|New Balance Fresh Foam 980|
The big craze in running right now is maximum cushioning shoes. It seems ever since Hoka came out, many companies have followed suit this year with their version of what would be considered maximum cushioning. Frankly, I was not sure what to expect when I received the New Balance but they looked pretty cool and I've been looking for a new brand of shoes to compliment what I wear now.
Many of the reviews I read said that these were really just like a typical neutral pair of shoes. Of course, looking at them, it looks like the drop on these would be huge but surprisingly these are only a 4mm drop. I've typically run in a 6-8 drop so I didn't think it would be that much difference. In addition, I've run in a pair of 4mm minimal shoes for short runs as well but I could not get past the 10 mile mark - until I tried these.
|Looks much bigger drop but is only 4mm; seamless design gives a great fit.|
The technology of the New Balance shoe is really impressive. It's really an incredibly engineered, computer 3d printed technology design. As you can see above, the midsole has these convex and concave areas on the shoe to help give you that soft cushion that you get from the midsole. In addition, the outsole has a design that allows more of your foot to land on the ground. For me, I think it's what helps the shoe feel like you are connecting to the ground with every step for a soft transition from heal to toe.
|Now that's engineering at it's finest!|
Here's a better picture of how large that tongue is but again, as I mentioned, it does not hinder your running at all.
|Ready for my run!|
I was completely surprised by how they felt especially given the stack height on these are very similar to my regular running shoes. I guess because when I think if a 4mm drop, I think of feeling the ground at every step. I never felt I would be able to go longer than 10 miles in any 4mm drop shoe. Don't get me wrong, you still have some ground feel to them but I was completely impressed with the soft landing these have. They are also not a miracle shoe or anything so if you run double digits, your legs are still going to know you ran. Of course, if you are not used to a lower drop, you might want to transition into these a little slower than I did.
What I describe as a successful pair of shoes is any shoe that does not have me thinking about running in them. You just forget that your wearing shoes and are able to concentrate on your workout at hand. Since I got these, I've put 66 miles on them(all on the road). It felt like I was always grabbing for these to run. I even ran several races in them including a 10k and 5k double after only 11 miles on them. They felt that good that I took a chance wearing new shoes for a race. They felt wonderful the entire time. I even ran in them for my first half marathon of the season just this past Sunday and they felt great the entire race.
I can't say enough about these shoes and their comfort so I put my money where my mouth is. I already purchased another pair from Onlineshoes yesterday through their Mystery Savings promotion and scored a pair at 30% off their regular price(sign up for e-mail promotions to get these kind of deals).
|Another pair coming|
Thanks to New Balance and Onlineshoes for giving me the opportunity to try out the Fresh Foam 980's. If you are a neutral runner looking for more comfort, check them out.
Interested in learning more or getting yourself a pair?
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Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary pair of New Balance Fresh Foam 980's in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to give anything other than an honest opinion.