The Zoom Vomero was introduced as a deluxe cushioned, neutral, high-mileage shoe. Round 12 keeps this focus front and center. The upper is much like Round 11: engineered mesh with support from welded internal layers.
The 1080 is that rare combination: both a workhorse and a showpiece of New Balance’s running line, thus last season’s successful merger of Fresh Foam and New Balance’s best Neutral shoe offers no surprises. The upper features some subtle changes: The engineered mesh now extends from toe to heel, and the ankle collar gets some love, allowing better conformity to the foot. Minor tweaks to the rear of the saddle also smooth the rearfoot fit by extending the overlay into the heel counter. The ankle lining goes from smooth to smoother, for those with sensitive feet. The Fresh Foam receives some attention as the cells in the foam’s surface have been slightly reworked, and new shaping improves the ride. The EVA Strobel board construction and the cushy polyurethane sockliner remain unchanged. The outersole continues the full-length hexagonal-shaped rubber compound. Reshaped lugs and flex grooves improve the grip and durability slightly and conform better through the gait. The adage Don’t Mess with Success has been closely followed here, and fans as well as those looking for durable cushioned comfort are the beneficiaries.
Testers: “Fit really well, plush and smooth. Cushioned and protective. This is what I look for in a high-mileage shoe.”
Updates the Fresh Foam 1080 v6
Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15,16 (B,D,2E,4E); Women 5–11,12 (2A,B,D,2E)
Weight: Men 11.5 oz. (size 11); Women 9.3 oz. (size 8)
Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board
Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics
The Waverider introduced runners to Mizuno’s Wave plate technology, and 19 updates later it has legions of fans who depend on its unique ride. The good news about Round 20 is that all is well, and the Waverider’s tradition lives up to expectations.
For many Hoka fans, the Bondi is the definition of maximum cushioning so getting its update right was crucial. Fortunately for all involved, our testers found that Round 5 got it right. The upper is closed mesh with 3D-printed overlays, putting Hoka’s bold graphics on full display.
Altra debuted with the Instinct (and the women’s Intuition) and receives an attentive update to its successful design. The upper is completely new, with an engineered mesh that adjusts well to the foot. The lining is smooth, offering support while snugging up comfortably.