Newton Running

Newton Running — a new company from Boulder, Colo. — shipped me a pair of its Men’s Cushion Trainer model last week, which feature lugs that extend from the base of the forefoot region on the sole to mimic a barefoot running style.

Update: Here is my full review on Newtons: http://gearjunkie.com/newton-running-gravity-shoes-column as well as a few more of our reviews of Newton Running shoes.

Newton1.jpg

These rubber lugs — made to strike the pavement and rebound you into the next stride — promote a more efficient and natural running technique, according to the company. But for $175 a pair the question is: Are they worth it?

In my initial test runs, including about 40 miles of pavement pounding over a week, I’m liking what I see. Or put that, I’m liking what I feel.

Newton2(lugs).jpg

These shoes keep you upright, discouraging heel-strike in your stride. See here for an interesting Flash animation demonstration on the concept: http://www.newtonrunning.com/run_better.php

This is the company’s explanation of the technology:

“Newton Active Membrane Technology allows you to land on your forefoot safely. Few shoes can come close to Newton’s impact rating in the forefoot. When your forefoot impacts first your foot has less of an opportunity to pronate or supinate as it would if you were heel striking, minimizing injuries. After the forefoot makes impact and the actuators are driven fully into their corresponding chambers (the action), then levering and propulsion come into play. As you push off and drive forward the lugs are released (the reaction) providing energy return that in comparison to traditional foam shoes feels alive and fast.”

Lot of technical jargon in there, but the long and the short for me so far is this: Newton Running seems to be onto something. I need to run a few weeks on these for the Big Opinion, though my initial reaction is positive.

Newton3.jpg

I just signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon yesterday, a 26+mile jaunt through my home towns of Minneapolis and St. Paul held in October. Will be interesting to see if the Newtons are still on my feet at that time.

Watch for the full review of the Men’s Cushion Trainer next month.

Posted by Ian Hoag - 05/19/2007 11:25 AM

I noticed on the flash player, that the lower stick figure has a much longer stride length, telling me that stride length is more important than what shoes your wearing. Did these shoes shave any time off a known distance in your speed workouts?

Posted by rockman - 07/16/2007 07:02 PM

Based on your initial review, I’m wondering if you are still running in these shoes? What gives? Are they worth the cost? Have they made you faster? Have they increased your running efficiency? Do tell.

Posted by Stephen Regenold - 07/18/2007 08:10 AM

I am still running in the Newtons. No sign of turning back. They do seem to make you faster, as you’re always on the balls of your feet. Your heel rarely strikes the ground first. Durability-wise, the rubber lugs underfoot show almost no sign of wear, and I’ve put probably 150 road miles on them. I plan to write a detailed column on the shoes in Aug. after a couple more weeks of testing.

Posted by Mark G - 07/31/2007 01:36 PM

I spent quite a bit of time at the Newton tent at the Lake Placid NY Ironman…I had miniscus surgery a few years ago and can do everything but run on pavement..the Newton people assured me that the Newton and the style of running it promotes significantly reduces the pounding on the knee…so far I’m 100% satisfied….while you might be able to run more on the forefront with a traditional shoe, the Newtons definitely assist…

Posted by Scott MacIntyre - 08/12/2007 08:46 AM

How do these compare to the Nike Frees? I’ve been running in them for several months and they also (but don’t force) you to run on the forefoot. Let me know if these are that great I’m willing to switch.

Posted by robynw - 08/16/2007 02:47 PM

I have actually seen tons of wear on my Newtons (~70 miles on them). The site says that wear is normal as you adjust, but my left heel has already worn through the first layer of colored rubber. This may be partially due to using an orthotic which I have since removed, since it seemed to contribute to knee tendonitis. That said, I like these shoes a lot, but they may be expensive to keep as a habit.

I am running in the women’s stability trainers.

Posted by Dan - 08/27/2007 09:21 AM

Just received my Newtons . . . .They really work. I am 6’ 2” and 205 lbs and they made my running more efficient. I am a neutral runner and have used the Nike Free for some of my running, so the break in period was no issue, as I tend to land mid-foot. In any event, I could feel the propulsion technology and ran with less effort. I hope the company makes it and sells ALOT of shes so the price comes down ($175.00 ouch)!

Posted by Stephen Regenold - 09/21/2007 07:36 AM

The full column is now up: http://thegearjunkie.com/newton-running-gravity-shoes-column

Posted by Mac - 09/27/2007 11:18 AM

Living in New Mexico at about 6,000 ft altitude, I run 48 miles a week on 80% dirt and 20% pavement. The problem with running on dirt – any dirt in NM – is that there are little thorns called goat-heads that make tiny punctures in the soles of running shoes. This has resulted in leaks from air soled running shoes and the shoe going flat. I contacted the maker of the Newtons and asked if the goat-heads punctures would be a problem what with the membrane that is built into the Newtons and was told “Yes, that would be a problem and that they are not recommended for off paved road running”. Therefore I chose not to spend $175 on a shoe with this sort of weakness. Hope others like them.

Posted by Hunter - 12/27/2007 08:42 AM

Just got my first pair (cushioned racers recommended by the reps at Newton since I’m already a mid-foot striker) to try out. My first run, a standard 5 mile tempo run, went extremely well, though I noted some calf stress around mile 4, but it cleared within a day. I had to actually slow myself down, as the shoes naturally made me want to accelerate (my first mile split was over 20 seconds faster than usual, with the same perceived effort). As everyone else has said, price is steep so I’ll plan on rotating the Newts and using them only on tempos and interval sessions. The CD video they sent showed a worn pair, still apparently working, with 640 miles written on the sole! If that’s the case, then the 2x cost factor won’t be so bad.

Posted by Pam - 07/07/2008 10:58 AM

I just purchased my first pair of Newton Motion running shoes and so far I AM IN LOVE. My husband has been doing a ton of research on barefoot running and read review after review, research article after article and came across the Newton shoe. When he saw the price he immediately clicked off the site. He then found the Nike Free and was CONVINCED these were the shoe for him. While at the Peachtree Road Race Expo – we saw the Newton Shoe exhibit from Run City. Out of curiosity I tried on a pair – he refused, again because of the price. IMMEDIATELY I was in love. They felt so good they felt like nothing at all!! I took a quick jog indoors (and a very quick one on pavement) and did not want to take them off. We walked away… and went to Nike Town to try on the Nike Free that hubby was ready to buy before we got in there. After trying on the 5.0 (and HATING them) and trying the 3.0 (and trying to convince himself he liked them because of the $85 price) and then even trying on the new Lunar (or something like that) and hating those – we decided that they were not worth the $85 at all. They felt cheaply made, ironically the insoles had arch support which is surprising for a minimalistic shoe, and just felt lumpy. I could buy a pair of yoga shoes that would do the same as the 3.0’s for half the cost. We walked away from Nike (hubby disappointed after all the hype they got on the internet) and back to the Expo we went. After trying on the Newtons for a 2nd time we were both sold – even at the $175 price (happy birthday, merry christmas, happy anniversary hahaha).

We are going for our first full run tomorrow – but so far what we have seen and felt on our mini runs we are impressed!!! I’ll report back after about a month or so.

Posted by Kathryn - 01/22/2009 12:04 PM

I am a late stage pronator and heel striker, and I had no trouble adjusting to the Newtons. I have very flexible achilles, so that probably helped. My first run was 5miles, the second 6 miles, and I have been using them for up to 8 mile runs ever since, including treadmill speed workouts. I have been wearing them for over 3 weeks. No obvious wear. My gait feels much steadier and straighter, and my times have decreased by about 20 sec/mile with same perceived exertion. I love them. I am running the Miami half marathon this weekend in them.

Posted by Mitchell Phillips - 02/16/2009 01:22 PM

Hoping I could add a little more value to your discussion group, I run a popular video gait analysis company down in South if England, we specialise in improving runners performance by filming them at 360 degrees, with high speed cameras to identify how their own body deals with ground force reaction and resistance. I am a great believe that there’s a whole bag of other cataysts within the body that restrict / hinder performance, thus create potential ‘wear and tear’ injuries. Footware is only half of the issue… However, at last, a trainer manufacturer have put their head on the line by creating a running shoe that pretty much opposes most other trainers. Most trainers are built over enginnered and designed for most average runners. (Sorry!) Newton however have created a trainer, that does much less than most other trainers, yet delivers more. It’s rocker system enables you to have less ground reaction time, and the reduction of extra rear foot cushioning provides you with an overall lighter shoe, closer to the ground, less resistance, more control. But unlike ‘the breaking in’ time to a pair of usual trainers, Newtons require you to break into them! Stengthen calf muscles, plenty of eccentric calf exercises, stretch out glutes and quads and take your time. Don’t ever be scared to go slower to go faster!! Full stars to Newton. Mitchell@Strideuk.com

Posted by jb - 07/24/2009 09:37 PM

I’ve used the shoes for approximately 2 weeks and run more comfortably and faster. The shoes make me want to run faster; I’m not sure if that’s good or bad yet.

Posted by Melody - 08/24/2009 10:31 AM

the newtons are great but they wear out VERY quickly. I have found that I no longer have shin splint pain or knee pain when running since I switched to newtons; and this is after doing treadmill tests and buying only shoes that were supposedly correct for my gait. the main, albeit huge, drawback is that they last half as long as my other running shoes have (asics or mizunos). after a couple of months of running 30ish miles a week they feel less supportive like my feet are actually on melting marshmallows and they feel like they are sliding from side to side. the lugs are noticeably worn down. I am on my 3rd pair and since they are so expensive I am loathe to purchase my 4th but they really are great when they are new. sigh.

Posted by bill chalk - 11/10/2009 09:34 AM

I bought a pair of Newton Gravitys mainly out of curiosity, even though they were $200 Canadian (the store owner was a little embarrassed that he couldn’t sell them for less). Even though the Gravity is the trainer, it feels more like a racing flat, and runs like one too. The compression blocks across the ball of the foot feel funny at first, as if you have a crease in your sock that is mildly bothersome, but you do get used to it. I found that rather than concentrate hard on midfoot running, the shoe itself seemed to train me into just picking my leg up and placing it straight down. Because of the price I only race in my Newtons, so I hope to get at least a couple of years out of them. If there is a weakness so far, it seems to be the laces. I ran the New York City Marathon in them and the left lace came undone at the 40 km marker. I was so far into the race that I didn’t dare stop and bend over to tie them for fear of cramping up, so I ran the last mile with a flapping lace. Then last week at the Haney 2 Harrison Relay in Vancouver both laces came undone, even though I’d double-knotted them. Aside from that, I still love the shoes. I ran a 1:33 half marathon in them in October when my two previous half-marathons were 1:39, so that was a surprise to me, and I’d used Adidas racing flats in the two 1:39 races. It’s hard to say what’s going on down there, but whatever it is it works. I’ll also say that I’ve had bad Achilles tendonitis over the past year but the Newton’s don’t cause any significant post-race pain. At New York I barely felt any calf- cramping which has always been my problem at the marathon distance. Great shoes. They just need to be used sparingly to mitigate the price.

Posted by Teddy K - 12/03/2009 12:23 PM

I am new to street running, about a month now. I had been running on the beach barefoot 5-10 miles/day…7 days/week for a year; and due to a knee injury reduced that to 5-10 miles/day twice/week. In order to challenge myself I decided to start alternating running on the street and beach. I just bought my first pair of Newtons and cannot explain how excited I am to go for my first run. The way this shoe is designed makes me use the same technique as beach running…not landing on my heel but more towrds the middle/balls of feet. I haven’t ran in these yet, but I can say these are not for the average runner. These are for those of us that want to be better runners. I will never go back to over engineered super cushioned shoes.

Posted by ironmandan74 - 01/16/2010 05:04 AM

So, after much deliberation, I wanted to look at changing my running shoes, I currently run in 2140s, but I wasn’t sure if they were too heavy and stiff for me. I live miles away from a descent running shoe store, I therefore have to rely on buying online, especially for anything half descent. I found a company StrideUK (via a Newton running shoe link) that offer an online video gait analysis service. Based in England, but that didn’t concern me. I submitted two movie files, running barefoot and in my current trainers, it cost me under $70, the reports I received were amazing. I found out that my Asics were too stiff and over engineered, I was in fact a neutral runner, I ran midfoot, therefore didn’t need a trainer with a big cushioned heel. They also noticed that I had a tight hip flexor on my right hand side! how clever is that!! I was given a breakdown of the most suitable trainers, (they don’t sell trainers, they just advise) I ended up buying Newton Gravities, based on their recommendation, what a result! A great pair of running shoes that have taken me through 1 Ironman and a 10k PB. The moral of the story, don’t buy trainers without getting your gait analysed, if you don’t live near to a reputable video gait analysis store, try online. Look at www.strideuk.com, great company, great value, great service.

Posted by Matt - 02/03/2010 02:03 PM

The Newton site said that the shoes should match current shoe size, however, they also say that the lugs should be in the middle of the balls of the feet. I am a size 11 and a half normally, and the lugs are more front middle, while a size 11 the lugs are middle back (I think more back) and were really snug.

I would like to find out if there is a problem with inbetween size people. I want to get the bigger shoe since they are more comfortable, but am afraid they might cause injury or force me into an unnatural stride if the lugs are positioned incorrectly.

I would love to hear about where the lugs are positioned on others’ shoes compared to their balls of the feet.

Posted by Serena Scott Thomas - 03/04/2010 08:14 PM

Newtons and never looked back. I had the trainer first, which I wore out and then the Universal racer in I love these shoes! In spite of the fact that they’re pink!!! I was having all sorts of problems with various injuries running with many different ‘Good quality’ shoes and the $600 custom orthotics the PT told me I needed. A kind friend lent me a pair to try because I didn’t want to fork out $175 just to have another useless pair of shoes to give to my cleaning lady ( she looks good in’em though and is very sprightly!). I tried thewhich I ran my first full Marathon extremely comfortably, injury free and smiling all the way to a steady 4hr38 min finish. I plan to kick it up a notch in London in April and will reort back. I will DEFINITELY buy more and am looking at the all weather version and anxiously awaiting the trail shoe. ( I didn’t like the current Newton on the trail) I certainly don’t have money to throw around right now,like most people but my running shoes are something I will not skimp on. $175 dollars on a pair of shoes every few months is certainly a lot less money and a lot more fun than three visits a week to the shrink’s office, interminable and expensive PT and doubling up on the ol’Prozac! If ur worried about not liking them, buy them on line form RoadRunner sports. They have a 90 day return policy on running shoes and if u join their VIP program you can get a discount! Besides, everyone should have pink running shoes! Serena

Posted by thomas - 03/29/2010 07:42 AM

I actually like the nike free’s after I initially read about the newton running shoes here

I just thought that the nike free’s were more comfortable but after hearing so many people say that the newton running shoes last way WAY longer than the nike frees i think im willing to pay..

and i agree with above.. i like the pink style shoes! you can stand out without wearing vibrams!

Posted by kate - 04/08/2010 03:11 AM

I completely agree with Serena Scott Thomas about price — most people spend a lot more than $175 every four months or so on useless stuff, or, if you consider it as $525 for three pairs a year, most sports require spending far more than $500 a year to play. …I love my Newtons, can you tell? ; )

Posted by craig - 05/14/2010 10:41 AM

Got mine about a month ago. They were much lighter than the asics I had been running in. I broke into them slowly, doing just a mile each day. I concentrated on shortening my gate and leaning forward, but not purposefully running on my toes. Went well. I then upped it to 2miles for a few runs and still good. I am now doing 5 miles no worries. I haven’t had any shin pain (which I had in the past). I did have some left hip extender soreness on the first 5 miler. I seem to run an 8 min. mile in these shoes, which is faster than the 9min. I had been running. I don’t know if it’s psychosomatic or truly the shoe helping me go faster, but I like it. I would like for a trained eye to watch me run and see if I’m truly running correctly in them. I don’t think I’m hitting my heel, but it’s hard to tell. I really like them and will keep going in them trying to get to a 7min./split for a 5k.

Posted by Jenayalynn - 05/20/2010 12:52 PM

I just ran in my newton stability trainers yesterday. I just abdominal surgery 8 weeks ago and have not ran in months. I felt great! I did not work nearly as hard as I do. My knees did not hurt like usual, I was not winded or anything. Despite the fact that I was very poorly watered (less than 20 oz that day and the day before) and I did not get sick afterward. I can’t say enough. I can’t wait to run again today

Posted by Rick Van - 07/12/2010 03:00 PM

I moved to Pose running last year after picking up the Pose Distance Neutral Races at the San Diego Marathon. The side ripped out before the nubs were worn much at all. Unfortunately, Newton is not standing behind their shoes. I think I’m done being an advocate for them. Here’s the picture:

Posted by jr - 07/25/2010 12:30 AM

I like the shoes when I saw it at first glace i attracted to it…this one has good quality and the the color is very attractive…love it…

Posted by Norebaby - 07/31/2010 12:01 PM

I suffered with plantar fasciitis for over 6 months when a friend told me about Newtons. I am now back running and am a Newton Fan!! While pricey, less than the grand I spent on docs, diagnostics, inserts and treatment for the pf.(and antidepressants and therapy). About to order my 2nd pair!!

Posted by enginisted - 08/01/2010 04:50 PM

I don’t like them. I think that the lugs make the shoes unstable. They make my feet and ankles hurt. Still using a forefoot strike, I went back to regular running shoes and the pain went away.

Posted by Women's Running Clothes - 09/02/2010 11:34 AM

They look pretty good, but are they worth the high price tag?

Posted by Hagrin - 09/06/2010 06:12 AM

I actually just ordered my 3rd pair of Newtons after getting just about 2300 miles on my last pair. I wrote up a full review here if anyone is interested – My Newton Review

Posted by julie - 11/11/2010 12:02 AM

I am curious…I have been slowly adapting to the Newtons. I am running a marathon in 3 weeks and would love to use these shoes as they are so comfortable. I started by running one mile in them like the recommendation. I am now running 4-5 miles at a time without any problem during or afterward. Any suggestions on using them for the full marathon?

Posted by kgb - 11/18/2010 08:44 PM

Got them 2 days ago, did the pig yesterday and ran 4km at pace with them and ran 17:30. Today absolutely lifted and ran the fastest time ever over 4km 16:12. My calfs are going to be in bits tomorrow but I can see how running like this makes me considerably faster. In a word – superb!

Posted by P J - 12/17/2010 09:56 AM

Love the shoes.

Posted by Chandi - 02/22/2011 02:17 PM

I have gone through 2 pairs of Newtons. I loved my Newtons and the only complaint I would have is that they seem to wear faster than any other running shoes I have tried before. 4 months is as long as they have lasted. I thought I would try another type of shoe this time just to try to get more wear. I am missing my Newtons!!!!

Posted by Ken from Colorado - 03/20/2011 08:56 AM

I am 55 yrs. old and had not been able to run for over 30 yrs. due to patellar/femoral syndrome. A triathalete friend told me about the Newton’s as a possible solution. Searching online I found the first step in developing a more natural running gait, hoping that I could enjoy this sport. This step was the book “Natural Running” by Danny Abshire, the founder of Newton Running. After reading how your total body affects everything you do, the book explained total body balance. This includes running midfoot (not forefoot), taking shorter strides, and keeping your center of gravity centered. This book clearly states that you cannot just start running midfoot overnight. Your body has been trained over years by poorly designed shoes, and it takes time and specific training to covert to “natural” midfoot running.
I then “gulp!” bought a pair ($150) of Newton Trainers, and had orthotic soles fitted by Danny Abshire himself at Newton Runnig Labs in Boulder, Colorado.
Now after 30yrs of not running, I am runnig for the first time in my life without knee pain. I’m not very fast yet, as my whole muscle struture was not trained for running, but I am getting better. These shoes have been a life saver.
The clue to running well in these shoes, is reading “Natural Running” or “Chi Running” by Danny Dryer, and following the break in and trainging programs. If you work at this you will be runnig faster times, with less effort and less strain on your body.
These Newton have been great, have worn well (even with my poor begining technique)and have relieved the pain in my knees I have had for years.

Posted by Brent from Utah - 05/18/2011 05:31 PM

I have been running in the Terra Momentus now since January. This is by far the most comfortable running shoe I have ever put on my foot. I suffered from various leg pains before, and since switching to the chi running style and the Newton shoes, every pain has gone away. Have tried other minimilistic running shoes, and NONE compare to the Newtons! I am sold for life. Thanks Newton Running.

Posted by Christine - 06/15/2011 02:49 PM

I bought a pair of these when I was on a trip. Couldn’t make it a week w/o running. They told me it would take a while to get used to them, but right out of the box they felt wonderful. I am a forefoot striker and no other shoe has come close to the protection these have given me. When I was overweight, I broke metatarsals and have dealt with that since, but now I can really get some speed up and my feet are very comfortable. They are onto something.

Posted by sonny - 07/27/2011 11:31 PM

the shoe looks good (and expensive),it does promote mid-foot striking, and performs well IF you are used to mid-foot running. i have used it for well over 100km, and it’s shock absorption capability is not that great. for an expensive shoe, the outer soles wear out pretty fast- my pair of mizunos cost about 30% less, feel better, can be used by both mid-foot or heel strikers, and after 300km++ the soles still look brand new. ‘chi-running’ works on ANY SHOE if you have proper form..it’s your running form and not the shoe which makes you faster..i’d rather you spend your time and money learning how to run better than plunk down a lot of cash for a pair of newtons..oh did i mention they look good?

Posted by Beth - 02/14/2012 03:00 PM

I have been a runner in my earlier years but with the wear and tear of my knees over the years I have not been able to run in a long time. I been hearing great comments with these shoes and been debating to purchase them. I been looking at buying the Lady Isaac pair. I have no problem spending the money if I knew they would allow me to run again. I have had 3 knee surgeries over the years and really miss running. I was hoping that maybe these shoes might be my answer. I would love to know more about them with people who have bad knees and have these shoes before I make the decision to try them.

Posted by mel - 09/09/2012 03:41 AM

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.
Thanks!

Reply ↓

Posted by Harry - 02/11/2013 10:51 PM

I love my Newtons but was disappointed when the “trampoline membrane” developed a tear after a few months of very moderate use. The bounce deflated away. Seemed like a lot of moolah for a tire that bursts.

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