Women's NEW BALANCE® FRESH FOAM 980 :: You're gonna be psyched on this brand new New Balance® running shoe that offers natural running with unnaturally good cushioning, the Women's Fresh Foam 980. Experience that full-ground contact you crave with this shoe's 4mm heel drop, while running protected in the soft, supportive foam that provides you with cushioning equal to, or better than, that of premium neutral category shoes. Your feet will also be held securely and comfortably in place compliments of the Fresh Foam's no-sew upper, and you can count on these babies to last you for the long-haul thanks to their excellent durability. 7.2 ounces
These shoes have single-handedly saved my running career, which ended several years ago when I developed chronic forefoot pain (no Morton's neuroma, no nothing - just constant pain). Hyper-flexy minimalist shoes made the pain and swelling radically worse, and cutting distance didn't help, so I reluctantly quit running, while trying to get back into it every six months or so with a fancy new pair of shoes -- with no luck, until now.
Enter the NB Fresh Foam, which has kept my angry feet AND my battered knees super happy easing back into running over the past several weeks.
If you're looking for a flexy, marshmallowy shoe that will let you feel the road surface, this isn't your shoe.
If you're looking for serious cushioning that won't leave your feet and lower leg scrambling to stabilize, this IS your shoe.
I'm a mild over-pronator and to me the Fresh Foam compare favorably to motion control shoes but are vastly lighter and less ski-booty. I have a very high arch, and wear them with an aggressive arch cookie or my orthotics (NO running shoes ever give me adequate arch support).
Some reviewers find these shoes stiff. If you grab the shoe in your hand and flex it, yes, it will feel stiffer than most other shoes. However, when running or even walking in these shoes, all I notice is the cushioning and support.
One minor 'oddity': when I first put these on and walked around, it felt like the sole (the cushioning part) cut away from under the toes too radically. I noticed they've adjusted this in the new model, but I have to add that, at under 10 miles a week, it didn't cause any problems while actually running in them, or even walking up Seattle's steep hills.
Good, but not great
I am not a runner, but I often spend a lot of time on my feet and have suffered with plantar fasciitis, so I am always on the lookout for comfortable shoes. These shoes offer a very comfortable forefoot cushion and because of the flat construction do not force your foot forward or down as more traditional running shoes may. They are extremely well-ventilated for summer runs (or walks).
On the down side, I have a high arch, so, as with almost all my sneakers, I have to add an orthotic. While this detracts a little from the very comfortable cush of the shoe, it means long days on my feet are less stressful. The manufacturing flaw I mentioned is both trivial and annoying. The seam around the tongue of the shoe is left raw, rather than being finished with binding. While the inner sock material is very soft, the outer material is very scratchy. On the right shoe, the outer material touches the top of my foot and is very uncomfortable (I usually wear sneakers w/o socks). This lack of attention to detail is ridiculous in a relatively expensive running shoe, which may be worn by 'barefoot' runners. Since it is only one area on one shoe, though, I will sew on a little piece of fleece if I can. ( Of course, the offending area is right down where the tongue is attached to the shoe!)
Other than that, though, I really like these shoes.
Interesting new shoe but not perfect
I am trying these as a slightly more cushioned alternative to the NB 1400. RRS experts recommended them. They're good shoes but have several surprising features. The cushioning is very hard, not soft. The sole is one piece, so there's no flexibility in the arch or any area. The heel cushioning is much more than elsewhere on the shoe and kind of encourages (weights one back to) heel striking. As another reviewer said, there is little arch support but these shoes are recommended for neutral (and other) runners. The shoes do not grip wet surfaces well. And they seem pretty heavy (especially on hills and fast runs); they're "only" 2 oz more than my 1400 but make a noticeable difference. Anyway, I'll stick with them for long, slow plodding runs, but will likely go back to the 1400s for faster runs (and the 1600s for racing short races).
Not what I'm looking for
If you want cushioning, this shoe will be great. That's the only thing I've liked about it.
They felt great in the store, but feel clunky on runs. Very stiff sole, very heavy feeling, like I've got boats on my feet. The toe box feels tight (too much material on top or not enough stretch). The tongue feels way too thick compared to the rest of the shoe.
I want something for long runs, and so far I haven't done anything more than 6mi in these. Can't imagine running 20. Not what I'm looking for so will be returning these shoes.
When I first bought this shoe I loved the comfort and response. After using for about 2-3 months they were awful. The toebox completely stretched out, there was no support and I was not able to use them without my feet aching on the sides from slipping. Even worse, they don't stay tied so hoping to keep my foot in place by tying tighter didn't work either. Very disappointed. Contacted NB customer service twice and got the run around. Will NOT purchase another pair
Upper not made well at all
980 Trail shoe is one of the best trail shoes NB has come up with sole and flexibility wise. I was very dissappointed with the upper though. With only 134 miles the upper has ripped where it meets the rubber. Too much money spent for that to happen just Running 15 miles a week on trails. If they improve this I'll buy the next model...otherwise I wouldn't spend the money.
VERY CUSHIONED BUT STABLE
A very stable shoe. The tongue has two different density components which can cause a blister. The shoe moves well and shows good fit and the upper conforms well to your foot.
An updated version of the old fashioned original running shoes of old. The computer generated sole works well and reminds me of the original shoes from 40 years ago, but improved
Long island NY
Love these shoes. Have wide foot and ordered the wide did select 1/2 size up. Perfect fit. Very comfortable and light weight. Cushioning is good but not sure for longer runs. Only have 3-5 miles at a time in them and they are fine. I have converted over from an Asics kayano to New Balance mostly because of my width issue and having more choices with NB.
Value for the $
Cross Country coach--I use these on all kinds of terrain. 30-35 miles per week. I was having hip pain in my previous brand. Haven't had any issues with hip pain since getting this shoe. Love the cushion. Canvas does tear easily if caught on twigs on the trail. Shoe laces are silky and come untied easily.
Hard as a rock
I was expecting a nicely cushioned ride in these "fresh foam" shoes, but the foam is hard as a rock. The shoes feel clunky, and there seems to be no give when landing. I am a midfoot runner so I was drawn to the 4mm drop, but these shoes made my feet and calves miserably sore. I did like the color selection, but performance is more important.
On the fence
This shoe provides great streamlined cushioning with a light breathable upper. My main issue is the traction. In the gym, this shoe slides too easily and throws me off balance. On the road, it doesn't provide enough grip when running in damp conditions. I think this pair will be going back.
Looks do deceive.
I feel the toe box is to narrow. Espcially for running.Good for gym and walking. I have flat feet and this shoe has engough cushioning to keep my feet from aching after walking or standing for long periods. I use them for classes like Zumba, kickboxing.
Love this shoe!! Just put it on and run
I would not call this gray and purple - it is definitely more fuchsia or hot pink. Having said that it is a great shoe. Have worn NB for 20 yrs and this one is great!.
I walk a mail route of about 7 miles a day..shoes are very soft at first but only have had them for 3 weeks just hope they dont wear out to fast.
Love this shoe. It it so comfortable, I just wish it had a little bit more arch support. I have a very high arch.
New Balance 980
very comfortable shoe. I look forward to logging many miles in them!
too much whiz not enough bang.
Womens New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Running Shoe
Watch the Women's New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Video!
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