New Balance 980 Sneak Peek

This spankin’ fresh model from New Balance is getting some serious buzz. The 980 introduces the brand’s latest midsole compound – Fresh Foam. How can you tell that it’s fresh? Just like a good pear or kiwi, you squeeze it, of course! But Fresh Foam isn’t the whole story here – the elemental design of the shoe makes it a welcome competitor in the popular class of shoes including the Saucony Kinvara, Brooks PureFlow and Pearl Izumi EM Road N2.

What to Watch For

  • Fresh Foam: This new compound is designed to deliver soft, plush cushioning to runners who want a more “natural” experience.
  • No-Sew Upper: All overlays on the 980 are welded in place to keep the shoe light.
  • 4mm Offset: We measured stack heights of a sample of the 980 at 26mm/22mm heel/forefoot.
  • On the Light Side: At 9.3 oz for Men’s size 9 and 7.2 oz for Women’s size 7 (RW measurements), the 980 is light compared to traditional running shoes, but a bit heavier than many other elemental models.


Release Date
February 2014

Men’s Colors
Grey/Red New Balance 980
Cobalt/Yellow New Balance 980
Cobalt/White New Balance 980

Women’s Color
Grey/Yellow New Balance 980
Blue/Orange New Balance 980

New Balance 980 Men's Running Shoe Grey/Red

New Balance 980 Outsole View

  • Mike

    Sorry, but I really do not like the honeycomb design. It’s a weird looking shoe, and surprisingly heavy for a “natural” shoe. As well, my last pair of New Balance shoes (730 V2) wore out very quickly (two months of running 5-6km in them several times a week) so I am reluctant to try another pair of NB natural shoes.

  • Brad P

    How is the width in the forefoot? The last couple versions of the 890 have been far too narrow/tight in the forefoot.

  • Matt

    Hi Brad, are you asking about the 980 or 890? The 980 is the new “Fresh Foam” shoe. We’ve tried that on and found the width of the forefoot to be medium overall. We haven’t tried on the 890 v4 so we can’t comment on how it fits compared to prior models, though we do know that the toebox is designed to be deeper.

  • Charles

    Will these be available in 2e?

  • Matt

    Yes. The Grey/Red color will be produced in 2E.