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New Balance FreshFoam X 880 v14 Review
By Matthew Klein

The New Balance 880 series has been a traditional, slow-growing, consistent neutral daily trainer over the years. Its stack height had slowly been increasing but it remained that somewhat heavy but cushioned shoe that was a staple amount walkers, new runners and those needing a straightforward shoe. 2024 is clearly the year of change for New Balance and many different things have appearing from the brand. A new PEBA based foam for its super and faster shoes, crazy new models and intense upgrades for its current models. The 880v14 is strongly caught up in this upgrading frenzy, returning as the lightest standard neutral daily training shoe on the market. Despite dropping over 2 ounces of weight, it retains its ability to handle consistent daily mileage, keeps the slightly wider toe box, traditional stack height and comfortable ride. A clear example of the revived performance focus from New Balance, the 880 extends its reach from a consistent daily trainer into something with the capacity for a bit more.

New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v14
Price: $139.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 8.7 oz, 247 g (men's size 9), 7.6 oz, 215 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 31 mm / 23 mm
Drop: 8 mm
Shoe Purpose: Lightweight Neutral Daily Training Shoe

Pros: Lightweight, Balanced Cushioning, Consistent/Durable Ride
Cons: Lower Volume Upper, Stiff Heel Counter


The New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v14 is a lighter daily training shoe for those who want a simple, well-rockered ride with lower volume fit. The FreshFoam X midsole provides a mildly soft and consistent ride. Combined with a well rockered and easily transitioning geometry, the 880v14 works best for easy mileage and longer runs. Now the lightest standard daily neutral trainer on the market, the lighter weight makes this a fun shoe for those who do not want to be weighed down. A knit upper keeps the volume low but still stretches to provide all day comfort. A rare moderate stack height shoe that improves in so many ways, the 880v14 is a great shoe for the new and experienced runner wanting something simple, durable and consistent for training. 

: Brooks Launch 10, ASICS Cumulus 26
PAST MODEL: New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v13

(To learn how a shoe should fit, check out our full podcast on fit by Matt Klein.)

The New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v14 fits me true to size in my normal men's US size 10. The knit upper has a lower volume upper, particularly in the forefoot. Combined with a significant taper at the toe box, this makes the otherwise slightly wider forefoot fit more normal/a tiny bit snug. This disappears on the run, but those sensitive to tapers in the toe box should be aware of this while those who do not mind and want a slightly wider forefoot will do well. This transitions into a normal to slightly snug midfoot. There is a mild to moderately thick tongue that is well-gusseted. This secures the midfoot well and I did not have to lace lock or tighten the laces much in this shoe. The heel fits normal with a lower heel height wise and a mildly cushioned heel collar. There is a medium stiffness heel counter that is more apparent due to the thin heel collar cushioning. Those with heel sensitivities may not do well while others who want some stiffness should be fine. I would encourage socks with this shoe as the toe box taper comes from a flexible but noticeable toe guard. Outside of that, this is a lower volume shoe that still has some stretch due to the knit upper. 

Typical Size: Men's US Size 10
Shoes that have fit Matt well: Saucony Guide 17, ASICS Kayano 30, Hoka Gaviota 5, Saucony Endorphin Elite, Nike Ultrafly
Shoes that have fit snug: Hoka Arahi 7, Saucony Kinvara 14
Shoes that have fit large: Salomon S/Lab Phantasm 2, Altra Timp 5

Doctors of Running Checklist

Is This a Good Shoe for Walking: Yes
Is This a Good Shoe for Standing: Yes
Is the Forefoot Flexible: Somewhat
How Flexible is the Shoe: Somewhat
Is This a Good Heel Bevel: Yes
Recommended for Haglunds: No
Recommended for Sockless: No
Durability Expectation: Above Average


The New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v14 is a lightweight daily training shoes for easy miles and uptempo work. The full length Fresh Foam X is slightly soft but well balanced due to the moderate stack height. The drop is now lower at 8mm (compared to 10mm previously) and it feels well balanced. This is also due to the large and slightly posterior lateral heel that makes for smooth heel transitions during both walking and running. This transitions into a solid midfoot that is wider than most. This keeps the flexibility in the forefoot, which transitions nicely due to an early rocker and some mild-to-moderate flexibility. Those with toe mobility issues will not do as well in this shoe but those who want a little flexibility will do well. The lighter weight is noticeable, which makes this a fun shoe to get mileage on. The Fresh Foam X foam is well-balanced but not responsive. I use the word "boring" in a good way where the ride is consistent even across longer miles. The lighter weight does allow for some uptempo work but the midsole is better tuned for easy, long and relaxed efforts.

I have done some fartleks in this shoe and while it does respond, it does not have the crazy responsiveness and snappiness that may faster/racing shoes have. It is a great basic shoe to get miles on and feels best during daily mileage. It feels more like a traditional running shoe that happens to have extremely smooth transitions and geometry. The traction is quite good on road and mild trail. There are better trail shoes out there, but the outsole has a semi lugged pattern and can handle mildly soft surfaces. The durability is excellent as I have almost no wear after 30 miles in my pair. There is only slight wear in my normal posterior-lateral spot after this mileage, so I expect this lighter daily workhorse to last longer than most standard daily trainers despite its lower mass.

(Learn more about stability in our full guide)

The New Balance 880v14 is a neutral shoe that has some stable elements. The heel features some large noticeable sidewalls on both the medial and lateral sides. There is also some noticeable sole flare on both sides but is more noticeable on the medial side. that combined with the large posterior lateral heel bevel make for a guided and stable rearfoot. The midfoot is neutral but not unstable thanks to slight influence from the heel sidewalls, slight stiffness and the slightly wider shape. The forefoot features a decent amount of medial and lateral sole flare. Combined with a smooth transition forward, this makes for a slightly forward-guided ride up front. Overall, the 880v14 is neutral but has a stable neutral heel thanks to several combined methods. 

Thoughts as a DPT: Why Simplicity Is Best for Beginners
By: Matthew Klein

While there are a large number of experienced runners, there are far great magnitudes of runners just getting into the sport. Footwear is more complex than ever before with tons of different categories, foam types, stiffening agents and more. This can be an overwhelming process for the new runner, who is also likely to be bombarded with marketing hype and advertising that is also at an all-time high. 

Running may seem like a simple activity for those who are used to it but it is fairly intense with a difficult transition period for those who are new. It is different from many activities as it is essentially a series of single-leg hops for long periods of time. Most people are not used to the force and power requirements of both the propulsion phase and the absorption phase of running gait as they propel themselves through the air. The landing phase, including initial contact and loading response, requires a ton of fast eccentric muscle activity, which tends to cause more muscle damage than most other types of muscle contractions. This can make people extremely sore as they get used to the sport. On top the shock absorption requirements, the act of doing something repetitively for longer periods also requires significant adaptations from the other parts of the musculoskeletal system and the cardiovascular/cardiopulmonary systems. Not only do the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and other tissues need to get used to the forces associated with running but the heart, lungs and other parts of systems related to the transport of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body have to dramatically improve their efficiency to get used to support an entire body system working at this intensity that most people rarely get close to otherwise. This can be shocking for the system at first as fatigue, soreness and occasional aches are a normal part of getting used to running. 

Most physiological changes to the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems take 8-12 weeks to be significant (Kisner et al., 2017). In the meantime, most of the improvements new runners see come from learning the movements of running and becoming more efficient. New learners, or those in the early cognitive stage of learning, acquire new motos skills best in simple environments and with simple tools. More complex environments and situations, like super shoes, complex foams, plates, etc, can not only distract from learning the skill of running, but may be inappropriate for a new runner for additional reasons. These newer shoe types do not provide free energy and are extremely aggressive. With increased aggressiveness, the runner utilizing this tool type must be more advanced to better adapt to using it. Autonomous or advanced learners, who have extensive experience, can self-regulate, know what they need and how to attempt quicker, are more appropriate individuals for complex shoes/tools. Attempting to learn to use a drastically different tool while still learning the basics of the support may prove to be too much for both the runners and their bodies. Complex shoes make things more complex, which is better later on. When it comes to early learning stages, simple is best at first. 

For those reasons, we suggest that new runners consider shoes like the 880v14 or other simple straightforward shoes like those in our Best Running Shoes for Beginners guide. Learning the basic skills of running, learning to add some simple strength training exercises a few times a week, learning the basics of nutrition, sleep and recovery and how to appropriately train will induce far greater fitness gains than complex shoes. Those can come later but starting simple is best for anything new, especially running. 


Kisner, C., Colby, L. A., & Borstad, J. (2017). Therapeutic exercise: foundations and techniques. Fa Davis.


The Fresh Foam X 880 v14 features a ton of upgrades that keep this shoe simple yet excellent. The ride is simple but effective. The only suggestions I have are to add a little more volume in the forefoot to take the edge off the forefoot taper and to add a little more heel padding to offset the stiffer counter. Outside of that, this is a great, unique shoe due to its simplicity. 


The New Balance Fresh Foam X 880 v14 is for those who want a straight-forward, no-frills training shoe. The ride is well balanced with mildly soft and consistent cushioning that does well for daily mileage and some uptempo work. The lighter weight makes this shoe feel like a lightweight trainer that is not aggressive. The upper is simple and will work for those with normal-width feet best. The new geometry is incredibly smooth and makes for a shoe that will confuse you. It is exciting because of its simplicity and ability to let you focus on the run without having to adjust your mechanics like so many complicated shoes now require. This is a great shoe for the experienced runner wanting a shoe to get mileage in without distraction or a new runner wanting to get into the sport. The more traditional stack height in a standard neutral training is rare in today's world of super high stack and super responsive foams. While those things are not bad, sometimes something simple that let's you enjoy your walk or run can be just as refreshing.


Fit: B+ (Comfortable upper with slight toe box taper and lower volume. Knit upper does stretch to accommodate normal foot shapes)
B+ (Lighter consistent shoe with mildly soft cushioning that is great for easy and long runs)
Stability: A- [Neutral/Borderline Stable Neutral] (Stable neutral heel due to sidewalls, sole flare and solid rocker)
Value: A- ($140 for a solid, durable trainer that is the lightest in its category is a great deal)
Personal: A- (Despite the stiffer counter and slight toe box taper, the ride and fit have been excellent for mileage and all day wear. All the elements of the geometry are just right for me and I really appreciate what New Balance has done to upgrade this model without going crazy)
Overall Design: B+/A- 


New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v14
Price: $139.95 at Running Warehouse

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Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

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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, Santa Barbara, Danbury and Stevens Point areas, we 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.

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