Category Archives: Shoe Design

Gaining Momentum: The Terra Momentus Off-Road Trainer Arrives Soon

Posted by on Thursday, January 28, 2010 @ 10:10 am | 17 Replies

They’re coming, and we’re getting excited!

Trail-m_rev

TERRA MOMENTUS=MOMENTUM
MEN’S off-road TRAINER
WEIGHT: 11.2 oz
SIZE: 6-13,14,15

Trail-w_rev

TERRA MOMENTUS=MOMENTUM
WOMEN’S off-road TRAINER
WEIGHT: 9.2 oz
SIZE: 5-11

UPPER
• Highly breathable, fast-drying, debris-proof closed mesh
• Abrasion resistant collar lining
• Slip-proof laces with heel-securing double eyelets
• Lightweight flexible molded P.U. support frame
• Reinforced toe cap
• Reflective logo and heel tab
• Gusseted tongue

MIDSOLE
• Tuned Action/Reaction Technology™forefoot and heel
• Biomechanical metatarsal sensor plate
• Tuned firm high-rebound EVA
• Midfoot/rearfoot support chassis for added stability
• ETC anti-friction, anti-bacterial sockliner
• Accommodates orthotics

OUTSOLE
• High traction and durability rubber compound

Green Features
• 100% recycled laces, webbing, insole topcover
• 100% recycled box, packaging
• 10% recycled outersole rubber

The Momentum is an off-road guidance trainer designed for runners committed to a more efficient natural running style. It provides intelligent control for all foot types on all types of terrain, from groomed bridle paths to technical mountain trails.

Available JULY 2010 MSRP $139

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Do Running Shoes Cause Injury? Our Response

Posted by on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 @ 12:00 pm | 15 Replies

Newton Running shoes are minimalist in that they have a heel-to-drop between 1 and 3%, depending on the model.

 

There’s a great discussion going on over at RunnersWorld.com about a new study that links running shoes to injuries here. Here are a few thoughts that our Director of Education, Ian Adamson, would like to add to the dialogue:

  • There are several on-going, multi-year studies at Harvard, MIT and the University of Newcastle (AUS) that are looking at injury related to footwear. Harvard department of Anthropology is about to publish a study that dissects unshod human running gait and injury (or lack thereof.)
  • If the only injury from running shoes is Achilles tendinitis, is the implication that the other “running related injuries” such as neuromas, plantar fascitis, blisters, bunions and joint problems would be present in if people didn’t run?

How Shoe Geometry Affects Running Gait

I’m on the front line seeing runners who present with all of the above and more, and the vast majority are treatable with appropriate shoes (the closer a shoe reflects the geometry of the foot the better, although protection from man-made and unnatural surfaces is prudent), especially a lower heel/ramp angle combined with proper form coaching.

There is no doubt in my experience (running competitively since 1973, 12 years as a professional athlete, 10 years in the shoe industry, 10 years as a bio-mechanical engineer) that lifted heels in running shoes introduce an unnatural geometry that interferes with our natural (and injury protective) gait.

Ramp Angle Comparison in Minimalist Shoes

It would take a lot to convince me that strapping 1/2 to 1″ foam to your heel doesn’t alter your stride. If you cut virtually any running shoe lengthwise you can see the drop from heel to the ball of the foot. The Nike Shox as noted above is one of the worst offenders. It used to be that 24 mm heel height (1 inch) and 12 mm (1/2″) forefoot was standard, but those numbers have changed dramatically in the last few years. Some popular running shoes are up to 35 mm in the heel.

The old standard drop (24-12) gives an 8% grade in a Men’s US size 9 shoe, but most are now far in excess of that, up to 15% in some cases. An 8% road grade (rise/ run as a %) is where most states give truckers a warning. Racing flats can be better in terms of being more level, but virtually none are actually level. The best on the market are:

It is interesting to note that some perceived “flat” shoes are not: Nike Free 5.0 (10 mm/6.7%), Nike Zoom Streak XC (11 mm/7.3 %), Nike Luna Racer (12 mm/8.0%), Brooks T6 (13 mm/8.7%). On the other end of the spectrum, the Brooks Beast has a 16 mm drop and 10.7% grade.

My personal experience: ran track and cross country barefoot and injury free through high school. Ran in Dunlop Volley tennis shoes through college (no heel lift http://www.volleys.com.au/flash/index.html), injury free. Was given a “modern” running shoe with a heel lift by a sponsor in 1989 and sustained my first running related injuries. Started back with level shoes again in 2007 (Newton) and viola, injuries gone.

–Ian Adamson

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Height of Heel Matters in Foot Pain Prevention

Posted by on Wednesday, December 23, 2009 @ 2:56 pm | 3 Replies

Chungli Wang

This interesting study published in the November issue of Foot & Ankle International (FAI), the official scientific journal of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS), details the biomechanical changes that occur in feet during high heel wear and the correlation between the heel height and amount of pain, pressure and strain it puts on your feet.

The study was conducted on people walking, not running in high heels, but it’s reasonable to assume that the forces involved in running in a 1/2” heel lift are considerably higher than walking.

The study’s authors suggest limiting heel height as well as the use of padding at the ball of the foot can significantly reduce discomfort and risk of injury to the metatarsal heads.

Newton Running Performance Racers have a 2 mm drop from heel to toe, the Performance Trainers are 3 mm and Guidance Trainers (Sir and Lady Isaac) are 5 mm. The typical running shoe has a heel lift of a 1/2 inch or more. You do the math.

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Shoe Geometry 101 – Running Shoe Re-Evolution

Posted by on Wednesday, December 16, 2009 @ 12:00 pm | 7 Replies

By Danny Abshire, co-founder, Newton Running

At the start of the first American running boom in the 1970s, most people were running in fairly lightweight shoes that consisted of a rubber outsole a thin foam midsole and a lightweight nylon upper. Although simple by today’s standards, some of those early shoes were pretty good at allowing the foot to move naturally without the need for excessive muscular force and allowed a runner to obtain afferent feedback from each foot’s interaction with the ground.

As footwear technology advanced over the years, running shoes generally became cushier, softer, thicker, heavier and, in some respects even more comfortable. But, while some of the innovations were driven by performance, the end result in many cases was anything but performance-oriented. And that’s why, 30 years later, thousands of runners run with inefficient mechanics predicated on a heel-striking gait. Not only is that form not optimal for running fast, it can also lead to numerous overuse injuries.

The biggest culprit of modern running shoe design is that most training shoes have large, overbuilt heel crash pads that encourage and really only allow a heel-striking gait. Even if you wanted to run with a natural midfoot/forefoot stride pattern, the geometry and heel height of many shoes will not allow your foot to land naturally or parallel to the ground because the hefty heel gets in the way.

What is Natural Running?

Simply put, natural running is the way the human body was meant to run in its purest form - namely, barefoot – across a solid surface. That means running with efficient mechanics centered around landing lightly on the midfoot/forefoot (the ball of the foot, but not the toes) and quickly lifting your foot off the ground instead of pushing off with excessive muscular force.

In order to accommodate that style of running, a runner needs to be able to feel the ground and interact with it accordingly just as when barefoot.

And to do that, the runner needs to be wearing lightweight, minimally designed running shoes. The afferent feedback from feeling the ground encourages your body to run with light footsteps, upright posture, a relaxed arm swing and a slight forward lean.

That important feedback is obtainable via minimalist, lightweight running shoes designed to allow the foot to strike the ground with a natural midfoot/forefoot gait but is impossible to receive wearing thickly cushioned shoes and a heavy heel-striking gait. Practicing natural running form can be simple, but it may take time to unlearn old habits and learn proper technique. Ultimately, natural running can help make a runner stronger, more efficient and less prone to overuse injuries.

What Are Minimalist Shoes?

Minimalism in its simplest form involves picking shoes that allow the foot to move more naturally than standard shoes allow. But not all minimal shoes are created equal. Newton Running shoes were designed to be an extension of the feet, enhancing ground contact without the jarring impact shock of the road, sidewalk or hard-packed trail below.

Newton’s reduced heel height and sleek geometry allows the shoe to stay out of the way as it approaches the contact with the ground, and along with enhanced forefoot communication, allows the runner to strike lightly at the midfoot/forefoot instead of using a heel-striking motion that requires heavy breaking and excess muscular force.

Newton Running’s patented Action/Reaction Technology™ encourages natural running or a barefoot running gait and enhances the shock absorbency, leverage and energy return throughout the gait cycle, ultimately helping achieve a faster cadence and more efficient mechanics. Newton’s independent lab research shows the system returns up to 28 percent more energy and reduces impact up to 44 percent when compared to training and racing shoes offered by leading running brands.

Practicing natural running form can be simple, but it may take time to unlearn old habits and learn proper technique. But it also requires having the appropriate footwear to allow your body to run the way it was designed to run. Once you learn to run naturally, you’ll put yourself in position to run faster and healthier for the rest of your life.

Click here for a video about Choosing the Best Shoes for Your Needs.

Danny Abshire is the co-founder of Newton Running, a Boulder, Colo.-based company that makes shoes that promote an efficient midfoot/forefoot running gait. He has been making advanced footwear solutions for runners and triathletes for more than 20 years.

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Newtons Are Just What the Doctor Ordered

Posted by on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 @ 9:36 am | 5 Replies

Dr. Segler

This morning we received a very in-depth Newton shoe review from Dr. Christopher Segler, a renowned podiatrist, foot surgeon and Iromnan finisher based in Chattanooga.

The full review is posted below, but for the time-challenged, here’s his overall impression:

“I can say that for me personally, I believe Newton Gravity Trainers are proving to be a valuable training tool and are changing the way I run for the better. As an award-winning podiatrist and foot surgeon caring for athletes, I would recommended Newtons to any of my patients who have had a history of injury, or simply hope to run more efficiently.  It seems the greatest benefit is, of course, for those demanding efficiency such as marathoners and Ironman triathletes.”

Newton Running Shoe Review
by Dr. Christopher Segler

Why I Decided to Write This Review

There are really two reasons I decided to write this review of Newton Gravity Performance Trainers. The first has to do with the fact that I am an award-winning foot surgeon and podiatrist who has chosen to limit my practice to elite, competitive and recreational athletes. For this reason, I get questions about running shoes from a lot of runners.  I am frequently asked about “new trends in barefoot running” as well as about shoes like Newtons that reportedly create more of a barefoot-type running experience. I always prefer to answer such questions on the basis of scientific theory as well as personal experience.

The second reason is that I am an age-group Ironman triathlete who has aspirations of qualifying for Kona one day. So I have a very personal interest in discovering any and every way to increase my own biomechanical efficiency, decrease my risk of injury, and run faster.  Newtons (in theory) should to do all three, so I thought I should give them a try.

Continue reading

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Sir and Lady Isaac Product Details

Posted by on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 @ 8:08 am | 2 Replies

We’ve had some recent requests to post more information on the new Sir and Lady Isaac shoes that are now available on our website or from a specialty retailer near you. We’ll also be at the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n Roll marathon this weekend, Ironman Wisconsin Sept. 10-12 in Madison, and at the ING Distance Run in Philly Sept. 19-21. Come see us and try on a pair!

SirIsaac09med11SirIsaac_newton(med)

The newest addition to the Newton family offers intelligent control for all foot types. The Isaac is a neutral guidance trainer designed for runners committed to improving their running form to the more efficient midfoot/forefoot running style.

UPPER

  • Highly breathable, fast-drying, closed mesh
  • Slip-proof laces with heel-securing double eyelets
  • Lightweight ergonomic support strapping
  • Metatarsal stretch panels
  • Reflective logo and heel tab

MIDSOLE

  • Single-density, high rebound EVA that stabilizes all foot types
  • Second generation Action/Reaction Technology™ forefoot and heel
  • Midfoot/rearfoot support chassis for added stability
  • Beveled heel and toe
  • Met-flex enhanced forefoot flexibility
  • Enhanced sock-liner that increases energy return and protection
  • Accommodates orthotics

OUTERSOLE

  • Second generation durable, high traction actuator lugs
  • Increased toe spring
  • Pronounced heel rocker
  • High-wear carbon rubber with traction tread

GREEN FEATURES

  • 100% recycled laces, webbing, insole top cover
  • 100% recycled box, packaging
  • 10% recycled outersole rubber

$149.00 USD

10.9 ounces (size 9)
6-13, 14, 15
Order a pair here!

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How to Reduce and Avoid Common Running Injuries

Posted by on Monday, June 22, 2009 @ 8:18 am | 7 Replies

Efficient form and lightweight shoes are the keys to staying healthy

By Danny Abshire, co-founder, Newton Running

Do you think a running shoe with a thickly cushioned heel pad and rigid medial post can keep you from suffering common running injuries such as plantar fasciitis, iliotibial band syndrome or shin splits? Think again.

Recent research and news reports are confirming what those close to the sport have known for years: running shoes with thick midsoles, extensive anti-pronation devices and large heel crash pads don’t prevent injuries.

The key to preventing running injuries is to run with lightweight shoes and efficient, low-impact running form. Running in heavy, overbuilt running shoes can put more strain on a runner’s body, reduce proprioception necessary to engage proper form and make a runner’s feet and lower legs overwork braking and propulsive muscles and connective tissue — a combination which can actually make a runner more prone to common overuse injuries.

A recent study at the University of Newcastle in Australia concluded there is no scientific evidence to support claims that running shoes with elevated heel crash pads and elaborate anti-pronation systems prevent injuries in runners. The findings have been published in the March 2009 edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

“Since the 1980s, distance running shoes with thick, heavily cushioned heels and features to control how much the heel rolls in, have been consistently recommended to runners who want to avoid injury,” Dr. Craig Richards, one of the researchers, said in a press release announcing the results of the study. “We did not identify a single study that has attempted to measure the effect of this shoe type on either injury rates or performance. This means there is no scientific evidence that [those shoes] provide any benefit to distance runners.”

Dutch researchers have previously found that between 37 and 56 percent of recreational runners become injured at least once each year. The most common maladies are found in the feet and lower legs, but others include pelvis and lower back injuries.

“Not only can we no longer recommend a shoe [with an elevated heel and pronation control system], but the lack of research in this area means that we cannot currently make any evidence-based shoe recommendations to runners,” Richards said in the release. “To resolve this uncertainty, running shoes need to be tested like any other medical treatment, in carefully controlled clinical trials.

“This will ensure that only running shoes with proven benefits can be marketed and sold as therapeutic devices. Until this occurs, health professionals will not know whether the distance running shoes they are recommending are beneficial, harmless or harmful.”

A recent story in the London Daily Mail confirmed what the Australian report suggested in an excerpt from a new book called “Born to Run” by journalist Christopher McDougal. That story referenced Dr. Daniel Lieberman, professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University, who offered the startling conclusion that: “A lot of foot and knee injuries currently plaguing us are caused by people running with shoes that actually make our feet weak, cause us to overpronate (ankle rotation) and give us knee problems.”

To run efficiently, you have to understand your body and how it naturally moves across a surface with as little muscular force as possible. The tenants of good running form include running with short strides and a quick cadence, landing lightly on the midfoot/forefoot area (the ball of the foot, but not the toes), and quickly lifting your foot off the ground instead of pushing off with excessive muscle force. A slight forward lean and a relaxed arm swing are also key components.

To illustrate what Newton Running calls the “Land-Lever-Lift” technique, take the simple test of running barefoot across a smooth floor. More than likely, you’re naturally going to land lightly at your midfoot/forefoot and quickly pick up your foot to start a new stride. Your body doesn’t allow you to land on your heels because it isn’t engineered to accommodate the blunt force trauma of repeated heel striking. Unfortunately, most contemporary running shoes have been designed for running form that demands heavy heel striking and dampens the afferent feedback which allows the foot to sense the ground.

Two of the biggest mistakes distance runners can fall prey to are 1) excessive heel striking that causes abrupt braking of forward momentum, and then pushing off too hard with the toes to start the forward motion again; or 2) using only propulsive muscles,(the calf group, hamstrings and Achilles tendon) by running too far up on their toes like a sprinter and not using the body’s natural cushioning system. Each of those form flaws puts too much vertical movement into every stride, and that leads to inefficiency and considerably more impact, muscle and tendon stress on the body.

Danny Abshire is the co-founder of Newton Running, a Boulder, Colo.-based company that makes shoes that promote an efficient midfoot running gait. He has been making advanced footwear solutions for runners and triathletes for more than 20 years.

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M.I.T. Students Reinvent Running Shoe Lab Testing

Posted by on Monday, February 23, 2009 @ 1:18 pm | Leave a reply

Standardized shoe testingScience and innovation are cornerstones of our business at Newton Running. Over ten years ago, when Newton Running co-founder Danny Abshire first started testing radically different running shoe prototypes, he recognized  the importance of a quantitative, scientific results to prove Newton technology designs worked.

However, Danny soon learned that current lab testing is  antiquated and frustrating ‘science’ at best. For years now, the standardized running shoe lab test has consisted of a piston that hammers down on the heel of a shoe to test cushioning. There are numerous problems with this testing method, but first and most obviously, it only evaluates the heel – not very useful for Newton shoes, which focus technology in the forefoot of the shoe.

Enter: MIT graduate students.

For their 200 level engineering class, a team of MIT engineering students spent the last semester developing a new running shoe lab test. Here’s the abstract from their presentation:

“Current ASTM tests on running shoes are insufficient because they do not reliably capture the loads and displacements applied to shoes during running. This team will discuss a 3-axis machine that can be used to test running shoes that mimic’s natural running more accurately than conventional tests.

The design is comprised of a phantom foot that replicates the passive properties of a human foot and an actuated base that can impose the relevant kinematics to the running shoe. The shoe is mounted on motor to give a rotational degree of freedom. The shoe and the base are instrumented to measure force and displacement dynamically during the running cycle.

The machine can be calibrated to emulate different types of runners by adjusting the trajectories of the base. As a proof of concept we have collected force, displacement and energy data from the machine.”

Click here to watch a presentation of the innovative testing machine the students designed. We’re thoroughly impressed with the results that the test has yielded so far. The design is patent pending and we’re excited about the possibilities to use a machine like this for our future testing.

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Craig Alexander Testifies: I Don’t Modify my Newtons!

Posted by on Wednesday, October 15, 2008 @ 2:09 pm | 4 Replies

There’s been a rumor floating around that Craig Alexander, aka Crowie, shaves the lugs off his Newton shoes. Now, we do know that Crowie did shave his head, his face, his legs, and most importantly, a bunch of time off his run in Kona, but NOT his shoes. To quell the rumor mill once and for all, here’s Crowie’s response in his own words:

“For a while now I have been aware of a rumor circulating that I in some way alter my Newton Running Shoes.

Crowie\'s \To be brutally honest, this is insulting to me on every level. What is being suggested is that I would promote a product to my fellow athletes and then not actually use it myself. I feel this is a massive attack on my integrity. The truth of the matter is, I ran in Newton running shoes by choice for three months before I signed on as a sponsored athlete with the company.

And in fact, when I placed second on debut in Kona last year, I was not under contract to Newton Running. I have not trained or raced in anything else since the end of July last year.

The great thing about being a consumer is you get to try products and choose what you like. So anyone considering buying running shoes, I urge you to do exactly what I did, and that is to try everything that is available and then choose the best.

If you look at the post- race photos of me at the finish line last Saturday (click photo above to enlarge), you will notice that my shoes are in no way altered from their intended state. Also, the photos of my little post-race celebration, which I heard has also been misinterpreted, will show on close inspection that nothing has been done to the shoes.

Just to clarify, I took my shoes off at the finish line to beat out the flames because they were ” smokin’ hot” after having just run a 2:45 marathon.

If in the future, anyone out there feels the need to make an ill-informed opinion about any of my sponsorships, please feel free to contact me before you make a total and utter fool out of yourself. All you are actually doing is bringing myself and a great product and company into disrepute. Have some backbone and question my integrity in person rather than through an anonymous chat site.

The people starting these rumors need to pull their heads in. You are out there intentionally spreading lies and mis-truths. I’m not sure what your agenda is, but you should have a good look at your own motives and integrity.”

Craig Alexander is the 2008 Ironman World Champion.

Now, to be clear, Newton’s head designers mad scientists, Danny Abshire and Ian Adamson, have and will continue to work with our pro athletes to experiment with Newton’s shoes, ‘tuning’ the technology to test new innovations. This is a critical component of Newton’s design process; real world tests with the world’s best athletes to continue to push the envelope of shoe technology.

Stay tuned here for an upcoming preview of Newton’s spring ’09 shoes, featuring some really cool new innovations!

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“Newton-esque” a Fashion Buzzword?

Posted by on Tuesday, August 19, 2008 @ 11:54 am | Leave a reply

From a journalist who was recently in Beaverton to preview the new Spring ’09 Nike running shoes:

“And the neon colors in this line are very Newton-esque.”

Is that a new word?

Regardless, I guess imitation is the ultimate form of flattery. Jennifer Abshire is the keen eye behind Newton’s bright neon colors and bold looks. A quick glance through any recent issue of Vogue or InStyle (where Newton was featured in January and May) and it’s clear Jennifer was right in predicting neon is back!

We can’t wait to see Nike’s neon knock-off new shoes.

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