I like these apples!

A couple of weeks ago, Colleen asked me about my switch to Newton running shoes.

I posted most of the following in a comment on her blog, but I figured I'd add a bit to it and make it a post because I've been intending to write about it for a long time...

Disclosure: My husband, Alex, works at all3sports.com; they sell Newtons and that's where I buy mine. I get a family discount from all3sports. I do not receive any product or promotion from Newton.

The REALLY short version:
I LOVE NEWTONS! They make me a better runner with fewer injuries!

The short version:
I've been running in newtons (Newton Gravity Trainer) for 1 year... it took 5 months to "make the change" from a muscle memory and strength standpoint and 9 months to build muscle endurance to keep the run form over 10 miles... A short bout with plantar faciatis and what felt like stress fracture in foot bones, but was actually just muscle weakness, was solved with calf stretching, tennis ball massage of feet and icing of feet every day.

While the road to solid Newton running was tougher than I expected, it was totally and completely worth it... skip to the bottom of the long version to see why...

The long version. (if you're planning to try Newtons, I think it's worth the read):

I started running in Newtons almost exactly one year ago. I had been working to switch to mid foot striking the year before, but using my old asics. I had a tough time until I started running behind a jogging stroller it was the best way for me to keep my feet from landing too far in front of me (kind of like the guy on the newton site!) :-) I'd been reading about Newtons and had been wanting to try them for a long time.

During this time I became pregnant with my 2nd little one! I ran for a bit but mostly swam, biked and lifted weight during preggers #2.

I mention this because, when I started with Newtons I was truly working from ground zero. My baby was 4 months old and I was "recovering" from a c-section.

I was so excited when Alex brought home the news that all3 would be carrying Newtons. I couldn't wait for them to come in. He brought home a couple pair and fit me into a size 8. My normal street shoe size is 7.5 but I'm usually an 8 in running shoes. The fit experience was different because he mostly focused on where my foot lined up over the "lugs" on the shoe. this is apparently very important to the fit.

So... starting out I was only running 2-3 miles at a time, 2-3 times a week. The rest of the time I was part of a boot camp group at my gym. From the beginning I loved the feel of running in Newtons. I used a lot of mental imagery to ensure my run form was correct. The Newton site is actually pretty helpful for that. They've got a few helpful articles that are worth the read.

Calf pain was very normal after all of those beginning runs for about the first two months. Then I started to notice what after some research on the internet seemed like plantar faciatis. I started stretching my calves every night and icing my feet. Recovery socks worn immediately after run and through the day helped a ton. I probably asked Alex (yes always helpful to have a triathlon expert in the house) at least once a day... is this normal? should it really hurt this much? and I almost stopped using them several times. Alex made really good points about using new muscles and needing to build strength in my feet and calves and that it would take time and be painful but would be worth it in the end. His main point that hit home to me: when I was younger and learning to run long distances, didn't I have the same type of pain? well yes now that I think of it... then it makes sense as you are recruiting new muscle groups during the run, you'll have that same "build up" period and I can't expect it to happen over night.

The plantar faciatis cleared up after 3 weeks of pretty consistent evening stretching and icing.

I would say that I could run without pain after the run by around 4-5 months into using newtons. If I hadn't really believed in them I probably would have gone back to my old shoes after two months. I am so glad that I didn't, my run is much stronger now.

Currently, I only have muscle pain after a very long run or a track workout... to me that is normal for those types of workouts.

The final point is that it took almost 9 months for me to build the endurance in those muscles (feet and calves) to keep the run form steady into longer distances.


So I put a lot of trust and commitment into this new relationship... what are the upsides?

To be truthful? A whole new running me!

I haven't had any knee pain, nor shin splints, which were pretty typical for me once my long runs went over 10 miles. Add the fact that I've run a PR in every race I've entered since I made the switch, I'm a happy girl. (To be fair here... I've been training a whole new way, with my tri coach Laura Sophiea; but I do think the shoes and the fact that they promote natural running form keep me injury free and efficient). My run off the bike also feels much better.

As far as numbers go... I feel more efficient when I run and my HR reflects that; I can run much faster at a lower HR than I could previously.


I hope this helps anyone thinking about making the switch or in the middle of the "not so honeymoon" period :-D

If anyone has any questions, just leave 'em in the comments! I love talking about these shoes, I'm just that happy about them. Plus it's a good company. I've sent some folks to their customer service for answers to questions and I've never heard a bad report!! Go Newton!


  1. This is a great post and very helpful! Thanks again for going to all the trouble of writing that up for me! I feel bad now that yesterday I went to buy my newtons, and they didn't have any so I ended up buying some ecco bioms which are just really neutral and are supposed to be kind of like barefoot running like the newtons but without the weird thing on the front that make them hard to walk in. they come with a 6 week plan to help you ease into them so I hope I will feel comfortable in them by then. Like you said, though, I'm sure it will be worth the work/pain if it makes me run better and have less injuries in the end. I'm glad your newtons have worked out so well for you! I hope I didn't make a big mistake with these other ones. We'll see!


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