The online version of the UK Financial Times newspaper recently published a “High-Tech Trainers” article. One of the shoes featured was the innovative Newton Gravity – a shoe I’m looking to purchase in the very near future. The review went like this:
NEWTON GRAVITY – designed to promote a “forefoot” strike
Newton Gravity shoes arrived in the UK last autumn and quickly divided runners into lovers and loathers. They are designed on the premise that if we run barefoot, we land with the ball of the foot first – a more natural way of running than landing on the heel. To encourage a forefoot strike, raised vertical strips of rubber (or “actuator lugs”) sit beneath the metatarsal bones in the feet so that the ball of your foot is higher than the heel.
The bottom line, as the marketing blurb puts it, is that you’ll run “smoother, more efficiently and ultimately, faster”. I can certainly vouch for the last claim – my pace and cadence (the number of foot strikes you make per minute) increased in the Gravity at roughly the same rate that the alien feel of the shoes disappeared. The downside? I had one extremely sore pair of calves to show for it.
A general rule would be to take it easy for several runs. Enjoy the new feeling and do short runs of 1 to 3 miles until you have about 25 miles total. At this point you should be somewhat to fully adjusted and ready to go farther and faster.
Makes sense. I’ll be sure to follow the guidelines once I take plunge and purchase the shoes….