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New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v13 - Women's Review

A simple and affordable shoe that provides great all-around comfort but isn't very technical
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New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v13 - Women's Review (If a simple and affordable approach to running shoes is what you are looking for, this is a great place to start your...)
If a simple and affordable approach to running shoes is what you are looking for, this is a great place to start your search.
Credit: Ally Arcuri
Price:  $165 List
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Manufacturer:   New Balance
By Ally Arcuri ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 9, 2023
71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 19
  • Cushioning and Landing Comfort - 25% 7.5
  • Responsiveness - 25% 7.0
  • Stability - 20% 7.0
  • Upper Comfort - 15% 8.0
  • Weight - 15% 6.0

Our Verdict

The New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v13 is a soft and mostly peppy marathon-ready shoe for distance fiends of all shapes and sizes. With a traditional fit and a well-treaded outsole, this spry road shoe comes in many widths, making it even more suitable for all kinds of feet. The engineered mesh upper balances perfectly with a comfortable lace bed, soft yet secure heel cup, and plenty of underfoot cushion. The structure of the Fresh Foam X 880v13 holds its integrity, even after daily wear, making this a great shoe for those who want a versatile daily trainer that is appropriate for all types of running.
REASONS TO BUY
Great overall comfort
Simple design
Somewhat responsive
Affordable
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavier
Lacks technical features

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Bottom Line While this shoe doesn't stand out in any one metric, it scores well enough to be recommended as a standard daily trainerThis running shoe offers the performance technology and comfort needed to be your go-to shoe, no matter your running goalsWith strong responsive bounce and enough comfort for long runs, this shoe will suit marathon hopefuls and speed demons alikeThe structure and comfort of this shoe make it a highly recommended option for long distance runners who want a reliable road running steedWhile not a race-focused shoe, this affordable and bouncy option will keep your legs turning over quickly and easily
Rating Categories New Balance Fresh F... Asics Novablast 4 -... Puma Deviate Nitro... Brooks Adrenaline G... Saucony Kinvara 14...
Cushioning and Landing Comfort (25%)
7.5
9.0
7.0
8.0
7.5
Responsiveness (25%)
7.0
7.5
9.5
6.5
7.5
Stability (20%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
6.0
Upper Comfort (15%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Weight (15%)
6.0
6.9
7.4
5.8
9.3
Specs New Balance Fresh F... Asics Novablast 4 -... Puma Deviate Nitro... Brooks Adrenaline G... Saucony Kinvara 14...
Weight (per shoe, size 6.5) 8.10 oz 7.36 oz 7.02 oz 8.21 oz 5.55 oz
Style Neutral Neutral Neutral/race Supportive Neutral
Sizes Available 5 - 13 US 5 - 12 US 5.5 - 11 US 5 - 13 US 5 - 12 US
Measured Heel-to-Toe Drop 12 mm 9 mm 8 mm 12 mm 5 mm
Measured Heel Stack Height 33 mm 40 mm 34 mm 34 mm 30 mm
Measured Forefoot Stack Height 21 mm 31 mm 26 mm 22 mm 25 mm
Claimed Heel-to-Toe Drop 10 mm 8 mm 6 mm 12 mm 4 mm
Claimed Heel Stack Height Not stated 40.5 mm Not stated Not stated 31 mm
Claimed Forefoot Stack Height Not stated 32.5 mm Not stated Not stated 27 mm
Measured Outsole Length 10.19 in 10.65 in 10.31 in 10.50 in 10.13 in
Measured Outsole Width 4.00 in 4.32 in 4.00 in 4.25 in 3.96 in
Upper Engineered mesh Engineered knit mesh Mesh Engineered air mesh Mesh
Midsole Fresh Foam X FF Blast Plus Eco Nitro/Nitro-Elite DNA Loft v2 PWRRUN, PWRRUN+
Outsole NDurance rubber AHAR outsole PumaGrip ATR Rubber Rubber XT-900 rubber
Measured Outsole Hardness 59 HA at forefoot, 52 HA near arch, 73 HA at heel 59 HA 65 HA 47 HA 63 HA at inner toe/outer heel, 35 HA rest of shoe
Heel Tab Type Subtle extended heel pull Finger loop None None Finger loop
Width Options Narrow, regular, wide, extra wide Regular Regular Narrow, medium, wide, extra wide Regular, wide
Heel Compression Stiffness 43 lbf 44 lbf 35 lbf 52 lbf 40 lbf
Toe Compression Stiffness 52 lbf 38 lbf 40 lbf 56 lbf 42 lbf
Toe Box Volume 5.2 in^3 6.2 in^3 6.7 in^3 6.5 in^3 6.7 in^3
Rocker Angle 15.5 deg 22.0 deg 12.5 deg 26.5 deg 26.0 deg

Our Analysis and Test Results

With a measured drop of 12mm (a bit more than the claimed 10mm) and a comfortably plush underfoot stack, the Fresh Foam X 880v13 has a traditional fit. Its bouncy energy return and stylish exterior give it a modern performance and aesthetic.

Performance Comparison


The Fresh Foam is a comfortable and reliable shoe that will get you where you need to go without all of the bells and whistles.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Cushioning and Landing Comfort


The Fresh Foam takes landing comfort and cushioning to a new level. Unlike shoes that feel stuffed to the gills with cushion and added materials, this shoe relies solely on the squish and softness of a standard amount of cushion. The interior is soft to the touch, absorbs impact well, and doesn't pack out after long efforts. The insole is traditionally shaped while offering just enough give to accommodate the uniqueness of your feet after a few runs. The balance between cushioning and bounce is prime because of the varied outsole hardness, making this one of our new go-to recommendations for runners looking for a daily, long-distance road shoe with comfort in the spotlight.

new balance fresh foam x 880v13 for women - the underfoot cushion of the fresh foam provides enough to be...
The underfoot cushion of the Fresh Foam provides enough to be comfortable but not so much that you feel like you're running on pillows.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Responsiveness


The lightweight NDurance rubber outsole provides great energy, encouraging empowering footfall after empowering footfall. While not a sprinting shoe, the Fresh Foam offers more pep than your standard road-ready workhorse, making it a great choice for long-distance runners who want comfort and energy return. The Fresh Foam doesn't feel like it has rollers beneath it like some of the more responsive shoes out there, but its poppy bounce encourages strong turnovers and keeps legs feeling fresh as mileage increases.

new balance fresh foam x 880v13 for women - the responsiveness of the fresh foam is middling. it isn't the most...
The responsiveness of the Fresh Foam is middling. It isn't the most responsive shoe out there, but it is far from the least, making it a comfortable middle ground for you to get moving in.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Stability


The comfort and structure of the Fresh Foam make it a relatively stable shoe, though it still falls within the neutral category. It doesn't have the lateral architecture to create stability, but the shoe's exterior is thick enough to keep your feet stable. The heel cup is contoured with a rim of more rigid foam to add additional stability. The width of the outsole balances well with the upper, preventing feet from spilling over the edges, which can often lead to feelings of instability. While not a shoe built specifically for overpronators, the Fresh Foam offers enough stability to be considered for mild overpronators who want a small amount of additional support. Runners seeking a truly laterally stable shoe might have better luck in a running shoe that prioritizes structure on the side for extra support.

new balance fresh foam x 880v13 for women - the comfortable width of the fresh foam by new balance makes it an...
The comfortable width of the Fresh Foam by New Balance makes it an adequately stable running shoe.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Upper Comfort


The engineered mesh upper of the Fresh Foam is breathable and comfortable. It is soft enough to mildly conform to your foot shape but maintains its strength and integrity. Aside from its breathability and soft-to-the-touch feel, the upper is fairly unremarkable. It is exactly what you'd expect from a standard road running shoe, and its simplicity is what makes it feel good. The toe box is wide enough that it doesn't squish toes together but maintains the svelteness of a typical road-focused shoe. The tongue is plush enough to prevent laces from digging in and provide all-day comfort. The upper of the Fresh Foam is perfect for runners who want gear they can count on to stay comfortable without any additional effort.

The upper comfort of this shoe is soft, flexible, and super comfortable.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Weight


The Fresh Foam doesn't weigh any less than average, but its materials and weight distribution allow it to feel lighter than it is. When testing shoes, we weigh them right out of the box, record the numbers, and then begin our feet-on-the-ground testing. As we circled back to dive into the details of each shoe, we were shocked to realize each women's size 6.5 Fresh Foam weighs 8.1 ounces. This average weight feels so much lighter on the move, which doesn't change the score of the Fresh Foam, but it is important to note. Unlike shoes of similar weights, this one never felt clunky underfoot, making it feel comfortably lighter than its competitors.

new balance fresh foam x 880v13 for women - the fresh foam weighs in in the middle of the pack, securing its...
The Fresh Foam weighs in in the middle of the pack, securing its standing as a strong contender for daily training needs.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Should You Buy the New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v13?


Though running shoes should generally be chosen based on your specific needs, the Fresh Foam X 880v13 is one that our testers highly recommend for most runners. Its comfort, responsive kick, and moderate price point come together to create a highly desirable shoe. If a standard road shoe is what you are after, the comfort and width options of the Fresh Foam might be perfect for you.

new balance fresh foam x 880v13 for women - our testers enjoyed running in the fresh foam. while not a shoe that...
Our testers enjoyed running in the Fresh Foam. While not a shoe that stands out from the crowd, there is a lot to love about it.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

What Other Running Shoes Should You Consider?


The outsole of the Fresh Foam is slightly softer than some of our other high-scoring, traditional road running shoes. The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 has a similar fit but offers more stability and structure. If a lighter-weight, peppier shoe is what you find yourself looking for, the Saucony Kinvara 14 or the Nike Vaporfly 3 might be better for your needs. The Vaporfly is a speed-focused road racer, while the Kinvara is a responsive take on a daily runner.

Ally Arcuri