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Newton MV2 Review

Newton Running has been around the triathlon scene for several years now, but still remains a race and/or training shoe you hear more about than you actually see people wearing - besides Craig Alexander. I find that somewhat odd, being that more and more people are gravitating towards a shoe with minimal drop (heel to toe); myself included. Since I was in need of a new race shoe for the year, I decided to bite the bullet and pick up a pair. The following is a review of the Newton MV2.

I should also mention that this is not my first time running in Newtons. Back in the beginning of my triathlon career, circa 2008, I tried their Distancia S. Truth be told, I despised that shoe. I took the time to adapt to them, but found them to be excessively warm and uncomfortable during longer runs and races. That statement comes with a caveat though, as I was a bit heavier than I am today and wasn't a prominent forefoot striker like I am today. 

The Newon Running MV2

Getting on to the actual shoe now:

One of the most enticing aspects of the MV2 compared to other Newton shoes is the price. While $125 a pair isn't cheap, it's easier to rationalize than their $155 and $175 shoes.  Cost aside, I really like the new Newton MV2 and here's why: it's comfortable, breathable, seemingly aids with uphill running, cushions well on downhills, and just feels fast.

Like any Newton shoe, it features their proprietary forefoot lugs. Unlike other shoes in the line, it has five lugs opposed to the normal four. Will you notice that difference? Probably not. Just like any Newton though, or flat for that matter, you will need to give yourself time to adapt to the shoe if you're running in something heavier or in a shoe with significant heel to toe drop (around 3°). Though, Newton does include a temporary heel insert to help with adaptation. In general, adjusting to the feel of the lugs takes time in and of itself. Your calves and Achilles will thank you for slowly adapting. 

After my mileage build up , I was pleased with how comfortable and breathable they are. I had hopes of racing in them at the St. Croix 70.3, but a bike crash ended my day early. Regardless, I ran in the heat of the day on the very roads I would have raced on and my feet never felt too warm. The main issue I have with the shoe is how little grip they offer. If the roads are wet or you're running on a loose surface, the ground will feel exceptionally slick. I suppose you can blame the lugs for that. 

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When it comes to running uphill and downhill, I have to put Newtons in a class of their own. Nothing else I've run in has come close to their cushion and comfort; even the aforementioned Distancia S. I'm sure most of this is in my head, but uphill running feels great thanks to the forefoot lugs; it's as if they're propelling you forward. Then there's running downhill, which usually reeks havoc on your legs. Again, the lugs do a wonderful job compressing and lessening the impact forces. Considering it is a race flat, you'll be surprised by it cushioning, while still maintaining a good feel for the road.

On flat ground, you'll really notice the lugs, but once you become comfortable with them, the shoes feel like they just wants to go fast! With the MV2 weighing in at just 5.8 ounces (size 9) and promoting a forefoot strike, it's hard not to run fast. In general, I believe it's safe to assume that Newtons were designed for natural forefoot strikers. Therefore, if you are one, the MV2 is a shoe worth your serious consideration. Actually, I wouldn't rule out trying their Distancia S again, as the shoe has continually been refined over the years. If you would not classify yourself as a forefoot striker, this shoe may be more problematic than beneficial. That's not to say you can't develop a forefoot strike. It's just that this shoe will rather forcibly make you one; probably to your calves discontent. 

In regards to fit, the MV2 has a rather narrow toe box, which required me to buy a pair a half size larger than I would normally wear. The tongue of the shoe is by no means flimsy, which is appreciated when trying to put them on in a hurry (i.e.  T2). Sock-less wear felt fine by me, but I feel I cannot speak for others' race hardened feet.

Overall, the Newton MV2 is a well made, comfortable, and fast race flat.