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New Balance 1080v8 Shoe Review

New Balance 1080v8 Shoe Review

Truthfully, I haven’t run in a lot of New Balance.  Many moons ago, I was injured in my final year of running cross country.  I had been “fitted” for a pair of New Balance shoes, and they were the last pair of trainers before my cyst injury took me out in 2012. It wasn’t the shoes fault, but since then I haven’t found a lot of New Balance shoes that feel comfortable to me.

I’ve tried the New Balance 880 as well as the Fresh Foam Zante.  Both are quality shoes, but they both didn’t have the maximum and plush cushion that I prefer.

new balance 1080 v8 shoe review

Enter the New Balance 1080.

This has quickly become a staple in my rotation as one of my favorite shoes.  New Balance isn’t paying me to tell you that, and I’m not Emma Coburn’s teammate.  In fact, I’m as a surprised as you are of how much I like the shoe!

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v8 Fit:

As someone with a more full foot and toebox, I appreciate that the 1080 has a full, seamless, toe box.  It’s deep enough to hold an insert and wide enough to have plenty of space if you’re dealing with bunions or need extra space.  I wear anywhere between a 10-11 wide in running shoes, and the 10.5 regular width is comfortable for me.

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v8 Ride:

I’ve tried on previous versions of the 1080 but never run in them.  This is my first review of the 1080.  From my knowledge, the 1080v8 hasn’t been updated too much since V7 (version 7). Most people who have liked the previous versions, also like the V8.

For how much cushion is in the 1080, it’s much stiffer than other plush models such as the Brooks Glycerin or Saucony Triumph.  The stiffness allows a bit more responsiveness.  Another note is the shoe feels much flatter than many other plush brands and has an 8 mm drop.

One thing I appreciate is the flex grooves in the forefoot.  As someone who runs very far on their forefront, it’s support and flexibility I need.  I’ve run both on the treadmill and outdoors, and the shoe feels great.

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v8 Conclusions

Although I haven’t worn previous versions, I know there aren’t significant changes to the shoe. If you like the previous version, then you will continue to like the 1080.  If you’re new to the shoe, like me, then you’ll enjoy how soft and cushioned it is.

new balance 1080 v8 shoe review

As you can see, my shoe rotation has currently changed, and I have a lot of shoe reviews to catch up on:

Easy Runs/Daily Runs: Brooks Glycerin 16, New Balance 1080, Saucony Ride ISO, Hoka Mach

Workouts: Nike Fly, New Balance 1400

Races: Nike LT Racer, Nike Fly

Questions for you:

What shoe brand are you “most loyal” too?

Do you like maximum cushioned or minimal shoes? 

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Brooks Pureflow 6 Review

This Spring there have been a lot of updated shoes I’ve wanted to try.  Since I took a big portion off, I have a lot of catching up to do!  I haven’t necessarily found a shoe I’m “married” too, but I have found most of the shoes I’ve tried are good updates.  I work at a local running store, but I’m not paid by any company.  All thoughts are my own.

One shoe I’ve wanted to try for a long time has been the Brooks Pureflow.  Unfortunately, I have a wide foot, and it never felt comfortable.  I also don’t train every day in flat, minimalist shoes.   For me, it’s more of a speedwork shoe.

The Pureflow was one of the last shoes I tried before taking a running break.  I was using it as a speedwork shoe.  During my running break, I rotated it into a casual shoe, and it was just as comfortable.  The shoe has almost reached the end of its life, and I’ve probably logged equally speedwork and walking miles.

Fit:

As mentioned, the Brooks Pureflow has run narrow.  The updated version has become wider and accommodating.  Like many Brooks shoes, the upper is now seamless, so even if you have a bunion or wider forefront, your foot will probably still fit into the shoe.  I usually wear a size 10 in running shoes, and size 10 fits well.

Feel:

The Brooks Pureflow is part of the Brooks “Pure” series which includes the stable Pure Cadence as well as trail Puregrit. The focus of the Pure line is low profile and minimal design.  For some runners, this is their everyday trainer.  For others, like myself, it’s more of a speedwork shoe.

To me, it feels like a typical speed work shoe.  It has a little more cushion than the Saucony Type A and a little less than the Brooks Ghost. In my opinion, it would be an ideal half marathon to marathon racing shoe for someone looking for a little less shoe but not a racing flat.

Pros:

  • Less than most trainers ($100)
  • Wider than previous models and can accommodate more foot types

Cons:

  • Less shoe means less durability.

In my rotation, the shoe is replacing the Launch 4.  I didn’t hate the Launch and would buy it again, but I wanted to try something different.

My Current Running Shoe Rotation:
Saucony Freedom ISO (long runs, daily runs)
Brooks Glycerin 15 (daily runs)
Hoka Bondi 5 (recovery runs)
Saucony Type A (races)
Asics Nimbus 19 (cross training)

Questions for you:
Do you prefer more cushion or less?
What is your current favorite pair of running shoes?

Saucony Freedom ISO Shoe Review

Saucony Freedom ISO Shoe Review

While living in Alabama, I committed one a runner sin.  I was underprepared shoe wise for 6 weeks.  While I could have gotten a pair of shoes I’ve already run in, I decided to try the Saucony Freedom.  Before leaving, I had tried them on at work. They seemed like they would be a good shoe for me.

This is the first model so there is nothing to compare it too.  I have run in multiple other Saucony shoes including the Kinvara, Zealot ISO 1 and 2, Ride 9 and Triumph ISO 1 and 2.

The Freedom uses Saucony’s signature Everrun material.  It is the first of the line to use the Everrun at the forefront of the shoe.  What does this mean for me? As someone who strikes extremely far to the front, there is plenty of cushion up there too.  There are actually very few shoes with a full length cushioning in the forefront too (most shoes have a lot of cushioning in the heel and it tapers to the front).

Fit:

Just like the Saucony Triumph and Zealot, the Freedom uses the ISO fit.  It fits more like slipper than an actual shoe.  I find the ISO fits my foot better but the shoe does run short.  Typically I wear a size 10 but I found the 10.5 to be the best fit.  I even contemplated doing an 11 or a men’s size 9 because I could use more width.  I would recommend going up at least a half size if not more.

Ride:

This was definitely interesting.  I could feel the extra cushion in the forefront immediately.  My first run in the shoe was an easy 7 miler.  It felt comfortable the moment I put it in on.  It was soft, yet responsive and the extra cushion for my metatarsals was immediately noticed.

me running

Pros:

  • More cushion in the forefront
  • Light weight

Cons:

  • Sizing
  • Cost ($160 makes it one of the most costly neutral shoes on the market)

Similar options:

There aren’t a lot of options with extra cushion in the front.  Both the Saucony Kinvara and Zealot ISO 2 have a 4mm drop and are the closest by far.  The Asics Nimbus or adidas Energy Boost has a good amount of cushioning in the front as well.

Current Shoe Rotation: 
Saucony Freedom ISO (long runs, daily runs)
Brooks Ghost (any run)
Brooks Launch (shorter runs, speed work)
Saucony Type A (speed work)

Questions for you:
Where do you wear out a shoe first?
Which shoes are you currently running in?

 

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Review

A few weeks ago I decided to try the Saucony Zealot ISO 2.  The Saucony Zealot was one of my favorite shoes last year.

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Shoe Review

The Saucony Zealot ISO 2 came out a couple of months ago but due to injury, I was cautious to try anything new.  My injury took over the blog for a while, but since this is a running blog, it affected my ability to train and try new shoes (not that running is everything).

So once I felt comfortable to experiment with new shoes, I decided to try the Zealot.  I was both curious and excited to see what the newest update had to offer.  At work, our Saucony rep told us it was going through significant changes, so I was also nervous.  It was only the second model, so the shoe doesn’t have anything consistent behind it.

Saucony is not paying to promote their shoes and remember what works for me, might not work for you.  See: why online running shoe reviews are (mostly) worthless.

Fit:

The Saucony Zealot ISO 2 still uses the ISO and sock-like upper fit which I like.  It fits similar to the first model. However, it is much smaller.  In the Saucony Zealot ISO, I wore a size 9.5.  However, when I put the 9.5 in the ISO 2, I immediately thought it was both too tight and too narrow.  Sizing is never a big issue, and I went with the size 10.  When comparing, it appears the Zealot 2 has a much more narrow toe box.  After getting a more appropriate size 10, I liked the fit, and it felt much better on my foot.

Ride:

The previous Zealot was firmer and lower to the ground.  I liked to use the shoe for “faster” paced runs.  The Zealot ISO 2 includes the Saucony Everrun material which makes it feel less like the Kinvara and more like the Triumph.  For me, that is a good thing since the Triumph is one of my all-time favorite running shoes.  There is much more cushion and more “shoe” to the Saucony Zealot ISO 2.  If you like more of a shoe, then you’ll like the update.

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Shoe Review

Conclusion: 

Even though the shoe is drastically different, I like the update.  I was in need of either a new pair of Saucony Triumphs or something comparable to replace them in my shoe rotation.  I think the Saucony Zealot ISO 2 fits that and I’ll continue to use them.  They are significantly more shoe and cushion than the debut edition but for me, that is not a bad thing.

Pros:

  • Light weight but cushioned
  • Same price

Cons:

  • Update is drastically different and more cushioned
  • Fit is more narrow

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Shoe Review

Similar models: Saucony Kinvara, Saucony Triumph ISO 2, Saucony Ride

My personal shoe rotation: Saucony Zealot ISO 2, Hoka Clifton 3 and Brooks Launch 3

Questions for you:

What is your all time favorite running shoe?
Do you get nervous for shoe updates? 

Mizuno Wave Engima 6

The Mizuno Wave Enigma 6 is the max cushioning option from Mizuno.  I’ve tried the Wave Rider before but honestly, it’s not enough cushion for me.  Working at a Run Specialty store, you get to see a lot of different brands and have the luxury of trying on different shoes and I’ve tried on almost every shoe out there.  I can usually tell if the shoe works for me or won’t.  To be honest, for a while, I gave Mizuno the cold shoulder.  I had tried the Wave Rider previously, and like I mentioned, it wasn’t enough cushion for me personally.  With any running shoe, it works for some people and doesn’t for others.  I’m not sponsored by Mizuno and they aren’t paying me to talk about their shoes. 

mizuno wave enigma

Fit: 

The fit of the Wave Enigma is similar to the Wave Rider as well as the brand in general.  Mizuno is a narrow brand.  I normally wear a size 10 for women but chose to wear a size 9 for men (roughly 10-10.5 wide for women).  Honestly, it fits me perfectly, and I wouldn’t have chosen a different size.  These shoes are a men’s size 9.  Color doesn’t matter to me, but I can appreciate that most colors in the Wave Enigma are a neutral color.

mizuno wave enigma

Ride: 

The Wave Enigma is much softer than the Wave Rider. To be honest, I was shocked that a Mizuno shoe could even feel that soft.  I had made a preemptive judgment (based on the Wave Rider) that Mizuno would never be a brand I could run in.  The ride is soft, light weight and cushioned.  I prefer the extra cushion in the front of the shoe and there is significantly more cushion in the forefront.

Call me old fashion and traditional but one thing I do appreciate is that Mizuno still has a 12mm drop.  As someone who runs on their toes, I feel like the 12mm matches my gait better.

I like the softness of the Enigma.  It’s definitely very different than the Wave Rider.  I like the feel of the Enigma, and I plan to run through the entire duration of the shoe.  They are a great maximum cushion option from Mizuno and I’m glad I gave them a fair opportunity in my running shoe rotation.

Similar options: Brooks Glycerin, Asics Nimbus or Saucony Ride

Question for you:

Have you ever run in Mizunos? 

Do you prefer a lower or higher drop? 

Saucony Kinvara 6 Review

Recently I decided to try out the popular Saucony Kinvara.  My Saucony Zealots needed to be replaced, and the Saucony Kinvara was a lighter but comparable option.  The Kinvara is one of Saucony’s most popular shoes but not a shoe I tried until recently.

Saucony Kinvara review

I was not asked to review the shoe, but I wanted too.  Remember what works for my feet might not work for yours since every foot is different.

This is my first review of any Saucony Kinvara.  I have not tried the previous models, so I am only speaking from experience with the Saucony Kinvara 6.  It’s harder to start this way since I have nothing to compare the shoe too!

The Fit:
In running shoes, I generally wear a size 9.5 wide or a 10.  The Saucony Kinvara 6 fits true to size, and I opted for a size 10.  I have more full, foot, and the 10 was ok.  The top is breathable and doesn’t hug my feet too tight.

Saucony Kinvara Review

Running in the Shoes:
I’ve run just over 100 miles in them.   Saucony uses Powergrid in the Kinvara 6 which makes the Kinvara a more responsive ride.  It’s a light weight shoe and has a four-millimeter offset.  Those running in the shoe get about the same amount of miles as previous versions since the bottom of the shoe is very similar.

Saucony Kinvara Review

Something to note about the shoe, as with any minimal shoe, is they don’t last as long.  The Saucony Kinvara is light weight and uses fewer materials.  That is the kiss of death because the light weight and responsiveness of the shoe are what makes it attractive.  However, the lightweight property of the shoe also causes it to last less time.  Traditional running shoes last about 400 miles.  From working at the store, I can say customer feedback on the Kinvara says they last about 250. At 100 miles, I can tell they are fading faster than other more traditional shoes.

Pros:

  • Light weight but still cushioned
  • $100 retail value (inexpensive compared to similar models)

Cons:

  • Since the shoe is light weight, it does not last as long as a traditional running shoe.

Similar models: Nike Pegasus, Saucony Zealot, Brooks Launch or even Brooks Pureflow (Possibly those who have fallen to the RIP of the Brooks PureConnect too)

Verdict: So far, I like the shoe.  I haven’t had any issues with it.  That being said, I don’t think I would do all of my runs in it because I would go through at least one pair a month and it doesn’t have enough cushion.  For the majority of my running, I like to have a shoe with a little bit more cushioned (which for me is the Saucony Triumph ISO 2 ).

Recommend for: A neutral runner who is looking for a responsive light weight shoe.

Post workout a few weeks ago

Post workout a few weeks ago

The good news is the Saucony Kinvara 7 is coming out in a few weeks so the Saucony Kinvara 6 should be on sale.

In case you wondered my current shoe rotation:
Saucony Triumph ISO 2: majority of my miles
Saucony Kinvara: warm up and cool down miles, occasional shorter mid-week run
Saucony A6: Races
Nike Pegasus: once a week

Here is a brief post about the importance of changing shoes as well.

Questions for you:
Have you run in the Saucony Kinvara before?
What is your favorite running shoe?

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