Review: Newton Aha, Fate & Energy NR II

16 Oct Review: Newton Aha, Fate & Energy NR II

NEWTON AHA

Newton has recently added a number of new shoes to their already dialed selection of popular running shoes. These new additions begin to flesh out Newton’s new strategy of providing a lugged shoe for everybody. By incorporating the P.O.P. rating system, the shoes are classified into 3 categories based on lug thickness and ‘intensity’. POP 3 shoes will be the most subtle for runners looking to transition into the shoes, while POP 1 will be the most expert level of lugs for those who’s feet and legs are fully adapted to the system. Do beginners have to start at POP 3 to fully enjoy Newtons? Absolutely not. But these shoes take time to adapt to, so make sure you try them all on before purchasing.

The Newton Aha joins the POP 3 ranks (alongside the Energy NR II) as an entry level newton shoe. However, the lugs are noticeable and comfortable – perfect for someone who just wants the reminder that they’re there to help you dial in your form.

The uppers on all these new shoes is stellar. Not only are the shoes durable, but they represent a huge step in the right direction for Newton’s manufacturing processes.

Out of the 3 Newton shoes I reviewed today, the Newton Aha is my favorite. It fits nicely into the line-up and takes the seat once occupied by the original Energy NR as my go-to Newton for short & fast or long & slow.

Have you ran in the Newton Aha or any of Newton’s new offerings? Let me know in the comments below!

LIKED:

  • Lugs – these are the easiest to adapt to (POP3)
  • Upper – seamless, not overlays, stretch
  • Light – ~8 oz
  • Drop – 4mm
  • Colors – Hawks

DISLIKED:

  • Forefoot Sloppiness – foot moves in turns
  • Sizing – half size up

QUALITY: 4/5
COMFORT: 4/5
PRICE: 4/5
LOOKS: 5/5

TOTAL: 17/20

 

NEWTON FATE

The Newton Fate joins the POP 2 ranks (alongside the Kismet – the stability version). While I was skeptical at first regarding real, noticeable differences between the various lug ratings, I have to say that while the differences are indeed subtle, they are present. That being said, I don’t think POP 2 is a huge benefit one way or the other and this shoe doesn’t fully impress me. I’d much rather jump up to the distance or gravity or ‘down’ to the Aha.

While the materials used – like the other Newtons reviewed today – are rock solid and should last a good while, the eva stiffness and more responsive ride make this more of a transitional racer rather than a comfortable long haul go-to.

I don’t necessarily dislike the shoe as I think it has a place on some runner’s feet, you’ll have to try on most of the Newtons now to see which shoe truly feels better on your feet and with your running gait.

I’m very curious if you have run in the Newton Fate or believe in the POP numerical system. Do you think there is a need for the Fate to take over where the Isaac left off or would you rather rock the Aha or Energy NR II? Let me know in the comments below!

LIKED:

  • Responsive – great racer
  • Quick lug system – not too pronounced, just enough
  • Minimal upper
  • Durability (all seem to be pretty durable)

DISLIKED:

  • Heavier (heel especially)- 8.5oz (not too heavy, but heavier than AHA)
  • Too responsive?  leads to…
  • Stiff
  • Heel scuffing

QUALITY: 4/5
COMFORT: 4/5
PRICE: 3/5
LOOKS: 4/5

TOTAL: 15/20

 

NEWTON ENERGY NR II

The Newton Energy NR II joins the POP 3 ranks (alongside the Aha) as an entry level newton shoe. It is the newer version of the original Energy NR – which if you remember was one of my favorite Newton shoes they released last year. It was soft, lugged joy. However, I do not feel the same about the new version.

My best guess is that the EVA or footbed has changed in this new version. It has an undefinable stiffness that wasn’t present in the first version which is unfortunate. What was one of my favorite shoes from last year will not be one of my favorites a year later with the new version.

While the new materials in the upper are a huge upgrade (lack of smell!) and the durability is justifiably increased, the shoe still performs below my expectations. Bummer because I really like that E.M.B. technology!

LIKED:

  • Upper
  • medial side bridge (EMB)
  • Same ol Energy NR

DISLIKED:

  • Stiffer EVA
  • Heavy (close to 10oz)
  • Market Saturation

QUALITY: 4/5
COMFORT: 4/5
PRICE: 4/5
LOOKS: 4/5

TOTAL: 16/20

All shoes provided by Newton for review. All opinions are my own.

The Ginger
thegingerrunner@gmail.com

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