Maximum Cush 'Fat Shoes' Are Trend for Multiple Brands in 2014

New Balance Fresh Foam 980; $110 — For a few years we’ve loved New Balance’s Minimus running shoe line. So we were surprised when the company used the Outdoor Retailer Show this summer to launch its maximum-size Fresh Foam shoe.

We were at the launch event in Salt Lake where brand reps and designers waxed on the fat shoes’ propensity to support as well as absorb shock. It felt light but flexible in the hand.

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The thickness of the Fresh Foam’s sole (stack height) is 16mm in the heel and 12mm at the forefoot. That’s not as huge as Hoka. But next to regular NB models the Fresh Foam is certainly cush.

What makes this model different is a unique diamond-shape pattern in the foam that New Balance touts adds stability while keeping the cushioning plush. We look forward to taking the Fresh Foam out for a ride.

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