Newton MV2 Shoes

Manufacturer Description

The new MV2 is engineered to be the lightest and most efficient Natural Running shoe ever produced. The MV2utilizes a new generation of Newton’s Action/Reaction Technology to provide great protection for running on hard surfaces. With a level to the ground profile (zero-pitch) and a unique biomechanical sensor plate, the foot can sense the ground quicker, allowing for a higher cadence. The MV2 is built for tempo workouts, 5 and 10k racing and the efficient runner’s half marathon.

This shoe inspires speed.

Features

  • Upper fabric – Ultra-light, highly breathable, fast-drying mesh
  • Seamless anatomical support strapping
  • Light weight, slip proof laces
  • Heel securing double eyelets
  • Second-generation Action/Reaction Technology in forefoot
  • Biomechanical metatarsal sensor plate
  • High rebound EVA Midsole
  • Met-flex enhanced forefoot flexibility
  • ETC anti-friction, antibacterial sock liner
  • Water drainage system
  • Optional 3mm lift included
  • High traction 5 lug forefoot pattern
  • Minimal surface contact area
  • High density rubber in heel and toe
  • 100% recycled laces, webbing, insole top cover
  • 100% recycled box, packaging
  • Measured size 9.5
    • Weight – 194 g (6.8 oz)
    • Stack height – 16.5 mm (toe), 16.5 mm (heel), 0 mm (drop)
    • Forefoot width – 93.7 mm (3.7 in)
  • Retail – $125

YMMV Review

Newton has been on my radar for several years now.  I bought y first pair of Distance shoes back in 2007 or 2008 (I can not exactly remember). At that time I was transitioning into a midfoot running gait and these were a good training tool.  Since then I have fully adopted my running gait to this style and was looking forward to reviewing another model from Newton.  The MV2’s came out in the late summer  and are the first zero drop shoe Newton has made.

Top View of the Shoes

Testing

Newton sent me a pair of MV2 shoes in the fall. I was able to put these to the test through the winter on my road runs around Bend. Distances ranged from 3 to 12 miles and everything in between. I even took these to Hawaii on vacation so I could get some warm weather testing in.

Design ★★★½☆

Appearance (15%) ★★★☆☆

Construction (25%) ★★★☆☆

Lacing (15%) ★★½☆☆

Sustainability (10%) ★★★☆☆

Weight (35%) ★★★★½

The MV2 (MV Squared) is Newton’s lightest and raciest shoes they have made. Newton has been around for several years now and have made good inroads into the running community. They have had a large following in the triathlon community, working with several pro triathletes. I found out about them originally through Slowtwitch.com, a triathlon website. This led me to buy my first pair and I did a review of the Newton Distance Shoes on this site last summer.

Newton has designed their shoes with a technology that I have not seen in any other shoes. It is their Action/Reaction Technology. This is aimed at midfoot and forefoot strikers. Through the gait pattern, the technology absorbs and then returns energy back to you.  It works when your midfoot/forefoot lands on the ground, the technology’s four/five (depending on model) external actuator lugs are pressed into hollow chambers inside t shoe’s midsole via an elastic membrane. This movement absorbs shock. As you lever inside the shoe, the lugs release their stored energy and propel you forward through a burst of energetic return from the Action/Reaction Technology. You then lift your knee and begin a new stride. There is a lot of things going on in these shoes so if you are curious to know more, check out the Newton website.

The MV2‘s are made with a zero drop. This means the forefoot and heel are both the same height off the ground, 16.5 mm. The MV2‘s do come with a 3 mm lift to help with the transition to zero drop if you need it. This transition should not be made lightly. Many runners have hurt themselves by trying to go to a zero drop shoe too quickly. The upper of the MV2‘s is a lightweight and breathable mesh. It has larger hexagons for strength with a smaller mesh in between. This upper keeps large rocks and debris from entering the shoe. Over the toe area, there are synthetic overlays for protection and support. The tongue is made of the same mesh material as the upper is. There is a bit of padding in the top half and an eyelet to feed the laces through for security. The lacing system itself is fairly standard. There is a double eyelet at the top to better secure the heel if you wish to. The interior of the upper has been treated with an anti-bacterial solution to prevent bacteria growth which leads to smelly shoes.

Sole Structure of Newton Shoes

Inside the shoes Newton has used an antifriction sock liner. The insole is can be removed if necessary, but it is glued down. There is no support in the shoe as it is a racing flat. The midsole of the MV2 is made of high rebound EVA foam. From the profile and bottom view this is the yellow material. The toe and the heel have high density rubber for durability. In these same pictures, this is the orange material. The main technology as described above is the five metatarsal lugs. Unlike the rest of the Newton shoes which only have four lugs, the MV2 has five. These are the red lugs in the pictures mentioned above. Furthermore, of note in the design of these shoes is the meta-flex enhanced forefoot area. This is a flexible channel between the rubber under the toes and the five metatarsal lugs. In this area, there are also five holes for drainage. This is useful on hot race day conditions where you may be dumping water over your head or down your back.

While Newton does not make their shoes out of entirely green materials; they are making an effort to be as environmentally sustainable as possible. The top cover of the insoles, lacing and webbing are all made of 100% recycled material. The box and packaging are also 100% recyclable. It would be nice to see more of the shoe made from green material, but at least they are trying. I am sure as better green materials become available Newton will make an effort to use them.

Inside the Shoes

Fit ★★½☆☆

Comfort Next to Skin (10%) ★★☆☆☆

Foot Length (15%) ★★☆☆☆

Foot Volume (20%) ★★★☆☆

Heel Width (15%) ★★★☆☆

Midfoot Width (20%) ★★★☆☆

Toe Box Width (20%) ★★☆☆☆

The Newton MV2 Shoes are definitely a racing fit. I am not sure why racing fit means it needs to fit really tight. I normally am a size 9 but needed to size up to a 9.5 in these shoes. Even then they are still a bit on the tight side. The heel, midfoot and even forefoot is comfortably tight. I would not call the shoe particularly narrow, just snug. The length of the 9.5 gives me a little ro0m at the end which I like, about a fingers width at the big toe. One thing I have noticed is the toe area is a bit snug. It seems to have a slightly triangular shape which pinches the toe a little.  For this reason, the 9.5 almost feels too small. While the length is good, my toes definitely get squeezed a little. If I go sock less then there is more room in the shoe, but I would not suggest that. I wore the MV2‘s around a little without socks to see how they felt and immediately decided I would not be testing these without socks. For me, the interior of the mesh felt harsh and prickly against my foot. Especially in the area around the tongue. I was afraid that I may get blisters or chafing just walking around in these sockless.

When putting the shoes on, I also had to make sure the edges of the tongue did not fold up on themselves. This seemed to happen very easily, making for bunched up material under the laces. The top of the foot was not as comfortable as I hoped. At times during my longer runs I would feel  the upper fabric poking through my thinner socks, but it was not more than a little annoyance. Around the rest of the foot, the shoes felt very comfortable. The lacing system is solid and even gives you the opportunity to lock your heels down if needed. I had no issues with heel slippage, so I did not use anything other than standard lacing techniques. There is no arch support in these shoes. They are truly a race shoe and are built for neutral runners. I tried to take a picture looking into the shoes; hopefully it adequately shows the flat footbed.

Sole of the Shoes

Performance ★★★☆☆

Breathability (15%) ★★★★☆

Cushioning (20%) ★★★☆☆

Durability (15%) ★★★☆☆

Flexibility (20%) ★★½☆☆

Ground Feel (10%) ★★½☆☆

Support (10%) ★★½☆☆

Traction (10%) ★★½☆☆

The Newton MV2 Shoes are made to run fast. I did some slower and quicker runs and felt that due to the lugs under the ball of the foot the shoes felt most comfortable at fast speeds. Since the shoes weigh less than 200 grams (7 oz), they really feel like they want to go. The five lugs underfoot do give a different feel even when compared to the Distance model I tested previously. The MV2‘s feel firmer, like they are transferring more of your effort into forward motion. Even though this is a zero drop shoe they should not be confused with minimalist shoes. These have 16.5 mm of cushioning which makes them more of a zero drop cushioned shoe. They also have a tighter fit, especially in the toe area which is opposite of most minimalist shoes on the market. The 16.5 mm of cushioning provides a good amount of protection from the ground but also lessens the ground feel. This is always a tradeoff.

The upper mesh material while being a little harsh against the skin is really breathable. It also is made in a way that it will not absorb much water, making it a good option for warm days when you will be pouring water over your head to cool off. To also combat added weight from water, Newton has put five drainage holes in the bottom forefoot of the shoes. These holes are located in the meta-flex region which should be right at the toe joints. This area flexes better than the rest of the shoe. I do not feel like these have a lot of overall flexibility to them, which is surprising for such a light shoe. The Newton MV2‘s are made for mainly road running. There is not a lot of traction on the bottom, but they can handle a gravel road or non-technical trail. The little bit of grooves on the bottom of the lugs rubs off fairly quickly so I would not expect them to grip overly well. They are a racing flat so Newton states there effective lifespan to be roughly 150-250 miles depending on the efficiency of the runner. The first pair of Newton’s I tested wore out faster as I was not as technically sound as I am now. It seemed like through testing I should be able to get the higher end of the spectrum this time around. With Newton’s, they are made to wear from the outside in. This allows you to watch where the wear starts to appear and make adjustments to your stride as needed.

Toe Area Up Close - Note the Wear Pattern

Overall ★★★☆☆

Overall, the MV2 is a fast shoe. It looks fast, is made with a racing fit, and feels best when going fast. It is a zero drop shoe which may take some people a little while to get accustomed to so use the 3 mm lift and moderation when beginning to run in these. I was surprised when my measurements came up quite a bit heavier than what Newton had, about 1 oz.  They are still lightweight but not nearly as light as claimed.  I was not overly impressed with the mesh material Newton used in the uppers. While it may save on weight, it definitely was a lot harsher against my foot than I like.

For the fit, I knew this was a racing fit and opted for a 1/2 size larger than normal and was glad I did. The larger size fit me well except in the toes which is still a bit snug. I have been running in more minimalist shoes lately, which may have something to do with it. Newton does have a new color way of this shoe coming out this spring. While it will be bright, it will not be nearly as bright as these one are. I do prefer the more subdued colors, but that is for each to decide on their own.

One of the cool things Newton is doing is their Natural Running Form Videos. Newton has published a bunch of running form videos on YouTube to help people have better form. This helps runners take full advantage of the Newton technology and hopefully helps them reduce their injuries and run happier. If you would like to take a look at these videos, they are available at the link below.

 Newton YouTube Channel

The Newton MV2 Shoes are currently available in the white and orange color I tested and the black and green will be out soon. They retail for $125, which is a bit expensive for a shoe, but if you want the latest in Action/Reaction technology, check these shoes out. They are different than any other shoes I have tested, except the Distance model. As always, your mileage may vary.

Newton MV2 Video

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Feels like they propel you forward
  • Very breathable

Cons

  • Main mesh is rough against the top of the foot
  • Tight fit in the toe area

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.

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