Review: New Balance Fresh Foam 980s

New Balance Fresh Foam 980Just when I thought that I would be searching for new running shoes for ages, I was contacted by New Balance asking if I would review their latest shoe design.

I couldn’t say yes fast enough and get back to running in some new kicks!

The Fresh Foam 980s are New Balance’s latest neutral running shoe.  Direct from New Balance they describe the shoe as:

Combines ultra-plush cushioning with reduced drop from heel to forefoot and offering a super bouncy ride.

Because the soles seem rather large and thick, you would think that this would make the shoe heavy.  However the shoes are very light, weighting less than 10 oz, and are soft like a slipper.

We’ve been having some really icky weather lately and I didn’t want to have to break the shoes in with snow and ice.  Everyone always wants perfect running weather to break in new shoes!   I didn’t have much choice though and got to running as soon as I got these babies in the mail.

They are heaven on my feet.  I’m ridiculously picky about running shoes, sometimes spending up to an hour or more in a store trying on shoes.  They must fit my feet perfectly and sometimes the arch in shoes doesn’t match up with the arch in my foot.  Or the stitching is weird or something hits my toe funny and so on and so on.  You get the point.

These shoes fit like a glove.  They are tight enough that my narrow feet don’t slip as I run but roomy enough that my feet have space to breathe and move around.  There’s no overlay stitching so you don’t have to worry about a seam rubbing against your foot causing blisters.  I’ve worn these shoes with socks and without.  The Fresh Foams provide a smooth fit with no irritating stitching.

The Fresh Foams are so light and cushiony!  They are made to support running from heel to toe.  Even walking in them, they push you forward and support a forward motion.  I am a heel striker when I run so I was very curious how these would feel once I hit the road.

Because they are made with heel-to-toe motion in mind, the heel is soft and bouncy.  It completely supports a heel strike stride giving the runner the cushion they need where they need it.  With the heel-to-toe motion already engineered in the shoe, running becomes very fluid and almost effortless.

New Balance Fresh Foam 980 SoleOne of the things I loved the most about the Fresh Foam 980s, is the sole.  It’s a complete sole with no gaps or air pockets.  Previous shoes that I’ve worn had gaps in the soles. I was constantly getting rocks stuck in my shoes.  And when it snows, snow can build up in the bottom of the shoes and form ice balls making running uncomfortable.  One of the most annoying things is getting something stuck in your shoe while running and you have to stop to deal with it.

With the full sole of the Fresh Foams, you don’t have to worry about any of that!  Once less thing you have to think about while out running.  From my experience running in these shoes, the full sole provides more traction and stability as I run.

New Balance Fresh Foam 980

For those that love flashy shoes, the Fresh Foams do not disappoint! They come in many vibrant color combs with a spray paint finish on the soles. Three color combos to pick from for the women’s fit and three colors for the men’s fit.

Missing my beloved Pearl Izumi shoes, these New Balance Fresh Foam 980s are my new go-to for neutral running shoes!  I will be sticking with these for a while!

Thanks to New Balance for letting me try out their new shoes!


Disclaimer: New Balance contacted me and offered me a pair of shoes for review. All opinions are my own.


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