Road Test: Newton Universal Racers

Monday, 26 July 2010  |  Gear + Gadgets

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.


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.

Newton Road Test

Saturday, 13 June 2009  |  Gear + Gadgets

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!

– Newton Stability Trainers –

– Sideview –

– Bottom –

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.

Runnr: Opening Soon

Friday, 22 May 2009  |  Gear + Gadgets, Race Announcements

I don’t know about you, but I can hardly wait for RUNNR, a new cutting edge running specialty store, to open at Bonifacio High Street.  The store will carry big name brands such as Adidas, Asics, Mizuno, New Balance, Nike, Hammer, Nathan and Polar. Plus, it’s going to be filled with some of the running items we could only drool over online: CW-X and Fuelbelt.  It will also be the first to launch the revolutionary line of Newton Running Shoes in the country. 

RUNNR will also feature an exclusive Footworx Fitting process that leads customers thru a comprehensive series of tests such as their Footprint Scan and High-Speed Video Gait Analysis.  And, even better news for flat-footed people like me, they will be the first to offer Custom Insole Moulding in the store, while-you-wait. Woohoo!  

RUNNR is set to open by the 2nd week of June.

Presently, Runnr is looking for people to join their sales, operations, and marketing/events team.  The number one criteria: You have to be a passionate runner.  So far, they only have 4 out of the 7 people they need for the store as they’ve been very picky.  If you are interested, you can email  By the way, running and trying out the gear is definitely part of the job!