Back Into Running: New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Review + Giveaway

It’s no secret that it’s been a really rough winter for us New Englanders; I honestly don’t remember a time with this much snow in years! That being said, I still love to stay active & keep my body moving through yoga, spinning, zumba and various indoor group fitness classes.

Unfortunately because of the temps, I’ve let one of my all-time favorite workouts fall by the wayside: running. And try as I might to fall in love with the treadmill, it’s just not really my thing.

I need the outdoors. The fresh air. The people. The nature. The sunshine. And I know outdoor winter running is possible with proper gear and all, but I just wasn’t doing it.

So when the lovely folks at New Balance sent me a pair of their brand new Fresh Foam 980 running shoes, I took it as a sign to go back to my running roots & get back into it. (This was also around the same time as Chestnut Hill True Runner’s “Ladies’ Night Out,” where I bought a new running headband, socks and some other apparel.) Running Rachel was about to make a comeback!

I was super excited when the sneakers arrived at my door in the “Blue Aster with Hot Pink & White” color. How fun!  And the feel of them…so soft and foamy. But as you know, it’s not all about looks, especially when it comes to running shoes. So I immediately looked into what these bad boys were all about.

Key features include:

  • specialized foam midsole making for a plush, natural ride
  • 4 mm drop to encourage natural movement & continuous ground contact for a smoother run
  • reduced drop heal for soft, bouncy ride
  • spray-paint finish with eye-catching design!
  • lightweight with breathable mesh for added comfort + great fit

Not to mention they come in a variety of fun colors (for both men + women) including women’s “Dark Heather Grey with Green Gecko & Blue Bell” and “White and Purple Cactus Flower & Neon Yellow.”

I was sold. But what better way to really see how they move than to take them out for a test ride? On my first run, the first thing I noticed was their super lightweight feel; I absolutely hate when running shoes feel heavy and bulky like they’re weighing you down. Not the Fresh Foam! The run felt smooth and comfy (especially for someone who had been slacking big-time).

Also, given that I have flat feet and sometimes need to buy specialized running shoes, my feet actually felt surprisingly supported by the Fresh Foam 980. I also noticed this when wearing them for the day just walking around the city…pure blissful comfort. That being said, I still have yet to take them for a long run, but so far so good!

Oh, and I’ve absolutely been rocking them out for spin classes, Zumba and long walks to add a pop of color + comfort. I was super pumped to see the banner ad for them in Boston Marathon Sports when I stopped by one chilly afternoon…those are my shoes!

One of my favorite runs was on The Charles River one chilly winter morning. It felt great to break ’em in at one of my favorite running spots of all time, while letting loose and clearing my mind. Running (closely followed by yoga) is by far my favorite exercise for stress relief and “zenning out.”

Not to mention I got to take a trip down memory lane, popping by my favorite willow tree where The Boy popped the question. Boy does it look different in the wintertime!

Naked willow tree!

After breaking in my new kicks, I realized winter running really isn’t that bad… when geared up properly that is. Nonetheless, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to spring running weather! I’ve already got my eye on on some upcoming 10Ks and possibly another half marathon. I’ll keep you posted!

OK, let’s get to the fun part now shall we? I’ve got some exciting news for you ladies: New Balance is going to be gifting one lucky Healthy Chicks reader a brand new pair of Fresh Foam 980s of their own!


1.  Simply leave a comment on this post with why you heart running (or why you want to get into it)!

2. Post on social media (twitter or Facebook):

Twitter: “Check it out, @NewBalance + @Healthy_Chicks are giving away a free pair of #FreshFoam 980 running shoes!”

Facebook: “Check it out, New Balance + Healthy Chicks are giving away a free pair of #FreshFoam 980 running shoes!” (Be sure to tag Healthy Chicks and New Balance)

Note: This review is open to US & Canada readers only. I will choose a random winner by 5 p.m. EST on Friday, 2/28.

Best of luck!

Happy running,


Big thank you to New Balance for my new pair of sweet kicks! Note: I was given a pair of Fresh Foam 980 running shoes from New Balance for review, but was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own, as always!

47 Responses to “Back Into Running: New Balance Fresh Foam 980 Review + Giveaway”

  1. Semirah Dolan Says:

    I heart running as an escape from the city’s bustling and my busy schedule!

  2. Karina Says:

    Running is my favorite way to break a sweat, clear my mind, and explore the city through all seasons! I <3 running in Boston 🙂

  3. Shannon Says:

    I love running because it allows me to check out and get some quality “me” time 🙂

  4. Shannon Says:

    I tweeted too! 🙂

  5. Lucie Says:

    I heart running because it is the #1 exercise that makes me feel the most alive!

  6. Stacey Says:

    I Just became a recent “runner” with November Project and I love the challenge of it!

  7. Stacey Says:

    And I tweeted!

  8. Amy Says:

    I love the feeling of my feet striking against the pavement and great music!

  9. *Andrea* Says:

    I love running because it makes me feel like I have the strength and mindset to conquer any goal!

  10. Appetite for Instruction Says:

    I <3 running to enjoy the outdoors in Boston and have time to sort out my thoughts.

  11. Lindsey Says:

    I love running because it gets me moving outside! Sunshine + exercise endorphins = a happy girl 🙂

  12. Lindsey Says:

    I also posted on twitter!

  13. patrick voo Says:

    i heart running because it helps keep my life in harmony!

  14. Karen Says:

    I love running as a way to explore. Loving going on runs when I’m traveling as a new way to see the city!

  15. Kelsey at The Primal Yogi Says:

    I was literally just thinking this this morning….I NEED to get an outdoor run in this week! I miss it so much and haven’t gone a good month or so now. I really miss running in Boston – best running city every!

  16. Jason Says:

    I heart running because it got me off the couch and into the world teaching me what I could accomplish with hard work and a plan.

  17. Danielle K. Says:

    I love running because it’s a chance to get in a good, low cost, work out.

    I run with my friend Jess L who’s training for the Boston Marathon. She’s a great friend and she acts as a running coach for me, which I really appreciate.

    I also recently completed Social Boston Sports January running challenge, and I look forward to running with SBS in the future.

    My 2014 goal is to run at least 1 5K a month. So far, I’ve been smashing that goal by running a few organized 5K races a month, and getting in 3.1 miles of running most Monday nights.

    I’d love new sneakers as a reward for my running progress. New Balance is my favorite running shoe company, since most of their shoes are USA made.

  18. Lily Says:

    I hear running because it makes me feel free

  19. Lily Says:

    *heart! sorry for the typo.

    also, running is an awesome way to cross train for dragon boat….. I’m @Boston1Dboat and I tweeted too!
    Our team is new in town and we’d love to promote the sport of dragonboat. Let me know if you’re interested – all our winter workouts are free. In summer we paddle as a team at Fort Point. It’s super fun, social and supportive. Not to mention a great workout. if you’re interested. Also, no experience necessary, we teach you everything you need to know.

  20. Kelsey Says:

    Whenever I run, it relieves stress. I would love to win a new pair of shoes! Thanks for the chance!

  21. Kelsey Says:

    I tweeted!

  22. Susan B. Says:

    I would love a pair of New Balance Fresh Foam 980s! I have been out of the country for the past year & a half and have fallen off the working out/running bandwagon. Now that I’m back in the USA, I’ve started back up and slowly but steadily would love to begin running now that the weather is getting better!

  23. Jess Says:

    I love running because it lets me get into my own zone and think, BUT it also provide a social outlet when I want to run with friends!

  24. Jess Says:

    Posted on twitter! 🙂

  25. Emily Says:

    Being a fellow Boston-gal and runner, this has been a TERRIBLE winter. I have luckily fallen in love with my gym/spin routine, but am getting that outdoor run itch 🙂 I would LOVE to try these shoes!

  26. meredith Says:

    I love running since it clears my head

  27. meredith Says:

    i shared on fb

  28. Ari Says:

    I love running because it makes me feel accomplished and like I CAN achieve. I’ve always hated it (and sometimes I still do), but it makes me feel good afterwards and there’s nothing like setting and surpassing a running goal for yourself.

  29. Tara Says:

    I love each time that I beat my old time. And how good I feel when I an done.

  30. Dee Says:

    I love running because it makes me feel free and forget anything that is stressing me out that day! I am not much of a distance runner but even 1-2 miles outdoors always boosts my energy.. not to mention helps me with my fitness and weight loss goals!

  31. Nikki Allen Says:

    I LOVE running because I can escape into myself OR I can connect with my friends. It’s a time to totally pause life and get out there. Not to mention it makes my brain happy. 🙂

  32. Erica Says:

    I love running because it’s a way to exercise and have fun with others that enjoy running.

  33. Shannon Says:

    I love running because it helps me turn my brain off:) And I tried on a pair of the fresh foams that my friend recently bought – love the fit and feel of them. They might be my new favorites!

  34. Kim Says:

    Running declutters my brain and makes me feel strong!

  35. Cindy Says:

    I love running because it gets me out of the house and I feel great afterwards. I love being alone on the road to enjoy the outdoors.

  36. Maria @ Little Miss Cornucopia Says:

    i heart running so much because it does such magical things for my brain

  37. Linda Says:

    I heart running because I exercise outside mostly and I love getting fresh air and exploring the neighborhood.

  38. Dollops of Diane Says:

    I honestly don’t love running but am going to put in my best effort to try it out again in the spring (too cold now!).

  39. Emily Says:

    Oh these would be awesome to get me back into running outside if the snow ever melts! I love seeing Boston on foot!

  40. lisa Says:

    I <3 running because it's free!!

  41. Danielle Says:

    I heart running because I love to exercise and I love to exercise outside. I hate running on a treadmill, it get boring fast so I run outside even in the cold.

  42. Danielle Says:

    (don’t think it went through the first time)

  43. Cristen Says:

    I heart running because it’s been my escape and my connection to my best friend who lives in Vermont. We trained separately but ran our very first marathon together. I like to register for races that benefit causes so that when I has a bad running day, I know that I am helping someone out and paying it forward. Running isn’t just for me, although it has been one of the greatest gifts.

  44. Pat Says:

    I love running since it’s really good exercise that makes me feel good and it’s created a personal challenge – I can go further and faster!

  45. Rachel @Healthy Chicks Says:

    DRUMROLL…And the winner is, chosen by, Erica #32

    “I love running because it’s a way to exercise and have fun with others that enjoy running.” Erica, I’ll email you the giveaway details. Congrats! 🙂

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