Newton Distancia (Distance) Shoes

newton-distancia

Manufacturer Description

The Distance neutral series is engineered for the Natural Running gait with a level-to-the-ground profile and our Action/Reaction Technology. This light weight, high mileage trainer is perfect for everyday training, or racing any distance, from a 5K to an ultramarathon.

Features

  • Highly breathable, fast-drying, open air mesh upper
  • Minimal anatomical support strapping
  • Metatarsal stretch panels
  • Variable fit
  • Slip-proof laces with heel-securing double eyelets
  • Action/Reaction Technology in the forefoot
  • Biomechanical metatarsal sensor plate
  • High rebound EVA in midsole
  • Met-flex enhanced forefoot flexibility
  • ETC anti-friction, anti-bacterial sockliner
  • Accommodates orthotics
  • High-density rubber in forefoot
  • Minimal surface contact area
  • Light weight EVA heel
  • 100% recycled laces, webbing, insole topcover
  • 100% recycled box, packaging
  • 10% recycled outersole rubber
  • Measured Size 9
    • Weight – 275 g each (9.7 oz)
    • Stack Height – Heel (25 mm), Toe (23 mm), Drop (2 mm)
    • Forefoot Width – 96.1 mm
  • Retail – $155

YMMV Review

Newton Running is a fairly new company that has come on the scene over the last couple of years. They have a unique design and are aimed at natural running. Newton shoes seemed to have been more popular with triathletes thus far.

Design ★★★★½

The Newton Distance Shoes are definitely different than any other running shoes I have owned.

Top View

The shoes are built to mimic the natural running gait and they have a minimal heel/toe drop of 2 mm. The upper is a lightweight and breathable mesh. Enough so that you can see your socks through it. The panels on the sides of the shoes are stretch panels for more natural foot movement. The lacing uses slip-proof laces and has double eyelets at the top so you can lock in your heel. The most interesting feature of the shoe is the Action/Reaction technology in the forefoot. Newton says this creates 60% more cushioning and 40% more energy return than leading brands. The soles of the forefoot include 4 lugs on the bottom. These act as cushioning as well as create energy return. They displace vertically when landing, cushioning better than foam. The lugs also allow Newton shoes to sit more neutral like you would when barefoot without sacrificing cushioning. The shoes also contain what Newton calls Meta-Flex to increase the flexibility in the forefoot allowing the shoes to flex easily like being barefoot.

Fit & Performance ★★★★☆

The Newton Distance Shoes feel very different when you first try them on for a run. I first noticed that they are nice and light. Not uber lightweight like some others out there but a good weight. The toe box is nice and roomy and the shoe fit me really well. No tight spots but not loose either. The upper breathes well and the sole of the shoe allows your foot to flex easily. I personally did not need to use the locking mechanism of the double eyelets as my foot stayed put with just the standard lacing.

The nuts and bolts of these shoes are the lugs on the bottom. At first these feel strangely odd as I have never had shoes with lugs like this. They have a bounce to them by design and feel like little trampolines. When running the lightweight shoes and bouncy effect of the lugs makes you want to go fast. It does take a bit to get used to the feel though and the lugs make more of a “clod” sound when landing then other shoes I have worn. I have used these shoes for distances up to marathon length and they provide plenty of cushioning for your feet. In informal testing I would say I think I ran faster at the same effort as compared to other shoes I have. I already had been transitioning to a mid-foot strike in my gait so I did not have the transition period that many will have. I do think these shoes feel different every time I put them on. The soles of the shoes do show a bit more wear than others I have worn and Newton says that wear will diminish when efficiency increases.

Overall ★★★★☆

These are definitely a new and radical design from standard running shoes. The Newton Distance Shoes are lightweight and do a good job living up to the billing they have received. Newton has definitely put a lot of research into these shoes. Just go to their site and you will see a plethora of information; videos, FAQs, and studies to help you understand.

Sole - Before/After

Now I did not do any formal testing with these but they did feel slightly faster to me. This might just be perception more than anything else, I did not formally test them. They definitely have a unique feel and sound to them while running. The shoe fits really well and I found them to be sized correctly, Newton says they are sized a bit small so if you are between sizes, get the larger size. I have started to wear these shoes down a bit faster than I expected, we will see how many miles I get. I have used these as mainly road shoes with an occasional urban trail in there. Newton makes other models better suited for off-road. The shoes retail for $155 which is expensive. As always, your mileage may vary.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Good Fit
  • Good cushioning & energy return

Cons

  • Different feel and sound
  • Expensive
  • Shorter Life Span

Long Term Check-In

I now have put 300 miles on my Newton Distance Shoes. My running was over 90% on roads and sidewalks with a little bit of urban trails of crushed gravel. I have found that the soles of the shoes have worn a lot. This is meant to happen according to Newton, the shoes should wear like tires, from the outside in. This allows you to see where the inefficiencies are in your stride and fix them. According to Newton, you will see a increased lifespan as your efficiency grows, the newer pairs will see growing lifespans as well. I have included a picture of the sole of my shoes compared to a new one. You can see where my wear patterns are and how much they have worn out.  I have had to retire these shoes at 300 miles due to soreness in my knees from the uneven wear on the soles. While I found these shoes to be fast and comfortable, the short lifespan and expensive price make them tougher to justify for me.

Adventures

About the author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

2 Comments

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  1. Jamie

    Yikes! After buying my first pair of Newton Distance shoes today, seeing their long term review scares me just a bit, since I clunked down $155 for “distance” shoes meant to do my long runs in.
    Do your other shoes look like that for wear pattern at 300 miles normally? They look more like they have twice that on them. I was hoping these would ease the forefoot “hardness” pounding I feel after I get decent mileage on my long run. But now I worry I made the wrong choice. I can’t spend that much cash on shoes every few months.

    • JJ

      Hello Jamie,

      Thanks for the comment. To answer your questions, no most of my shoes last 400-500 miles, the Newton’s were an exception. They were one of the first shoes I ever wore that were for fore to midfoot landing so I was not nearly as efficient as I am now. If you are in that boat then you will probably get similar results but everyone is different. If you are an efficient runner already then you may get much more life than I did. I have seen some with 1,000 miles. The other Newton’s I have tested have worn better for me, I assume it is because my form is better and they may have changed the sole slightly. Hopefully I have not scared you off as they are good shoes, but their life is tied to your form and if you are using them on longer runs you will have to pay attention to your form as it may break down as you go. Let em know if you have any other questions. Thanks

      JJ

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