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New Balance Road Running Line up review

The New Balance road running shoes lineup consists of 17 models. In this article, you will learn all the details and differences among them. This video will use color coding from our running shoes classification article, so it's worth checking that out in advance.

The first model we'll look at is the 880v14. It features a soft Fresh Foam X midsole material, which provides plenty of cushioning. The structured, supportive upper delivers breathability and excellent lockdown. It has a reasonable tread on the outsole, providing ample grip on any surface. This shoe offers a balance of characteristics, suitable for both beginners and experienced runners. However, if you're looking for something faster or more supportive, there are other models in the range that may be more suitable.

Next up is the 1080v13, which is a bit controversial for me. They feature an even squishier and lightweight midsole material. It's called the same, but believe me, it's different. Due to this change, the shoes feel even more pleasant and comfortable. However, this feeling is deceptive, since such a midsole is significantly less stable, meaning after an hour of training, your legs will feel more fatigued compared to the 880v14. And that's why this model is controversial for me. I don't like shoes that deceive consumers in stores. You try them on, feel incredible comfort, spend more to buy them, but you don't know the truth.

While the MOREv4 is more appropriate version for increased cushioning. It features a higher midsole stack, delivering more comfort. The design is more stable to balance the stability of the increased stack. The upper feels super soft and comfortable, though slightly less breathable. However, it's important to note that the amount of cushioning may be overwhelming, possibly too much for running. Also the downside of these improvements is the added weight and increased bulkiness.

The opposite is TEMPOv2. These shoes feature a decreased stack height and fewer lockdown elements on the upper. These changes increase the lightness of the shoes, making them more appropriate for speed. However, the level of cushioning and lockdown is decreased, making them less suitable for beginners searching for extra comfort..

The next model we'll look at is the 860v14. It features a special film between two layers of midsole foam material called Stability Plane. This makes the shoes stiffer in particular parts, increasing predictability of the footstep and stability. Specifically, this technology increases stiffness more on the inner side than the outer side, helping to address excessive overpronation. However, please do not consider this shoe as part of the Support segment. These shoes are absolutely amazing for any beginner to run daily or even engage in speed sessions. There is no real wedge on the inner side, which may not be ideal for those with neutral pronation. While for experienced runners, these shoes may be slightly worse due to the added weight and bulkiness.

We see a similar transformation in the VONGO v6. It features a very cushy midsole and Stability Plane technology. This combination makes the shoe a legitimate daily trainer for anyone seeking comfort and safety. Unlike the discussion with the 1080, where too much cushioning can be problematic, here, with added stability, it's not the case. The downside of this solution is the added weight and overall bulkiness, which is not ideal for experienced runners.

New Balance also offers shoes for those with extreme demands in managing overpronation – the 840v1. These shoes feature a reinforced upper, a more solid heel counter, and, most importantly, reinforcement on the inner side to help tackle excessive overpronation. These shoes are great for those with problematic legs; however, they are not recommended for others. Also, be aware that all reinforcements add weight and are not ideal for speed.

The 1540v3 takes the advantages of the 840 even further. These shoes feature a stiffer midsole, guaranteeing the same high level of cushioning while also increasing stability. The wedge on the inner side is also bigger, further aiding in managing overpronation. Similarly, the upper is built to last, with reinforcements across the entire length. These shoes are no longer just running shoes but rather a solution for people with problematic legs. New Balance has placed them in the Running segment because this group typically searches for their footwear within this category. However, for our scheme focused solely on running, we place them aside.

The Rebel v4 is the model built for a bit more speed. It features a bouncier foam material and a more aggressive design to increase running efficiency. It's also worth noting that this midsole material is much lighter, making the shoes great for running faster. However, these improvements come with a cost of stability. It is quite low for beginners in this model.

The next model worth noting is the Propel v4. Many people mistake it for a budget version of Carbon super shoes. However, despite featuring a plate, it has nothing to do with speed. This plate is only in the middle part of the midsole, similar to the adidas torsion plate, and it serves only for stability. There is no swing effect when you press on the front side and get pushed to the heel. The Propel v4 is an excellent budget version of the Rebel v4, still light and fun, but using less premium and bouncy materials.

Now, we start to cover the real speed models of New Balance. The first one is the SUPERCOMP PACER. It utilizes a weightless upper, extremely bouncy foam, a really low stack height, and a carbon plate, which helps redistribute the weight and makes extra cuts in the midsole to further reduce the weight. Please pay attention that this carbon plate does not deliver extra responsiveness through a swing effect because to do so, you need a high midsole stack height. Anyway, these shoes are super fast due to minimal weight; however, beginners should avoid them due to insufficient cushioning and comfort.

Next up is the pinnacle of speed for New Balance – the SUPERCOMP ELITE v4. These shoes feature an increased stack height, extremely bouncy foam, and a carbon plate. This combination allows you to activate the swing and significantly increase running efficiency. Paired with an ultralight upper, you get the fastest shoes in the lineup. However, they are extremely unstable, which means unprepared legs will hardly be able to handle them without risk of micro injuries.

The next model is the SUPERCOMP TRAINER v2. It features an even further increased stack height of really bouncy foam. The geometry is even more aggressive than the SUPERCOMP ELITE. In theory, such improvements should lead to more running efficiency, but in reality, they only make the shoes more enjoyable and fun to run in. Perhaps through boosting your mental health, you might actually run a bit faster. However, in terms of stability, these shoes are even worse.

The Kaiha Road, EVOZv3, 680v8, and ARISHI v4 models are the budget versions of the lineup. They still feature good cushioning, lockdown, and breathability, but use slightly less advanced materials, resulting in slightly diminished characteristics.

And this concludes the final scheme of the New Balance road running shoes lineup. Many of you often ask about trail models, but they will be covered in a separate article, so please stay patient.