce back and will instead stay compressed. 

There are some other factors that go into this outside the foam, namely how the human body reacts to the foam. Just because a foam has these properties does not mean the human being on top of it will react accordingly. There is evidence that in softer/more compliant foams, runners will tend to stiffen their legs, which can increase impact loading (Kulmala et al., 2018). This reflexive stiffening happens from the muscles, which end up working harder due to (what I believe to be) reacting in a way to find stability on an unstable surface. Some of these same things occur with highly resilient foams, although there can be highly different results as they have generally been shown to (usually) improve running economy/efficiency rather than decrease it (Hoogkamer et al., 2018; Worobets et al., 2015).

The point of this is that not all foams are made equally and will not respond equally. Additionally, each human will also interact differently with/to them. The Fresh Foam X foam is extremely compliant but not resilient. This makes it best for easier efforts when energy return (not the best term) or bounce is not necessary. However, whether an individual actual wants that that will completely depend on whether the person using them responds well to a highly compliant foam. Those foam types generally require better muscular and lower extremity stability. So it is important to remember that one foam property by itself is not the end all be all, but instead part of the larger equation when looking at the shoe, cushioning, geometry, and how the individual responds to those characteristics. 


Hoogkamer, W., Kipp, S., Frank, J. H., Farina, E. M., Luo, G., & Kram, R. (2018). A comparison of the energetic cost of running in marathon racing shoes. Sports Medicine48(4), 1009-1019.

Kulmala, J. P., Kosonen, J., Nurminen, J., & Avela, J. (2018). Running in highly cushioned shoes increases leg stiffness and amplifies impact loading. Scientific Reports8(1), 17496.

Worobets, J., Wannop, J. W., Tomaras, E., & Stefanyshyn, D. (2014). Softer and more resilient running shoe cushioning properties enhance running economy. Footwear Science6(3), 147-153.


Matt: I have been unimpressed by prior versions of the 1080. I generally have found it to be a somewhat soft, boring shoe that in previous versions were weirdly flexible in the forefoot. The 1080 v13 really establishes itself as a premium, light, highly cushioned and soft shoe. I would go as far to say this might be one of the softest daily trainers on the market. Add that to a low weight and being the lightest shoe in its category (premium neutral daily trainers), New Balance now has something that sticks out in a positive way. I would love to provide suggestions to make this more stable, like widening the midfoot, but fear it would make the shoe too similar to something like the More v4 (which should be WAY lighter for v5 if they use this newer midsole formula). Thus, my major suggestions are to improve the security at the midfoot while providing a little more volume at the toes. The upper feels lower than it needs to be in the front and could be more snug at the midfoot for appropriate movement at the toes and security of the midfoot. Outside of that, this shoe does its job extremely well as a highly cushioned, premium, neutral daily training shoe

Andrea: New Balance has succeeded in making the 1080v13 a soft, relatively lightweight, neutral daily trainer. While it is too soft for my preferences, I think that it will work very well for runners who prefer a more compliant shoe. I think that the shoe could be improved by increasing the volume in the toe box. Otherwise, this is an incredibly comfortable, plush, and soft shoe that showcases a new version of Fresh Foam X. 


Matt: The 1080v13 is for those who want the softest possible ride in a lighter, premium package for daily and recovery miles. This is one of the most compliant midsoles I have experienced in a while, which make it an excellent recovery and easy day shoe. Those wanting something speedier will have to look elsewhere but those wanting a shoe to run some chill miles will find exactly what they are looking for. The sock-like upper does fit close but it is comfortable enough that you can get away with sockless wear. Those wanting a little more room may want to try the 2E version or wait for the upper to stretch.

As mentioned above, the softness/plushness of this shoe combined with how light it is finally makes it stand out among the premium daily trainers. Those asking "What is the softest shoe" finally have something to look toward. This does make it a bit more niche in the fact that those with stability needs will probably not do well and those wanting something versatile for a variety of paces may come up short. However, those things are NOT what this shoe is meant for. It is simply a highly cushioned, soft shoe for daily and recovery miles. 

Andrea: The New Balance 1080v13 is a soft, high stack, lightweight daily trainer. For those who expected the More v4 to be softer than it actually is, the 1080v13 may be the shoe they are looking for. Due to the high compliance of the midsole, this shoe will be best for easy miles despite its light weight. This shoe also fulfills the role of a truly neutral shoe with minimal guidance elements. For those runners who do not do well with aggressive forefoot rockers or toe spring, the 1080v13 could be a great option. This shoe will also be a nice walking shoe or even a work shoe for those who are on their feet all day and prefer a softer shoe. 


Fit: B+ (Sock-like knit mesh. Sits low across the toes, comfortable but need to keep it going in a straight line)
B (Extremely soft, compliant foam makes this best for easy/recovery miles only)
Stability: B- [Neutral] (Sidewalls, wider/straighter sole but sole is so soft it offsets all guidance methods)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (Fantastic job getting such a highly cushioned, premium shoe to come in at such a lighter weight. Could be a bit more stable but an understandable trade-off to get a shoe midsole this light AND compliant)
Personal: B (An extremely comfortable shoe for shorter recovery runs and walking. Not stable enough for me but I can still appreciate this shoe)
Overall: B+

Fit: A- (Knit upper overall quite comfortable, soft, and secure. Would prefer a little more volume in the toe box.)
Performance: B 
(High midsole compliance limits this shoe's use to shorter easy runs. This shoe is softer than what I prefer, but I still enjoyed my test runs in it.)
Stability: B- (neutral) (This shoe does not have much in the way of guidance features and will work well for those who prefer minimal rocker in the forefoot)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (Nice update to the ride and feel of Fresh Foam X. This is a lightweight shoe for such a high stack height.)
Personal: B (Too soft for my preferences, but I enjoyed the comfortable fit and light feel.)


New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v13
Price: $164.95 at Running Warehouse

Shop Men | Shop Women

*Using the link to purchase helps support Doctors of Running. Thanks so much!

Check out Gear We Love
Ultraspire Fitted Race Belt: The best way to carry your phone and goods on the run. No bounce and various sizes for waist. (Also recommend the Naked belt)
Saysky Running Gear: We were really taken aback by this Scandinavian company's ultra-thin, durable performance clothing
Skratch Recovery, Coffee Flavor: Mental and physical boost post run. Coffee flavor is excellent and goes great straight into a fresh brewed cup
goodr Sunglases: Run in style with goodr's super fun sunglasses.
Feetures Socks: Massively grippy socks that will make you feel more one with the shoe
Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Water Bottle: Perfect for long runs when you need hydration in the summer
Trigger Point Foam Roller: Help get those knots out post-run and feel better for tomorrow
Ciele Hat: Our team's favorite running hat of choice!
Fractel Hats: Our team's wider fitting running hat of choice!



Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

Thanks for reading!


Facebook: Doctors of Running
Youtube Channel: Doctors of Running
Instagram: @doctorsofrunning
LinkedIn: Doctors of Running
Strava: Doctors of Running
Podcast: Virtual Roundtable
Pinterest: Doctors of Running


Check out the Doctors of Running Podcast to find more reviews, interviews, and running features from the team.

Visit our Podcast Page
Find us on Apple
Find us on Spotify

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 pairs.  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.

Please feel free to reach out, comment and ask questions!
Contact us at


Bottom Ad [Post Page]

// ]]>