Tuesday, March 31, 2015

New Balance 1080v3 Review

So, I waited until I retired these to do a review.  This isn't a comprehensive review, but it does cover my overall impressions and comparisons about this particular shoe.

I keep trying to have a couple of different brands in my rotation, and New Balance is, mostly, US made so I was feeling very patriotic and bought these on my last trip to Roadrunner Sports. I also have another pair of New Balance 1400s in my rotation, more on those another time.

First off, on the my initial treadmill run at the store I noticed that the shoe had great cushioning, comparable to what I expect from my Brooks Glycerin, and even better than I experienced with the Asics Gel Nimbus 13, at first blush that is.  I really need the cushioning as I primarily run on pavement, so my shoes take quite a bit of abuse and without significant cushioning, so would my joints.

I have been running in my Brooks Glycerin 9s for some time now, and they have been my absolute favorites, easily beating out Nike & Asics.

These shoes have decent ventilation, and remain comfortable throughout my regular 3-5 mile runs.  I didn't use them for anything longer. The mesh upper breathes well, though not as well as Brooks, but still it's fine.

They also have a decent heel drop, which is important for me as it helps with my arch support and weak ankles.  Not too high, but just enough for the support I need.

On the treadmill, they were amazing and the midsole was both comfortably cushioned and responsive. On pavement, well, a bit less so, but the cushioning was great and absorbed a good amount of the shock from running on pavement.

No heel slippage for me on these, so no need for the runner's knot I had to use for my Asics. A small thing, but a welcome change. The laces are a bit long, so that does require a double know just to keep from tripping over them down the road.

The insole is comfortable enough and the shoe is sufficiently supportive that I can run with or without my orthotics for the first few miles, but that required a change later on.

Honestly I really wanted to love these shoes. I love the company's commitment to domestic products and I like a lot of things about them. However, they just don't stand up to my mileage test.

For the first 200 miles, they were just great! The cushioning remained strong and I had no complaints.   From 200-300 miles, things started to slowly feel different. The cushioning was there, but not great. As an older runner, who primarily runs on pavement, I tend to notice this fairly quickly. Still, they held up well all the way to 300 miles. That said, in a neutral plus shoe, I have a commitment to getting 500 miles...I'm determined that way.

At 350 miles I had to make some changes, and replaced out my orthotics with the standard insole, which honestly made a difference for the next 50 or so miles. I added a sports gel insert to ride above that to get from 400-500 miles. I was committed to getting the 500 miles, and it can be done, I just had to be a bit more creative.

Honestly, 500 miles is hard for any shoe, especially if you primarily run on concrete.  Still, I can get there easier with Brooks than any other shoe I've tried so far.

When all is said and done, The New Balance 1080v3 is a fine shoe. The cushioning and support is good, and it holds up just fine all the way to 350 miles. After that, if you have a commitment to getting up to 500 miles, you will need to be creative about it. All in all I like them better than Asics (even though I got to 400 before having to get creative with them) but not better than Brooks.

Can't wait to test out the Glycerin 11s and , oh I don't know, maybe some Saucony or Newtons on the next round...

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