Often times, great things come from breaking the mold. With a sole design that strays far from most other running shoes out there, Newton did just that. Its shoes have an entirely practical and innovative look and feel, making Newton a favorite among both professional athletes and casual runners. IRONMAN champions like Craig Alexander, Tim O’Donnell (who placed third in the World Championships in Kona), and Paula Newby-Fraser swear by the brand.
The most noticeable difference in design between Newton shoes and other running shoes is that Newtons contain a row of thick, rubber knobs protruding from the outsole under the ball of your foot. The knobs are meant to encourage you to touch down on your midfoot and forefoot, as opposed to your heel, when you take each step.
The outsole also features the brand’s patented Action/Reaction technology. Its responsive, trampoline-like cushioning retains greater amounts of energy than traditional foam-core running shoes. Translation: More of the energy you put out with each stride goes into propelling you forward on your run. It does not get absorbed into the sole of your shoes. The Action/Reaction tech is located in the lugs on the forefoot and heels, as well.
Aside from the trademark outsoles, Newton shoes have several other enticing design features for newbie joggers and experienced athletes alike. The mesh uppers are seamless, which help minimize chafing on long runs. Stretch-mesh panels on the sides of the shoes provide an adaptive fit that’s perfect for feet of all shapes and sizes. For added safety, the shoes boast 360-degree reflectivity, making them ideal for early morning and late night runs.
Newton shoes also have a lower heel-to-toe drop (between two and six millimeters) than many other brands. That’ll give you a smoother, more comfortable ride. Instead of a bulky heel, you’ll likely notice those springy lugs under your forefoot. Newton considers this the “sweet spot” of power, and says it will provide you more force going forward since it’s right under your body’s center of mass.
Runners don’t have to change their gaits to wear these shoes, but the team at Newton suggests you do make a few small adjustments in your running form to get the most out of its product: you should stand tall, leaning only slightly forward; your feet should land level to the ground; and you should take quick steps—think 180 steps per minute, the ideal running cadence.
These are really just universal tweaks to make you a better, more economical runner in general. But if the unique lugs on Newton’s outsoles help even more, we’ll take it.