New Balance just released the update to one of their core shoes, the 1260. This is the fifth iteration of the shoe and each update has shown great advances over the previous models. New Balance has been drastically improving their running shoes lately, and the 1260v5 continues the trend of that improvement.
Fun Fact! New Balance was founded in 1906, and originally sold cushioned inserts for boots. Now they make the whole shoe– many shoes, actually– but never forgot their roots, meaning their running shoes take inserts very, very well (yes two verys!), be it custom orthotics from your podiatrist, or the Superfeet insoles that we carry at Pacers Running. What is important is that the fit of the shoe does not change with the new insert. Inserts have to fit right in order for them to work correctly and feel comfortable, and the 1260v5 from New Balance can help!
Available in both men’s and women’s sizes, the 1260v5 is a stability shoe for those of us who tend to have mild to moderate pronation during their gait cycle. And, keep in mind that among most of the shoe brands out there, New Balance has the greatest range of width sizing, so for those of you who need a shoe in a wide size, this could be your shoe.
The 1260v5 has two different systems for cushioning the wearer’s foot while running, Abzorb and N2. Abzorb is softer foam under the toes and under the outside of the heel, which allows for a controlled heel strike and softer toe-off while running. In simpler terms, the heel will feel soft when the heel strikes the ground, guiding the foot to a gentler strike. The Abzorb foam is also located under the forefoot, or ball of the foot, for cushioning while the runner finishes their gait cycle. Lastly, the N2 cushioning is a cup of rubbery material in the heel the will absorb impact instead of transfer it to the wearer’s foot. New Balance utilizes the N2 cup to reduce the amount of foam needed to construct the shoe, making the 1260v5 one of the lighter weight, higher cushion shoes we have here at Pacers Running.
The New Balance 1260v5, like all New Balance shoes for that matter, has a unique fit: not too tight, not too loose, but just right. I would describe the fit around the foot as shallow, meaning the fabric of the shoe sits around the foot well, like a tailored suit, or for lack of better descriptor, a glove– New Balance calls this Fantom Fit.
One big improvement of the shoe has been on the tongue of the shoe. Previously, wearers of earlier generation models felt that the fabric of the tongue was too thin and the lacing felt uncomfortable across the top of the foot, while the tongue would slide to the left or right, into the shoe. NO MORE! The tongue now has extra padding and sits up a little higher on the top of the foot, preventing lace bite and the tongue from slipping into the shoe.
I would lace this shoe up for my 10 mile plus long run around the district, on pavement or along the red brick sidewalks in Old Town Alexandria. The 1260v5 would also work for my maintenance run– a shorter recovery run after a long run. And, it would serve me well for my favorite 5K, the Crystal City 5K Fridays, or my favorite half marathon, the Fredericksburg Historic Half.
Just as New Balance has sought to improve this shoe with every update, I am confident the new 1260v5 would help me improve my running times and enjoyment as I put in training miles.
By Brandon Boucher
Assistant Manager, Pacers Alexandria