New Balance 1080v10: the Cadillac of shoes

I might be a bit late to the party, but still – I have always been a NB 1080 fan. Last year, I went through four pairs of the previous version (v9), while patiently waiting for a decent discount on v10 (I do love a bargain!). So on 2nd January, I broke my New Year’s resolution to stop spending money on running gear and got myself a pair of NB 1080v10 for £95 which is an excellent price given the fact they still go for £135 on New Balance website.

I instantly fell in love with them as my (slightly embarassing) video debut documents. So why do I love them and what are their key characteristics worth noting?

  • They are ultra comfy

I swear they are the comfiest shoes I have ever run in. This is primarily due to two factors: Fresh Foam midsole really makes them ultra-cushioned, while the heel cup (called Ultra Heel) gives your heel a gentle hug. The Ultra Heel deserves a special mention because it was the element that I was the most unsure about, but once experiencing its comfort, it is the element that I appreciate the most and that really makes this shoe stand out amongst its competitors.

  • They come in different widths

Do you have wide feet? You are in luck! This shoe comes in different widths, so besides standard, you can get wide or extra wide fit (or even narrow fit for ladies). I have v9 in both standard and wide fit, so I went for standard fit in v10. The upper is really stretchy, so while I should have probably gone for wide fit, the standard fit does not bring me any discomfort whatsoever.

  • They are light

You will notice immediately that for a cushioned shoe the 1080v10 is surprisingly light. It makes a noticeable difference. While they don’t give you that spring and bounce racing shoes do, running in them feels somewhat effortless so they are perfect for those long easy run.

  • They seem fairly water resistant

I normally get my shoes soaking wet as soon as I get out of the door, but my 1080v10 seem to manage water really well. I intentionally ran through deep puddles and while they got wet inside, they never felt like I’m running with an entire pond in my shoes (which often is the case with other shoe types). Also, I just ran on snow and ice, and they had a very good grip which is an unexpected bonus because who wants to land on their backside. right?

  • The design

While they look good overall, the design is okay…just okay. I have absolutely nothing negative to say, it just feels like they lack a little bit of oomph, something that makes them extra special and memorable. (Arguably, the Ultra Heel is the one feature that stands out.) But since mine are already covered in mud, who am I to complain? 🙂

Finally, some specs:

Type: Neutral

Heel drop: 8mm

Surface: Road

Weight: 280g (M) / 238g (F)

My size UK 7.5 B (standard lady fit) was 258g. (I am very much tempted to start an investigation into what sizes is the weight data based on and whether this is standardised across shoe types and brands…)

Cushion: maximum, Fresh Foam midsole

Price: £135, but available cheaper on Amazon and websites like SportsShoes or Wiggle.

Overall verdict is that this shoe is a real mile-cruncher that keeps you going while making sure your feet are comfortable. (I tested them on recent a half marathon.) I will definitely run all my easy long runs in them and am confident that they can take one comfortably through a marathon.

Hmmm marathon….that reminds me I haven’t run one for a few months. *Starts planning a marathon route.*

Thanks for reading and pop your NB 1080v10 opinion in the comments below or let me know on Instagram!

ASICS Novablast review – definitely a blast!

I am not an ASICS person. I do have a pair of ASICS gel shoes but they always felt little too flat and narrow and somewhat hard. I do most of my runs in New Balance 1080s which I totally love. Having said that, I did get intrigued when several of my running Insta-buddies (not all of whom were ASICS Frontrunners ;)) started posting exciting comments/pictures/reviews of this new racing shoe called Novablast.

So I had no choice but to try these babies on. I was so impressed that I walked out of the shop with a pair, although I did not really intend to buy them there and then. So what convinced me?

  • Design

Being a female I just love pretty things and those shoes definitely look gorgeous! Discovering they have them in London edition was like finding a hidden treasure (apparently this version was introduced only recently and is currently not available online). And they come with two sets of shoelaces – red and blue so you can switch as you please. The red ones will go nicely with my running club’s vest!

  • Price

£130 for the London version, otherwise £120. That’s a decent price for an excellent racing shoe, especially compared to Just Do It competitor… Besides, there is no need to pay full price. I got mine for £108 because I asked nicely 🙂 . Telling the shop assistant “Hmmm I’ll have to go home and think about it, unless you convince me to buy them now” works every time.

  • They feel light

Okay, they are actually not the lightest shoes out there but they feel light. ASICS website says 261g for men’s and 221g for women’s shoe. I popped mine on a scale and it was 266g, but I wear size 8 which is quite large for a female (normally, I am 7.5 but when it comes to ASICS I always need a larger size). Still, my 266g shoe feels incredibly light. They are airy and extremely breathable to the point they don’t even feel like ASICS.

  • They are fast!

As soon as I put them on in the shop, I felt the urge to run. As if they had a spell cast on them which whispers in your ear “run fast, run fast” and “PB PB PB”. I tested them for the first time today and took over 30 seconds off my 5K PB (which I set only 3 weeks ago!). I started with a warm up and suddenly found myself doing 06:30 min/mile which felt like jogging. They are definitely PB shoes. They are bouncy with a bit of trampoline effect and spring you forward which I was well aware all the way through my run. They felt absolutely incredible, energising and powerful.

Now what are the downsides? Apart from me being stupid enough to buy white shoes, I can’t see any negatives. Perhaps, the marmite element is their bounciness. They are higher than most running shoes and very bouncy which is something I personally like, but I can imagine it is not everyone’s cup of tea.

My overall verdict: Love love love! The fact that I took my 5K PB from 20:56 to 20:23 speaks for itself. They are fast and light and “force” you to give it your best. I am totally in love and will sleep cuddling them all night.

Finally some specs:

Type: Neutral

Heel drop: 10mm

Surface: Road

Weight: 266g for size 8

Cushion: maximum, foam midsole

Price: £120

Go give them a go! ASICS do a 90-day trial so you can get your money back if you (for a mysterious reason) hate them. Now can we start racing again pleaseee? 🙂