The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12 strikes the ideal balance between cushioning, stability and flexibility…

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New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12 Gym Shoes


$159.99 / £160 /


  • Comfortable ride
  • Super thick foam midsole


  • Feel quite heavy when trying to pick up the pace
  • Better suited to longer distances than racing

Fit: 4.5/5
Comfort: 5/5
Performance: 4.5/5

The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12 is the brand’s flagship trainer, described as the best running shoe in its range. A versatile shoe, it strikes the ideal balance between cushioning, stability, and flexibility.

The Fresh Foam is seriously good looking too. Fresh, bright and slick, it’s an attractive trainer that will give you a confidence boost when you step into the gym or hit the pavement for a run. We tried the vibrant orange colour, a bold but smoothly finished design, splashed with flecks of grey. The shoe also comes in black, blue, ocean grey and the enigmatically titled ‘eclipse’ – a deep navy blue.

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One of the first things you notice when you slip on this shoe is the depth of its foam midsole, which provides a huge amount of support. Using Signature Fresh Foam X cushioning technology, the 1080 v12 gives you plenty of padding underfoot and around the heel, helping make for a super comfortable ride. 

Considering that when we first tried these shoes out our legs were still aching from an intense five-a-side football session, I was impressed by the amount of bounce I felt when I hit the treadmill. New Balance’s specialist foam midsole has a lot to take credit for there.

The sole of a New Balance Fresh Foam x1080 v12 gym shoe

Even the outsole on the New Balance looks fresh – and features plush Fresh Foam X cushioning

There’s also added bio-based content in the foam to reduce the shoe’s carbon footprint, which is of course a key concern for many manufacturers and runners these days.

Despite the heft of the foam midsole (which, in fairness, may be a little much for some people), the shoe is still lightweight. While it might not be a game changer when it comes to racing with speed, you’ll feel light on your toes when running long distances. To help with this, the shoe has an engineered ‘Hypoknit’ upper, which also give plenty of breathability and stretch.

Related: Best Running Shoes For Smashing Your 5K PB

In terms of fit, this shoe is nice and snug. It hugs your foot well and offers plenty of cushioning and support. Some people might find it a little tight around the lace area, but generally speaking it offers a comfortable fit and a stable, smooth run.

 New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12

Bold colourways mean you won’t go unnoticed in the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12

Words: Fred Garratt-Stanley

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