August 22, 2013 By Peter Larson 38 Comments The first time I put on the Newton Energy NR I didn’t know quite what to think.
My first run in the shoes wasn’t bad, and heel-slippage seemed to be a non-factor once I got moving. Shortly after that first run I came across a discussion about the Energy on the Running Shoe Geeks group on Facebook (join us!), and most of those who had run in it were also complaining about the softness and loose heel lock, and the consensus seemed to be that the shoe morphed into something beautiful if you ripped out the insole entirely. So, on my next run I swapped out the included insole for a thin, flat Skechers GoRun insole and the shoe was transformed to the point where I would say that if I were running a marathon this Fall I’d almost certainly choose the Energy for the race. One of the issues I have had with previous Newton shoes like the Distance Racer (see above left) is that the four lugs do not extend to the margins of the sole on each side. The other big, big difference between the sole of the Energy and the sole of other Newton shoes is that it is indeed very soft. As mentioned at the beginning of this review, the fit of the Energy felt off the first time I tried them on. The upper is composed of a stretchy mesh that is not at all constricting, and the interior is a smooth material that feels good against the bare foot. I’ve run 45 miles in the Newton Energy in the past 2-3 weeks, including runs of 13 and 14 miles. If you’re a light heel striker to forefoot striker this is definitely a shoe to consider, and at $119 it’s the lowest price shoe in Newton’s collection. The Newton Energy is available for purchase at Running Warehouse, Zappos, City Sports, and Kindrunner. For another take, check out Thomas Neuberger’s Newton Energy NR review at Believe in the Run.
Filed Under: Newton, running gear review, running shoe review, running shoes About Peter LarsonThis post was authored by Peter Larson. I think the Saucony insoles should be perfect – they are flat and similar in shape to the GoRun insoles (I compared).
That’s partly why I suggested that they might no be a good choice for a hard heel striker.
I have been trying to decide if I should go with these or a pair of Cortanas for an upcoming road ultra. With the insole swap they are a bit roomier, softer in the heel, and the lugs create a different feel. Insole swapping shouldn’t be a problem if you can get them out of the Distance – are they glued down? After reading your reviews on the Newton Boco AT and Energy, I used Christmas gift cards to order both. I’m currently training for a spring marathon and very interested in the Energy after reading your review. Means that the heel does not stay put well inside the shoe, tends to shift up and down too much.
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ACTIVE is the leader in online event registrations from 5k running races and marathons to softball leagues and local events. ACTIVE Advantage is the premium membership program of ACTIVE, designed to support and encourage your active lifestyle by providing exclusive discounts on thousands of activities on ACTIVE. The 30-day trial of the ACTIVE Advantage membership allows you to check out the program for yourself before starting a full annual membership. If you sign up for the 30-day ACTIVE Advantage trial membership you'll receive full access to all member benefits during your trial period. My first impression was that they were crazy soft and that the heel lockdown was really slippy.
This makes the shoe feel a bit unstable mediolaterally, particularly when making turns in the shoes.
It’s soft to the point where if you heel strike hard with the insole removed you’d likely bottom out the cushioning. This is one of those shoes that disappears on my feet, and quite honestly, if I had to choose just one shoe right now for all of my runs over 10 miles this could very well be it. There is still a ton of rubber left though and I have found this to be typical of my experience with other Newton shoes. These days it’s priced right within range of many other shoes in its niche, though I’d love to see the price down around $100.

Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer.
Based on your recommendation a few days ago, I purchased a pair and went on a short run yesterday afternoon.
I almost wonder if the super-soft heel bottoming out will make people shift foot strike forward a bit?
I think the Cortana has a beefier sole if I recall, been awhile since I’ve run in it though. The Virrata has great forefoot cushion, but doesn’t have as responsive a feel during propulsion.
I find the Energy to be softer underfoot compared to the Distance, but more stable in the forefoot. I had a guy who wears a 4E try my pair on and he was impressed, if it weren’t for a neuroma that could be aggravated by the lugs he really wanted to take them for a run. I typically swap insoles from the GoRun, Kinvara, or Nike Free when I need a thinner footbed. The traction on the snow felt comparable to my Motions, which was adequate for the short time it takes me to get to the open road. I just got the new Motion’s with the 5-lug arrangement, looking forward to trying them out as the shoe feels a bit like the Energy.
However, tempted just to hang-on until the new 5-lug Motion and Distance come out in the next 2-4 weeks. And I tend to agree with regard to Newtons and heel striking, not sure there is much added benefit for heel strikers in a shoe with forefoot lugs. I'm a former college anatomy professor who gave up tenure to build a career around my passion for running. There are many good reasons to reduce our over-reliance on carbon based fuels, become more efficient in how we use energy, and use clean fuels that don't create as much waste and environmental damage. ACTIVE also makes it easy to learn and prepare for all the things you love to do with expert resources, training plans and fitness calculators. No matter what your passions are, it is our mission to make it cheaper and easier for you to pursue the activities you love. During this trial period you have full access to member benefits, including all ACTIVE registration discounts, access to free event entries, gear discounts and more.
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Furthermore, the lugs protrude downward quite a distance from the sole making it feel like you are rolling over a speed bump if you walk or run heel-toe in the shoes (I hate walking in 4-lug Newtons). That sounds about right based on how the shoes feel on the run (my caliper batteries are dead so I couldn’t measure it myself…).
The forefoot is responsive enough for distance racing speed, and it’s soft enough for slow, easy miles. I have always liked the Newton Gravity for fast running and ran my fastest half of recent years in them but struggle on the slow stuff, lugs and all. The soft heel is definitely something to get used to (although it didn’t bother me once I got going) and the feel of my feet in the shoe is a bit odd (I feel like my heel is lower than my forefoot, but we know that is not true). Maybe I’ll do a first run post like I did for the A6 jsut so I can get some initial thoughts out.
I now spend my days chasing around my three little kids, annoying my wife with endless talk about running, and writing this website.
If you decide during the trial period that you don't want to continue the membership, just let us know. The new lug design fixes both of these issues in that by adding a lug they now extend all the way to the inner and out margins of the sole, and the lugs no longer protrude as much – I can walk much more comfortably in the Energy than in the Distance for example.
Snug through the heel and midfoot, and a roomy but not spacious forefoot (similar to other Newton shoes I’ve worn). I tried running sockless in them and got blister under the ball behind my big toe, but that could be do to the fact that I swapped in a non-Newton insole. I’d opt for something lighter and firmer for a 5K, but this shoe would handle most of my other needs without issue. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Having lived in Rochester NY for the last three years, the snow has defeated me each winter so that a spring marathon has not been realistic in spite of my goals.

I ran in single digit temps and my feet were warm enough and the ride was better than on my Motions. On the side I also coach runners and perform running gait analysis at Performance Health Spine and Sport Therapy in Concord, NH. Otherwise, at the end of your 30 day trial we will extend your member benefits for a full year at the current annual membership fee. Because the lugs are made of firm rubber and are overlain by a firm plate, the forefoot gives a bit initially but has a much firmer and responsive feel to it during propulsion and toe-off.
I wear my shoes in two places on the lateral heel usually up a bit and then towards the toe so we’ll see. So the Boco AT and Energy were about training for a spring marathon in a context in which the roads are often covered in snow, usually hard-packed, while having long stretches of roads that are mostly clear. I did not feel what you reported and which caused you and others to advocate removing the insole. I think they’re brilliantly suited for forefoot strikers who land naturally on the forefoot and toe off, rather than pushing from the heel? As someone who primarily loads from the midfoot forward, the shoe is a great match for my stride. It’s firm exactly where I need it to be, and if I do load the heel slightly I barely notice because of the softness in that region.
I’m not sure I’d like running in the Energy if I were a hard heel striker, but if that description doesn’t fit you then this shoe is amazing.
In the Motions, I often feel a bit off balance, almost as though I’m being forced to lean to one side a smidgin while running. But in the Energy, I felt a firm grasp of the road, and the sense that I could run for many hours in them without taking a beating. We could (and may) write a series of articles about clean energy that could include: how your thinking can be either a toxic fuel or a source of energy and inspiration, clean energy from a clean diet, the relative energies of chi and sunlight, and so many more. Three negative things that can happen when you overuse your muscles are wasting fuel, producing excess amounts of lactic acid and running the risk of overuse injuries such as tendonitis, muscles tears and strains. Examples of inappropriate muscle usage include: using your hamstrings to pull yourself forward, using your calves to push yourself off the ground, and absorbing shock with your quads. Whenever you are using muscles that should not be used, or are overusing them, you are misusing energy and wasting fuel. The first thing we do is set up the conditions for energy to flow easily through the body by creating good posture. Good posture also allows the body to take advantage of gravity for propulsion, and therefore need less energy. Engaging your core muscles helps keep your posture in line, which then allows many other muscles to relax. Now that is clean burning fuel, because chi energy does not burn, it just moves, leaving no waste behind. Movement that is aligned and relaxed actually increases the amount and flow of chi in your body. Moving chi through your body nourishes all the muscles, organs and soft tissue of the body leaving you energized and feeling a sense of ease and flow instead of soreness and recovery.
This, in turn, twists your spine and basically loads the rubber band of your connective tissue and tendons that runs all the way from your elbow to your opposite ankle. Once your foot comes off the ground, that rubber band wants to recoil to its original shape. When you can run this way, you'll be burning only a tiny percentage of the fuel you are presently using to swing your arms and legs.
When you can tap into the propulsive forces of gravity, the recoil of your tendons, and the flow of your chi, your running will make an octave leap into a much higher level of efficiency. Your body will then require less fuel, less recovery time and be much less susceptible to overuse injuries of any kind. Then you can look forward to gaining energy as you run or walk instead of expending energy. Through constant practice it can become your reality.For beginners and competitors, practiced by thousands of runners, ChiRunning combines modern physics with the ancient wisdom of T'ai Chi to create a running form that is easily learned and makes running more effortless and enjoyable.

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