I am not a newbie when it comes to Newton Running shoes. When all the other manufactures were offering standard trainers at a weight of 11+ oz. and up, a new company (Newton) out of Colorado was offering a light weight (9.4 oz.) training shoe with a new technology that encouraged mid-foot striking. As a natural mid-foot striker I was intrigued by the shoe. The look of the Newton Gravity trainer was also unusual at the time. Most of the mainstream running companies were making boring looking shoes. The shelves at your local running retailer were filled with white trainers with some color accents. Newton trainers were decked out in bright colors that looked fast. The other big difference between Newtons and other running shoe brands was the price point. The Newton trainers were and are expensive. No retailers near me carried the Newtons back in 2008/09, if I wanted to try them I would have to bite the bullet and order a pair direct from Newton. Back in 2009, I purchased a pair of Newton Gravity trainers at a cost of $175 + shipping and handling. The most I have ever spent on running shoes to this day. The Newton Gravity trainer was my favorite shoe for quite awhile. I still have my first pair and occasionally pull them out for a run even though they have well over 500 miles on them. There has been an explosion of light weight lower heel drop shoes on the market in the past two years. Colors are also being used more liberally. There are a lot more choices for mid-foot strikers that want a light trainer, Newton remains in my top three choices when I look for a trainer.
I was sent a pair of the MV2 to review for the Believe in the Run site. When I pulled the super light shoe (5.8 oz. for size 9) from the box, I had mixed feelings towards the shoe. The finishing details of the upper seemed less refined than that of some of Newton’s competitors. When I first tried the shoe on, I saw that there was extra material left around the tongue of the shoe. When I first started running in the shoe the extra material was noticeable. After a couple runs the upper settled in and I have no complaints about the feel. I have completed runs wearing various thicknesses in socks and the upper is snug and comfortable with no irritation from the tongue. The color combo for the shoe is not my favorite color pallet Newton has put together. Ronald McDonald comes to mind, but hey your not buying a prom dress your buying a running shoe. What makes the Newton special is not the upper or the color scheme, it is the way the runner connects with the road. The MV2 are a great addition to the Newton line up when it comes to sole of the shoe and the actuator lugs.
The lugs act as a reward when you achieve the proper foot strike by giving the runner a bit of spring action as they expand on take off. I like to feel the lugs as I run and find that the ability to target the right stride using the lugs is helpful in achieving an efficient stride. This may be a sensation that doesn’t work for everyone. Throughout the run the feel of the lugs is present. The more miles I put in the MV2, the more streamlined my stride got. A faster cadence came naturally in these shoes without much effort.
In the MV2 my runs were fast. I wanted to wait to review the shoe until I had the opportunity to race in them. This past Sunday I ran a Jingle Bell 5k in the MV2 and was able to put them to the test. Even though I was sick on the race day, I was able to put in a decent effort. I concentrated on the foot strike and leaning my hips forward. This was a hilly course and I finished in the top 20 out of 877 runners. How can you not love a shoe that helps you perform well? The footwear felt great the entire run, light and fast. I am looking forward to wearing the MV2 in next week’s 5 mile Celtic Solstice run. When a shoe gives you confidence at the starting line, it is one less thing to worry about. How much is that worth? This is a minimal shoe and I have not figured out what the max distance I would race in this shoe is yet. I lean towards maxing out at a half marathon, but if they felt good during a half I would give them a go for bigger mileage races.
The MV2 in a size 9 weighs in at just 5.8 oz. My foot has spread a little, I opted to go up to size 10.5 vs my regular 10. The shoe fits perfect with the additional half size up. The shoe comes with an optional 3mm pad that has adhesive that can be placed in the heel of the shoe for those that may not want a zero heel to toe drop ratio. I used the 3mm pad. Originally I was going to take it out after a few runs, but ended up leaving it in. The shoe felt good and I did not want to mess with it. For more stats and information including videos on Newton Running’s MV2 visit the Newton site.
One last note. In the past I have had issues with calf pain in more minimally pitched shoes. While creating the video below with Newton Educator, Juda McGannon, Juda noticed I wasn’t settling my heel during my stride. Basically, I have been running on my toes. After focusing on landing on the mid foot then letting the heel make contact through the stride, the calf issues have all but disappeared. Even if you don’t buy a pair of Newton’s it may be worth while to take part in one of the clinics the Newton reps put on at your local running store. Just a slight tweak in your stride might save you from an injury. Juda talks about Newton’s Technology and gives some tips for running the Newton running shoes in the video below.
Check out Run Blogger’s review of the MV2