Always on the hunt for the perfect shoe, all of us on the AG staff have cycled through more brands than we can count. Although, we have to admit that none of us have ever slipped on a pair of Newtons. This is mainly because all of us were never quite sure what to make of their trademark “lug” technology. And honestly, we were still pretty hesitant about these shoes as we were headed out for our first run in them. However, after just a couple runs, we’re pretty sure that the Newton brand is starting to grow on us.
Originally designed for Newton’s elite racing team, the Distance Elite is a new addition to the company’s shoe lineup and is recommended for either high- or low-distance running. And while this is our first time with a pair of Newtons, we are familiar with the science behind their unique shoe design—Newton calls this “Action/Reaction Technology.” When we went for our first run with the Distance Elites, we thought to ourselves that the cushioning felt springy and almost “trampoline-like,” which seemed like an absurd description to us (in fact, we were planning to keep it to ourselves)…that is until we visited Newton’s website. Apparently this was actually a very common sensation for Newton wearers.
Now of course all this does take some getting used to, as well as some well thought out purchasing decisions. We broke in our Distance Elites for a few days simply by wearing them around town, running errands, etc. This also helped us become more comfortable with the feel of the 4 outsole lugs. If you’ve never worn a pair of Newtons before, we’d highly recommend this kind of quick break-in period. Also, it’s worth noting that Newton makes a significant effort to educate its customers on which shoes to buy. There’s an entire page of their website dedicated to this: http://www.newtonrunning.com/why/choosing-a-shoe. And for good reason—most athletes are wearing the wrong kind of shoe and never realize it.
Continuing to delve into the design of the shoe, all Newton shoes, including the Distance Elites, were designed to provide a more level-to-the-ground platform with minimal drop, or height difference between the height of the heel and the ball of the foot. This design is meant to allow the runner to find their optimal position, rather than accommodating their position for the shoe.
The upper material is crafted from highly breathable, lightweight open-air mesh and features an asymmetrical lacing system. So far we have found the lacing to be a bit touchy. We’ve had to be careful not to tighten too much or too little to achieve the optimal fit. But it’s nothing more than a few extra seconds of care while lacing.
As for looks, these shoes are bright—really bright. But in our opinion that’s a good thing for two reasons. First, we do most of our training early in the morning before the sun comes up. Therefore we need all the help we can get when it comes to being seen by motorists. Second, we tend to belong to the school of thought that you should embrace loud colors in your running wardrobe. After all, when are you going to get away with it otherwise?
Over the next several weeks we’ll be continuing to wear the Distance Elites to see how they perform in different conditions and for different workouts. If you have any specific questions about the shoes, we would love to hear them! Otherwise, stay tuned for our final thoughts soon.