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2023.10.24

New Balance's 'Fresh Foam X 1080' Updated with Further Enhanced Long-Run Design

New Balance's 'Fresh Foam X 1080' is a popular model that supports everything from daily running of beginner runners to ultra marathons with premium cushioning. The shoes, which offer superior cushioning and a soft ride, are also used by many users as walking and commuting shoes.
The redesigned latest version, v13, has reportedly got a 'last' (a mold of the foot used in shoemaking) that has been modified to be more suitable for long rides. As we explore these updated points, we want to reaffirm the appeal of the 'Fresh Foam X 1080'.

The Flagship of the 'Fresh Foam' Series

New Balance's running shoes are developed on two axes, the 'Fresh Foam' series and the 'FuelCell' series. The former is a collection designed to make daily running more comfortable by providing the best cushioning, while the latter offers the highest energy return for race day shoes.
 
The benefit that the 'Fresh Foam' series aims to provide to runners is 360° comfort. The combined effects of a sole unit with the cushioning feeling of running on a sandy beach and an upper that molds like a second skin enable a comfortably fitting shoe with less stress and a pleasant riding sensation. The midsole incorporates a strategic embossed design derived from the Data to Design process, balancing cushioning and stability without the need for multiple materials. The series also features a smooth, quirk-free ride.
 
'Fresh Foam X 1080 v13' is the flagship model of the 'Fresh Foam' series and represents the innovation and craftsmanship of New Balance running. Also, though the 'Fresh Foam' series turns 10 in 2024, the '1080' is the longest continuing model within the series.
Fresh Foam X 1080 v13. Priced at 18,700 yen (tax incl.)
Fresh Foam X 1080 v13. Priced at 18,700 yen (tax incl.)
The original 1080 v1, introduced in 2011, which had a high-tech look
The original 1080 v1, introduced in 2011, which had a high-tech look
The 1080 v6, released in 2016, transitioned to using a Fresh Foam platform
The 1080 v6, released in 2016, transitioned to using a Fresh Foam platform

A Model Focused on Running for Longer Periods

According to Aoi Mamiya, responsible for New Balance's Running Footwear, the 'Fresh Foam X 1080 v13' model focuses on running for longer periods.
 
"We revisited the last (mold of the foot) to ensure a comfortable fit and avoid pressure on the foot even when worn for long periods. The design has been refined to suppress quirkiness, avoid being too tight, and provide a little leeway in the instep area. Also, the toe spring (curve of the toe) is lower and longer compared to the previous model, increasing its adaptability for long jogs and walking, making it a shoe that can be used in a wide range of scenarios."
 
The midsole is thicker in both the forefoot and heel areas than in the previous model, and the drop (height difference between the toe and heel) has been changed to 6mm (the previous model was 8mm). It's safe to say that the specifications are more aimed at long rides, prioritizing comfort rather than speed or propulsion.
 
"The midsole material offers improved resilience and durability, as well as excellent lightness compared to the previous model. Although the thickness of the midsole has increased, the weight of the shoes has been reduced by about 30-40g, providing a lighter feel."
 
The outsole pattern has also been overhauled. Based on running trajectory data, it has been updated to a shape that supports center-of-gravity shifts from contact to toe-off. The effect of the canoe-like sole shape enables smooth forward shifting of the center of gravity.
 
"The outsole plays a role in guiding the center-of-gravity shift that lands on the heel, passes through the outside of the midfoot, and leaves through the ball of the foot and the big toe."
 
In the upper part, recycled fibers made from waste plastic bottles are used. Parts requiring breathability have a coarse pattern, while areas requiring support have a finer mesh. In addition, it is soft and adapts well to the foot, so wearing it for a long time should not be a problem.
The outsole also plays a role in supporting smooth center-of-gravity transitions
The outsole also plays a role in supporting smooth center-of-gravity transitions
The sole is thicker than the previous model. The midsole has improved resilience, durability, and lightness
The sole is thicker than the previous model. The midsole has improved resilience, durability, and lightness
The last (mold of the foot) has been revisited, and the design around the instep is more relaxed
The last (mold of the foot) has been revisited, and the design around the instep is more relaxed
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