A refined and adaptable upper atop a very cushioned and bouncy sole, in a lighter package. A winning combo. NB aficionados can call it the Beacon Max.
The premium neutral cushion shoe typically represents the flagship model for many shoe manufacturers. Here is where the best materials and most amount of cushioning is combined for a non-compromise, plush experience. No compromises, except for weight and flexibility. That’s where New Balance is pushing the envelope with the 1080v10, the tenth iteration of the venerable 1080 line.
The 1080v10 features a very stretchy Hypoknit knit upper in the forefoot, followed by a thicker knit and laminated overlay in the saddle area. This is trailed by laminated material in the heel, lending some structure to support the Achilles flip, which angles the top of the heel collar away from the Achilles tendon. This is increasingly becoming a popular design element of many current running shoes.
The toebox volume is average in width and height, but the Hypoknit material stretches with very little effort, allowing for a more compliant fit for wider feet. The tongue is fully gusseted and has a decent amount of foam stuffing. The lace eyelets are linked with the laminated saddle and the whole thing creates a good deal of lockdown. The heel counter is surprisingly flexible, compared to other shoes in this category.
Midsole / Outsole
For the sole unit, I need to mention the insole at the top of the stack. While most insoles are standard EVA foam, the 1080v10’s is made of memory foam. This creates a really soft initial step-in feel and also adds to the overall cushioning of the package. The midsole is NB’s new Fresh Foam X formulation, which is quite soft and slightly bouncy. The outsole is mostly covered in blown high abrasion rubber,with a good amount of segmentation to enable more flexibility. The entire midsole is surprising flexibly, given this shoe’s stack height and category. There is also a lot of toespring – the curved, upturned toe geometry, which is very uncommon in this category.
The 1080v10 has stack heights of 30mm rearfoot and 22mm forefoot, for an offset of 8mm. My example in US size 9.0 weight in at 277g (9.9oz) for a single shoe. This is an excellent weight for the premium neutral category, where some models can weigh 11-12 oz.
The 1080v10 provide a truckload of cushioning. It’s soft throughout the compression cycle and the midsole provides decent energy return. The cushion is uniform front to back, allowing for a very smooth transition thorugh the gait cycle. I really like the amount of toespring, as it makes the toe-off clean and quick. Since the shoe is pre-curved, you don’t need to flex the midsole as much during toe-off.
The upper fits my average to wide forefoot and narrow heels quite effectively. The heel cup. while not stiff, provided an excellent hold on my ankle and did not experience any heel slip. The things that I typically dislike about premium cushioning shoes – higher weight, stiff midsole and heel counter, are addressed by the 1080v10. Though I recognize the lower stability created by the softer heel counter may not be for everybody.
I’m reminded of the New Balance Beacon with its high cushion to weight ratio. With more cushion and more weight, I can think of it as a Beacon Max.
- Saucony Triumph 17
- Brooks Glycerin 17
- Asics Nimbus 22
- Mizuno Wave Sky 3
- Hoka One One Bondi 6
The 1080v10 an excellent choice for the category. It delivers top of class cushioning, with lower weight, more flexibility and better energy return than other models. A great update and easily one of my top recommendations for a premium neutral cushioned shoe.
I purchased the 1080v10 at retail cost for this review.