New Balance 840 vs 880 Fresh Foam Compared [What’s the Difference?]


new-balance-840-vs-880

When I compared the New Balance 840 vs 880, this is what stood out the most to me:

  • The 880 is a neutral running shoe that delivers that sink-in “squishy” comfort under the foot. The 840, although comfortable, is built more for support and stability, and won’t feel “squishy” under the foot. This is where you can see the videos of me wearing both shoes and see the compression and support under the foot as I step.
  • Because the 880 is a neutral running shoe with less support, it is more flexible. But overall, the flexibility was reasonably close and surprised me a little bit. I’ll let you be the judge: this is where you can watch as I test the flexibility and “twistability” of both shoes.

In this article let’s take a closer look at the New Balance 840v5 and the New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v12 by using the videos and pictures I took of the shoes that I own.

Table of Contents

New Balance 840 vs 880 Comfort

The 880 is a neutral running shoe that delivers that sink-in “squishy” comfort under the foot. The 840, although comfortable, is built more for support and stability, and won’t feel “squishy” under the foot (but does have the thicker insole).

How They Respond on Foot

To give you an idea how these shoes respond on a foot, here I am wearing mine:

As you can see above, the 880 offers more compression under the foot (especially under the heel). But the 840 will be the better option if you prioritize support and stability.

New Balance 840 vs 880 Flexibility

In the videos below, I tried to capture how flexible these shoes are:


The 880, because it is a neutral runner built for comfort, is more flexible than the 840. I also found a difference in how much these shoes weigh. Click here to view the difference in these shoes regarding weight.

New Balance 840 vs 880 Padding

Both the 840 and the 880 have quality padding around the collar and tongue. Here are mine (840 first):

new-balance-840-running-shoe-collar
new-balance-880-padded-collar

Insole Thickness

Yes, both the 840 and the 880 have removable insoles, so you can clean or swap them as needed. First, here is the insole of the 840:

new-balance-840-running-shoe-insole-2
new-balance-840-running-shoe-insole-measurement
new-balance-840-running-shoe-insole

As you can see above, the 840 uses a dual layer insole that is part foam, and part gel-like material. It is thicker than the 880 insole, which has a more regular insole.

Here is the insole for the New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v12:

new-balance-880-insole-1
new-balance-880-insole-measurement

I also found the fit of these shoes to be slightly different. This is where you can view the side-by-side photos I took regarding sizing.

New Balance 840 vs 880 Design

Upper Material

Both the 840 and the 880 use breathable material for the uppers. Here’s a look at mine (840 first):

new-balance-840-running-shoe-material
new-balance-880-material

Sole Height

Below is the height measurements I took for the New Balance 840 vs 880 (size12; 840 first):

new-balance-840-running-shoe-sole-height
new-balance-880-sole-height

As you can see, the midsole thickness is very similar (but the midsole on the 880 is much softer). The 840 laces finish a little bit higher on the foot.

I also found a difference in the heel-to-toe drop for the New Balance 840 vs 880. This is where you can read more about those differences.

Outsole Width

Below is the width measurements I took for the New Balance 840 vs 880 (840 first):

new-balance-840-running-shoe-width
new-balance-880-outsole

If you are concerned about fit, I would highly suggest you view these side-by-side sizing photos I took of each shoe (for both men and women) to get a better idea how both the 840 and the 880 fit.

New Balance 840 vs 880 Weight

The 840 weighs 0.89 pounds and the 880 weighs 0.78 pounds per shoe for a size 12 men’s.

new-balance-840-running-shoe-weight
new-balance-880-weight

Recently I tried over 30 different types of New Balance shoes and I found the average to be 0.89 pounds per shoe for a size 12 men’s. If you prefer a lightweight shoe, the 880 will be the better option.

To view the full list of weights I took for over 30 New Balance shoes, click here.

New Balance 840 vs 880 Heel Drop

When I measured my New Balance 840 shoes using an 8-inch Digital Outside Caliper, I found the heel drop to be approximately 12mm. When I measured my New Balance 880 shoes using an 8-inch Digital Outside Caliper, I found its heel drop to be approximately 10mm.

It is important to understand that although I tried my best to get accurate measurements, the best way to measure heel drop is to cut the shoes in half and use an industrial caliper. Obviously, I didn’t want to destroy my shoes, but this is a convenient alternative way to measure heel drop.

The point is, think of these heel drop numbers as an approximation. For all official measurements, it would be best to reach out to New Balance directly.

Here I am measuring the heel drop of the New Balance 840 shoes:

new-balance-840-running-shoe-heel-drop
new-balance-840-running-shoe-heel-drop-measurement

Here I am measuring the heel drop of the New Balance 880 shoes:

new-balance-880-heel-drop-1
new-balance-880-heel-drop-measurement-1

New Balance 840 vs 880 Sizing

Length: Both the New Balance 840 and 880 fit within the realm of what I would describe as “true-to-size” regarding length.

Here they are side-by-side for men (840 on right):

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-880-sizing

Width: The 880 has a regular width and the 840 is made using the SL-2 last, which is designed to create a little extra room in the forefoot and toe box.

Here is my 840 (left) compared to my 880 (right) on foot:

new-balance-840-vs-880

It’s important to understand that although the SL-2 last creates a wider fit compared to normal lasts, it won’t be enough to overcome the need for wide sizing. You will likely still need to order wide sizing if you normally order wide sizing in shoes. The SL-2 will feel just a tiny bit wider than standard shoes.

To give you a better idea how wide these shoes are, here they both are (in standard width) compared to the Nike Air Monarch 4E, which is a popular extra wide shoe (840 first):

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-nike-air-monarch-sizing
new-balance-880-vs-nike-air-monarch-sizing

To read more about sizing, visit my article that talks about how New Balance shoes fit.

In the sections below, I compare both of these shoes to other popular shoes so you can get a better feel for sizing.


New Balance 840 Sizing Photos

These photos below all use a size 12 men’s shoe. To skip ahead to the 880 sizing, click here.

New Balance 840 (right) vs Adidas 2k Boost Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-adidas-2k-boost-sizing

New Balance 840 vs Adidas Cloudfoam Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-adidas-cloudfoam-sizing

New Balance 840 vs Reebok Classics Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-reebok-classics-sizing

New Balance 840 (right) vs 847 Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840 vs-847-sizing

New Balance 840 (right) vs Roav Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-roav-sizing

New Balance 840 (right) vs 1080 Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-1080-sizing

New Balance 840 vs Vans Slip On Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-vans-slip-on-sizing

New Balance 840 vs Skechers Go Walk Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-skechers-go-walk-sizing

New Balance 840 vs Saucony Shadow 6000 Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-saucony-shadow-6000-sizing

New Balance 840 vs 880 Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-880-sizing

New Balance 840 vs Nike Air Max Excee Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-nike-air-max-excee-sizing

New Balance 840 vs Nike Air Max 90 Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-nike-air-max-90-sizing

New Balance 840 vs Crocs Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-crocs-sizing

New Balance 840 vs Nike Zoom Winflo Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-nike-zoom-winflo-sizing

New Balance 840 vs Under Armour HOVR Sizing

new-balance-840-running-shoe-vs-under-armour

New Balance 840 vs Converse Chucks Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-converse-chucks-sizing

New Balance 840 (right) vs MW840 Sizing

new-balance-840-vs-mw840-sizing

New Balance 840 vs 990 Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-990-sizing

New Balance 840 vs 574 Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-574-sizing

New Balance 840 vs Nike Air Force 1 Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-nike-af1-sizing

New Balance 840 (right) vs 2002r Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-2002r-sizing

New Balance 840 vs Rebel Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-rebel-sizing

New Balance 840 vs Nike Cortez Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-nike-cortez-sizing

New Balance 840 vs Hoka Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-hoka-sizing

New Balance 840 vs Brooks Sizing

brooks-vs-new-balance-840-sizing

New Balance 840 vs Asics Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-asics-sizing

New Balance 840 vs Hey Dude Wally Sox Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-hey-dude-sizing

New Balance 840 vs 860 Sizing

new-balance-shoe-840-vs-860-sizing

To read more, visit my article that discusses the sizing of New Balance 840 shoes.


New Balance 880 Sizing Photos

These photos below all use a size 12 men’s shoe. To see women’s 880 sizing photos, click here.

New Balance 880 (right) vs Adidas Cloudfoam Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-adidas-cloudfoam-sizing

New Balance 880 vs Asics Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-asics-sizing

New Balance 880 vs Reebok Classics Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-reebok-classics-sizing

New Balance 880 vs Adidas 2k Boost Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-adidas-2k-boost-sizing

New Balance 880 vs Nike Zoom Winflo Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-nike-zoom-winflo-sizing

New Balance 880 vs Nike Air Max Excee Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-nike-air-max-excee-sizing

New Balance 880 vs Nike Air Max 90 Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-nike-air-max-90-sizing

New Balance 880 vs Crocs Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-crocs-sizing

New Balance 880 vs Brooks Adrenaline Sizing

brooks-vs-new-balance-880-sizing

New Balance 880 vs Skechers Go Walk Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-skechers-go-walk-sizing

New Balance 880 vs Saucony Shadow 6000 Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-saucony-shadow-6000-sizing

New Balance 880 (left) vs Propel Sizing

new-balance-propel-vs-880-sizing

New Balance 880 (left) vs Roav Sizing

new-balance-roav-vs-880-sizing

New Balance 880 vs Under Armour HOVR Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-under-armour-sizing

New Balance 880 (left) vs 860 Sizing

new-balance-860-vs-880-sizing

New Balance 880 (right) vs 1080 Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-1080-sizing

New Balance 880 vs Hey Dude Wally Sox Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-hey-dude-sizing

New Balance 880 vs Keen Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-keen-sizing

New Balance 880 vs Vans Slip On Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-vans-slip-on-sizing

New Balance 880 vs Nike Air Force 1 Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-nike-af1-sizing

New Balance 880 vs Hoka One One Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-hoka-sizing

New Balance 880 vs Converse Chucks Sizing

new-balance-880-vs-converse-chucks-sizing

New Balance 880 (left) vs Rebel Sizing

new-balance-rebel-vs-880-sizing

New Balance 880 (left) vs FF More Sizing

new-balance-fresh-foam-more-vs-880-sizing

To read more, visit my article about the sizing and fit of New Balance 880 Shoes.


New Balance 840 vs 880 Conclusion

If you prioritize comfort, the 880 will be the better option. If you prioritize support, the 840 will be the better option.

The 880 is a neutral running shoe that delivers that sink-in “squishy” comfort under the foot. The 840, although comfortable, is built more for support and stability, and won’t feel “squishy” under the foot. This is where you can learn more about the comfort of these shoes.

Because the 880 is a neutral running shoe with less support, it is more flexible. But overall, the flexibility was reasonably close and surprised me a little bit.

Although the 880 has the softer midsole and feels squishy under the foot, I did find that the 840 has the thicker, better insole. The 840 uses a dual layer insole that is part foam, and part gel-like material.

The New Balance 840 and 880 both fit within the realm of what I consider “true-to-size” in length. The 880 has a regular width. The 840 is made using the SL-2 last, which is designed to create a little extra room in the forefoot and toe box. This is where you can read more about the sizing and fit of these shoes.

Paul Johnson

Paul is a lead content creator for Workwear Command. He has had several blue-collar jobs which have provided him a wide range of experience with tools and gear. He also has a business degree and has spent time in business casual office settings.

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