Ask Sir Isaac: "Why do Newton shoes cost so much?"

Welcome to the first installment of "Ask Sir Isaac." We hope to make this a weekly article on The Running Front and as such we need your questions! You can submit them on our Facebook Page or on Twitter. Without any further ado, here's Sir Isaac!

Hello there everyone! I know what you're thinking; "Hey, didn't you pass away in 1727?" Well, yes but I make special trips back every now and again to throw down Ye Olde English learnin' on you modern folks. Today's question comes from Shawn B.:

why do newton shoes cost so much? I know the pat answer is "durability." But what is it about your shoes that make them more durable than "Brand X"? Do you not use EVA? Is it because of a forefoot/midfoot strike? A midfoot strike still results in a pounding to midsole cushioning materials, which eventually wear out. I have heard that your forefoot lugs also wear out fairly fast. Brooks, Nike, Asics, Mizuno all use midsole cushioning materials that are built to last (DNA, gel, air, wave plate) but as we all know, break down at approx. 350-400 miles. You must be claiming that your midsole materials are superior in some way, right?

Rather than answer this in one lump, I think I'll break it down point by point.

We do in fact use EVA in our shoes but it isn't placed to take to be the primary force of any footfall. Rather, the EVA merely acts as a support structure for the bulk of our patented technology. Newton Running shoes are very durable because of their construction, and because the structure of the shoe allows for a natural gait.

In a natural state (barefoot) the foot does not slide into the ground, landing on the heel and ripping skin along the way; nor does it have a strong toe-off which would be extremely abrasive to the ends of your toes. In order for this technique to manifest itself in a shoe, we have eliminated a large, built up heel. The Newton Running heel to toe height differential (aka "drop") is a maximum of 3% (Sir/Lady Isaac and Terra Momentus). As a benchmark, the industry standard drop is about 12%. This means that Newton Running shoes are effectively flat like the drop of a bare foot.

As to the lugs which Newton Running refers to as "Action/Reaction Technology™" (they owe me for that one!): in a traditional EVA shoe, the EVA foam would soak up roughly 60% of the impact force on the forefoot but would return very little of that energy resulting in a loss. The Newton Running Action/Reaction Technology™ absorbs roughly 40%+ more impact shock than any other medium and returns 85% of what would have otherwise been wasted energy. This helps with efficiency and mimics the natural elastic recoil of the human foot.

As to the comment about the lugs, "I have heard that your forefoot lugs also wear out fairly fast.", rather than me rewriting something that has already been well written, here's a link to Newton Running's info on normal wear and wear patterns:

Beyond the technology, Newton Running is the only company that holds as one of its primary goals education. They want to see you run long, strong and healthy. With that in mind Newton's co-founder Danny Abshire wrote his book entitled Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger, Healthier Running as a way to bring proper natural running form and mechanics to anyone.

Finally, I'd like to point out that Newton Running is a very small company. They've only been around since 2007 I would argue that relative to the size of Newton Running, it's impact on the running and triathlon world has been monumental and continues to grow in leaps and bounds every year. Newton Running holds 13 worldwide patents and makes shoes that have a premium technology and 15+ years of research behind them.

Thank you very much for your question Shawn and we certainly hope that you'll try a pair out for yourself and truly see what the technique and the technology is all about!

~Sir Isaac Newton

3 thoughts on “Ask Sir Isaac: "Why do Newton shoes cost so much?"”

  • Marco Armendariz

    Yes, Newton shoes are amazing, but the inside soles always tear before the shoe does. Any way that i can replace them?? These are the third time that happend. So I think the inside sole are not as good quality as the rest of the shoe.
    Thank you very much, and Newton rocks even if when I go to Mexico nobody or almost nobody knows them.

  • shawn busken

    Thanks for answering my question! I am impressed that you took the time to do this. I can't say it addresses everything, but it's good to have the information. The anecdotal evidence certainly suggests that they are more durable. what I seem to be hearing from you is that because of the low heel to toe differential (3%), this induces midfoot/forefoot strike which results in less tread wear and midsole compression. Not sure if I buy that. Now that NB, Brooks, Saucony, Altra all have offerings of either zero drop or 4mm drop, it would seem that they have the same "technology" you do, but for the "action/reaction" tech. Altra uses a non EVA compound that does not break down as fast as EVA, so that is a plus for them. We all know Kinvara's break down pretty fast, but I can get them for almost $100 less than Newtons but with almost equal tech (low drop). Is the $100 difference all because of durable materials? All that being said, I can't wait to get my feet in a pair of MV2's. I have heard great things.

  • Christer Wikmark

    I'm on my 5th pair of Newtons, started with Gravity and now running in my 4th pair of Distance Racers. I get about 6-700 miles per pair (breaking in a new pair parallel every 400 miles or so and switching with my Five Fingers) and using them all year round throughout the winter as well. I'm doing trail ultras and Ironman triathlons and I love them. Looking forward to try the MV2s when they get to Europe, as they look fast as hell.

    About wear and tear. My first pair of Distance Racers got a tiny cut in the sole of the lugs part after about 500 miles and it got wet (since it was during winter). This created a squishy sound in my left shoe. I also got a half an inch tear in the mesh on the left side beside my pinky toe in my last ultra before I retired the shoes. Other than that I haven't experienced anything. These are the lightest and most durable shoes I have ever used.

    Can't wait to get my feet in the MV2s.


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