Newton Distance IV Running Shoe Review
Meaghan: The Distance is a light shoe designed for high-intensity training or racing. It falls into the POP 1 platform of Newton shoes, so you’re getting a lot of lug action. I fell in love with the previous model (Distance III) after they landed me a half-marathon PR. Good news, people. The Distance IV has minimal changes, and those minimal changes are a delight. The updates fall almost entirely in the upper. Most noticeably, Newton removed the faux-suede overlays and opened up the mesh through the forefoot. It appears they used this suede for the tongue instead. I thought I’d hate this update to the shoe, but it actually works well. Even without the extra padding in the tongue, the comfort and fit remain intact. Newton kept the semi-flat laces and padding around the collar. The reflective pieces have been altered ever-so-slightly, but they remain throughout. The lugs seem a bit more prominent, with a little more bounce. I’m told the lug recipe has changed this year, which may have something to do with it. I’ve put about 50+ miles on these shoes and aside from standard wear-down on the lugs, the shoes are holding up great.
Thomas: The Newton Distance has always been a favorite. It is light enough for race day and substantial enough for long training runs. There is no other shoe on the market that makes me more aware of my form while running. The feedback I get from the outsole and lugs tunes my footfall and then I just work my way up to head to ensure I am running efficiently. Newtons appeal to my aesthetic, and the Distance IV is no exception. The look of the shoe makes me want to run fast. The upper is extremely breathable, it is practically just netting in the front half of the shoe. Most of the updates seem minor at first, but I would guess they were made to address some of the manufacturing issues in the Distance III. The welds on the overlays of the Distance III had some issues where they would have the potential to delaminate. They have been removed and replaced with different materials. With 50+ miles on mine, there do not appear to be any defects or wear issues with the shoe.
Meaghan: Even though it seems like less material, the shoes got heavier. My Distance III weighed in at 6.4oz and the IV come in at 7.1 oz. It’s a noticeable difference only if you’re comparing the two. Otherwise, the shoes still feel light on the run. I mentioned this in my last review, but I’m going to bring it up again. Sometimes pebbles get stuck between the lugs. It’s not a huge deal because they usually fall out, but every now and again you’ll get one reallllly lodged in there and find yourself cursing at the pavement.
Thomas: The Distance III weighed 8.2 oz. and the IV weighs 9 oz. I can’t figure out where the extra weight came from. It makes the shoe more like a daily trainer than a race day shoe. I am getting spoiled with all the sub 10 oz shoes in a size 10.5. Maybe it isn’t the shoes fault, I ran a 10-mile race in the Distance IV and I BLEW UP. Crapped the bed. First 5 miles around 7:30, second half closer to 9 minute miles. Might have been the heat, the hills, or just maybe the shoes. I am kidding of course it wasn’t the shoes. I have got put in more hill work.
Meaghan: The Newton Distance IV is an awesome shoe for races or any high-intensity training you’ve foolishly committed to. It has remained my go-to shoe for speed work and hard training days. I sported these for the Baltimore 10-miler and picked up 3rd place in my age group. The shoes were perfect for the heat; extremely breathable and felt light throughout the course. At the very least, it’s nice to wear a pair of flashy shoes when you’re wheezing through that 3 minute interval at 5K pace. If you liked the Distance III, you will love the Distance IV. If you’re just looking for a new racing shoe, test this one out.
Thomas: Things I like about the Distance IV: fit, lugs that POP, weight (9 oz is still pretty good) and looks. There are a few shoes out there that are fun to run in; the Newton Distance IV is one of them. I like the way it feels to run in these shoes. Sometimes you forget how much you like a shoe when you review as many as we do. I was very happy to get reacquainted with the Distance. For those of you that want to know the drop, it’s 2mm. Newton has 3 designations to how much you will notice the forefoot lugs: POP 1, POP 2, and POP 3. I really like the lugs so the POP 1 (Distance ) & 2 (Fate, Kismet) models are my choice.
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I agree with Thomas’ cons on the Distance IV. The Distance III was a pretty quick daily trainer/performance shoe, but the Distance IV is slow as molasses in July. The tongue is a bummer on this shoe too.