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Fresh Foam 980 Review (and Event at New Balance Chicago)

Head's up: there's an event at New Balance Chicago Lincoln Park on Saturday morning featuring a showcase of the new New Balance Fresh Foam 980s and it sounds pretty sweet (especially because of the free food and chance to win free shoes). I've been testing these shoes out since Friday (all inside, like the treadmill runner that this winter has made me become) and I have to say that I'm pretty into them.

There's all kinds of scientific stuff that the folks at New Balance can tell you about this shoe (with plenty of marketing language mixed in as well, obviously) and you can learn even more by trying them out for yourself after a quick run Saturday morning during New Balance Chicago's event (they're also offering 15% off on these during the event). If you're interested in getting more info on these shoes you should definitely look into both of those things, but I'm still going to give you my opinion (based on no scientific inquiry at all) and you can take it for what it's worth.

The first thing to note about these shoes is how bright they are - at least the pair I have (pictured above, along with my super-white ankles). They're bright blue with neon orange and yellow trim. I'm not typically a huge fan of bright shoes like this but the color scheme here works well and is bright and noticeable without feeling garish. I think it's the dark blue that manages to rein in the neon colors. Whatever it is, I like it, even though I'm typically more of a plain-color running shoe person.

The second thing is how comfortable they are. I know that's the main selling point here (they're called Fresh FOAM obviously) but it's still pretty noticeable. Maybe it's because I've been running in fairly minimalist shoes lately (the Nike Free 3.0 - I know I'm behind the times with the Frees) but the cushion here feels great without feeling like it's changing my gait at all. Additionally, unless you choose to tie these all the way up (which you certainly could, for more ankle support) there's plenty of freedom around the ankles, which I also like. These slip on and mold around my feet without feeling confined (I also like to be able to slip shoes on and off easily, so being able to tie these up without hitting those last two higher shoelace holes is a plus for me).

The only question I have is regarding the tread on the bottom of the shoe - it's a cool-looking pattern but doesn't seem like it would provide much traction on an even remotely slippery surface - I guess we'll find this out once runners hit the Lakefront Trail in them.

So far the farthest I've run in these is a 10K (all inside, as I said) but they feel great and look great so I'm looking forward to getting some more runs in on these (especially once I hear more about what snowy/icy running is like in them).

Comments

  1. The tracking on the bottom of the shoe is amazing and grips very well. I have done over 50 miles in this shoe all outside. I have had no problem running and gripping the ground on the streets and the lake shore path.

    Bryan from the LP store

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice - thanks for the info. Looking forward to trying them outside myself!

      Delete
  2. I'm diggin these shoes so far. Even outdoors! :)

    ReplyDelete

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