My blog chronicling my journey to earn my pro mountain bike license. Also talking about things from the bike shop and stuff that I think is interesting or cool.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Review: Newton Gravity running shoes

Newton running shoes are relatively new to the running shoe market; they started about 6 years ago.  They used a very different philosophy than what had become the norm.  Instead of a lot of cushion in the rear of the shoe, the forefoot is built up and the heel is reduced: to encourage you to have a mid/forefoot landing, which it at least in theory should help you run faster.

When I first saw an advertisement for the Newton shoes it made a lot of sense.  I was also dealing with some pretty sever plantar fasciitis (sever enough that I got x-rays to make sure I didn’t have a stress fracture).   I’m not sure who suggested that landing on my forefoot while running might help with that.  That combination of factors led me to order my first pair.  There were two different styles of Newton trainers available at the time (the Gravity and Motion).  After giving them a call and talking to them I determined that the Gravity model (their neutral shoe) was the best suited for me since I wear orthotics.  The Motion model is their stability model, for those that have issues with pronation (and don’t wear orthotics to correct for that).

The first couple runs in my new Newton where weird.  I had always been a heal strike runner when running distance, so trying to run on my forefoot was odd and definitely worked some different muscles.  I also got a definite reminder of when I was landing on my heel because of the limited padding.  I started out with short runs, both because of the plantar fasciitis and it’s what Newton highly recommend starting out with shorter runs when switching to their shoes.  But after my initial period of adjustment the were great:  I felt and was faster than in traditional shoes, also my plantar fasciitis gradually went away and hasn’t been an issue in the 5 years since I started running in the Newton Running shoes. 

With my extremely positive experience with Newton I wouldn’t even think of trying a different brand of shoes.  I was worried that they wouldn’t last very long because of their limited cushioning, the first pair didn’t last very long, because of me still landing on my heal some times, but since I got used to the shoes and running more on my forefoot they’ve lasted as long as traditional shoes I’ve used in the past.

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