I wasn't quite ready to make the purchase. Those darn shoes are expensive, and I really didn't want to invest in a $150 experiment. Unrelated, I really don't like my hair that short.
Through the fall, my shoe rotation was a pair of Asics 2160s that I couldn't wear on long runs because they chewed up my feet, a pair of Saucony Guides that I didn't really have a problem with except that they felt a bit clunky in the heel, and a pair of Brooks Ravennas. But every time I went into a running shoe store, I was sneaking a peek at those Newtons. When I ran the 10K at the beginning on December, I declared to the poet that if I PR'd, I was going to just buy them already. When I missed my PR by 20-or-so seconds, I decided that I was going to just buy them anyway (this is logic rising to the top). I fought an hour or so of traffic out to Road Runner Sports only to discover that they were out of every single shoe in the store in my size. Hrrmph. I later found out that the poet put them up to this so I could unwrap these on Christmas morning.
But as much as they were my dream neon shoe, I reluctantly decided that this particular pair probably shouldn't be my first pair because they are "advanced" Newtons and I'm only a beginner. So I ordered the "beginner" Newtons (Lady Isaac) online but convinced
I wore them to the race, intending to just warm-up and cool-down in them, but ended up racing in them. They felt amazing. And my legs felt better post-run then they had in a while. My knees were noticeably less banged-up then they would be after that kind of effort, and my IT bands weren't twanging at all. Hmmm.
Since then, I've been rotating them with a fresh pair of Ravennas (thanks, Adam!) At first, I wore the Newtons only for shorter runs and the Ravennas for longer runs, but for at least 2-3 weeks now I've been just wearing every other shoe every other run, no matter what is on the schedule. I've run at least four double-digit runs in them. The biggest thing I am noticing is that my lower legs seem to be feeling just much more used than I am accustomed to - and honestly, this could be either from the shoes or from the simple fact that my gait is still changing in small ways. My calves and shins are crabbing, but only a little, and it hasn't gotten worse as my mileage and intensity has increased. The shoes themselves feel very different from all my other running shoes. They are a lot softer inside and feel much kinder on my feet. The toe box is larger and I feel like my toes have room to spread out. I also haven't gotten a single blister or purple second toe from them, and this was a fairly common occurrence in the Asics and the Ravennas. I do wonder if rotating them with the Ravennas is a mistake that is making my lower legs extra-cranky, because the two pairs of shoes are so different, but I'm just not ready to leave the Ravennas behind yet.
As far as the hot pink ones, I've been using them as my walk-around-everywhere play-with-the-puppies shoe, but I'll probably start breaking them in as running shoes in the next month or so. And as much as I like them - and I really, really do like them - I think it's important to say that I don't think they are changing my life. I've been working on fixing my form for a good ten months now, and I think I introduced them at the right time in this process. They help me hold good form when I'm tired and may otherwise fall apart, but I don't think the shoes are actually changing my form. I've seen a lot of pictures of people heel-striking in these suckers. However, I think that if you are working on your form in a concentrated fashion, these shoes will help reinforce those good ideas. It's still a lot of work to run right now, and I still spend almost every single run going over and over my body. Are my shoulders back? Is my core firm? Am I straight up-and-down at the hips? Not crunching? Butt under me? Landing with my knee bent and under my hips? I'm also still working on strengthening my muscle imbalances and tightness-es and everything else that is wrong with me. But I do love them, and once I wear through the Ravennas and rotate the hot pink ones in, I might just be a Newton girl for good.
What are your thoughts on the neon shoes? Do you wear a single kind of running shoe or rotate through a pile like I do?