Sometimes, I fall head over heels over a pair of shoes. Usually said shoes have 4 inch heels and cost more than my half of the rent check. But not always.
I had a love at first sight moment when I saw a picture of Newton running shoes in a Runner’s World magazine. With shoes like that, who cares if they are “functional?” I NEEDED THEM NOW.
Upon closer research, I found out that they run at about $150 a pair. Not that I’m above buying shoes that require me to sell various organs. But, considering I get 3-4 months of use out of a pair of running shoes, the price seems a litte unjustifiable when most running shoes are in the $75-100 category. And, upon even further research I found out that the super cool ones are all men’s models. The women’s are considerably less exciting. Just like peacocks or chickens. Not cool, Newton peeps. Women want crazy colored shoes too.
But I remained obsessed nontheless.
I secretly hoped for a way to test them out before actually having to spend $150.
A couple of weeks ago when we were at the RnR Race Expo, we stumbled across a booth advertising $50 running shoes. Turns out this store accepts returns within 30 days even if they’ve been lightly tested (kind of like REI). Normally I’m not one to buy vintage/thrift/used clothing or shoes just because I imagine the worst possible scenario when I think about the previous wearer(s). EWE.
But then, as if a beacon of light shone down from the Convention Center flourescent lighting, I saw a pair of Newton running shoes in my size calling my name. There was no sign of tread wear. Just two little rejected shoes wanting to be loved.
I couldn’t help myself. A $100 savings on a pair of shoes that were worn ONCE! Plus, Clorox wipes were invented for this very reason. The nice and knowledgeable sales man got me set up, and I walked away with my (first?) pair of Newtons. I walked by the actual Newton booth and wanted to brag about my purchase. But I didn’t. I did take a picture though as a substitute.
Newtons aren’t your average running shoe. According to the website, they are part of the “natural” gait running movement…like the foot V-whatever shoes, but less funny looking and less minimalist. The form for natural gait running is slightly different. And after years upon years of “non-natural” gait running,apparently it takes some time to get used to.
The raised platform on the ball of the foot is the signature Newton component. It helps keep your stride stay forward (less heel striking, more “natural”), and prevents the shoe from wearing down as fast.
This is a shoe that you have to work your way into. The website recommends mile long increments, then 10 minute increments, slowly building up your Newton shoe tolerance for the first 30 miles or so. Not taking it slow could cause injuries because you are running differently then you normally do.
But then, magic happens. Less injuries, less sole breakdown, more efficient running.
I’ve now done 3 runs in my Newton’s, and I’ve gone up to 12 minutes without any major problems. They are slightly uncomfortable, but probably not any more than any unbroken new pair of shoes. I can’t decide yet if the little platform feels awesome, like a little launch into the air with every step, or annoying like I have a big wad of gum stuck to the bottom of my shoes. But I really don’t notice it too much.
I’m hoping for big and wonderous things here. I’m hoping for improved form and better running times.
But really, I’m looking for an excuse to splurge the $150 in order to have the coolest looking running shoes around (hopefully in a different color than these).