New Balance Fresh Foam TRAIL First Impression
When it comes to trail running there are many brands out there in the market but trail runners have always been very loyal to the brands which they have long gotten used to, but this time round New Balance is breaking the monotonous trail shoe scene with their new innovation and ideas which is not short of creativity.
This shoe strikes a similar resemblance to the regular Fresh Foam that I have reviewed in the past and coming out of the box, I thought they had given me a brand new FF980 in just a different colorway but in fact ….
taking a closer looks, you can see that there are slight difference in the material on the upper to the midsole, If you take a closer look at the tongue is has the new Gusseted tongue which helps keep the trail debris out
The most obvious change with the Fresh Foam trail will be its jagged sole featuring really deep grooves, look at pic 3 and you will understand how sharp these bi-directional grooves are, I tried washing it with my sponge and guess what I need to do with the sponge after, It was literally shredded to bits (don’t try washing FF980 trail with a sponge please, it will die a horrible death)
Having tried the NB 980 Trail at the Henderson Parks trails and exposing it to the mud and harsh surface that it has to offer. This shoe still feel as if you are running on a grippy cushioned pillow which allows for much needed traction on the up slopes as well on the down. This shoes sure has the edge (no pun intended) on the regular FreshFoam because when your running on pavement it also acts pretty much like the original Fresh Foam when it first launched but most definitely I do not recommend running on pavement as it will chew your soles off if you do so, but if you do I am sure it will be able to take on the road as well.
This shoe provides much support and will not roll your feet inwards or outwards with the given height it has which is a 4mm drop, the one thing I don’t like is the material on its upper to midsole, it provides a false sense of Goretex water proof, I tried dripping water on it and it just went through.
This shoe weighs 291 grams (10.3 oz) for size US 8.5 and if you are looking for something comfortable and different from your regular stiff and hard trail shoes, try out the all new Fresh Foam 980 Trail for cushioned ride in the trail. I don’t recommend this shoe for racing but more of running the trails on a leisurely or training runs because of it’s comfort it gives.
If you have fallen in love with the Fresh Foam series just like I did, I am sure this will be an interesting addition to your Fresh Foam collection. If you have like this review please do give me a like or comment below if you want to know anything about how the shoes run.
Isaac’s 2 Cents Worth
- Following it’s Fresh Foam roots, this shoe remains plush and true
- The Jagged Bi-directional edge soles give you exceptional grip on the trails
- The new gusseted helps keep those pesky pebbles and sands out
- Toebox feels a bit cramped
- Sole does not runs well on pavement
- New upper material feels synthetic instead of the true NB soft feel (but this is because it is in all NB Trail range)
Fresh Foam 980 Trail retails for SGD $169 and is available at all New Balance Store. Colorway may differ as they change from season.