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I started off with New Balance as one of my first running shoes brand. I remember back then the hype was all about the FreshFoam Zante and Boracay while the classics (860, 880, and 1080) sat and watch the show. Those were the past and now we are in the era of Fuelcell Rebel and its series. Over the years, New Balance has rekindled their love for their classics with refreshed design, material, and pricing. The 1080 started to see new love while the others remained as trustworth options that will bring you through.

The 880 has seen me through tough trainings but also road to recovery from injuries. The 880 series only gotten its modernisation in the 12th version where the looks and design + materials saw greater improvements. Even with these updates, the 880 remains different and unique in its position within New Balance’s lineup.

Fresh Foam X Portfolio Refresh – 2024

This year, 880 was given a big update keeping align with the rest of the FreshFoam series. Yet this is where it becomes confusing. The 880 and the 1080 looks almost identical and the similarity does not stop there.

It becomes questionable whether it was the 880 or the 1080 that was just an afterthought. The overlapping use cases between the two make it challenging to justify one over the other. New Balance, in an interview with Alex Filitti, said that the 1080 has its clear distinction. I populated what the spokeperson said about the two in the table below.

I can see New Balance benefitting from economies of scale in production with such similar design. The difference in the Fresh Foam X formulations is a difference. But at the end, will we consider this as a good product-market fit for the 880v14? Especially when their price point are closing in on each other compared to the past.

Comparison Table between 880v14 and 1080v13

880v141080v13
DescriptionWhatever your preferred running routine looks like, there’s no shoe that handles it quite like the 880. The Fresh Foam X 880v14 is an evolution in everyday reliability, featuring superior underfoot cushioning and a structured, supportive upper.If we only made one running shoe, it would be the Fresh Foam X 1080. The unique combination of reliable comfort and high performance offers versatility that spans everyday to race day. The Fresh Foam X midsole cushioning is built for smooth transitions from landing to push-off, while a second-skin style mesh upper is breathable and supportive.
Spokeperson’s words
(Credit: Alex Filitti)
“...you can wear this shoes every single day. We really called it reliable daily training compatriot when it comes to your running shoes……for long runs, everyday runs, or all day wear…. The 880 is going to be a little safer, a little bit more stable, it’s a little bit of a harder denser foam…the 1080 is your premium signature experience in the Fresh Foam X model softer, plusher underfoot with a little bit of pop.“.
Retail Price (SGD)219259
Weight270grams (9.5oz)262grams (9.2 oz)
UpperEngineered Mesh UpperBreathable Engineered Mesh Upper
MidsoleFresh Foam XFresh Foam X (w/ rocker profile)
OutsoleRubberSolid Rubber
Drop 8mm drop6mm drop
Stack Height (Forefoot: Heel)21mm: 29mm27mm:33mm
Table 1: Comparison Table of 880v14 and 1080v13

What do you think? Will you consider the 880v14 or pick up the 1080v13 for a premium of 40 Singapore dollars more? Till next time, just keep running.

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