I've never gone for the whole Newton thing. It wasn't because I didn't believe their claims, I hadn't really looked into what exactly they were claiming with the funky shoes, I just didn't want to get addicted to $155 shoes. See, I have expensive taste as it is, and I felt I just didn't need to go there.
Well, Kompetitive Edge started carrying them. both Jared and Ryan were raving about them and I just kinda brushed it off..back to the price argument. As with every brand that the shop brings in, they want us to try them to see what we think. The shop only brings in what they consider the best of the best brands. They want us in the best gear. Shoes are a picky subject but we all promised to try the brands they bring in.
Well Michelle had already been running in them since Kona. She got a pair from the shop and she was even giving me the "'ya gotta try them" speech. We were in the shop and I said, Okay, let me try them on. So I tried on literally every single pair of Newtons that they had and I ran around the warehouse repeatedly. I was a little miffed because they run small and I have big feet as it is. I had to get 10s (clown feet).
At the end of the meeting I picked a pink pair of Distance Us and took them home. I have gone through 18 pairs of Saucony Kinvaras since they came out so I am used to a very light shoe. The Distance U was only a tiny bit heavier than the Kinvara so that's what I wanted.
I said I wouldn't even try them until after IM Cozumel because 4 weeks was not enough time to break
them me in. Well, they sat on my shelf for 7 days. Every time I walked by I wanted to wear them. So one day, I had a 90 minute run and I just put them on and ran out of the house. I threw caution to the wind (stupid move, I know).
They were weird, but okay. After about 15 minutes I couldn't really feel the lugs underneath. But everyone told me that they next day my calves would hurt. Well, the next day they didn't hurt. I never ran in the Kinvaras again. I just couldn't' go back to them.
I had three weeks until race day and as the runs went on I started to see why people talk about adjusting to them. I didn't have any problems with my calves, but the Newtons take more lower leg strength and I was feeling the effects of that. I didn't feel comfortable back in the Kinvaras, so I kept up with the Newtons. The change was manageable and I talked to the KE guys and to the Newton Lab about my experiences.
I didn't tell anyone else because I knew I was going to wear them for Cozumel and I knew everyone would think I was stupid for doing so that soon. So I just went hush about it. I figured if Cozumel went well I could write this blog post, and if I suffered immensely because of the Newtons I could say "They aren't for me." Poor Newtons, they had a lot riding on my race. Well, I suffered immensely..but it wasn't because of the Newtons...it's because I was running my butt off. I didn't even notice the Newtons, they were just on my feet, running along with me...enjoying the ride.
Race day. Well, I'm going to tell you the one thing that completely sold me.
IM Canada 09 - lost 6 toe nails including my big one
IM CDA 10 - still dealing with losing 9 toe nails from the 100 miler, I bloodied 3 that had grown back and had blisters
IM Kona 10- Big toe nail had just recovered....lost it again, medium blisters
IM Arizona 10 - massive blisters, 2 additional toe nails
IM Kona 11 - 2 toe nails, including the big one again (had just mended from Kona 10) and the worst blisters I have ever had since the 100 miler
IM Cozumel 11 - not a single blister, not a single toe nail loss.
I can't tell you how much more enjoyable the post Ironman celebrations are when you aren't dealing with sore feet. I had resigned myself to the fact that it was my foot strike and that losing toe nails and getting blisters was just part of Ironman for me.
So, what do I think of them? Well, I think they capitalize on your weaknesses. I think they are well made. I don't think they are going to solve your running problems. I think they are a shoe, a well made shoe. I really like them. I really like that I didn't have calf cramps at Cozumel (have have had them in 3 of the 5 IMs before Cozumel). I'm happy to be blister free, and I'm happy that my toe nails are in tact. Really happy, ecstatic actually.
It will still take more time and more running in them before I love them like family. I still feel my lower legs get a little tired from running in them. But we are working towards a happy union.
Thank you Kompetitive Edge for bringing them in and thank you for urging me to try them. I am happy to hear that you can get many many more miles in them than I have been getting in my Kinvaras (200-250), so that makes up for the cost of them.
Have you all tried Newtons? What are you experiences, were they like mine? Anyone get blisters in them or still get really sore calves. Does anyone feel they have helped their run form with them?