New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12 Review
by iRUN Singapore on April 28, 2022
Weight: 295grams / 10.4oz
Price: $269 SGD
Stack Height: 30/22mm (8mm drop)
Pros & Cons
Great Upper Fit
Heel Update is Much welcomed
Upper is a Little Thick
Fresh Foam X is a little dull
A couple of updates here in the New Balance 1080v12: a slightly more flexible and stable ride, while also getting rid of the problematic ‘ultraheel’ heel design in the past two iterations.
Upper & Fit
The ‘Hypoknit’ upper is an engineered knit upper that was designed to ‘provide strategic areas of stretch and support while focused on breathability”. I didn’t find this knit that breathable, considering that it is on the thicker side. It was alright on evening runs but I wouldn’t use this on late morning runs where the temperature is around 32 degrees Celsius.
I received a 2E width, and the toe box was really generous. At true to size, I could opt for thicker socks. The heel counter has been changed from the ‘ultraheel’ in the v10 and v11 to a conventional one. Many consumers had issues with the old ultraheel, such as poor lockdown and blisters. This new heel in the v12 eliminates all of these. Lockdown was good; I did not need to tie any lace lock or use the last lace hole. Those with narrow feet might want to go for a half size down or opt for the standard width.
Overall, the upper is one of the better ones I’ve tried in a daily trainer. It’s more accommodating to those with wide feet and really comfortable, though breathability can be improved here.
Midsole & Ride
The midsole comprises New Balance’s Fresh Foam X. With 3% bio-based content, it is an EVA foam compound. There are some laser-engraved hexagon patterns (Concave on the lateral side for easier compressibility and convex on the medial side for less compressibility).
This foam compound is protective and slightly soft but lacks any sort of bounce. Flexibility is pretty good in aiding foot transitions, but I would have hoped for some element of bounciness in the ride. It works well for easy, steady and recovery runs, but I would not take it for anything faster due to the lack of elasticity in its ride.
I would have loved for New Balance to incorporate their FuelCell technology in the 1080 series. Their FuelCell foam is one of the best that I’ve tried, and I strongly believe that this is would greatly improve the current ride.
Outsole & Durability
The outsole is made of blown rubber that generously covers the high wear areas of the outsole.
The grip is decent, something you would expect from any daily trainer. The outsole patterns work well allowing the shoe to flex more in the forefoot. You can expect high amounts of durability here, similar to the v10 and v11.
Areas of Improvement
Either change the Fresh Foam X compound or utilize FuelCell foam
Use a slightly thinner upper
Lose a little of its weight
The New Balance 1080 v12 is a premium, versatile daily workhorse that works really well for anything slower than tempo paces. It’s on the heavier side but possesses high durability for your everyday runs.
Reviewed by Xtride Running
Check out the New Balance 1080 V12 Collection Here