After seeing New Balance on several social media campaigns over recent months, I remembered that I used to be a New Balance evangelist. My first pair of running shoes, picked up at a discount sports store were New Balance, and after that I stuck with them. For me, the selling point was always the wide fit as most brands don’t cater specifically those of us wider feet… When training for long distance events the perfect fit is paramount as your feet swell making blisters and bruised toenails an unpleasant possibility. If the shoe is even slightly too small, your toenails don’t stand a chance.
I moved away from New Balance for a couple of reasons. I distinctly remember being disappointed by the appearance of their shoes. When other brands were creating stylish trainers that you couldn’t help but notice, New Balance were only offering the stereotypical running shoe, catering solely for function, rather than fashion. I want a shoe that looks great and performs well, and I’m not willing to compromise on either. After all, I spend enough time in them. It seems that New Balance got the memo, as their latest collection is most definitely eye- catching. I needed a new pair of trainers for my marathon training, so after doing some research and reading reviews, I settled on the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080.
In terms of aesthetics, I love these shoes. The bright colour combination is really fun and makes them a great choice for summer.
The Fresh Foam trainers are designed to provide optimum cushioning and support, great for long runs when the impact of the hard pavement can become quite uncomfortable. When I initially tried them on I was amazed at how comfortable and wide they were; the extra cushioning was really noticeable and I literally felt like I had a spring in my step. I ordered them in the wide fit and the toe box is really roomy; great for my long suffering toenails. At first I was concerned they looked really big on my feet. As well as being wide fitting, the foam sole is really thick which makes the shoe look quite bulky. More recently I’ve been wearing light weight trainers, so in comparison they seemed quite large. Despite my initial reservations I’ve been reassured by Bex that they look “normal size”…
It’s taken me about a month to get used to running in them. Despite being well cushioned and springy, I initially found them quite cumbersome, and couldn’t get used to how much room my toes had! I guess it goes back to the fact I’ve been running in much lighter shoes, so it was inevitable they’d feel different. Overtime, however, I’ve grown to love them. The cushioned sole is so comfortable on long runs and really absorbs the impact from hard surfaces. Even when my feet are swollen, my toes have plenty of room to wiggle. I’m half way through marathon training and there’s not a blister in sight!
If you’re looking for an all rounder, this isn’t the right shoe. The large fit makes a little too bulky for speedwork and tempo runs. However, if you’re looking for a comfortable sh0e for your long runs, or perhaps even a comfortable trainer for walking around in, this is the shoe for you.
I’ll be wearing them for the Santa Rosa Marathon. I’m hoping they give me a smooth ride…
What shoes would you recommend for marathon training? I’m in the market for some new shoes for spadework, so any recommendations would be much appreciated!