Monday is my runday became Tuesday this week due to falling victim to some benchmarking at a university. I therefore had to hold off from trying out my recently purchased Newton Distance Vs which I bought as replacement for my too small Distance IIIs until this afternoon.
I had been reluctant to purchase these for two reasons; firstly, i loathe paying full price for running shoes, they are simply hideously expensive and secondly, my initial experience with their Pop 3 technology with their MV2s had been a negative one. I had used my original Newtons as a transitioning shoe whilst trying to break my heel striking running action that, although had brought advances in performance, had brought injury and misery along with it.
The initial technology and proved to be very responsive and soft underfoot. Perfect for the transition to natural running form and for developing a softer foot strike that supports this. The new Pop technology (those 5 strips, called lugs, you can see underneath the shoe – 4 on the old Newton) were far harder and provided less energy return, proving to be more of a hindrance. Why the change? I can only assume that Newton had bowed to the pressure of the average runner. If you try to transition to natural running in Newtons but do not reduce the force of footstrike then you will get through a pair of Newtons in about 6 weeks. The very thing that makes Newtons such a good transition shoe – that they are very forgiving and will get you home if your form fails – also makes them a poor shoe for those who think that improved running form is simply a case of trying to forefoot strike. A careful owner of a pair of Newtons will get several years of use out of them. I am reliably informed that one guy has got 4,000 km out of his, and my too small pair of IIIs are well over 1k already.
I did however need a new pair of road shoes for longer distance work and invested in a pair of Newton Tri Racers, courtesy of Total Fitness Nottingham, but found them to be too narrow. Thus, i found myself shelling out for these. In truth, TFN did discount them slightly, and kindly allowed the return of both pairs of Tri Racers which I tried, but they arrived to close to my last runout as a pacer for the MK Half to risk running in them, and too close to the European Long Distance Duathlon Championships which were later the same week.
So, other than a very brief run out just to check the fit, this afternoon I ran a quick blast up to the wind turbine on the road to check their performance. I was immediately impressed by their ability to get me up on my toes to take advantage of the Pop technology and that these lugs are now far more responsive than my previous experience, performing more like my old shoes. I was therefore able to run a PB on this short, but hilly, 4 mile route and, more encouragingly, they I feel i have found a new post T2 run shoe. Although they are a slightly heavier than I would usually use for the latter section of triathlon and duathlon, the fact that they allow me to run on my toes, add a positive response through the lugs and enable me to perform the Land/Load/Lever/Lift of Natural Running Form through they low (2mm) differential.
In summary. So far, so good and well done Newton. I am looking forward to putting in some solid training miles with these new shoes this summer!