The New Balance 980 Trail is a natural, versatile trail running shoe designed for a neutral foot motion.


Important Shipping Note: U.S. sales only.


The New Balance 980 Trail gives you a natural and fluid stride with its low offset while still absorbing the impact of every step on the trail with New Balance's Fresh Foam technology in the midsole. The aggressive grip on the outsole gives the traction needed to enjoy any surface while the breathable mesh upper keeps your feet from overheating as you blaze down the trail.

Model Number:

Weight: 10.5 (size 9)

Stack Height: Heel (24mm), Forefoot (20mm)  

Widths Available: D=Medium, 2E=Wide

How It Fits (based on width D)

  • Sizing: Standard running shoe length
  • Heel: Medium
  • Mid-foot: Medium volume
  • Forefoot: Medium
  • Toe-Box height: Medium to low
  • Arch Structure: Medium
  • Shoe Shape: Semi-Curved


  • Fresh Foam delivers plush cushioning for those who want a soft underfoot feel.


  • Blown rubber in the forefoot increases cushioning and responsiveness.
  • Aggressive Lugs are multidirectional to assist in ascending and descending.


  • Synthetic Mesh covers the majority of the upper for durable, lightweight breathability.
  • Synthetic Overlays are strategically placed to wrap the foot for a secure fit.
  • No-Sew upper materials are soft, supple and hold the foot securely on the platform.
  • Traditional Sockliner provides additional underfoot cushioning.
  • Strobel Last with the upper stitched to full length fabric for a comfortable underfoot feel.


  • PL-4 is a running-specific last with a standard heel width, toe-box height, and forefoot width.

Footwear Performance Characteristics

Pronation Control: What's This?

  • Neutral
    • Min
    • Mod
  • Support
    • Min
    • Mod
    • Max
  • Motion Control
    • Mod
    • Max

Heel-Toe Offset (mm): What's This?

  • 0
  • 1-2
  • 3-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-8
  • 9-10
  • 11+

Stack Height:

  • Barefoot
  • Minimal
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High
  • Maximal


  • Road
  • Road-Trail
  • Hard Trail
  • Varied Trail
  • Soft Trail

Shoe Type:

  • Premium
  • Standard
  • Performance
  • Racing

Customer Reviews

Comments: I was looking forward to these shoes as I wanted the "plush cushioning" in a more traditional design (compared to a Hoka).  I was disappointed with the level of cushioning.  I found these to be the same or even less cushioned than my other trail shoes that are not touted as being cushioned.  However, I liked the fit and really liked the looks of the blue design, so I continued to use them for relatively short (<15 mile) runs.

After 150 or so miles, the mesh uppers were beginning to tear at the flex points, between the more rigid overlays.  Now, at 200-ish miles, both shoes have significant holes at all the flex points.  Bottom line, I'm very disappointed with the poor durability of the uppers and lack of what they marketed as "plush cushioning".  In the future, if they make the uppers stronger and are realistic about their cushioning claims, they would have a very good short to mid distance shoe.
From: Anonymous. August 26th 2015

Comments: These shoes fell apart on me after 225 miles. I was extremely disappointed. The top mesh developed holes on both feet. I have two other friends that had the exact same issue. If you buy them, expect to get no more than 300 miles total. This has the potential to be a great shoe. The ride is good. The cushion is great. The top mess is cheap and poorly constructed. I have pictures but there doesn't appear to be a way to attach them.
From: Todd, Evanston, IL, USA. August 14th 2015

Comments: These showed up with another pair of New Balance shoes. They were both the same size. These have a pretty small toe box. They also felt a full size smaller than the other pair of NB. They were light weight and the tread looked functional. They also felt fairly soft in the sole.
From: Indy, IL, USA. April 13th 2015

Comments: I bought a pair of these shoes wanting a soft riding trail shoe. This shoe gave me blisters on both of my arches (near the front of the arch where the insole contacts them) after about two miles of my first run. I have never had any type of shoe do that. They seem a bit smaller than the listed size. Very disappointed.
From: Rocky, Gilbert, AZ, USA. November 11th 2014

Comments: I just ran in these for the first time. I actually tried them out on the road. What I've heard is true. They feel even softer than my original 980's (road version). I put 350 miles on my original 980's and they have been the most comfortable 350 miles I have ever run. It seems like I am off to a good start with the 980 trail version. I'm looking forward to putting some more miles on them, especially on the trails. I will update.
From: Patrick, Troy, NY, USA. October 23rd 2014

Comments: Outstanding shoe. Super supportive yet not over heavy stiff upper if a bit pointy as most NB are in the toe. Protective on rougher stuff without a stiff rock plate. Smooth running on all kinds of trails and even the road where this is little of that trail shoe slap. IMO a much better implementation of the Fresh Foam concept of using hexagon patterns to soften or stiffen the midsole than the first Fresh Foam road.
From: Anonymous. July 31st 2014

Comments: Took these out for a 5 miler today. I got them for the end of a 100 mile ultra, need more cush at the end. I was very, very happy!!! They fit great, cushioning was great, locked in feel on the rocky AT here in WV. I can not comment on grip on wet rock or how well they drain yet since it was a dry day but I was so pleased with them I had to post this. AWESOME!! Last year I had the NB MT1210, Leadville, swap at the end of a 100. That shoe worked well too but the lower drop of the 980 and the FRESH FOAM is really good. Happy Trails.
From: WV MT Goat, WV, USA. July 29th 2014