Newton Energy NR: First Impressions

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Designed to meet the needs of runners who want to experience the unique technology platform and ride found only in Newton Running shoes. The EnergyNR facilitates a seamless transition from more conventional running shoe brands into the Newton line. 

Most of my runner friends know me as a New Balance and Salomon guy. My first pair of shoes was actually a New Balance hiking shoe that I bought at a obscure shoe store many years ago! But since buying my first pair of proper running shoes, I’ve had great success using New Balance’s for training and racing thus far.

After a brief, but inspiring introduction to trail running, I later bought the Salomon Sense, my first pair of trail running shoes from the brand (albeit, the most expensive shoe I currently own). Truthfully, other than these 2, I have never used any another brand.

That changed over the last weekend, as I was invited by CROWD and Newton Running (KPI), to attend the launch of their latest offering, the EnergyNR. True to my geekly nature, I Googled the EnergyNR, and dug up more details on Newton Running in general before coming. Some searches came up included my regular reads over at RunBlogger, as well as The Ginger Runner.

Media (Run Bloggers) with Team Newton before the start of the run. More photos can be found at the Newton Runners Singapore Facebook Page. Photo credit by Haffiz at MyRunningAddction

Click for the full Press Release

Newton Running launches new EnergyNR running shoe for transition runners to overwhelming response

More than 200 runners collected their pre-ordered EnergyNR shoes in a special running event ahead of the 2013 Newton Challenge

SINGAPORE, 3 August 2013 – Newton Running, the leader in performance running shoes that actively support and strengthen natural running motion, launched their latest offering – EnergyNR, at Velocity Shopping Mall today at a special event where over 200 runners who had pre-ordered the EnergyNR became the first in Singapore to try out the shoe before its official launch on Monday, 5 August.

These runners had been offered the exclusive chance to place their pre-orders at a special price when they signed up for the upcoming 2013 Newton Challenge, which will take place on 20 October.

The 18km and 32km Newton Challenge is often used by runners preparing for the year-end Standard Chartered Marathon, which is also supported by Key Power International (KPI), the official local distributor for Newton Running.

Designed to meet the needs of runners who want to experience the unique technology platform and ride found only in Newton running shoes, the EnergyNR facilitates a seamless transition from more conventional running shoe brands into the Newton line.

“Our goal is always to look for ways to expand the Newton experience to a broader group of runners and the EnergyNR is an addition to our line that offers similar features and ride to all of our products but in a more conventional design package,” says Newton Running co-founder Danny Abshire. “Runners who are new to the brand as well as loyal Newtonites will truly enjoy the lightweight and responsive ride that the EnergyNR offers.”

The EnergyNR includes a version of Newton’s Action/ReactionTM technology in the forefoot. Originally offered in Newton’s MV2 racing shoes, the more streamlined design employs five low-profile forefoot lugs to provide superior impact zone cushioning and a smooth, stable ride. The lightweight, breathable mesh upper has a roomy toebox that provides ample room for toes to splay, while midfoot overlays ensure a secure fit.  Weighing just 9 oz for men and 7 oz for women, the EnergyNR is available in two colors for each men and women, and will be retailing exclusively at KPI outlets in Singapore at $189.

Said Mr Robert Lu, Managing Director of KPI, which also distributes other brands like 2XU and Brooks amongst others: “It is great to see such a great response and such excitement from those who are here to collect their pre-ordered EnergyNR shoes. Newton has long been associated with triathlons and distance running, the EnergyNR represents Newton Running’s first foray into the broader running market.”

Those who attended the exclusive event were able to find out more about Newton Running from certified Newton trainer, Eddie Chang. Chang shared information about natural running with the participants and explained how the EnergyNR helps to facilitate the transition from conventional running shoes and is perfect for the runner transitioning to a midfoot strike and is currently using lightweight footwear. He also offered personal insights and tips on how to get the best out of their new Newton shoes.

After the collection, those who couldn’t wait to try on their new EnergyNR joined Team Newton for a short 7km run around the Novena area. One such participant who is new to the Newton Running line was Lim Shu Wei. She was clearly delighted with the feel of the new trainers and commented: “The cushioning feels really good and gives great support and the shoe also has a very distinctive sole. I run with a mid-foot strike so this shoe is perfect for my running style. And the bright colours are really eye-catching!”

With ample time to break into their new running shoes, those early birds who collected their Newton Running EnergyNR will be able to test it under race conditions during the Newton Challenge later in October. Registration for the 18km and 32km event is still open, additional details can be found: http://www.newtonchallenge.com/

First Impressions

Newton Energy NR Tech Sheet

A pretty fancy tech sheet.

The EnergyNR was designed to introduce runners to the world of Newton Running. Hence, they’ve taken many steps to create a shoe that could fill their Guidance range of products.

Guidance: Designed for runners of all levels, including beginners, who are committed to natural form running. Ideal for runners transitioning from heel striking to a comfortable midfoot landing position. – Link

But on closer inspection of their product ranges, Newton’s product range was smaller compare to other brands that have an extensive catalogue. This can be a good thing, as the old saying goes; if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Upon opening the box, I was surprised to see a very subtle looking shoe, which could have mistaken for a black sneaker interlaced with blue accents. It wasn’t very striking, but the signature lugs on the sole material was a dead giveaway for a Newton. I was happy with the fit. Given that I was wearing Injinji Lightweight socks, meant that wearing a thicker sock, would have probably made it even more snug.

At this time of writing, I’ve ran at least 27km in these. Mileage included the introductory run that was held during the launch event. Here are some of the pointers worth addressing.

Positives

  • A very stable, reactive shoe, with a lot of energy return with each step.
  • Shoe is well cushioned, mid-sole material is as good as advertised. Heel cushioning is surprisingly soft.
  • Comfortable fit thanks to the upper material.
  • Roomy toe box.
  • Looks like sneakers, but makes you run as if you’re flying (see energy return on the first point).

Negatives (Or more like, potential problems)

  • Heel area isn’t very snug . Though the shoe fits just fine, my entire heel lifts out of the shoe with each plantar flexion.
  • A bit rigid. As a consequence of it being a trainer, natural foot mechanics may be a problem esp off terrain. This is a personal issue as I’ve been running in 4mm heel drop shoes with very minimal cushioning.
  • Felt a small strain over the quadriceps muscle during some uphill courses, but it went away with as the run pgoressed.

Verdict

I’m really impressed with the shoe’s performance thus far, more so since it’s my first Newton shoe. Given the higher weightage of positives, I do hope to be able to use these shoes as a long distance trainer leading up to the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore. A follow up review will be in order as soon as I clock further mileage.

In the mean time, for those wishing to try or purchase a pair, the EnergyNR is available in two colors (men and women), and will be retailing exclusively at Key Power International (KPI) outlets in Singapore for $189.

Official colors

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