Nike React Infinity Run vs. New Balance 1080 [2024]

Written By Sunny

Nike and New Balance have stood out in running shoe technology with the Infinity Run and the 1080 series.

Both claim to provide the ultimate blend of comfort, support, and performance. These running shoes have become staples for athletes and enthusiasts alike.

In this comprehensive analysis, I will examine the upper construction, midsole cushioning, outsole and traction, comfort, durability, and overall performance of both

Whether you’re a professional runner or a casual jogger looking for everyday comfort, this breakdown aims to guide you through the features of each so you can purchase the shoe that aligns with your running preferences and goals.

Let’s begin!

Summary of Nike Infinity Run and New Balance 1080 Lineup

The Infinity Run series is designed for maximum comfort and support on your runs. They feature Nike’s React foam, which is soft, responsive, and durable.

The shoes also have rocker-shaped soles that allow a smooth, rolling transition from heel to toe. The Flyknit upper is a breathable, flexible material that adjusts to your foot.

The first model, the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit, was released in May 2020. Subsequent models, the React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 and React Infinity Run FK 3, came at roughly annual intervals.

The most recent iteration, the Nike Infinity RN4, was launched in July 2023.

The New Balance 1080s are plush, high-mileage running shoes known for their exceptional comfort and smooth cushioning. They feature NB’s Fresh Foam X technology, which provides a soft, bouncy feel underfoot.

The shoes also have a breathable mesh upper that helps keep your feet cool and dry.

Whether running long distances or looking for a comfortable everyday shoe, the NB 1080s are a great option.

The v1 was the original model in the 1080 series, which launched in 2008.

New Balance typically releases new versions of their shoes every year. The newest edition, the v13, was released in October 2023.

Attribute Comparison Between Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 and Nike Infinity RN4

Examining elements like the quality of materials, durability, comfort, support & versatility enables a thorough evaluation of how effectively the Infinity Run and NB 1080 models support various athletic needs and preferences.

By analyzing each feature, you can make well-informed decisions according to your specific requirements for running, training, or other fitness activities.

FeaturesNB Fresh Foam X 1080 v13Nike Infinity RN4
CategoryRoad runningRoad running
Weight9.2 oz a US men's size 911.2 oz a US men's size 9
Stack Height38 mm heel and 32 mm forefoot39 mm heel and 30 mm forefoot
Heel-to-Toe Drop6 mm9 mm
MidsoleFresh Foam XReact Foam
OutsoleSoft rubber with a tougher composition beneath the heelFull-length rubber
FitTrue-to-SizeRuns Big
Width4 variationsNo option for extra width
PriceAround $165Around $160
Best ForRecovery & long-distance runs, daily training, and short treadmill runs.Mid-distance runs and daily training.

Based on the information provided in the table, it is evident that both Nike and New Balance manufacture high-quality joggers.

However, a closer examination of each element reveals that one outperforms the other.

For a detailed comparison to determine the superior shoe, go to the following section.

Primary Differences Between Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 4 and New Balance 1080v13

Understanding the distinctive features that distinguish the 1080s from the Infinity Runs is crucial for those aiming to achieve optimal athletic performance or comfort in their running shoes.

Critical factors encompass responsiveness, cushioning technology, shoe design, and the overall fit, each significantly shaping a runner’s overall experience.

Below, I’ve outlined variations between the Nike React Infinity Run 4 and the New Balance 1080 v13:

1. Upper Construction

The silhouette of the Infinity RN4 has got me hooked. The heel clip is a game-changer.

I must admit, I’m vibing with the overall design, and the Flyknit material is like they wrapped clouds around my feet.

Bonus points for the latest version regarding breathability. It’s a step up from last year’s Infinity Run Flyknit 3 model.

But the 1080 v13 comes with a standard design, the same as the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12 or v11. Nothing too flashy.

But here’s the kicker – the exceptional backside. It’s a noticeable departure from the norm.

Also, the Hypoknit knitted upper feels softer and stretchier than the Nike Infinity Runs.

The New Balance 1080 V13 comes prepared with a generously padded tongue, ensuring it stays locked in without awkward sliding.

But, here’s the thing – it fits half a size too small.

Nike’s Infinity Run, on the other hand, boasts a snug Flyknit upper that feels smooth. The toe box is perfect, and the last row of double-eyelets is a genius move for a snug fit.

But, unfortunately, no optional widths. It’s a one-size-fits-all deal.

However, in the battle of the upper, the Nike React Infinity Run 4 snags the title for me.the-upper-of-nike-react-infinity-run-4

2. Midsole Cushioning

The InfinityRN4, with its ReactX-based midsole, feels like running on clouds. Perfect for the easy, long-distance jogs when you’re not aiming for any speed records.midsole-of-infinityrn-4-mens-road-running-shoes

Nike says these running sneakers are super stable, but let me tell you, the mega-soft midsole kind of contradicts that. It’s got a wide base and raised edges for stability.

But the super soft midsole and the high heel-to-toe drop reduce the shoe’s stability.

Now, let’s talk about the 1080s. The Fresh Foam X midsole is not too soft or firm – just the right amount of cushioning.x-midsole-of-nb-fresh-foam-x-1080-v13

I’ve taken these runners for some tempo runs, and they respond like a loyal sidekick. The cushioning is bottomless, making it perfect for marathons.

Plus, the broad midsole base gives you the stability to pick up the pace.

Additionally, all the recent models in the 1080 lineup feature high-toe springs, a rocker-shaped midsole, and a decent drop. It’s like having a personal assistant for your feet, guiding them smoothly through every step of the gait cycle.

So, regarding the midsole, I’ve got to give it to the New Balance 1080. It strikes that perfect balance between cushioning and responsiveness.

3. Outsole and Traction

Running with the React Infinity Run Flyknit is like running on clouds. The carbon rubber on the forefoot, midfoot, and rearfoot gives you a grip that makes you feel connected to the road without being stuck to it.

What I love are the wide grooves between sections. They reduce weight and make my joggers flexible & light.infinityrn-4-mens-road-running-shoes-outsole

However, the exposed sides of the midfoot can get in contact with the ground. It scrapes occasionally, but it’s a small price to pay for that plush ride.

Now, onto the New Balance 1080v13 – and it’s a bit of a mixed feeling.

The blown Ndurance rubber on the forefoot and heel is decent, but the midfoot patch wears out pretty quickly. You’ll feel the small oval lugs underneath the forefoot while running. Though, it’s not painful.outsole-of-nb-fresh-foam-x-1080-v13

But the transitions in these road runners are not good. It’s like going over tiny speed bumps – a bit lumpy compared to the smooth transitions I’ve felt in the InfinityRNs.

So, who takes the crown in the outsole showdown?

For me, the Nike React Infinity Run FK 4 steals the spotlight. It’s reliable, smooth, and always ready for the next adventure.

4. Comfort and Support

Both of these kicks are like clouds for your feet. The Fresh foam in New Balance and the React foam in Infinity Run brings the A-game when it comes to cushioning and responsiveness.

Whether hitting the pavement for a run or strolling around, these running shoes have my back.

But the Fresh foam in the 1080 takes it up a notch. It’s slightly softer than the React foam in the Infinity Run, giving me a more plush ride.

And you’ll notice the difference, especially in the longer runs.

So, after putting these shoes through the paces, I’ve got to give the comfort crown to the New Balance 1080 v13. Don’t get me wrong, the Infinity RN4 is a solid contender, but that fresh foam just nudges it ahead in the comfort game.comfort-and-support-of-nb-fresh-foam-x-1080-v13

5. Weight and Feel

The Infinity Run 4 throws around 11.2 ounces on the weighty side, while its rival, the 1080 v13, is a bit lightweight at 9.2 ounces. That’s a 2-ounce difference, and when it comes to running shoes, every ounce seems to count.

I’d consider both joggers heavier than typical racing shoes that practically float on air.

But here’s the thing – the Infinity Runs and the 1080s are not aiming to be lightweight track shoes. They’re like the workhorses of the running shoe world, built for everyday training with extra cushioning for comfort.

Now, let’s be honest.

If you’re in it for the speed records and seeking to crush your personal bests, these might not be the racers you want. But if you’re like me, just pounding the pavement for the love of the run, the weight isn’t a deal-breaker.

So, here’s the lowdown: whether it’s the Infinity Run or the NB 1080, you’re getting a pair that is not so lightweight but will carry you through your daily runs comfortably.

6. Durability Dynamics

Both the Nike React Infinity Run and New Balance 1080 already have a reputation for impressive durability. However, the advancements in recent models have solidified their positions as long-lasting companions for high-mileage running.

New Balance ModelLongevity
1080 v10350-400 miles
1080 v11Around 350 miles
1080 v12Over 400 miles
1080 v13400-500 miles

Early editions of both shoes were known to crack the 400-mile mark with ease, and newer iterations have taken it further by addressing weaknesses in the upper.

It makes them particularly suitable for tackling marathons or logging countless recovery miles.

Notably, Nike’s React foam, a key component in their Infinity Run line, provides exceptional resilience, often exceeding expectations and lasting upwards of 500 miles.

Nike ModelDurability
React Infinity Run Flyknit300-400 miles
Infinity Run Flyknit 2300-400 miles
React Infinity Run FK 3Up to 450 miles
Nike InfinityRN 4400-500 miles

So, it’s safe to say both brands offer excellent options for runners seeking a durable shoe that can withstand the demands of extensive training and long-distance races.

7. Performance on the Run

First off, the shoe performance is a solid win for both series. I feel no pain during my runs, whether casually jogging or participating in a marathon. They have the magical combo of comfort and support that’s hard to beat.

Regarding stability and support, you can rely on both of these kicks. They’ve got the heel support that keeps your feet steady.

But the Infinity Run Flyknit takes it a step further with zero heel slipping. It’s like they’re glued to your feet, but in a good way.

For me, in the performance rating showdown, Infinity Run walks away with a solid 4 out of 5, while NB 1080 lags a bit with a respectable 3.5 out of 5.

Pros and Cons of New Balance 1080 v13 and Nike InfinityRN 4

Analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of both marathon shoes allows you to make an informed decision based on your unique running preferences, performance goals, and comfort priorities. It ensures that the footwear you choose aligns perfectly with your requirements.

So, let’s delve into the advantages and disadvantages of the New Balance 1080 v13 and Nike Infinity Run 4:

New Balance 1080 V13

  • »Softer and stretchier upper.
  • »More stable.
  • »Provides a more plush ride.
  • »Less weighty.
  • »Less bouncy.
  • »Less durable outsole.
  • »Reduced responsiveness.
  • »Slightly more expensive than the Nike Infinity Run.

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 4

  • »Spacious toe box.
  • »Additional eyelets for a snug fit.
  • »Softer cushioning.
  • »Excellent traction.
  • »More agile.
  • »Better performance.
  • »Less expensive than the New Balance 1080.
  • »No option for wide feet.
  • »Less stable.
  • »More weighty.


As you can see, in this showdown between Nike and New Balance, each shoe reveals its unique strengths and potential trade-offs.

The Infinity Run 4, with its snug Flyknit upper, cloud-like midsole, and reliable outsole, emerges as a champion in agility and overall performance.

On the other side, the New Balance 1080 v13, marked by its Hypoknit upper, Fresh Foam X midsole, and durable build, stands out as a stable and plush option for long-distance comfort.

Choosing one of these jogging kicks depends on your preferences and running routine.

Whichever you choose, both models showcase the advancements in running shoe technology, ensuring a comfortable and supportive experience for runners of all levels.


Are New Balance 1080 good for long-distance running?

While the New Balance 1080 offers plush comfort and shock absorption ideal for long runs, their softer, bouncier midsole may hold up at a slower pace. These running sneakers are better suited for easy to moderate distances and daily training rather than long runs.

Is New Balance more expensive than Nike?

New Balance generally sits slightly cheaper than Nike, with their running shoes ranging from $80 to $130 compared to Nike’s $120 to $180 range. However, both brands offer high-end models that can go over $200, so the overall cost depends on the specific model and its features, not just the brand itself.

Which brand is better, Nike or New Balance?

Determining better between Nike and New Balance depends entirely on you. Nike shines with cutting-edge performance tech and trendy styles, while New Balance excels in wider width options, stability features, and affordability. Ultimately, the best brand is the one that best fits your foot, your activity, and your budget.

Are Nike Infinity Run good for marathons?

Yes, Nike React Infinity Run shoes are generally considered suitable for long-distance marathons, especially for neutral runners and those seeking a plush, comfortable ride. These are ideal for racking up miles on easy, recovery, and extended runs.

Why are New Balance shoes so expensive?

New Balance shoes can seem pricey due to a blend of premium materials like leather & mesh, meticulous craftsmanship, US-based manufacturing, and innovative tech such as the ABZORB cushioning. NB prioritizes quality and performance, which comes at a cost.

Do New Balance and Nike shoes run the same?

While both brands offer various sizes and widths, fit generally differs. Nike tends to run slightly shorter with a standard D width, while New Balance is known for wider options like E, supporting broader feet and stability needs.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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