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


Important Shipping Note: U.S. sales only.


Enjoy a soft, cloudlike run in the New Balance 980. This neutral trainer introduces Fresh Foam, a plush midsole material that separates you from the hard road below. A low offset design ensures a natural and uninhibited stride, and a breathable mesh upper keeps you cool and comfortable as you add up the miles. Say goodbye to the ground below and hello to a whole new running experience with the 980.

Model Number:

Weight:  9.1 oz (size 9)

Stack Height: Heel (22mm), Forefoot (18mm)  

Widths Available: D=Medium, 2E=Wide

How It Fits (based on width D)

  • Sizing: Standard running shoe length
  • Heel: Medium 
  • Mid-foot: Medium to high volume
  • Forefoot: Medium to wide
  • Toe-Box height: Medium to high
  • 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.


  • Air Mesh covers the majority of the upper for 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.

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'm generally a pretty big fan of New Balance, but I'm somewhat disappointed in these shoes. I bought them while they were on sale, have been wearing them for about a week and a half, and they are already showing significant signs of wear on the sole. Also, something about them is throwing off my gait and I'm not quite sure what it is, but they certainly aren't neutral. Lastly, they are pretty stiff, which generally doesn't bother me if the shoe is actually neutral. As I said, though, these don't seem neutral. Note: I'm a 165-pound runner with flattish feet running 50-mile weeks. Not sure if that makes much of a difference but it might be worth mentioning.
From: Ethan. September 11th 2015

Comments: The shoe was on sale and actually felt good. Unfortunately, I don't think it made 150 miles before the bottom wore out in the usual place. I only run about 25 miles/week, 3 days/week, w/a day between runs and usually alternate shoes. Although not devoted to New Balance, disappointed in this particular shoe. I'm a sale-shoe runner for 40+ years who quit striking his heels about 10 years ago and now will try (again) an Asics.
From: Stephen, Jackson, MS, USA. July 15th 2015

Comments: False advertising! "Fresh foam?" More like "Firm foam!" After experimenting with some way-too-heavy Hokas for my long runs, I was looking for a lighter, but still well-cushioned shoe to replace those for my Boston training. But I don't think these are the ones; they're just too hard. The closest thing I can compare them too is the midsole in my four-year-old pair of Nike Frees with all the bounce gone from the cushioning. I'm 5'9", 130 lbs, pretty quiet midfoot striker, and still, the amount of impact when I use these on pavement is pretty high. On the upside, for 9 oz they do feel pretty light, so I will likely end up using them for tempo runs and possibly track workouts instead (not trail--"tread" is worthless on anything but dry, smooth surfaces). Another note, if you˙re looking for a truly neutral shoe, you may want to look elsewhere, since I agree with previous commenters that the midsole is slightly slanted. Also, I can't exactly pin down why, but these pinch my feet slightly so I get a bit of a tingly, foot-falling-asleep feeling after 30-40 minutes (something I never get with my Lunaracers or Frees). I have a narrow foot and high arch (hence always being happy with Nikes), so maybe if you have a wide foot you˙ll be ok. But between the extra-hard midsole and numbing fit, I will not be buying again.
From: Nate, Oakland, CA, USA.  January 26th 2015

Comments: These are my favorite shoes I've owned so far. I have put more miles on them than any other shoe I've worn. The miles that I have put on them have been the most comfortable, pain and injury free miles I've ever run. I just bought the trail version and can't wait to try them out.
From: Patrick, Troy, NY, USA. October 23rd 2014

Comments: Good shoes
From: Alexander. Houston, TX, USA. October 11th 2014

Comments: I bought these because although I currently run in Newton Distance Elites, I wanted to try something with a similar heel-toe profile but a little more cushion (and perhaps better wear.) I find these to be pretty firm (definitely NOT cloud-like...), but light and generally comfortable. Cushier than the Newtons to be sure! I am 6', 175 lbs and I run a 7:30-7:45 mile, 15-20 miles/week. I have been rotating these in for the past few weeks and my only complaint is that they aren't 100% neutral - I can feel my feet rolling inward (which would corroborate the previous comment that the outside has a slight slant.)
From: Dave, Hudson Valley, NY, USA. October 8th 2014

Comments: These shoes are amazing, probably my favorite pair in the last couple of years (and I'm a running shoe nerd, owning about 18 pairs so far). Great, smooth transition, very responsive, supportive and protective ride, lightweight and with a very breathable upper. You can't go wrong with these versatile shoes, they are suitable for any type of run you want to log in. I hope and pray that NB will not mess up the next version of the Fresh Foams.
From: Seb. August 2nd 2014

Comments: Now this isn't my first pair of New Balance shoes, but my first pair in quite some time. I used to sell running shoes for 10 years and over the past three years I have gotten into running. I am about a 4:30 marathoner, about 6ft tall and weigh 230. I am do not have a "runner's" body so take my review for what you will. Previously to this shoe I ran between the Pegasus and Ghost. This was going to be my summer training shoe, that I eventually was going to alternate with the Ghost. Call me a sucker, but I feel for the hype. The shoe is much firmer than I anticipated. Outside of that however I like the shoe. The platform, the upper and even the sole. I just like a soft ride (my size is most likely why) and was disappointed. I do like the fact that there is less drop in this shoe versus the other shoes I use. I do not have any pain anywhere so the cushioning is more than adequate, it's just not as soft as I thought it would be.
From: Steve, Alpena, MI, USA. June 11th 2014

Comments: The last pair of New Balance I liked was the 830's. (Way back in the day). Up until these shoes, I have felt NB's to be hard and heavy. That all has changed with the 980's. This is an amazing shoe. I have ran a 5 mile tempo in these and a 15 miler. They are incredible. My other favorite shoes are the Brooks Pure Connect and it is nice to trade off with these.
From: Kevin, Folsom, CA, USA. June 3rd 2014

Comments: Love these. Soft enough for me - take care of my feet nicely without too much support or structure. Also love the low drop. Run about 40 mpw... have done 4-15 mile runs and find them great at all distances.
From: Ed, USA. May 1st 2014

Comments: Not a completely neutral shoe. The outside has a slight slant and there is a slant in the heel. If you need a completely flat base this shoe is not for you.
From: Will, Sunnyale, CA, USA. April 16th 2014

Comments: I bought these as a replacement for my Kinvara 4's. At first impression they felt nice. They have good cushioning and seemed to fit my foot well. After doing a short run however, I realized that these would not work for me. I run without socks and while these are seamless, they just don't have the same feel as the sauconys. In addition sides of the tongue have a rougher edge. Second, they don't breathe nearly as well. The tongue and the rear of the shoe is much thicker and my feet got much hotter in these even on a short run. Lastly, I noticed that my big toe was pushing outward on the side of the shoe.
From: Wes, Winter Springs, FL, USA. April 19th 2014

Comments: I don't ever write reviews but I loved these shoes so much I had to. I run everyday and I've had these shoes a week and still have yet to find a flaw. A nice lightweight feel but they still have some support I would recommended these shoes to any runner.
From: Matt, Elmira, New York, USA. 3/6/14

Comments: This is the first pair of New Balance shoes that I have ever tried out. I usually run in Kinvaras and have run in every model except the K 3's. I have put 10 miles on these and I have to say that I am very impressed. These shoes offer very minimal stability features(which I like), wonderful cushion, a great upper fit, and I even like the tread design(it's not too deep to pick up a lot of pebbles, but it's cut in a way that allows natural foot movement). This shoe encourages a mid/fore foot strike and the heel is really paired down. Even with the amount of cushion there is a great level of control and road feel. I have only put 10 miles on them, but they show nothing in the way of wear and tear. Great job New Balance! You have a new fan.
From: Jack, Pittsburgh, PA. 3/4/14

Comments: Here's my first take after an initial 5 miles. This shoe is like a slightly more cushioned Cortana. The fit is definitely more of a lose fit. Reminded me of wearing a slipper..definitely doesn't fit like a racing flat...and that's okay. They are extremely comfortable to wear. I absolutely loved running in them. First mile was slow 8:10, but the shoes still felt great. The 4mm drop encourages a mid to forefoot stride. They aren't as cushy or as heavy as they look. In fact they are right in the perfect range of firmness for me anyway. After 5 miles I was down to an overall 7:29 pace so they definitely help your legs on the back end of a run. These are perfect for training, racing 10K or higher. I may wear them for next half as they'll easily keep me going as I get to double digit miles. Typically when I wear a new 4mm or less shoe for the first time there's some sort of calf soreness as my legs adjust, but I had zero issues with these. This might be my new favorite shoe.
From: Mike, Clarksburg, MD. 2/21/14

Comments: Impressed. Tried them on in the store, sole felt really firm just standing there(although very flexible) went on a little test jog and they felt surprisingly soft, don't know what voodoo magic they did but it worked
From: matt, Johannesburg, gauteng, South Africa. 2/17/14

Comments: I am a 2:50 marathoner and run about 70-80 miles a week. I am an avid new balance fan. My road shoes are 890, my trail shoes are 1210, my flats are 1400's. Preordered these shoes and got them in mail today. Laced up and ran 9 miles today. First impression: unbelievable! The soles of these shoes are very soft and pliable. The outer mesh is very responsive. The 3-4mm drop Almost forces you to run mid foot to forefoot. Now the question is will they hold up for 500 miles like my 890s. Will probably run another full this season just to test these shoes for next season.
From: Gregory, mobile, al, usa. 2/10/14