A significant amount of foot pain has prevented me from running much lately. I am suspicious that using worn out shoes combined with running on lots of pavement is much of the problem. I picked up a pair of Terra Momentus shoes made by Newton. These are the trail running version with a bit more grip on the sole.
Cool colors and rubber “lugs” on the sole right under the forefoot makes the Newton stand out.
Newton shoes have one huge design difference compared to any other model shoe: the forefoot lugs. The sole of the shoe has large lugs under the forefoot that encourage you to land there rather than slamming down on your heel like a normal running show. While they seem to be marketed toward the natural running crowd, I do thing the design has some merit compared to some of the other barefoot shoe options.
With about 10 hours of running on these shoes, I am overall pretty happy and have noticed a few things. On roads, I find them great, easy to run in. They don’t entirely prevent me from hitting my heel but they certainly encourage rolling forward onto my forefoot. Downhills I find it feels a bit funky but I suspect it will be normal soon enough. On trails, especially steep or variable ones, they really excel. I can bound from spot to spot and my heel never touches the ground. Downhills are fine until they get steep or slippery.
One issue I have is that on rocks, especially wet ones on downhills, these shoes are treacherous! They do not work for me in scrambling terrain. The lugs act in the opposite manner as a climbing shoe. The edge of a proper climbing shoe is just that, a distinct edge to the flat sole. The lugged sole of the Newton is very rounded and tends to slide right off small rock edges. I realize scrambling was not the intent of the shoe but some of the trail runs in Squamish cross this type of terrain.
An approach shoe like the 5.10 Guide Tennie shown above has a very flat sole and distint edges. These shoes are great for scrambling. Compare the edge on the 5.10 to the Newton’s rounded forefoot higher up.
- Reasonably light.
- Good grip on trails.
- Not too stinky yet!
- Lugs are scary on rocks.
- No place to tuck the laces.
Overall, I am enjoying training in these shoes, especially on the road, and low key trails around Squamish. If I think I will be hitting really steep terrain or need to scramble over rocks, I will probably stick with someting a bit more traditional. The Newton seems to be a great shoe and a good training tool to improve form. I will definitely be using them in my day to day runs.