Newton Shoes Update

Feb 29, 2012 by

Newton Shoes Update

Last summer, I wrote a post called Newton Shoe Hunt 2011. I was on a quest to improve my running form and had decided to try Newtons.  I wanted less heel to toe drop but wasn’t ready to go minimalist for long distance training.

Most casual runners have not even heard of Newton shoes and they have very limited distribution in my area.  Once people hear about them, many are turned off by the price – $125-175, depending on the model. After some research, I saw that many people were getting very high mileage out of their Newtons.  So, if you looked at shoe cost in price per mile, then they might be comparable to “regular” $90-100 shoes.  I drove to Charlotte and bought a pair.

My 2011 Newtons

Fast forward now 6 months and 550 miles later on my 2011 Newton Gravitas (or Gravity) shoes.  I have been very satisfied with them.  I’ve had almost no pains with these shoes. Until the Newtons, I’d never been able to run long distances in a neutral shoe, due to arch pains.  Even in the stability shoes I had, I’d occasionally get IT band soreness. And let’s not mention the metatarsal pains of the last marathon training period.   However,  deep into this marathon training cycle, I was starting to feel new minor aches and pains, particularly in my knees and left arch (curse you, my nemesis).

I’d seen this before, and it usually meant time for new shoes.  However, I was also at the peak of training miles, having strung together 4 consecutive high mileage weeks.  So, was it over training or the shoes?  With just a couple of weeks to go before my marathon, I did not want to change shoes, but I did still have just enough time to order another pair of Newtons and log some miles in them before the race, if I absolutely had to.

So, what to do?  I decided to email Newton’s customer service to explain my new pains and ask if, at 550 miles, was it time for new shoes? I’m not sure what I expected to happen, but what happened surprised and delighted me.  Within an hour of my email (on a Friday afternoon, no less) I had a real response from a real person.  He asked me to send pictures of the soles of my shoes.  They wanted to see the wear. Wow.  Had not expected that.   So, that night I took several pictures of the shoes and sent them off.  Unfortunately, it was too late Friday night by the time I sent them, and I did not hear from them until Monday morning.  Here was the response:


 Thanks for sending the photos over-

 Your wear looks pretty good, and even. I think you’ve still got a bit of mileage left in your Gravity’s. if you’ve got arch pain, think about lifting from the hip flexors, and core rather than pushing off as  you go to take your next stride. This should help to minimize the increased pressure on the arch region.

 Hope this helps and best of luck with your marathon training.



Wow.  They could have easily told me it was time to get new shoes, and I would have listened.  Instead, I’ll save my money for now, and I have peace of mind that my shoes are still good for the marathon.  I do plan on buying another pair of Newtons sometime this year. As an added bonus, the running form tip seems to be working!

For additional information on Newton, check out their website at

They also provide a wealth of information on better running form.  Start here for that information:


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Newton Shoe Hunt 2011

Aug 8, 2011 by

Newton Shoe Hunt 2011

New Gravitas

If you’ve looked around my blog, you’ve seen that I have been moving toward minimalist shoes.  This seems to be going well, but my Kinvaras are getting high in miles and I don’t plan on using them much longer.  Also, I currently don’t have a long run shoe, having abandoned my Mizuno Wave Inspires after my foot injury in February.  What to do with half and full Marathon training looming?

As I mentioned, in my last post, Summertime Blues?, one of the motivation steps I planned to take was to purchase  a pair of Newton Running Shoes.  Why Newtons?  These are not marketed as minimalist shoes.  Having read reviews of Newton shoes from the Natural Running Center and Runblogger, I believe a pair of Newtons will help me on my journey to better form, less heel to toe drop, and ultimately, no more left foot pain. Maybe I’m just buying more magic beans.  We’ll see.

Since Newtons are not sold in my part of South Carolina, I planned to drive to Charlotte, North Carolina to see them.  Sure, I could order online, but I wanted to try them on and not hassle with any possible returns from online retailers.  I called a Newton dealer in Charlotte,  and they held a pair of Distance Racers for me.  Well, the Distance Racers did not work very well.  They were tighter in the toe box than I expected, rubbing my pinky toes.  Unfortunately, the store did not have my other choice, the Distance Trainer.

Hmm. Slight Change of Plan

After reviewing the specs and some reviews on the shoes (thanks, iPhone), I decided the Distance Trainer or Gravitas (a trainer also) would probably make more sense, since they should last longer and Newton shoes are pricey.  However, the Distance Trainer is cut the same as the Racers, so I expected them to be tight on my toes as well.  Long story short, I ended up at another running store, Charlotte Running Company, where I purchased a pair of the Gravitas model.  They fit much better across my toes due to different styling.  Also, I liked the blue color much better than the green  Distance Racers.  The heel to toe drop on the Gravitas is listed as 3mm, instead of the 2mm Distance Trainer or Racer. As an added bonus, the store was giving 10% off all purchases, and it was a back-to-school sale tax free weekend in North Carolina, so I saved a good bit of money on the shoes.

First Impressions

From a distance, the Newtons, look like most other traditional running shoes.  Upon closer inspection, though, you can see that the sole is different.  There are 4 lugs that provide the action/reaction system Newton describes on their website.  My wife said I was getting my own pair of Shape-ups…arggh.

Both stores warned me to take it easy transitioning to the Newtons.  So does the literature that comes with the shoe.  As a first run, I only did one mile.  The feeling is definitely different than any other shoes I’ve had.  With the lugs,  I felt like I was landing on a small ball under the balls of my feet.  This seemed to engage the muscles and tendons of my feet more than other shoes, especially that tendon on the outside of your foot that is about the size of 1/2 a golf ball (Fibularis brevis tendon maybe?).  They also seemed to work my right calf differently.  The next morning, my left arch was a little more sore than usual.  I plan on running a little bit every other day this week to ease into them.  I’ll update my progress in future posts.

Here’s a video of my form on the treadmill with them after the road run:

Newton Gravitas on Treadmill


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