New Balance Freshfoam 980 Review “Isaac’s 2 cents”

What’s a guy got to do at 11pm on a Saturday night, head to the watering hole? head to the club?

Well I did just about none of that and I went for a 10k run with my latest Freshfoam 980 by New Balance. All this made possible by the good people of  New Balance Singapore and Crowd Singapore PR Agency.  Thank you guys for having me today.

NewBalance SG

Since this was a pop up event held at Sultan Gate, there will be no un-boxing video as the shoe was given on as it is with full matching NB Attire, sadly I wasn’t able to attend the short event due to work commitment but I still got hold of the shoe for a test run.  I will talk about the tech of this shoe later into the post because ever since NB peeps created the Minimus Hi-Rez, I am totally going ga-ga over their fantastic innovation hence today’s event at Sultan Gate was called #RUNNOVATION

NB 980 isaac976

First Impression

When I first looked at the Freshfoam, I was baffled by the design? to me it looks really weird but then again so was the Hi-Rez (flimsy bendable shoe with 32 pods as soles) If you have not seen the Hi-Rez, you can click on this link to read more on it New Balance Minimus Hi-Rez

After that I learnt never to doubt the NB designs as they do have their reason for it. I held on to the shoe for the first time and it felt firm (not what I expected of a shoe callefd Freshfoam) I was thinking of sponge like effect.

I tested this shoe in all different foot strike. Take a good look at the impact of the shoe

Forefoot Runner: This shoe is not meant for you guys because of the 4mm and the freshfoam tech incoporated you will feel close to the ground when you toe off, VERY close. I felt it when I was wearing it before my run on a walk around Singapore, I put my weight on my forefoot and raised my heels off the ground, it felt too close to the ground.

isaac976 Freshfoam 980

Midfoot Runner: You guys are going to love this shoe if you are a mid-foot runner, the plushness of this shoe will make you go gaga and the 4 mm drop if just like a sweet spot for this shoe, Need I say more?

isaac976 Freshfoam 980

Heelstrike Runner: Heel Strike runner will also benefit from the NB technology as when you strike on the ground at your heel, you wont feel a thing, I assure you. This shoe will absorb all impact to the shoe and you will feel as if you were running on a pillow.

isaac976 Freshfoam 980

If you want to understand how the shoe feels and without going to any NB stores, do you know the kid’s playground outside your block, the one with the rubber material that will absorb on impact, well there you go, this shoe feels similar to that but in a shoe kinda of way.

The New Balance team made this shoe different from its REVlite midsole (both in terms of structure and density), the Fresh Foam midsole is more plush, but it still offers excellent cushioning and absorbing impact. Many will say that there is energy rebound but I definitely can’t feel this energy rebound, but it surely took on my weight impact when I landed on my heel.

This is New Balance first shoe to feature this technology. The Fresh Foam 980 comes with a no-sew upper with welded overlays for lightweight comfort, The 4mm offset from heel-to-toe made me feel that I was running in a Saucony Kinvara and it felt like it. If you love the Kinvara and you needed something softer. This is your to go shoe.

This shoe weighs a mere 508gm a pair in size US8.5

isaac976 Freshfoam 980

I am used to running without socks and I appreciate a good shoe with No-Sew technology, and this shoe was one of them, The upper heel grip could have gone lower but it is still alright as it holds the heel pretty well. I love low riding shoes like my Newton Energy shoes as it chaffing would almost be prevented instantly.


Isaac’s 2 Cents worth


  1. Ultra Plush ( I thought I was running on rubber )
  2. Loved the curved soles, making toe off a breeze
  3. The no sew material application is a THUMBS-UP for sockless runner like me
  4. 4mm drop is like a sweet spot for me. It feels really fast as it makes you feel like you are about to toe off everytime.
  5. Perfect shoe for Mid foot and Heel Striker


  1. My air conditioning must be broken on the Air Mesh Upper. It felt kinda stuffy when I was using it to walk around for my walks
  2. I hated the color scheme. Could be better but hey if you are a person of vanity like me. I would love to see some awesome color combination.
  3. The toebox felt a bit narrow but it feels just right for me even when it was a 2E (wide)

I hope you have enjoyed my review and if you like to know anything about this show do not hesitate to comment at the box below. Happy New Year guys.

If you are keen on purchasing the New Balance Freshfoam 980 shoe, click here for a 15% discount voucher to purchase your New Balance Fresh Foam


9 responses

  1. Why are the soles getting thicker and thicker? Is it a backlash from the minimalist movement? Hahaha…


    17/01/2014 at 3:49 pm

    • The current trend is moving to energy rebound instead of the minimalist design now, you will start to see many plush shoes on the market soon..


      17/01/2014 at 7:53 pm

  2. zhi ting

    Arhs. Wanna buy the shoe but cannot find the 15% voucher u share. ;(


    19/01/2014 at 12:16 pm

    • Hi zhi ting. Send me your email to I will send u the voucher


      19/01/2014 at 3:56 pm

  3. Pingback: New Balance Fresh Foam 980 | Cheryl Tay

  4. Shah

    Hey Isaac,

    Just to check if the voucher is still available? is it only valid in singapore?

    I’m very interested to buy a pair. Thanks!


    15/02/2014 at 4:30 pm

    • Hi Shah, yes this voucher is only available in Singapore, but it has already expired. Do wait for more promo and I will let you know through my blogsite.

      Thanks for visiting


      16/02/2014 at 5:48 pm

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