NEW BALANCE – FRESH FOAM X
by BRIAN METZLER | APRIL 2020
THE NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM X
There are a lot of components in a running shoe, but, in most cases, none is as notable as the foam midsole under your foot. If you have run in a few pairs of running shoes over the last few years, you’ll know that not all midsole
foams are made the same. But that’s not how it used to be.
From the mid-1970s (when running shoes were first built with layers of cushioning between the outsole and the footbed) until about 2010, most running shoes
featured a standard form of ethylene vinyl acetate, aka, EVA, which offered a moderate level of softness but not much resiliency, no matter what size the runner was or how their feet landed on the ground. Yes, some shoes used air
and gel packets and others had polyurethane inserts, but the main cushioning compound was typically EVA foam.
But then a midsole revolution started in 2010-2014 with several new types of foam—including Fresh Foam from
New Balance, Boost from Adidas and RMAT from Hoka, among others—that offered both plush cushioning and energetic rebound.
The updated Fresh Foam X midsole foam is a modern version of EVA, a uniquely formulated compound injection molded in a heat press. It can be morphed to create single-layer midsole platforms that are either more or less supportive. The new formulation is softer, lighter,
livelier and can flex more dynamically than traditional EVA, so it can match or counteract the natural flex patterns of a runner’s feet.
New Balanced used data recorded from thousands of runners, and their engineers
and designers created concave and convex sidewall patterns and implemented laser engraving to alter levels of compression and resistance under impact as needed for either neutral or stability shoes.
THE NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM COLLECTION
There are a whole range of running shoe styles from New Balance featuring the Fresh Foam X midsole cushioning. From the classic, neutral-oriented 1080, the
lightweight, low-to-the-ground Tempo, the rugged and durable Hierro trail shoe, the maximally cushioned More, and the lightest of the Fresh Foam collection, the .
Read on to learn which style in the New Balance Fresh
Foam X Collection is right for you.
NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM 1080 v9
Weights: 9.5 ounces (men’s size 9.0); 7.9 oz. (women’s size 7.0)
Heel-Toe Offset: 8mm (30mm heel, 22mm forefoot)
The Buzz: The luxuriously appointed, neutral-oriented New Balance 1080 trainer
is built for high-mileage training. This year’s edition has a new upper and a completely renovated midsole design with the softer, cushier and more energetic Fresh Foam X midsole foam. The new Hypoknit mesh upper is softer and stretchier
than the previous models and has fewer overlays, but it secures the foot better than previous editions.
New Balance didn’t rest on its laurels with one of its top-selling flagship shoes after 10 years. Instead, it broke the
mold and updated this premium high-mileage, neutral cruiser into a masterwork model that is lighter, has a better fit, feels more energetic and has a more striking appearance. The 10th edition of the 1080 the epitome of cutting-edge, data-driven
design, both for performance and aesthetics.
In a nutshell, the latest version of the New Balance 1080 has a more supportive fit, is much softer under
foot and serves up a much bouncier ride.
NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM TEMPO
Weights: 8.5 ounces (men’s size 9.0); 6.4 oz. (women’s size 7.0)
Heel-Toe Offset: 6mm (24mm heel, 18mm forefoot)
The Buzz: The Tempo is a new model made with a data-to-design Fresh Foam X midsole to deliver responsive all-day comfort. The sleek, Hypoknit upper is constructed of performance-oriented engineered mesh with embroidery for a tuned, secure fit that offers
soft yet strategic support from heel to forefoot.
The New Balance Tempo is a lightweight, low-profile shoe which carries over some of the agility and liveliness
of the Zante line. It features New Balance’s new trace fiber upper stitching—a similar look (and support function) to the 1080 v10—with a faster vibe geared for quick-cadence workouts. It can be an everyday trainer for advanced runners
or performance trainer for others.
NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM MORE v2
Weights: 9.6 ounces (men’s size 9.0); 8.0 oz. (women’s size 7.0)
Heel-Toe Offset: 4mm (34mm heel, 30mm forefoot)
The Buzz: The New Balance Fresh Foam More v2 features the most amount of Fresh Foam X cushioning underfoot and delivers a soft, pillowy underfoot feel. A lightweight engineered mesh upper in combination with a 3D molded Ultra heel provides a reliably locked-down fit, arguably the
most stable ride among maximal shoes on the market. To reduce weight while maintaining a smooth ride, the More v2 features Fresh Foam X midsole foam with flex grooves in the forefoot and laser engravings on the lateral landing zone.
The second edition of the Fresh Foam More serves up a softer and smoother ride. Although the Fresh Foam More is a neutral shoe, the midsole foam has
been engineered to be slightly firmer on the medial side and slightly more pliable on the lateral side to over a bit of stability for runners who mildly overpronate.
Only a few road running shoes have ever had this much plush
cushioning under foot. (The Hoka Bondi and Altra Duo are a few comparably cushioned shoes.) But unlike some high off-the-ground maximally cushioned shoes, the Fresh Foam More serves up a secure and stable ride without any side-to-side
NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM HIERRO v5
Weights: 11.3 ounces (men’s size 9.0); 9.4 oz. (women’s size 7.0)
Heel-Toe Offset: 8mm (32mm heel, 24mm forefoot)
The Buzz: The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v5 delivers data-driven cushioning for off-road running, and it’s got one of the hottest looks of any shoe on the market. With a cushy and stable Fresh Foam X midsole and a grippy, Vibram Megagrip outsole, the reconfigured Hierro can tackle
moderate to intense terrain with aplomb. It offers trail-specific agility and protection and road-shoe comfort.
Whoever says it doesn’t matter what your trail running shoes look like haven’t worn the latest edition of the Fresh
Foam Hierro. This shoe is lit, and we’re not just talking about the eye-catching paint-splatter graphics package.
The updated version has a soft, gusseted tongue, an improved durable, mesh TPU-coated upper and a more secure
heel that helps ensure a locked-down fit and the inside of the shoe debris-free, while a reinforced toe bumper keeps your piggies safe.
And yes, we love the slick paint job, too.
NEW BALANCE FRESH FOAM 880 v10
Weights: 10.3 ounces (men’s size 9.0); 8.9 oz. (women’s size 7.0)
Heel-Toe Offset: 10mm (28mm heel, 20mm forefoot)
The Buzz: The Fresh Foam 880v10 is an amazing rejuvenation of one of the most beloved performance silhouettes in the New Balance line. Updated with Fresh Foam X midsole foam technology to deliver durable, long-lasting cushioning with smoothness and responsiveness, it’s
a durable, energetic everyday trainer capable of running long or running fast.
A lightweight-yet-secure, stretchy Hypoknit mesh upper delivers a comfortable fit and breathable support without any hassles. The soft, engineered
mesh upper snugly wraps the top of the foot, providing a secure fit while allow the foot to move and flex uninhibitedly at high speeds. Meanwhile, the supportive midsole utilizes luxuriously soft Fresh Foam X cushioning for an ultimate
underfoot feel. The data-driven foam cushioning is engineered for precision comfort, providing an ultra-cushioned ride that’s ready to be your high-mileage workhorse.
Although it’s a neutral shoe constructed without medial posts,
the 880’s wider footprint helps give it inherent side-to-side stability. Two large horizontal full-length grooves on the outsole, coupled with a honeycomb pattern and blown rubber under the forefoot, give the 1080v10 a smooth ride with a peppy demeanor.