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 http://www.newtonrunning.com). 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 … 😛