Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Newton MV2 - My First Thoughts

I tweeted yesterday about how I was excited to have received my new Newton MV2s from Road Runner Sports (my favorite place to get shoes and gear). It took some serious restraint to not blow off my scheduled rest day and lace 'em up for a test run as soon as I got home. I held back and waited until this morning. After my sweet wake-up call at 5:30 a.m. (thanks, babe), I grabbed a piece of toast with peanut butter, a big glass of water and a cup of coffee. By 5:51 a.m., I was out the door and on my run. I did 7.78 miles in 1:06:34 - an 8:33 avg. pace. Not bad for me for an early morning run.

While I only have those 7.78 miles on them, I thought I could provide my initial thoughts...

First things first, I think that they are beautiful. I know that I’ll get them nice and dirty soon, but I think the colors absolutely pop! Granted, I really liked the black version that was included in a slew of photos that Run Blogger posted with his review of the MV2.

As for the weight, you are aware of just how light they are before you even open the box. I’ll weigh them tonight to give an accurate representation, as no one really provides the weight of a size 13 running shoe in their descriptions. Yeah, that’s right, I wear a size 13.

My old Distance Racers are a 12.5. I followed the advice from the Newton website and sized up a half size – which makes them fit perfectly (in the house on the carpet)! I have a pretty wide foot, too, but the toe-box and forefoot has plenty of room, even given the race flat nature of the shoe.

As for initial, initial comfort – I was concerned at first. The way the tongue is attached to the upper seems different from any of my other Netwons. After slipping them on, I grabbed the tongue and pulled it up tight – as I typically do. However, with the way it is attached, the seam (?) felt like it was trying to fold under. So, right there on the top of my foot, it was folded under and ready to rub a big blister.

Not convinced that I would have to send them back, I took them off and unlaced them to see what the problem was exactly. Seeing how it was all connected and attached, helped me realize an easy fix – just don’t pull on the tongue so roughly/tight. It doesn’t need it. I relaced and set them up for them morning’s run.

Other pre-run observations – the insole is incredible thin. The lugs are pretty different from the other Newtons I’ve worn – Distance and Gravity – they have traction! The shoes also come with an optional 3mm heel lift that you can install if you aren’t fully ready for zero-drop. I have been running naturally for a while now, so I didn’t feel like I needed it.

Out on the run, they are whisper quiet. Not only do they feel slipper like, but the sound, rather the lack of sound coming from your footstrike, is slipper/sock like. It was like I was running lighter – super quiet.

As for the mechanics, I believe that the redesigned lug system is much more efficient in the MV2. Everything is on the lugs on the forefoot. This helps to keep you in great posture and running form. The only place that it felt different (and I think I just have to get used to it) is on the downhill. Staying on my forefoot, with a natural footstrike, on the downhill is pretty difficult for me, and the MV2 does nothing to help you out. I’m not sure my heel struck the ground once – throughout 1545 ft of elevation gain and 1565 ft of elevation loss.

Coming into the end of my run, I felt just as springy and responsive as I did at the beginning. I did not have leg fatigue really at all that I don't normally feel. And bonus, I did not get any hotspots at all, as I typically do when I wear my NB Minimus Roads.

I plan to continue to put the MV2 through its paces. Big test this weekend – how will they feel toward the end of Sunday’s 18-miler? Stayed tuned for an update.

Have you tried the MV2s? What say you? What about minimalist running? Is it for you or... for the birds?

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