Today we want to talk about two new releases from New Balance and compare them to another popular model we do very well with here in the shop. New Balance, as you know, make a million different shoes, and they have ton ways to categorize them. Two of the most popular shoes we carry here in the shop are the 880 and 860. They are both mid-cushion shoes, one neutral and one stable. It is interesting because many people associate a higher number of New Balance with a better product, a better fit, and all that good stuff which is not necessarily true. The 880 and the 860 are only both sold in run specialty shops.

First, I will start with the New Balance 880 version 12. Technically, it is called the New Balance Fresh Foam x 880 version 12, which is quite a mouthful. The NB 880v12 is New Balance’s most popular, mid cushion neutral shoe in the run specialty category.

The New 880v12 is a super nice plush mid-cushion neutral shoe. Fresh Foam X is the proprietary blend of squishy soft, durable midsole material. Specifically, this one has two different densities of their Fresh Foam. We have one that is more like a cushion feel from when you are landing and a little bit firmer for when you are towing off there.

You can see some differentiation in color there. This is great for somebody with a neutral foot. If you are somebody with a high to medium-high to high arch. This is going to be a perfect shoe for you. It is not going to push or pull you any which way, and inside of this shoe it almost has like a little bit of a channel to it. So, if you have just a little bit of slight pronation, either way, it is going to hold you firm. It is a nice, everyday mid-cushion shoe. It is perfect for the average runner. If you are doing those 10 to 15 miles a week, or if you are just somebody who maybe jump on the treadmill go do three or four miles at a time, this is a great everyday shoe for you.

I always say how durable New Balance shoes are. There is a reason New Balance been making shoes for so long, and to me it is because their shoes last. With the 880v12, it is a shoe that is going to last, the Fresh Foam midsole will stand the test of time and provide that soft landing. It also fits very well. It has some width options and a lot of color options; it is a good price point it’s something that you can wear and do a little bit of everything in.

What is the difference between the New Balance 880v12 and 860v12?

There are some big differences. You see how that little differentiation on the medial side of the 860 is designed for somebody who overpronates. So, it is designed for somebody who is more flat-footed or who rolls in when walking and running. It is designed to push you up. Interestingly, they are both in those eight hundred categories, the 880 and 860 but we’ll have people that will swear that you know a 1470, etc. is a better shoe, but really, for run specialty, these are the two best and most popular shoes that they carry out there. Because they are both mid-cushioned, you can use them for a variety of different things from walking to running and the mileage is going to be fine, and it is going to be nice and durable, and they’re going to fit well and again, especially on the 860, there are more width options and 4E and 2E. They are great as a shoe that you can do a little bit of everything, especially with the Fresh Foam midsole.

These are the two models that when people come in from their doctor said to get a pair of New Balance that they are referring to because that is why you come to a place like a Run Moore or other places that are run specialty is we carry models you’re not going to be able to get elsewhere. So, 880 and 860 your neutral shoe (880) versus a stable shoe (860, in light blue).

New Balance 1080 Review

Coming out in May as well this year was the new 1080. The 1080 is a max cushion neutral shoe so this is going up against models like the Brooks Glycerin or a Hoka Bondi. it’s going to be a long mild shoe and it also has a little bit lower drop than the previous versions we were talking about you know the 880 and 860 have a little bit higher of a pitch to it those are about 8 to 12 millimeters of height to it where this is a little bit lower coming in at 8mm. Everybody has to their own secret sweet spot that they are looking for in a heel toe drop. People ask that all the time, what is the ideal drop? It really is in the eye of the beholder. I have had people come in that swear their zero drop is best for them, or a high drop. Well, sometimes it depends on an injury you might be dealing with. But this one just happens to come right in the middle there at 8mm drop.

One of the things that I love about the 1080 besides the fact that it is a max cushion, so it feels super plush, the upper on this. This has such a unique and stretchy upper for somebody who comes in that has like some bunion issues some width issues they have a super high instep; this shoe is going to be super accommodating.

I think out of all the uppers of the shoes I carry; this is my favorite. I like to show people when they are coming in here asking questions about the differences of the model, which is one of my favorite ones to talk about.

1080 heel cup difference. The yellow shoe is the previous generation

The updates on this version are drastic compared to version 11. They changed the heel cup significantly. A lot of people did not like the way this fit on their heel on the previous model. Many found that it was almost pushing on the back of their heel too much and it did not fit great, or it was uncomfortable, or as soon as they started running, they would notice it. So New Balance got rid of that, and that was for the best. This is a much more padded and traditional heel cup. It is going to be much better for sort of all parties involved here. I think it will help with their sales, and it certainly helps us in the fitting process.

It still has that nice max cushion feel and it still has that nice stretchy upper. Because it is a New Balance shoe, it has great durability. If you’re somebody who’s doing a little bit longer miles, maybe you’re training for a marathon or a half marathon, maybe you’re doing somewhere in that 20, 30, 40 miles a week range, or somebody who’s using this for like a work shoe, you’re working in a hospital you’re working in a school and you’re on your feet all day, this is a great option that comes in some widths, it’s got a stretchy upper it’s got a really nice soft midsole. Also comes out in Spring 2022.

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