I was looking for high quality shoes that had a lot of cushion and room in the toe box. I would be using them primarily for walking around town and jogging on a treadmill. I have flat feel and pronate but didn't want a support shoe because the arch and rigidity is not comfortable for me. I prefer to use an arch support sock or arch wrap.
I narrowed my choices to the New Balance 1080v9 (NB) vs Brooks Glycerin16 (Brooks) and tried them both. While looking at reviews, many people noted the Brooks ran narrow so I purchased that shoe in wide to accommodate the bunions I earned during my stiletto days. I found them to be very similar in fit. I wear 8.5 and they both ran true in length but the NB regular width felt as wide as the Brooks wide. The NB also looked a bit wider when wearing one of each side by side but that may be because of the pastel vs dark color. The NB in light cashmere is a very pretty muted pink color. The Brooks black/pink online photos show it as a medium pink accent but it's more of a deep fuschia/magenta.
There were three fit/feel differences that I noticed. In the NB, my heel slipped up with every step, even with a runners loop. I don't have heel slip in the Brooks. While the cushioning in stepping down on both heels is exceptional, it seemed where the Brooks was pure cushion, the NB had a bit of a cupping feel when bottoming out. It may be a good thing but I wondered if over long distance and wear that might become uncomfortable. Finally, the Brooks has a one piece sock-like smooth interior that makes wearing it barefoot, or with a toeless sock, just a bit more comfortable.
If not for the heel slippage, it would have been tough to decide a clear winner. I may have gone for the NB for looks but ended up with the Brooks for the fit. I don't usually leave such lengthy reviews but when I searched for a comparison of these two shoes there weren't any so I thought this might help someone.
New Balance updated their popular fresh foam 1080v9 women's performance shoe with data collected from real runners. The result: unmatched comfort via a full-length fresh foam midsole, presented in a premium double jacquard upper.