Behind the Scenes

  • Taking Chances With Gear Running


    Gear Running PhotoIn 2009, Paul Horan took a chance — a big chance. He and his business partners bought the oldest running store in the Twin Cities area. The store, Gear Running (, based in Edina, Minnesota, had been the “it” store in town from 1985-2006, but when the store owner started to step away to pursue other personal interests, the store began to lose its footing in the market. Horan had been an avid runner since high school and had at one point run for the Gear Running store team. He also had worked in clothing retail for most of his career and was looking for a retail opportunity to call his own. When the chance to buy Gear Running presented itself, he jumped on it.

    Horan’s own market research had turned him onto “natural running”. He understood that it wasn’t just a fad, but a trend that would play a role in the future of the running market. “I thought the Newton technology was fascinating, how they spent so much time trying to mimic the barefoot gate, while still being substantial under foot. And we were lucky that our inventory levels were such that we could bring in a lot of it, and bring it in right away.” Horan hoped that a new brand like Newton Running would help him to differentiate his store from his competitors

    Horan’s differentiation plan paid off, Newton became Horan’s number one brand after the first year he carried it. Gear Running has in fact sold more Newton shoes than any other storefront.

    Thanks to many years spent on the retail side of the clothing industry, Horan says, “I had very good experience in retail and great connections as far as a customer base.” When he changed to Gear Running, many of his former clothing clients, began to visit him at the shoe store. Others, aside from his competitors, were also happy to see him take over the store. Many local runners had fond memories of the store when it was doing well. “People would always say, ‘Gear Running. I love that store,’” says Horan.

    And his customers loved Newton shoes. “Every day, I was open jawed at the number of people who came in because of Newton shoes or who were turned on when they saw the shoe. We did well from the get go. And it kept building and building and building.” And, it’s not always your typical elite runner who is into minimal running. “We have guys all the time, they don’t appear to be the kind of guy who would run in that type of shoe. Suddenly they’re all intrigued.”

    “We have a former NFL hall of famer who has bought about 12 pairs. He thought his running career was over. He’s a bigger guy, but in great shape. He heard about Newtons. He bought one pair and then came back and said ‘I need two more pair,’” explains Horan. “We have a lot of customers who have had great improvement with the Newtons and feel like they can run again. And the 30-day guarantee is a nice safety net to have in your back pocket.”

    Horan says there is another group of 10 to 12 women who walk around the nearby lake. “They all have the pink Newtons. They’re walkers, but they love them.” He adds, “The shoes sell themselves to a degree because they’re so colorful.”

    The other secret to Horan’s success is a partnership he founded with Team Ortho (, the largest race organizer in Minnesota. “We’re their exclusive retail partner. So when we go to their expos, we’re the only retailer there.” Horan explains that every race has a Facebook page, and Horan has run multiple contests on these pages giving away a pair of Newton shoes. “They will simply say, ‘Like’ this page to be eligible to win a pair of Newtons. And just one of those pages gets around 10,000 ‘Likes’.” He adds, “You also get all of these comments. For the most part it’s a love fest, so then other people think maybe they should try them out.” Every time a new product comes in Horan will have Team Ortho give away a pair. “They’ll post the picture and people are just like ‘those are the coolest!’” He sold 200 pairs in December last year as a result of these social media giveaways.

    The next giveaway candidate? The new EnergyNR . Horan, who primarily runs in the Distance, thinks the new EnergyNR will spark even more interest in Newton because of its versatility and potential to be a cross- trainer. “I’m excited about that one,” he says.

  • Meet The Dogs Of Newton - Week 10 Shela

    ShelaLikes - Shela spends most of her days in the Newton Running Lab. She likes to run with customers to help them with their Natural  Running Form in the Lab. She will always let you know when you need to lift your knees a little more by barking at you. Shela likes to herd everybody and everything- even motorcycles. Ouch!

    Dislikes - Shela is more of a professional runner and doesn't enjoy being cooped up in the car. She is known to jump out of the car window when at red lights. She is timid of the family of raccoon's who reside in the window well at home. It's a problem!

    Favorite places: Shela is a very intelligent dog. She loves spending time helping customers and  assisting Danny, the CTO, in research and design in the Newton Running Lab. When she is not there, Shela spends her free time helping her brothers built roll cages for very fast cars.

    Summary: Shela is awesome. She is a little Australian Cattle herding dog (thus the name Shela). She is a rescue dog made in the shade from Gallup, New Mexico. She is probably about 7 months old and loves spending time with her new family and co-workers. Her breed is known to be a long distance runners so she fits right in with the Newton running clan. Soon she will be able to join the team and go on long trail runs in the mountains of Boulder, CO.

  • Meet The Dogs Of Newton - Week 9 Ella

    Meet The Dogs of Newton - Ella week 9My name is Ella. I'm from the streets of Phoenix, where I spent my puppy-hood homeless, begging on the corner with a cardboard sign. My life has greatly improved since being hired by Newton Running where I  work at the Lab in Boulder. Selling running shoes is a challenge due to my phobia of people and because I have paws.

    My Father says I'm a Stink Hound, but I believe I'm an exotic Pharoah Hound of noble blood line.

    My hobbies include hunting small, cute creatures such as rabbits, squirrels, and prairie dogs and sleeping. In summer I love going on high mountain runs where I play on glaciers and swim in lakes. In moments of great joy, I am compelled to run figure-eights.

    I'm not fond of puppies, babies, or dry dog food and believe that cats are not to be trusted.

    Thanks for reading a little about me and may you enjoy your summer!

  • Meet The Dogs Of Newton - Week 8 Lucy

    LucyLikes: I LOVE running around in the backyard, chewing on all of the grass, sticks, leaves and flowers that I can find.  My favorite game is fetch with my dad, and I trick him by coming back with my toy or ball, then run away and hide in places where only I can fit because I’m so small.  I also like playing in my pool, especially when the sun is out, and it cools me off.  Since I can’t swim, mom and dad bought me a kiddie pool for the backyard so I can enjoy the water without needing a life jacket.   (But I wish I could go to the lake with the big dogs).  I also enjoy a long nap on the couch at any time, especially on Sundays with my dad after his really long run.

    Dislikes:  Cats.  I don’t understand them---they hide, they hiss, and they don’t like to play fetch.  I also don’t like the yellow monster which hides in the closet and comes out to clean the floors.  It’s so noisy, and it is so funny looking!  There is squirrel that comes by while I’m in the backyard, and he just stares at me.  I’m not so sure about him yet.

    Favorite places:  Newton, the backyard, doggie day camp and any place where there are people and dogs.

    Summary:  I am a 9-month old Frenchie, and I am the runt of the litter, so I’m much smaller than most Frenchies.  I love to be outside walking, running and sitting outside in the sun.  I love to make new friends with people and dogs, and I will always try several attempts to be your friend—just ask Stella.  She didn’t like me at first, but I know she’ll warm-up to me.  I like to be around everyone and watch what’s going on.  Mom calls me the ‘supervisor’ because I’m so curious as to what everyone does.  I really want to become a faster runner and be able to go a little farther than a mile so I can go for a bit with my mom and dad.  My current mile PR is 10:10 with a potty stop.  I’m starting to do more sprints in the yard to help make me faster, which are fun, but they wear me out!

  • Meet The Dogs Of Newton - Week 7 Indy

    Dogs of Newton IndyLikes: Getting belly rubs, chewing on shoes (have only destroyed a few Newtons), going for car rides and sticking my head out the window!

    Dislikes: Don’t let my size and big paws fool you- anything unfamiliar scares me: strangers, loud noises, new places! But once I get to know you we’ll become best buds! I also dislike running; my owners try and take me but I protest by stopping to lay down!

    Favorite hangouts: My backyard and anywhere my owners are!

    Plays with: Any dog I can get to play with me! Especially my litter-mate sister Mabel- we found each other again at a doggie camp when we were a few months old and have been inseparable ever since!

    Summary: I’m a 1 ½ year old Lab/Shar-Pei mix (this is my owner’s best guess). I was a scared little puppy when my owners adopted me but I’ve grown up to become a handsome confident man. I still have some fears to get over but hopefully I’m done growing at about 75lbs. I’m a pretty laid back guy and love coming into the Newton headquarters where I get lots of lovin’!

  • Meet The Dogs Of Newton - Week 6 Saddie

    saddieLikes: ice, pumpkin, peanut butter, squirrels, digging holes, chewing through the wires to the sprinkler system

    Dislikes: soda cans, exercise balls, getting my nails trimmed, thunder, snakes

    Favorite Hangouts: the couch, anywhere in the sun

    Plays With: soccer ball, frisbee, sprinklers

    Summary: I'm a one year old German Shepherd mix and I love people! My owners adopted me from the local humane society and I couldn't have been more excited. My favorite thing to do is pretend I have an itch right at the very moment my owners tell me to do something I don't feel like doing. They have recently caught onto my trick, so now I sometimes pretend I don't hear them until they offer peanut butter. I'll do anything for peanut butter!

  • Meet The Dogs Of Newton - Week 5 Pilot

    Dogs of Newton PilotMy name? Pilot. No Biblical reference, so put Pontius out of your head because I love all humans. Think Pilot project. Pilot a ship. Pilot light. Pilot experiment. Pilot chute. Pilot a plane (or maybe a parachute?). Think Jayne Eyre and Mr. Rochester's loyal companion Pilot.

    My breed? Portuguese Water Dog. I came before Bo Obama but I’m still proud of one of my own getting into the White House. Although I bet he has  never rolled in a dead animal (unless the NSA buried a two-legged creature somewhere in the White House lawn which today seems a strong possibility but risky during the Easter Egg Roll), so I’m pretty sure Bo always smells like lavender dog wash and not my personal faves, deadrabbitsnakewormsfishprariedog.

    My favorite activities? Running the Mesa Trail or Marshall Mesa with my mom, swimming, making snow angels, chasing rabbits, turning into an insane devil around skateboard and snowmobiles, rolling in horse poop with my sister Hazel, working as a therapy dog with my dogsitter, and looking for tummy pats in the Newton Running offices. Oh, and I’ve got the Newton CEO wrapped around my paw. I look at him and wag my tail and I’m sure to get a treat.

    My “meh” list? All the other dogs in the office.

  • Journey Of A Shoe!

    Ever wondered what happens throughout the creation of a Newton Running shoe? We thought we'd give you an inside look at how are shoes are manufactured!

    Raw Material

    1.  Most of the materials used to stitch the upper are received in rolls and can be seen here prior to cutting and stitching
    2. The materials warehouse needs to be very organized
    3. The stock on hand is generally a mix of textiles and synthetics.  Each roll is marked with material name, supplier and country of origin
    4. Materials are checked for quality, total square footage and correct color match upon receiving Raw Materials 1

    Raw Materials 2


    Setting  (AKA Pressing and Stock Fitting)

    1. Seen in these shots are sole units prior to assembly
    2. A sole unit is the midsole, outsole and any inserts pieces that have been stock fitted together
    3. Newton shoes have a biomechanical top plate and cavity chamber that integrate with the patented action-reaction performance technology Settings 1Setting 2


    1. Seen here are the finished shoes just prior to packaging in the inner-box
    2. All shoes undergo a final QC check by a trained controllers prior to exportAssembly 3

    There you have it, Newton Running shoes!

  • Meet The Dogs Of Newton - Week 4 Pepper

    Prefers to be called: Dr. Pepper

    Would rather not be called: Pepperoni

    Breed: Hard to say

    Favorites: Chips, chips and cheese, chips and dip, chips and salsa, chips and queso, chasing rabbits.

    Dislikes: Having my hair combed. I just want to rock the dreads like everyone else in Boulder.

    Favorite pastime: Visiting every single person in the Newton office, and telling them that I am sooooo hungry, and need a cookie. I learned this trick from my owner.

    Plays with: A stuffed tiger named Tigger 2. The original Tigger is buried somewhere in the backyard….I don’t want to talk about it.

    Favorite hangout: I prefer to have an entire couch to myself. If there is a person on each couch in the living room, someone is getting the stink eye until they move. I also like hanging out in the backyard, eating mulch.

    In summary: I am a pretty happy little dog, except when Kara puts me in her desk drawer. I really enjoy running, hiking, and playing catch. It has been a major project, but I have finally trained my owner to retrieve the tennis balls that I hide for her in the yard. I think she likes that game. I also like road trips, and I can’t wait until I am old enough to drive.

  • Meet The Dogs of Newton - Week 3 Isaac

    Hello Isaac




    Hi! I'm Isaac. I'm 2 1/2 years old. I weigh about 160 lbs. and I'm all about fun.

    Likes:  Helping with any kind of physical work....I love to help take out the garbage and move the patio furniture around.

    I also love to go for walks with my Dad in downtown Boulder and meet new people there. Some folks live in the park and they’re always happy to see me. They tell me about dogs they grew up with and it brings a smile to their face. That feels good.

    I like being the boss of everything, and I can use my charm to be very when I want to sit on Mom or Dad's lap. They think I'm too big to be a lap dog, but if I look at them with my big brown eyes and tilt my head just right, they'll sit on the floor and then I can sit on their laps and have my ears scratched.

    Dislikes: Having my ears cleaned. I also don't like when my parents ask me to "guard the house" and then they leave me there while they go out and have fun. They think a couple of treats will keep me happy while they're gone, but sometimes I let them know I don't like being home alone by tearing up the newspaper or a box of Kleenex.

    Favorite Hangouts: Newton Headquarters! The best is when my Dad asks me if I want to go to Newton with him in the morning.  I do a happy dance to show him how excited I am.

    Plays with: My toys, especially my favorite squeeky purple pig, ice cubes, feet (I like to lick them).

    Summary: I'm a pretty easy going kind of guy, and just want to be near my family all the time. It's fun to meet new people who tell me I'm cool, but sometimes when I shake my head and drool flies everywhere they say "eww". Most people just like to pet me because my fur is so soft, and I'm happy to let them do that.

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