If you have opened up a copy of a running magazine in the last month you can not have failed to have noticed the New Balance 1080. In fact I know a runner who became that obsessed with the look of the shoe that he received a pair for Valentines!
The release of the New Balance 1080 is the biggest in the running shoe manufacturers history. New Balance are desperately trying to take some market share from Nike and ASICS. So much so that in a bold move they have released the original version of the 1080 in a striking red colorway. And so far, so good! It has been one of the most popular shoes on Ransacker this month.
As a follow on from one on New Balance’s best selling running shoes, the 1064, the 1080 is now the manufacturers flagship Neutral cushioning running shoe.
According to New Balance; “The New Balance 1080 has been re-engineered from the ground up to provide the best in fit, cushioning and performance whilst maintaining the runners feel for the road. One of the major benefits of the shoe is the new configuration of NB’s premium cushioning material N-Ergy in the heel. This crash pad makes it the ideal choice for heavier or higher mileage runners’.
Essentially it has been designed as a “high mileage” running shoe, utilising N-ERGY to provide a super comfortable ride.
So what is N-ERGY??
N-ERGY is a resilient engineered elastomer (A very bouncy gel like material) that is built into different areas of the shoe to provide the optimum cushioning for an individual. Don’t forget that with every ground contact around 2 / 3 times a runner’s bodyweight is sent back up into the shoe so it is crucial the shoe helps to account for this force.
There are three key factors that make N-Ergy the optimum cushioning system currently on the market;
1) Shock Absorption – The way the 1080’s midsole utilises the N-Ergy material allows for the material properties to absorb the impact with the ground.
2) Compression – N-Ergy’s material is designed to compress excellently upon impact with a rebound of over 60% to allow the material to feel it gives the runner extra “bounce” then recover to its original form immediately.
3) Durability – N-Ergy has no air cells in it, unlike EVA foam cushioning systems and therefore does not break down like EVA foam giving the shoes cushioning a longer lifespan.
The mid sole for the New Balance 1080 has been reconfigured well to have more ground contact. A generous amount of blow rubber on the whole forefoot, extending all the way to part of the heel makes the bottom look really substantial.
Like the New Balance 1064 before it the 1080 will please runners who are traditional heel strikers. Very few neutral shoes are targeted to heavy runners and the 1080 continues in that tradition.