New(ton) Shoes!

Yes, more experimental footwear!

newton-running-action_reaction-technologyI’m always interested in the science of performance, so when I saw the distinct-looking Newton shoes at the Boston expo, I decided to stop by.

I had heard of Newton before (perhaps because they’re based in Boulder), but didn’t know much about them. The shoes are light (7.4 oz, compared to the 10.2 oz for my Sauconys), and are intended to help you run more on the midfoot.

Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion is the inspiration for our Newton Action/Reaction Technology. Replacing the foam and inherent energy loss of traditional running shoes.

As you land on your midfoot, the red lugs absorb the impact, and then the energy is transferred back to the foot as you propel yourself forward. It makes sense; when you land on your heel, you’re absorbing the impact, but then you need to generate your own energy to push off (because you don’t push from the heel).
So I was anxious to try my new toys out, so I went for a short run today. (You’re warned that Newtons take some getting used to, particularly if you are a heel-striker). Obviously I’m not 100% recovered from Monday, but overall I have to say the shoes felt pretty good!

The shoes are built up on the midfoot so I do feel naturally propelled forward, even just standing still. When running, it feels awkward to let your heel touch down, so it wasn’t something I had to necessarily concentrate on: I naturally gravitated to running on my midfoot.
I had met someone in Boston who had Newtons, and she warned me they were rough on the calves. I can see how this is, they’re much more engaged. This will definitely take some getting used to. I did notice that hills were much easier to approach, as I was already landing appropriately on my feet.

I also think my overall posture was better. Keeping (mostly) off my heels seemed to make me stand up straighter, taxing my lower back less.

Obviously, two miles three days after a marathon is a pretty rough test of new equipment, but so far I’m impressed. More to come!