Skip to main content

New Balance Fresh Foam Show Review

When I got on the plane to fly from Washington to Florida, and after I had paid a silly amount of money to connect to the Internet from 35,00 in the sky, I received an email from Online Shoes asking if I would like to try and review the New Balance W980 Fresh Foam running shoe. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I gladly accepted without even looking up anything about the shoe. About six weeks ago, I received the shoes on my doorstep, unpacked the box like a kid on Christmas, and kind of...grimaced.




The first time I saw these shoes, I thought they looked a little gaudy. Not quite Hoka/Vibram level obnoxious, but definitely too bright and clunky-looking for my personal tastes.

As of today, the color combination no longer shocks me every time I open my closet door, and I actually quite like the brightness. However, I would certainly not recommend them for anyone in search of running shoes to blend in. On that note, what happened to boring running shoes? Are they all neon now?

Obligatory leg/shoe shot. AKA "the thigh gap angle"

Colors aside, which really mean nothing and should probably never influence a running shoe decision, I still wasn't crazy about these "maximalist" shoes. Primarily because there is only a 4mm heel-to-toe drop, which is pretty minimal for me. I've been running for the past few months in shoes with 11mm heel-to-toe, which feels drastically different. I felt pretty comfortable in them for shorter runs (<5 miles at a time), but I didn't try them for anything longer. That's due to two factors: I'm not actually running long distances at all right now, and I don't particularly want to transition to a more minimal drop. I know that switching from a supportive shoe to a more minimal drop requires a slot transition and the use of different muscles, and that is not something I care to do at this time. Of course, that's my opinion, and every runner feels differently. I am firmly in the "if it's not broken, don't fix it," camp.  I'm not injured, so I'm not changing the way I run!


Unfortunately, I did feel like there were some drawbacks that weren't particularly subjective. First, the outsoles of the shoe have a hexagonal print, but there doesn't feel like there is a lot of traction. I noticed when I wore them in the rain that I constantly felt like I was going to fall on the wet sidewalks. I didn't, but I certainly felt uneasy. Additionally, the toe box of the Fresh Foam shoes was narrow. I do have wider feet, so this is a common issue for me, but I wouldn't recommend it for someone who also has wide feet.







So... the main points that you need to know:

• The New Balance Fresh Foam running shoes have a minimalist heel-to-toe drop of 4mm
• Padded, "maximalist" design
• Potentially slippery soles
• Narrow fit
•  Felt firm - lots of support, but not much cushion
• Lightweight at under 8 ounces for the woman's shoe
• BOLD colors (along with the blue/orange I was sent, there are gray/yellow and purple options)

• Price point around $110

Personally, I wouldn't purchase these shoes for myself in the future. However, I would definitely view them as alternatives to more expensive maximalist shoes. If I ever wanted to transition to this type of shoe, I would (and will!) keep the Fresh Foam in mind.

I received the New Balance W980 Fresh Foam free of charge from OnlineShoes.com, but this is my take on the shoes. I wasn't compensated in any other way, and this is 100% my opinion.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Are You a Salty Sweater? The Truth About Sodium and Running

Before I started running regularly, I did my best to avoid salt. After all, if you want to lose weight you're supposed to reduce sodium, right? Here's what the American Federal Government's recommendations for sodium intake (as of January 2011)

-if you're 51+ years old, black, have hypertension, kidney disease or diabetes, you get 1,500 mg. each day
-if you're a healthy adult, you get 2,300 mg. per day. A teaspoon. 




Now most of the time, I don't have an issue with this. Salt isn't used too much in my cooking, and I avoid a lot of common processed foods filled with sodium. When I do indulge in a salty meal, usually from a restaurant, I get the associated water weight gain and bloating. So I'm happy to stick to my meeting my 2,300 mg. requirements each day.

And then...summer arrives. If you're running in high humidity, you sweat. A lot. It's not pretty, and you're draining your body of electrolytes like sodium. On my long runs, I take precauti…

DIY Treadmill Desk

Working from home has its perks. Sure, my social interaction skills are deteriorating rapidly and casual dress Fridays now include those old ratty boxers and that one race shirt with the hole, but I also get to enjoy things like eating lunch at 10:30 because I feel like it and deciding where I want to work. Like on the treadmill.



Between working at my desk all day, using my computer for fun and then sitting on the couch watching television most nights for an hour or two, it's safe to say I sit on my ass a lot. And yep, that's not so great for you. Even though I work out 6 days a week, I hate that I spend easily 75% of my waking hours sitting.

On a whim, I asked Tim if he could build me a treadmill desk. I've seen these massive contraptions to make treadmill desks, but they basically transform it into a full-time desk, and I still want to use my treadmill for running (sans desk) as well. Magic carpenter man took a few measurements and brought me in a prototype by lunchtime.…

I Wanna Play! My 7 Links

I've been loving the "7 Links" Posts circulating the blogging world lately, so when I was tagged by Holly at Rust Belt Runner I couldn't wait to participate. Without further ado, here are my Seven Links...



Most Popular Post: Aside from giveaways (and we know why those are popular), one of my most read and commented on post was about my Weight Loss Journey. It got so much attention, it deserved it's own little tab at the top of my page!

Most Controversial Post: My post Good Person > Good Racer was possibly the most controversial. I talked about my own experience racing with my husband, and whether or not it is racer etiquette (or just plain rude) to pass someone when you planned on running together. Lots of differing options in this area!



Most Helpful Post: One of my earlier posts was titled What's Worth It, and recapped some running extras and whether or not they're beneficial. I go so much great feedback on products like foam rollers, compression sock…