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Newton Neutral Trainer Running Shoes

Newton Neutral Trainer Running Shoes

[ August 1, 2009 - 5:21pm ]
Newton Neutral Trainer
Dek: 
Instead of striking your heel first, the goal of forefoot running is to land more on the balls of your feet, so your calves, not your knees, absorb most of the force. That’s what Newton running shoes are all about.

Skiers don’t really like the summer. I know I don’t. You can’t ski, but you have to do something. I’m one of those self-flagellating types that likes to run. Except years of skiing, running, and playing hockey has trashed my knees. So I’d been tinkering with the idea of forefoot running to take some stress off my joints. Instead of striking your heel first, the goal of forefoot running is to land more on the balls of your feet, so your calves, not your knees, absorb most of the force. That’s what Newton running shoes are all about.

Newtons have thick lugs across the forefoot that force you to land on the balls of your feet. It feels odd at first, like having a small bar across the sole of your shoe, but it works. Actually, for me it worked a little too well. After a few short, four-mile-or-so runs, I decided to take my new Newton neutral trainers out for an 11-mile slog. This was a bad idea. The folks at Newton recommend slowly increasing the mileage in your shoes, especially if you’re new to forefoot running, as your muscles adjust to your new stride. Foolishly, I did not heed this advice. After that 11-miler, both of my calves were absolutely rocked—extremely tight, muscles spasms, pretty much useless. For the next week, going up stairs was problematic. Even working the clutch on my car hurt. I iced my calves. I stretched. I rested. I cursed those damn Newtons.

But I didn’t give up on ‘em. After 10 days of not running, I decided to head back out, this time on a much shorter run. The calves were still tight, but things were manageable. My run the following day felt even better. My fear that I would have a nagging injury for the rest of the summer was unfounded. I’ve got about 150 miles in my Newtons now. My calves still get a little tight, but no more than they did after long runs in my old Asics. And the best part: on runs over 10 miles—which used to leave my knees throbbing for days—my knees feel totally fine. The worst part? Newtons start at a prohibitively expensive $155. Not exactly recession-friendly, but if you’re into running, Newtons are worth checking out. newtonrunning.com —Scott Gornall

Newton Neutral Trainer

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