The New Balance 1080v10 was easily one of the best daily trainers out last year and a shoe you could really recommend to anybody. The caveat was that due to the heel cup design, it only worked for some people, but when it did… it rocked it. People are seriously fanatical about the shoe and we are sure they will stock up on the last version, but we were really interested to see what would happen when New Balance launched the 1080v11 and curious see how big those changes might be. Turns out, not so much.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Fun and responsive daily trainer with only minor upper changes from the v10.
- Heel cup can be finicky for many, so make sure you can try before you buy.
- Weighs in at 9.2oz or 261g for a US Men’s 9, 8.0oz or 230g for a US Women’s 7.
- Features 27mm of cushion and has an 8mm heel/toe drop.
- Retails at $150.00 USD and comes in4 colors for Men and Women.
The good news is, the 1080v11 basically the same shoe in almost every way as the 1080v10 except for one really big one which we will get into in a second. The forefoot upper has been modified providing more breathability and a little more flex and they have removed the thicker denser material at the midfoot in favor of that embossed New Balance logo which acts as mid-foot support. The midsole is still their really bouncy Fresh Foam X with a heavy rocker designed to keep you moving forward and it finishes with a good amount of rubber for traction and durability. The one big difference is the 3D heel cup which has been redesigned and it again becomes polarizing. Some people will hate this one and love the last one whereas others will prefer the newer design, it is going to be very at foot dependent so it is hard to make a generalized recommendation.
On the foot, the shoe is very comfortable and that upper can accommodate varying widths pretty easily. We definitely like the improved more breathable toe box as it allows more airflow during the run. We also like the reduction of that material on the midfoot in favor of this new support which helps with side to side stability. The Fresh Foam X still has a tremendous amount of bounce but is balanced with solid levels of cushioning. The heavy rocker design really gets you going and makes this a much more up-tempo shoe.
The heel for us works better on the v11 and people will hate us for saying that. The bottom line is if you like the v10, then go get it on sale right now because you may not love the v11, and other than those slight upward tweaks it is essentially the same shoe from the midsole down. If you struggled a bit with the v10, then maybe give the v11 a shot, but go in with your guard up because this anatomically designed 3D heel cup doesn’t seem designed for everybody. Note, we actually experience some level of heel slippage with this design, but it doesn’t hamper the run so not necessarily a black mark against it.
The shoe was a fun run when it works for you, it is actually one of the best daily trainers in the market. It is just over 9oz, it has a ton of cushion, great stack height, all coupled with a nice rocker that really gets you moving. It is a somewhat effortless shoe and if it doesn’t work for you you will know very quickly.
The Hypoknit has been updated to allow for more breathability in the forefoot. As you move back to the mid-foot, the New Balance logo replaces that old thick fabric and handles stability. The tongue is gusseted and it has a bootie-like fit at least from the mid-foot back. The anatomical 3D UltraHeel heel cup has been updated and it is supposed to mimic the heel and Achilles to ensure a nice contoured fit. The top of this cup is flexible and the bottom half is very rigid.
The midsole on the 1080v11 is 27mm of Fresh Foam X all designed with a very heavy C shaped rocker. The FFX provides a ton of cushion while also being very responsive. There is no firmness really in these shoes at all, so that midsole feels highly balanced.
The outsole features rubber strategically placed at key contact points which increases both traction and durability. It is a mirror image of the v10 outsole so they stuck with a model that truly worked.
Style & Aesthetics
The 1080v11 is solid looking and the reduction of some of the weird patterns in the heel and upper have been removed. New Balance is offering these in 4 different colors for men and women and we would love to see them take these color options up a notch and add some two color versions as well.
So should you upgrade from the 1080v10 to the 1080v11? That is the question we keep hearing. The bottom line is if the 10 works for you, stick with it and buy them on sale because you run the risk of the 11 not working and the key areas like the midsole and outsole remain relatively the same. If you struggled with the 10 or are just interested in trying out the 1080 given all the hype, then start with the V 11 because the other upper changes are definitely improved. Please go in remembering this shoe is going to feel a bit more bouncy and responsive and while it has good cushion, it definitely wants you to get your legs moving. When it works, it really works, and if you want to try it then buy from a running store that has a return policy that allows you to try them first, or better yet find a local running store and make an appointment to try them in person.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.