I’ve been testing the Newton Running Neutral Performance Racer for three weeks now. And oh how I wanted to dislike this shoe. I wanted to dislike them, because I dreaded the fact that I would fall in love with them and have to pay $155 a pair for them for the rest of my running career. While I haven’t made that leap yet, in these first three weeks I have at least become quite impressed by them.Let’s start with some basics. Newton Running (www.newtonrunning.com) is a small running shoe company from Boulder, Colorado. As they say in company materials, their goal is to design running shoes that “mimic your natural barefoot running form.” They go on to say that the technology in the shoe took more than 14 years of development.
The core of the shoe design is two-fold: on the one-hand the shoe has more of cushion and spring under the forefoot and on the other it has less build-up under the heel. When you put these two things together, it means that the shoes sits in a somewhat flatter position on the ground (it has a less steep angle from the back to the front) and more substance under the front of the foot.
The idea here is that when running in a more natural — forefoot style — running position, the shoe helps defray the impact on the front of the foot and provides more push against the ground from the forefoot. This is somewhat contrary to the way many running shoes are made in that they tend to have a very large heel to capture the impact on the heel of the foot, before the foot stabilizes and then pushes off from the front.
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