Brooks Glycerin 13 vs. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 review

Brooks Glycerin 13 provides a comfortable, soft, and smooth ride to neutral runners. New Balance 1080v6 is a neutral cushioning running shoe that adds a bit of stability to your runs.

The Brooks Glycerin 13 and the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 – also known as the New Balance 1080v6 – are both neutral cushioning running shoes that are supposed to be each other's counterparts, so they should match up well against each other.

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The uppers of the Brooks Glycerin 13 and the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 make them look like twins due to the broad overlay that wraps the midfoot.

Such an overlay was absent from the New Balance 1080v5 but added to the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 The preceding link takes you to Amazon.com, which makes me wonder whether New Balance copied the idea and from whom, since the ISO-line of Saucony also comes with such overlays.

What is different, however, is that the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 does not have overlays running over its toe box. Most of the structure and support is provided through the mesh itself, which may give you a much looser fit than the Brooks Glycerin 13, which has 3D Fit Print overlays running throughout its entire upper.

Both running shoes provide a good amount of support behind the heel and overall, you should expect to get a good amount of support around the midfoot where runners tend to really need it.

However, the Brooks Glycerin 13 may feel somewhat more comfortable in the forefoot area, since the overlays that run over the midfoot have been pulled back more on the Brooks Glycerin 13 than on the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080.

Both the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 and the Brooks Glycerin 13 are meant to provide heel-to-toe cushioning and feel plush under your feet.

While both running shoes are not as super plush as a Saucony Triumph ISO 2, they provide a good amount of cushioning and their cushioning profiles are almost identical according to running shoe lab tests.

For men, both provide above average cushioning and quite a bit of forefoot cushioning with not many differences to be noted between the two running shoes.

For women, the amount of cushioning is also above average, but the Brooks Glycerin 13 delivers a little bit more heel cushioning than the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080, and the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 provides just a tiny bit more forefoot cushioning than the Brooks Glycerin 13.

All in all, both the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 and the Brooks Glycerin 13 should feel cushy under your feet but not to the extent that they prevent you from running fast.

While the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 is not a stability running shoe, its midsole flares out in the forefoot to provide a wider and somewhat more stable base to toe-off on.

Its outsole is also straighter than that of the Brooks Glycerin 13, which goes from wide in the forefoot to narrow in the heel.

The narrow, rounded heel of the Brooks Glycerin 13 is to provide a better alignment and take stress of joints.

The outsole of the Brooks Glycerin 13 also consists of three separate zones to distribute pressure under the foot.

The rubber under both the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 and the Brooks Glycerin 13 is well segmented for shock dissipation and absorption.

However, the two outsoles look quite different with the Brooks Glycerin 13 having three flex grooves in the forefoot and the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 having just two, which could make it a stiff running shoe.

Running shoe lab tests show that the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 is quite stiff for both men and women and that the Brooks Glycerin 13 is also quite stiff for women but very flexible for men.

Both the Brooks Glycerin 13 and the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 provide a good amount of ground contact so increase their potential of being able to provide you with a smooth and more stable ride.

The women's version of the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 weighs approximately 8.6 oz (244 grams) and the Brooks Glycerin 13 for women weighs about 8.9 oz (252 grams).

The men's versions of the shoes weigh 10.5 oz (298 grams) and 11.0 oz (312 grams), respectively, with the New Balance 1080 Fresh Foam being the lighter one.

The Brooks Glycerin 13 and the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 are quite similar in what they deliver to neutral runners, so making a choice might be difficult.

If you want a well-balanced, comfortable fit and stress reduction features, then the Brooks Glycerin 13 might be a better option than the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080.

And if your feet are wide, then the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 may suit you better than the Brooks Glycerin 13.

Note: The weight of a running shoe depends on the size of the running shoe, so any weights mentioned in this review may differ from the weight of the running shoe you choose to wear. Running shoes of the same size were compared for this review.

The two links above will take you to Amazon.com where you can read more about the running shoes.


This review falls under: Brooks | New Balance

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