Shoe Review: Newton Running

After weeks and weeks of waiting, friend-in-law (Thanks Jun!) finally arrived with these babies after Holy Week.

I first saw the Newtons in a triathlon magazine, it looked interesting. So, I checked their website Here is their pitch: The shoe is supposed to mimic the advantages of barefoot running and it promotes forefoot running which the fastest and most efficient way to run. The red thingies on the sole are called actuator lugs and its part of the key to the technology. Check the website for the technical explanations, later I will tell you how I feel when I run in my Newtons.



Nike Free had the same sale pitch err science behind it. Ive tried the Free, they were great but not so durable. So, I was willing to give the Newtons a try. Okay, the fact that it comes in hot pink made the decision easier. 

I’ve seen mixed reviews about this shoe. The earlier good reviews have been accussed of being plants. *meowr catfights*


I decided to log in a few kms and different runs first before I decided to write this review. To date, Ive done easy runs, tempo runs, long runs and last Sunday I finally raced in them.

Read along as I try to show you what I think of my Newtons …

Adjustment Period. Runners are cautioned to expect an adjustment period since this shoe promotes forefoot running. True. The actuator lugs gives you no choice. Since they are protruding, at footstrike they land first. Ive been conciously working on a running form that promotes midfoot landing so I only had to adjust a little. The trick is maintain a forward falling form. When I feel that my footstrike is not even, its a cue that my form is off. Only problem I have is when I do my walk/run cooldown. Its very awkward to walk in the Newtons.


Faster Turnovers. My first run with the Newtons was a speed workout. It definitely helped me have faster turnovers. The actuator lugs keeps you tilted forward so its easier to increase footstrikes. Its also very light. When I was doing my tempo, I had to control my speed because it really keeps you going and going. It kinda worked against me when I did the first speed workout in it because I went out too fast and did not end up finishing my repeats.

Weight. Its very light. The upper is a light mesh so its very breathable. Even if it was very hot last Sunday at Runnex my feet were just fine.

Cushioning. When I first held the newtons, I was worried about the cushioning. It was so light and the sole so soft. However, I was proven wrong when I ran in it. The cushioning was amazing.

Colors. Hot pink and neon yellow. This is a rave for me but not a lot of people like loud colors. Not to worry , it comes in white also.


Price. They are a bit pricey. I just wish they are more affordable.

Durability. Not yet a rant … but a potential rant. My concern with the Nike Free was its durability. My problem with it was the uppers of the design I choose. With the Newtons, I am worried about its relatively softer sole. It might wear out quicker. Lets cross our fingers now and hope I’m wrong.

Stability. Material for the uppers helps to make it lighter. However, I dont think it offers enough support and stability. I will still stick to my Mizunos for my run and run and run long runs.

Short shoelace. I read a review in Runners’ World that says, “The shoelaces are short.” And I thought, that its  was such a lame review. I now know the feeling and its worth a rant. 

To make this shoe more stable for me, I have to make a lock (that loop in the last 2 holes). And then I also like to make a double knot so I dont end up tripping. The Newton shoelace is just not long enough for my requirements. I know its easy to change the shoelace but I suppose its not too much to hope that for the price I paid I would have enough shoelace to make my lock and double knot. ;P

and in the end ….

I love my Newtons…but not unconditionally. I will use them for my speed, tempo runs and race of probably up to 15K. I am not yet confident that it will go a half or full marathon distance with me.

Last Sunday was the first time I ran a subhour 10K. How much was due to the Newton and how much was due to the tempo runs I’ve been logging. I don’t know but I can easily say that I know that the Newtons played a major role.


Newton cousins … they come in orange too.

Update 20080828. I have logged 194kms now on the Newtons. It has not fallen apart and the cushioning is still great. I ran a half marathon this month on it and it didnt fail me (the route was only 19kms). The actuator lugs have started to get worn out. I’m now entertaining the idea of running my first marathon on the newtons.

Freaky thing is my foot type changed, from mid to low arch to high arch. I really don’t know if the Newtons caused it or contributed to the change. I can’t find any literature or article on the causes of foot type change. Hay! My friend who runs with Newtons too didn’t experience a foot type change.

Will keep updating this post. I’d love to hear your newton stories too. Considering getting another pair …

Update 20081116. The Newtons won’t be going to SG. Soaked with water and sweat and battered with hard running, the uppers which was mostly made out of a meshlike material was not very supportive after 21kms. I felt like my feet were spilling out of the soles, pinkie toes almost brushing concrete. I still love my Newtons but my earlier assessment stands. For my running form and foot type,  I will only use them for races up to 15km. *sadness that I wont be running in them in SG*

I saw the new series. The red/black one was very nice. Maybe next year … 😛

16 thoughts on “Shoe Review: Newton Running

  1. Bards thanks for a very comprehensive review. You know I have been waiting for this since your Newtons arrived. Well worth the wait because you covered all aspects. The shoe lace thing is an issue. I like changing shoe lace patterns to for snug fit near the heel and to create a toe box on the other side. I agree shoe laces are important. Im sure it is not easy to find replacement laces that match the hot pink Newtons. The durability is a more important consideration since this is expensive and can only be shipped from the US. I will stick to Mizunos. Wave precision should do the trick if i want something light.

    >>Good to see you here kahit nasa faraway land ka. I love the Newtons but Im hooked on my Mizunos just like you.

  2. I agree with your rant about the shoe laces. I use the heel-lock lacing patttern and the laces are way too short. Also, I have done only 5-6 runs in mine, the longest being six miles, and I have noticed the lugs are showing considerable amount of wear already. I bought mine slightly used off of Ebay, but I have found a couple of websites that are selling Newtons for as low as $140 new. I am still undecided as to whether the benefit outweighs the cost.

  3. I bought my first pair of Newtons two weeks ago and so far they are the best shoes I’ve had. Previously I had been running with serious pain in the dorsal part of my foot and it completely went away with the Newtons. Not being a “serious” runner (but wanting to be) I did my first ever 5 miles straight without stopping even once, in the Newtons. I too am concerned about them wearing thin on the lugs. I hope you keep us posted on your blog.

  4. Fabulous blog. With great excitement I bought a new pair last week and I really wanted these shoes to be great. After two runs the shoes aren’t looking happy. I’ve used them (as advised) sparingly during their first week. They have done two runs only and front of the soles are showing the signs of wear that no other shoes have ever shown before (running for 27 yers). I havet his horrid feeling that these are the magnetic braclets of running. I hope I’m wrong!. Laces – I used elastic laces and for £120 I’m staggered that triathlon focussed shoes come with old fashioned tie up laces – amazing.

  5. Dee – great to hear that you are loving the newtons. The lugs on mine are still fine. I just ran a Half with them last Sunday. When you start recording your race or tempo run times, try and compare your finish times with/without newtons.

    David – Aw! So sorry to hear that you and your newtons are not getting along yet. Give it a chance and tell us how it goes. I do have days when I can’t run with the Newtons, like when my calves are bothering me and my legs are wobbly. For days like these, I go back to my good ole Mizunos.

  6. In the states ,alot of people getting injured ,because there is no heel cushion on them,people who are heel striker and try to change to midfoot are getting injured because when they get tired the foot comes back to their heel land .I think its good for short race only. I try newton also got my PR 1:33 1/2 MARATHON 53 YEAR OLD AND 7 YEARS RUNNING,But iam a midfoot already .

    Guilty! it happens to me also. i have several photos in newtons and landing on my heels. but i have to say that im quite satisfied with its cushioning up to 25K. i have yet to run on it for longer than that.

    1:33 Half … wow! *bow* i can only dream about that finish time.

  7. I just want to point out that they mention on their website that sole-wear is going to be more noticeable. Also they claim that the sole will wear out before the cushioning. In all other running shoes it is the other way around. So looking at the sole is probably not the best way to assess wear. They claim you should still get the same miles.
    I appreciate the reviews, I think I might be trying them out.

  8. I just started running in Newton’s Distance U. They are the pink/orange/yellow ones! Its been a month and so far I really like them! Thanks for the awesome review. I love your blog.

    1. oh I was also going to ask you… have you had any wear and tear on the heels of your Newtons? I have on my right shoe, and I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this? Would you post a pic of the wear and tear of the bottoms of your Newtons, while also posting the estimated milage? thanks

      1. No tear in the uppers but ive noticed that the soles do wear out faster than my other shoes. Enjoy the extra speed!

      2. hi,

        Notice my Newtons also having wear and tear on heels. I’m forefoot runner. Seem heel part very soft. Should protected by another layer of rubber.

  9. Hi just want to ask for your opinion about the sizing for newtons, I’m planning to purchase a pair online but there is none available here in qatar to fit their sizes. I have a mizuno wave musha which is 9.5 and it fits perfect for me and a brooks gts adrenaline 11 size 9 which is a bit small but still can run on it with distance.

    1. Hi Mel, got my first pair online as well. I wear mizuno wave precision 8.5 and ordered newton 8.5 as well. Perfect fit. Enjoy the ride and watch your form!

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