PRODUCT REVIEW: NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM 880v10
Yeah, we're big Bowie fans. But unlike the 1971 classic, these changes aren't strange. New Balance absolutely crushes it with the latest update to their 880 franchise. Ever since about the 6th edition, New Balance has had this daily neutral trainer on point. Over the years, New Balance has make some tweaks here and there, for a more dialed in fit, sleeker aesthetic, and a smoother ride. But with the v10, New Balance really went back to the drawing board. Some big updates here, so let's dive right in.
Ya gotta be fresh.
You may notice something added to the name of the latest version of the 880 - Fresh Foam. This is the first time New Balance introduces their patented Fresh Foam technology to the 880 line. Over the years, New Balance has tweaked the Fresh Foam compound, along with leveraging it in different ways - from faster, lighter shoes like the Fresh Foam Zante, to the beefy Fresh Foam More.
In late 2019, New Balance launched their softest version of Fresh Foam to date - Fresh Foam X - with the roll out of the 1080v10. A foam we thought would be reserved for only the highest of cushioned shoes, is now being used in more "moderate" cushioned models. For shoe geeks like us, a shock.
X marks the spot.
So what exactly is Fresh Foam X, and how does it differ from traditional midsoles?
We could bore you with percentages and statistics that'll put you to sleep like it was freshman year algebra. But think of it this way - Fresh Foam X is lighter, more flexible and softer than traditional EVA foam, all while maintaining its durability.
While cushion is the story here, the 880v10 isn't overly plush. Yes, you can have TOO much cushion. New Balance uses a more responsive midsole compound under the forefoot. This will result in a drop firmer feel at toe off.
Kick it up a notch.
While we generally dodge the conversation about aesthetics when it comes to running shoes - remember, it is function over fashion! - man, the upper on the 880v10 is just killer. New Balance moves away from the traditional mesh of old, and introduces a knit upper. Referred to as Hypoknit, the weave is strategically designed to lock down the foot where needed - mostly around the arch area, and the lateral side of the shoe - but is comfortable and accommodating in the toe box and forefoot.
How does does a good thing get even better? We're aren't sure, but New Balance managed to pull that off with the 880v10. The 880 line has been one of the most popular options at our stores for the last 3+ years or so. The v8 and v9 were such home runs, we get a little nervous when brands make big changes. But rest, easy - if you're an 880 loyalist, the v10 doesn't miss a beat.
Weight: 10.9oz (Men's), 8.9oz (Women's)
Offset: 10mm (Forefoot: 18mm, Heel: 28mm)
Craig Segal, Co-Owner of Runner’s High-Freehold has been running since his days as a youth navigating the trails at Holmdel Park. He competed at the prep level at Holmdel High School and moved on to run for Villanova University before competing for Monmouth University as a graduate student. He can be found on the roads, racing anything from the 5k to the marathon. He holds a half marathon best of 1:08:20 and a marathon personal record of 2:25:09. He is admittedly a running shoe geek.