Newton MV2 Review

JohnGeneral, Reviews, Shoe Reviews3 Comments

men-2012-mv2_2

Brand: Newton Running

Name: MV2

Color Options: Black/Green, White/Orange/Yellow

Weight: 5.8 oz

Drop: 0 mm

Other: High-traction 5-lug midfoot pattern, 2nd generation Action/Reaction technology, biomechanical metatarsal sensor plate, optional 3 mm lift included

Price: $125

Overview

I must say I had a very intriguing shoe experience this summer at Ironman Wisconsin 2012.  I was with my wife and we were enthusiastically cheering the brave, heroic souls that were participating, and discussing the brutality of the race. Simultaneously, I was trying to keep her from talking herself out of signing up for next year’s race (don’t worry, she signed up anyway). During the run portion, we started playing a game naming what kinds of shoes everyone was wearing and we quickly noticed a surprising pattern.  “Nike, Newton, Brooks, Newton, Newton, Saucony, Newton, Newton, Newton… Weirrrrd!”

So, when I got the chance to review the Newton MV2, I was totally stoked.  I mean, if it’s good enough for an Ironman, right!?  Plus, it seemed completely different from my normal running shoes.  I had never worn Newtons before, and, in the spirit of full disclosure, I tend to favor my Saucony Triumphs or my Vibram FiveFingers for short training runs, but I had heard a lot of good things, and found myself really curious about Newtons.

The MV2 is designed for short- or mid-distance racing and weekly speed workouts, which was obvious from the get go.  It has a sleek, snug, sports-car-like profile that just feels powerful.   When I first went to Newton’s website, I was really excited by their emphasis on scientific research as the basis for their designs.  Every aspect of the shoe seems to have been the result of very thorough, and thoughtful research and design.  One of Newton’s innovative technologies is the 5-lug midfoot sole design that features raised lugs, designed to both absorb, and store energy that can then be used to spring you forward as your foot rises.  Another technology featured in the MVis the Bio-mechanical metatarsal sensor plate, which is supposed to give you a better sense (in terms of ground-feel) of the terrain under your feet. It all sounds so technical–I kinda feel like I’m living in the future!

 

Performance

From the beginning, I could tell the MV2 is built for speed.  The first time I put them on, I literally had visions of racing against Usain Bolt in the Olympics.  I totally won in my head.  Overall, though, I must say  that the MVperformed extremely well.  The mid-foot lug, however, did take a bit to get used to.  On my first run, I found myself running up  on my toes for the first half mile or so during, which made me feel like a dog with socks on its feet (i.e., awkward).  But after the initial awkwardness, my stride started to feel very natural.  The cool thing about the Newton 5-lug-system is that it forces you onto your midfoot, and locks you into proper form, coupled with a quick cadence.  Even if I tried, it was hard to not run with good form especially at a sprint. All this just from putting on a pair of shoes? Very cool.  I should note that the lugs are significantly less pronounced and more rounded than those found in most other Newton shoes, such as the Distance U (reviewed by Meagan).  Additionally, these are the only shoes in Newton’s line to feature 5 lugs (all others have 4), which may help with the feeling of instability and being up on a platform that Meagan complained of in her Newtons.  As for the rebound/forward-propelling effect of the lugs, I can’t say that I noticed any substantial benefits.  I wasn’t able to run super fast, or super far, but I did get a good, controlled feel for the road under my feet.

Comfort/Barefoot Feel

The MV2 is definitely has a race vibe.  The fit is tight and narrow, hugging your foot like a glove and giving you a light, airy feel. According to their website, the MV2 weights in at a mere 5.8 ounces, which is the lightest Newton Running shoe ever produced.  The shoe provides great ventilation and never rubbed or gave me any blisters, even with my narrow heel.   I did notice some soreness in my feet from the lugs after a couple 8-10 mile runs that lasted a couple days, but it was nothing serious.  My only other complaint is that the stock laces are too long, and were always flopping around.

Aesthetics

Keeping with the rest of the Newton line, these shoes feature bright colors and have that unique, Newton look. That said, as they are the most minimal of the Newton line-up, they are much less “chunky” in terms of the sole and the upper is a bit less structured.

A comparison of the Newton MV2 (black) and the Distance U (pink). Note the difference in the number, size, and shape of the forefoot lugs.

A comparison of the Newton MV2 (black) and the Distance U (pink). Note the difference in the number, size, and shape of the forefoot lugs.

Pros

  • Comfortable, light feel
  • Locks you into a good running form
  • Lower profile, more rounded lugs and the addition of a 5th lug may provide a more stable feeling relative to other shoes in the Newton line

Cons

  • Run narrow so not the best for wide feet
  • Lugs will not function properly for those with unusually short or long toes (i.e., they will be too far forward or back beneath the foot)
  • Not ideal for very long runs
  • Less durable than other minimalist shoe (and many traditional shoe) options (rated for ~150 miles)

Summary

Overall I give the MV2 two thumbs up.  It is sleek, comfortable, and makes you feel fast.  I would agree that they are not built for longer runs and your feet might get a little sore, but the Newton midfoot lug system does a great job of locking you into a good running form.  No wonder we saw so many at Ironman!

Non-personal images from NewtonRunning.com.

John is a retail management professional who loves history, philosophy, and pondering the deeper meaning of reality, and the universe around us. He is also believes that life should be enjoyed. John likes to read, and write in his spare time, and loves going on new adventures. He has been running for 3 years and has finished 9 half marathons, one full, as well as a few 5 and 10k’s.