Road Test: Newton Universal Racers
I got my first pair of Newtons a little over a year ago. It was the Newton Stability Trainers which I actually liked for its comfort and lightness. But, after using it for a handful of short runs, I was forced to lock it in a box when I started feeling minor knee pain, which I couldn’t risk aggravating with my training for Singapore Marathon at that time.
– Newton Stability Trainers and Newton Universal Racers –
Last month, Newton learned about my experience with the shoe and they urged me to give Newton Shoes a second chance. They handed me the twin sister of my shoe, Newton Universal Racers in a bright, bold pink (how cool!) for road testing before the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon last June 27. (Note: Renze gave me the Universal Racers because Runnr does not sell the Stability Racers. According Newton website, these shoes “will complement the Neutral Performance Trainer or Stability Performance Trainer.”
I was quite apprehensive about using a racing shoe as I had the impression this could be used only for short and fast runs, not a half marathon in KL. But, Renze of Newton was quick to point out that the shoe could actually be used for long runs, even marathons.
I road tested it over a handful of times: once at a 10k hill training at McKinley Hill, two 7k easy runs, and three races, Rock and Run (where it got soaked!), Robinsons Supermarket Fit & Fun Buddy Run, and the farthest I ran on them, Kuala Lumpur Marathon where I ran 21k.
– What a beauty! –
Weighing 7.0 oz., the Newton Universal Racers felt incredibly light and fast. Much like my experience with the Newton Stability Trainers, I felt that the lugs underneath the midsoles were propelling me to run faster with much less effort. I’m a midfoot runner so I felt very much at home in these shoes.
Running 5ks and 10ks in these Newtons, particularly in a race, made me feel like I could PR at any race. No wonder they call it “PR in a box.”
The shoes were also comfortable and breathable. (I replaced the insoles with my Spenco insoles, which I really can’t live without.) The mesh on the vamp area allowed for breathability. I found it cool, figuratively and literally, that I could even see my socks from the outside.
Best of all, I love the bright and bold colors of my Newtons. After a while, one gets tired of the usual colors that everyone wears at races. Newtons allow me to stand out and be different.
THE NOT SO GOOD
As a flat-footed overpronating runner, stability is always a key concern for me. I felt the shoe could have been a little bit more stable. I worried that, because of the lugs, my feet were prone to more movement from side to side. For runs below 10k, my feet were fine. But, when I ran in KL in these shoes, I felt slight pain on the right side of my foot after the race, which thankfully disappeared by the following day.
Another issue for me is the durability of the shoe. Only after a handful of races, the wear of the shoe underneath was surprising. I had been forewarned by Renze about this: that the racing shoe was meant for races, and not for daily training runs. But, what am I to do if my feet love the racers more than the trainers?!
I like the Newton Stability Racers its lightness, comfort, breathability and design. While I’m concerned about stability and durability, I feel like I can get away with these issues for short runs. I am definitely going to use it for 5k and 10k runs, especially in races I hope to PR in!
Newton Universal Racers P6,995. Newton Stability Trainers P8,250. Newton shoes are available in Runnr, Bonifacio High Street. Click HERE to visit website.