Posted by FLATOUT JIM
Yes I do.
Before I start with my review of the shoes, you have to understand that good running form has to come before the shoes. I spent a season on the indoor track transforming my running style into a mid foot strike. I used the Pose Method, and had to endure a lot of funny looks from passers by, logging laps on the track as I stayed off to the side doing drills, hops, foot taps, and then on the track doing strides.
Once my stride was transformed, my old shoes didn’t cut it anymore, but until Newtons were introduced, there was nothing built specifically for my style of running, except maybe for running flats.
The first thing that really impressed me about Newton shoes was their web site. It is a comprehensive site containing more information about running in general than the shoes. They have a simple animation that really shows the difference in a heel striker, and a forefoot striker. I now look like the guy on the top.
The web site also has a page that helps you choose the correct shoe. After reading the article, I realized that I had a slight pronation. I sized up the wear on my old runners and confirmed that the wear was more severe on the inside of the sole. I then verified it by talking to one of the reps at Newton Running.
They also provide a lot of info about how to run in them, how long it will take to get used to them, even a paragraph about if the shoes are right for you.
Enough about the web page, what about the shoes?
When I got them, my first impression was that they would be really cool. The mesh in the upper was larger than any shoe I had ever seen. The next thing I noticed was the actuator lugs in the middle of the sole, that protruded below the rest of the sole. These forced you to strike with the mid foot. But the biggest thing was how they felt. These were the absolute most comfortable things I have ever had on my feet. My foot is a little wide and I really have a difficult time finding shoes to fit me, so I was worried about these. But the shoe was constructed with plenty of room in the toe box, but still fit snug on my foot which meant no sliding foot, which meant no blisters on long runs.
The First Run
The shoes exaggerate the midsole striking motion. With the first stride, I became more aware of everything and every sensation Dr. Nicholas Romonov describes in his Pose Method book. My feet were landing directly under my centre, my foot was hitting midsole, and my footspeed seemed to be just a little quicker. I did experience some tightness and soreness in my calf, but I attributed it my heightened awareness and focus on my form. But the discomfort went away after I became accustom to the shoes.
There are some downsides to Newton Shoes.
The first is finding them. Their distribution network is pretty small. I had a friend pick mine up when he participated in the Ironman Florida 70.3 in Orlando. There are a few retail outlets, but if there are none near your location, you need to purchase them online, however, the company was very careful to explain that if my shoes did not work out, there would be no issues with a return, or exchange for another model, or size.
The second is the price. It cost me about 200 Loonies, more that any other shoe I have ever worn, but I assume that the cost is partly attributed to the above, as well as the fact that they are a small company catering to a very focused segment of the market. Plus, all the other shoe makers also make 200 dollar shoes. For me, it was worth it.
The third issue is that now that I have tried them, I don’t want to go back to anything else.
So if you are considering new shoes, have good running form, and look like the guy on top , and don’t mind paying a little for quality, try out Newtons.