Newton Road Test
I don’t even remember anymore the first time I heard about Newton Running shoes. But, I do recall how skeptical I was about it. I did my research online and even tested it at the Singapore sports expo last year, but it felt different and that was unnerving to me. After so many injuries using the wrong shoes for my flat feet, I thought it best to stick to what I believed were safer shoes.
– Testing the Newtons at Singapore’s Sports Expo, Dec 2009 –
Fast forward to this year, after another bout with injuries while wearing my usual motion-control shoes, I figured that I had to try something new to solve the root cause of my problems. I switched to Nike stability and neutral shoes. I also became more open to the idea of barefoot running and tried applying the techniques of Chi running again. I also consciously made an effort to shorten my stride and quicken my turnover and put special emphasis on landing on my midfoot. Presently, I can say that I’ve fully recovered from all my injuries, but the work is not over—it never is—in trying my darndest best prevent them from coming back.
It was perfect timing that the new running specialty store, Runnr, sent a special gift to try: Newton Running Shoes. Newtons, as seen on their website, espouses landing on one’s “sweet spot” which is between landing on the toes and heelstriking—in other words, forefoot/midfoot landing. The shoes encourages the runner to practice proper running form which helps to avoid injuries.
When Runnr asked me to choose a model, I didn’t bother checking out the colors. I just asked for size 9 Stability Trainers. I was willing to experiment on these shoes no matter how they looked. Lucky for me, mine was white-aqua-red, just the right amount of boldness without going overboard. When I tried them on, they looked great!
My first road test with the Newtons was during a bike-run yesterday morning. I followed “Newton’s 10 Laws of Running Better” that came with the shoes: I replaced the insole with my Spenco and planned on running just a short 2k to gradually get my legs accustomed to the new technology.
With that short run, the difference was noticeable. I was compelled to land on my midfoot because of the four lugs that protruded underneath. The shoes provided a fair amount of stability to guard against overpronation. I enjoyed the cushioning—not too soft, but just right. I felt lighter, faster, almost like there was a spring to my step.
I encountered some problems running downhill. Actually, I could barely run downhill! I had to slow down to a walk because I felt like I was falling forward. Hopefully, I get used to this in time.
The 2nd problem I foresee with Newtons is its price. They are a bit more expensive then the regular running shoe, so it can burn a hole in your pocket if you end up loving them.
For the next few weeks, I’ll slowly increase mileage on the Newtons. I’ll be alternating between my Nikes and Newtons: a great combination, I believe. Hopefully, with these two, I would have finally ended my long search for the perfect running shoes for my feet.
Interesting reviews on Newtons from other running/tri bloggers:
Thank you to Toby and Nicole of Runnr. Newtons are now available at Runnr, Bonifacio High Street.