Monday, January 30, 2012

the newwwwwtons

I spent a lot of time back in the fall searching for the perfect pair of pink shoes.  As my gait was changing, so were my shoe choices.  The Adrenalines went in the trash forever, and at the MCM expo I tried on a pair of these:
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 myself the poet that I'd be running in the pink ones eventually so I could keep them.  I knew that the smart thing to do would be to ease into them, to wear them for very short distances and work them into the rotation.  Which is what I did the first day.  I had a MAF test at the track, so I wore my Ravennas for the test and the hot pink ones for the cool down.  And they felt...kind of fine.  But then these showed up the day before the NYE race... 
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?

24 comments:

  1. YUSSSSSS ANOTHER NEWTON CONVERT <3 <3 <3

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  2. so there are "beginner" newtons and "advanced" newtons? i think the science behind them is awesome, so it's exciting to hear that they are working for you. now i think i'll have to go check them out. i rotate shoes but i have a pair that is reaching the end of their life and the other pair i wear tends to give me blisters (even though it's essential the same shoe)...

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  3. What is the model that showed up before the NYE race? I have huge IT issues and would love to try something to help them. Thanks!

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  4. I'm interested in trying Newtons but I think I'm like you (were) -- I don't know if I can stomach a $150 experiment given my sad shoe history. I thought Adrenalines worked for me and I was practically singing to the heavens that I'd finally found a forever shoe, but now that my shin hates me I'm not so sure. I loved the original Guides and like what I hear about the Guide 5, so I might pick up a pair of those and rotate them in.

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  5. Wow. Im in the adrenelines now and am contimplating a change...you, my friend, have given me a lot to think about. I have thought about rotating..think I need to head down to the store and try to have an open mind...

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  6. I usually run in Mizuno Wave Riders and am currently on my third pair of these. I recently bought a pair of the Mizuno Enigmas because they were too stylish to resist. These days, I rotate between those two pairs.

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  7. MMMM. I love me some newtons. They don't mesh with my stride very well but they are such a great pair of shoes.

    I think they could help most people but I'm not sure I really want to pay them for them when I know I can find a better shoe I guess. I actually wrote a post about this that I think I'll publish on Friday! :)

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  8. I buy inexpensive running shoes and so far it hasn't caused any problems so I'm not changing anything. I usually stick to either Adidas or New Balance because I know they won't irritate my legs. I don't really rotate between shoes but I keep a pair at work for lunch runs and another pair at home.

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  9. I'm glad the pink shoes of your dreams are working for you.

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  10. Thank you for saying that changing your form takes hard work and time. It would be nice if shoes (or lack thereof) were magic, but the work is even more important when it really comes down to it.

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    1. You are so right about shoes not being the magic bullet. There are plenty of heel-striking Newton wearers to go around. But they can facilitate a good foot strike if done right. I see a full-on pink future for you!

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  11. My shoe pile is a bit out of control right now. Hopefully once a few of them get some more miles and phase out I can keep it to a more manageable level. I'm glad you've found ones that seem to work for you. And are pink.

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  12. I tried them on and I loved them. The shoe guy talked me out of it because I land above the button. :( Figures, I can't even buy a toe runner shoe!! Both pairs look great, I'm so glad you are enjoying them!

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  13. You already know all of my opinions on shoes. I just want to point out that knowing 1) you were getting them for Christmas and 2) there was some panic over the trip to RRS made talking to you about them with a straight face REALLY HARD. So thanks for that.

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  14. I think the running stores should include a free box of fig newtons with each purchase.

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  15. i rotate shoes for sure but have my favorites based on color...well and feel of course ;) love the shoes! and seriously that pic of you and the pup is too cute!

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  16. We won't talk about the huge variety I have in shoes right now...

    BTW, what size Newton's do you wear? I think mine are too small and may be getting rid of them and they don't have many miles on them.

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  17. I love anything bright so I love your shoes! I have yet to decide on colors for my running shoes since I base it on functionality. Real fun, eh? I've been sticking with Mizuno Wave Riders (on my 5th pair) and love them but am intrigued by Newtons. As for rotating, I stick with one pair at a time. Seems recently I'm in the minority with this thinking. Hmmmm.

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  18. Love the neon shoes. I can't say that the pink would work on me, but I'm a fan of bold/bright shoes.

    I've been switching back and forth between my Kinvara and Hoka's. I just introduced my first pair of Kinvara2's into the lineup and the verdict is still out. The toe box seems smaller and my big toes are already a blistered mess. The Hoka's are taking good care of my feet on recovery days though.

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  19. I've always been curious about the Newtons, so it's good to hear some of your thoughts on them. I've been using the same version of Mizunos for years (and I am terrible about buying new shoes on time - like I use the same pair of shoes for a whole season). I've been wanting to introduce some lighter-weight shoes for racing, so we will see what happens.

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  20. I can't imagine a world where any kind of pink shoe is a bad idea.

    Me, I've worn the same shoes, Mizuno Wave Riders, for years and years. I've been fortunate and haven't had shoe problems. Although I have been eyeing the Nike frees for track work. Mostly cause they are such fancy colors! Fancy makes you faster, right?

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  21. You walk with a completely different gait than you run with, so I would strongly suggest not wearing running shoes as walk-around-play-with-the-dogs shoes until after they have served their useful purpose in running as this will seriously decrease their life span. Running shoes do not need to be broken in. They are best fresh out of the box. I've even been known to wear one pair of shoes while I'm driving to the race site just so I don't have to walk around the house or drive in my running shoes (but that's a bit too extreme).

    I've been a mizuno man for years now, but I have wanted to try a pair of newtons recently. Totally scared off by the price tag. The Mizuno Wave Musha is the same type of minimal running shoe with a similar sole and half the cost of the newtons.

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