New Balance 1080v10 vs v11 – Is New Always Better?

new-balance-1080v10-vs-v11

Today, we’re going to be comparing the New Balance 1080v10 vs v11.

I know you are going to have a lot of questions about how the new v11 compares to the previous version v10. The good news is I have a pretty good idea if it’s worth paying full price for the v11 or if you should save some money and just get the discounted version 10.

The 1080v10 was a huge hit when it came out on the market and it became a lot of runners’ favorite shoe for longer daily mileage training days. But with version 11, a lot of people hope that new will mean better, but that’s not necessarily always true. Has enough been done to version 11 to justify paying full price?

Let’s find out…

Related: New Balance 1080 vs Saucony Triumph 

New Balance 1080v10 vs v11

In a hurry? Here’s what you need to know about the New Balance 1080v10 and the 1080v11.

new-balance-1080v10-vs-v11-comparison

Both New Balance 1080s are very similar and the v11 is an iteration and not a complete redesign. The only major difference between the New Balance 1080v10 vs v11 is going to be in the upper. Both shoes have a knit upper called Hyponit. However, the 1080v10 is more stretchy and the 1080v11 is a bit more structured through the toe box.

The Ultra Heel on the 1080v11 is a little bit less aggressive than the v10 but still big and very prominent. New Balance seem to have fixed the discomfort some people had in the area where the ankle bone sits. Both shoes have the same Fresh Foam X midsole and the same outsole configuration. 

new-balance-1080-v10-ankle-collar

Since version 10 has been out on the market for a long time and they’re trying to get rid of it, the v10s are on sale and they’re about $45 cheaper.

Because the New Balance 1080v11 is at a much higher price than version 10, I’d say if you’re looking to save a couple of bucks, get version 10. And because the 1080v11 is more of an iteration rather than a complete revolution from what we saw in version 10, it might not be a bad idea to pick up one more pair of the 1080v10 at a discount if you’ve been loving the 10 already.

However, if you’re looking for the next best max-cushion trainer from New Balance, then the 1080v11 is just that slightly streamlined version of that shoe that I think you’re definitely going to prefer.

Related: New Balance 1080 vs 880

new-balance-1080-v10-midsoles

 

New Balance 1080v10

New Balance 1080v11

Weight M: 9.5 oz / W: 8.0 oz M: 9.2 oz /W: 7.8 oz
Drop 8mm 8mm
Cushioning Max Max
Pronation Neutral Neutral
Surface Road Road
Use Training Training
Pace Slow, Medium Slow, Medium
Strike Heel Heel
Distance 10K, Half marathon, Marathon 10K, Half marathon, Marathon

new-balance-1080v11-midsole

New Balance 1080v10 vs v11 – Where Do They Shine?

The 1080 is an absolutely fantastic long-distance high-mileage running shoe. It really shines on those days when you’re trying to just get out there and get in those long slow distance miles. It’s great if you’re looking to increase your mileage and put a lot more either weekly miles or get to a longer distance for your longest runs.

It’s really great for recovery days especially if your legs are a little bit beat up and tired from the workout the day before. This is definitely going to help keep things moving and rolling in a very comfortable way so that way you can get that active recovery from your easy day after the tough workout.

I don’t think the 1080 is the most versatile shoe and I certainly wouldn’t be doing any tempo work in it. However, I think that if you wanted to pick up the pace just to see how it felt or maybe you were doing some strides or some up-tempo efforts within your easier run, the 1080v11 could handle it and so could the 1080v10.

Neutral

If you’re not very familiar with the 1080 series, it is a high-cushion neutral shoe. What that means is that this shoe has got obviously a lot of cushion and it’s a very soft plush-feeling shoe. Then, a neutral shoe just means it doesn’t have any extra medial stability or structure for overpronators.

So, if you’re somebody who needs a little bit of support or stability on that medial side of the foot or inside of the foot, then you probably want to veer away from this shoe.

Related: New Balance 1080 vs Brooks Glycerin

Weight

The 1080v10 weighs in at 9.5 oz for men’s size 9 and 8.0 oz for women’s size 8. The 1080v11 comes in at 9.2 oz for men’s size 9 and 7.8 oz for women’s size 8. As you can see, the 1080v11 is a tad bit lighter than the 1080v10.

Both shoes start out to be pretty heavy in hand in terms of like they’re heavier than they look. However, when you start running in them, you won’t really notice that heaviness at all because they feel really well-balanced.

Overall, even though the 1080 is a bulbous and heavy shoe, both shoes will just keep you moving and really bouncing along as you are running down the road. 

Stack & Drop

Both shoes are the same when it comes to drop and stack height. They are 30 millimeters in the heel and 22 millimeters of Fresh Foam X in the forefoot, which is nice and comfy. Both shoes are true to size.

The shoes have an 8-millimeter drop, which means your heel is going to sit 8 millimeters above the forefoot. I’m not going to try to break this down completely, but basically the lower the drop, the more stress on the hamstrings and the calves, and then the higher the drop, the more stress on the knees. If you’re pretty sure which drop works well for your feet, check out these 12mm drop shoes, 10mm drop shoes, 8mm drop shoes.

So, with the 8mm New Balance 1080, I feel like you’re not going to really notice it on the calves and the hamstrings because standard drop is going to be normally 10 or 12 and this is an 8millimeter drop.

Related: New Balance 1080 vs Hoka Clifton

Midsole

new-balance-1080v11-midsole

Both 1080s have a full-length platform of Fresh Foam X material which we love from version 10. Fresh Foam X is basically New Balance’s fancier version of Fresh Foam.

Fresh Foam X is lighter and a little bit bouncier than the Fresh Foam that’s in the New Balance Beacon. The 1080 is like the Beacon if you added a little bit of Nike React foam to the bottom.

This fantastic midsole feels so good and you certainly won’t feel like you’re lacking in cushioning with these shoes. The 1080v11 feels just as comfortable as version 10 did. You’re not losing anything and they’re not firming anything up. It’s basically identical. Also, the 1080s also have a nice curve upward to help you roll forward in your stride.

In fact, these shoes feel so similar underfoot that if you close your eyes and someone put either shoe on whatever foot, I don’t think you’d be able to tell which was which. Overall, both shoes feel extremely similar underfoot.

So for the midsole, I have to say it’s kind of a tie here because they really do feel so similar. They’re going to give you the same sensation, they’re going to provide the same amount of durability, which is pretty good in my opinion and that’s not a bad thing. That’s not a knock to the v 11 because they both feel so good underfoot.

For people who are maybe a little bit heavier set, this is probably not going to be good for you because you want something that is not as soft and plush feeling but something firmer and more stable.

new-balance-1080-v10-midsoles

Upper

new-balance-1080-v10-upper

New Balances describes the 1080 as having a bootie construction, but I don’t think that’s quite accurate. The 1080v11 uses the Hypoknit material that we saw in the v10. It’s a kind of a knit upper that a lot of other companies are going with.

In the toe box area, the material on the upper is very stretchy and pliable and it actually feels very nice. However, from the midfoot cage all the way back, it’s a reinforced fabric type of material that’s a little bit less breathable and a little bit stiffer, which gives the shoe more structure. Moving back, we have an even bigger New Balance logo on the v11 which enhances the structure of the shoe even more.

On the 1080v11, we have a slightly different design across the top of the forefoot. The Hypoknit in the forefoot is slightly different than the v10 in the sense that it’s a little bit stretchier and I think gives it a little more of a roomier feel. The v10 is certainly stretchy in that forefoot, but it’s a bit more rigid in terms of knit than I feel the v11 is.

On the 1080v10, people with wider feet complained about the constrictiveness of this shoe. The v10 presses on the top of the foot or the instep. So New Balance really changed that and added more volume to this upper so it’s really nice and a bit roomier. But for runners with narrow feet or pretty low volume feet, they never really felt that issue. 

Also, the 1080v11 is more breathable than the 1080v10. So, both shoes are great for hotter weather, but they’re not ideal for winter. So, if you’re running in one of those places where it’s very humid or very hot, this is an awesome shoe because of this Hypoknit upper.

new-balance-1080v11-upper

Tongue

I’ve also been enjoying the tongue. It’s a regular standard tongue that’s not super thin and not super padded. So, the knit on the tongue is very thin, very flexible, and very breathable.

Ankle Collar

new-balance-1080-v10-ankle-collar

New Balance tweaked the ankle collar and made it more comfortable especially for runners with low ankle bones. In version 10, the Hypoknit just under the ankle bone was a bit rigid and there was really no padding there. I was concerned maybe it would cut up my ankles or something like that, but I didn’t have that problem.

New Balance did fix that in version 11, which proves somebody did have an issue there. The v11 has this softer ankle collar material and so I think they were trying to do away with the concern that I had and probably a lot of other people had.

Heel Counter & Achilles Flare

new-balance-1080-v10-heel-counter

Both shoes have this giant Achilles flare and a neoprene-like material that wraps around a fairly substantial heel counter that has just a little bit of padding in it. New Balance calls this configuration “Ultra Heel”. The Ultra Heel basically cups around your foot and curves back away from your heel to reduce the stress on the Achilles tendon.

Maybe New Balance felt like this heel counter wasn’t a very good stylistic choice. So on the 1080v11, the Ultra Heel is not as aggressive and doesn’t really come away from the Achilles as it did on the v10. So, the Ultra Heel has been dialed down a bit in terms of looks, but it still provides the same sort of feeling.

new-balance-1080-v11-heel-counter

The Ultra heel has a little bit of padding. It’s just nice to touch and it feels good on the heel. Everything about it feels very plush, but it’s not puffy and it’s not heavy. So, I just absolutely love what they’ve done with the Ultra Heel and the fact that it stays away for those of you who just need that to give your Achilles a little bit of relief.

You can also use this Achilles flare as a pull tab to help get the shoe on because there’s enough for you to get your thumb on there and really pull the shoe on.

So, for the upper, I’d go with the 1080v10 just because I like the feeling of the Hypoknit in the forefoot a little better. I like that it’s stretchy but it doesn’t feel loose. I just felt a little more dialed in in version 10 in the forefoot than I did in the v11 and that’s why I’m going to go with the 1080v10 as far as the upper goes.

Let’s move on to the outsole…

Outsole

new-balance-1080-v10-outsole

Both shoes have blown rubber in the forefoot that dips a little bit into the lateral side of the midfoot. Then we have some more blown rubber in the heel. Honestly, the traction on the road and how the shoes grip onto surfaces is really good. I haven’t had any issues with slipping or anything like that with these shoes. However, the 1080 performs terribly in snow.

So for the outsole, which would I choose? Honestly, I can’t choose because they’re exactly the same. So, it’s a tie here as well.

new-balance-1080v11-outsole

Comfort

The other thing that’s really nice about the 1080v10 and v11 is that they have an Ortholite insole as well. The Ortholite insole doesn’t break down very quickly and so it stays very cushiony for a long time and doesn’t get imprinted and compacted down.

The Ortholite insole, the high stack height, and the softer foam are all going to give you a plush cushiony step-in feel. So, the soft insole in the 1080v11 and v10 is very welcome and very useful because you’re going to be using it for those higher mileage times. The reason why I think that’s fantastic is because both shoes are doing comfort in this max-cushion package without a ton of puffiness.

My feet are definitely very happy overall about being in the 1080 with the comfort of the upper. The fit is fantastic and the softness of the midsole foam is still present in the 1080v11.

Also, if you’re going to be spending a lot of time on your feet, the 1080 is definitely an option that I think is going to be really great for a lot of people because it is so comfortable.

Custom Orthotics

I don’t recommend the New Balance 1080 at all for custom orthotics or insoles because these shoes are soft and they just won’t work in conjunction with your orthotics to give you the structure that you’re looking for.

Also, the shoes’ last doesn’t have a linear geometry which we want with insoles and orthotics. You don’t want the arch to be narrowing up and you don’t want the toes to be curving inwards.

Cons

1. As I said earlier, if you have low ankle bones, the area where your ankles sit is going to rub against your ankle. So, if you’re the type of runner where the cut of the shoe around your ankle is a big issue, that’s something that I might keep an eye on.

2. The pods on the outsole have a decent amount of depth to them for a road shoe and there’s lots of rubber coverage on the outsole. I thought it would actually do pretty good in snow, but it just slips and slides around like crazy. So, both 1080s are not intended to be used in snowy conditions by any means.

3. I heard that some runners complain about their heels popping right out of the Ultra Heel. Fortunately for some of them, once they get warmed up, and especially when they’re picking up the pace, they don’t feel like they are loose or sliding around at all. So, if you’re at the store, make sure you’re getting onto a treadmill and pick up the pace a little bit to see if that’s still going to be the case for you. It wasn’t the case for me and it was absolutely fine.

Conclusion

I’d say the best way to think about the 1080v11 is to take the 1080v10 and literally put it through the wringer. Everything about version 11 seems squished down and streamlined a little bit from version 10. Also, while the Ultra Heel is big and very prominent, it’s not quite as big and not quite as prominent as last year.

There’s a really nice execution of knit material in the toe box, but it’s just in the toe box. They’ve got some overlays as well which are also going to aid in giving a little bit of shape to the midfoot cage and giving something for the laces to really grab down on and secure the foot.

So, if you’re looking for a shoe to take on your longer days where you want to go easier, then both the 1080v10 and v11 are absolutely fantastic long-distance high-mileage running shoes.

Well, that concludes this New Balance 1080v10 vs v11 comparison. I hope you all really enjoyed it and kind of got a good value out of it. I really hope it helps you make your decision on whether you want to go with the New Balance 1080v10 or the New Balance 1080v11.

Let us know which of these shoes you have and if you’ve noticed any serious difference between these shoes. 

Happy running everybody 🙂 

 

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.