If you've ever wanted to switch from traditional running shoes to minimalist ones, Newton's new Energy NR shoe may be just what you're looking for. Our friends at Self have the details.
Runners and sneaker nerds are probably familiar with Newton Running, a Boulder-based company that's been making brightly colored running shoes for several years now. (I know everyone's making brightly colored shoes now, but they were way ahead of the trend.) Despite the fact that it's a tiny, niche company, Newton has made quite a splash in the endurance-sports world, signing several ultra runners and Ironman champs — like Craig Alexander and Paula Newby-Fraser — to their label. And now they've got a new shoe on the market that's going to appeal to a lot more runners: The Energy NR, now available in stores and online.
You see, any pair of Newtons is actually quite different from most other running shoes out there — they've got foam "actuator lugs" under the forefoot area that spring you forward and keep you from heel striking. (Kind of similar to, but more more subtle than, Adidas's new Springblade shoes.)
They're also pricey ($150 - $200 a pair), and they're sooo different that new Newton owners are advised to ease themselves into them slowly; otherwise you can put yourself at risk for injury. I've seen both sides: I wore them for two years and I swear they made me super-light on my feet and totally revolutionized the way I run. But a good friend — and experienced runner — tried them out and did too much too soon, and ended up with stress fractures.
That's why Newton's new model is so cool: It's a transition shoe, designed to help people who are used to conventional running shoes cross over into the brand (and minimal sneakers in general). The lugs are more low-profile, the heel-to-toe drop more pronounced (6 mm) and the design more streamlined, so it looks and feels more like a traditional running shoe — but it still has many of the benefits — and signature colors! — of its higher-tech siblings.
It's also Newton's most affordable model yet, at $119, and a good way to test the waters with a new brand without making a huge commitment. We're not saying they'll make you as fast as Crowie, but that's a heck of an endorsement, am I right?
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