Note: Those of you who read the review of the Gravity 7, this will seem very similar. This is because these two shoes are very similar with a few smaller changes.
The Newton running company has a very specific business model — lightweight, low-drop and the springy lugs on the forefoot. These specific ideas make for a shoe that is completely unlike others on the market.
When you see someone in a pair of Newtons, you can easily identify them. This is something that is great for a company, an identity. The biggest issue is whether or not this identity can resonate with the average runner.
Newton Distance 7 General Info
The Distance 7 is the second tier of the Newton neutral line. It competes against other second tier trainers, except that it is priced near the top of that line or more in line with the top level of other brands.
When the shoes came, I was excited. The shoes are very visually appealing. A bright green coupled with a nice blue.
The looks are very aggressive and distinctive. They were pretty comfortable out of the box, and with a smaller lug system than the Gravity, they were actually quite comfortable as an all-day shoe right out of the box.
The first run (400m repeats) was great, and I was really able to push the pace.
Newton Distance 7 Sole Unit
The Distance 7 has enough cushion for all the runs I did in them. However, on the longer runs that took me double digits or farther, I would have preferred being in another shoe.
For some runners, one aspect that takes some getting used to is the heel-toe-drop which is 2mm in this pair. The stack height is a healthy 25mm in the heel and 23mm in the toe.
But the cushion and the drop aren’t the thing that takes the most getting used to, that would be the lugs. But I’ll get into those soon.
Newton uses their brand’s Newtonium foam as a layer of cushion under the foot. This foam is incredibly light and responsive. It is flexible and springy while not adding too much stack height.
The midsole uses a high-rebound EVA material to keep it responsive while upping the durability. This is something I have witnessed, as I have put 125+ miles on the shoes and have not any give in cushioning.
This takes us to the highlight of the soles, the lugs. Using P.O.P. 1 Platform, the lugs recede into air-filled chambers as you land and then spring back out as you move towards toe-off. This technology helps propel you forward and helps you speed up.
On these lugs, forefoot and around the heel, the shoe features a high density rubber for durability coupled with a high-abrasion compound designed to provide lasting durability.
However, I have noticed that the foam sections of the outsole have been rubbing off, but these sections are minor compared to the rubber sections.
All of these technologies make for a great ride for any run that involves upping the pace. They do this partially by forcing you to land on your mid or forefoot and use your calves more to propel you faster.
Newton Distance 7 Upper Info
The upper is different from the Gravity, and uses some different materials. They use a seamless, open mesh to provide breathability and let the breeze flow through the shoe.
This, coupled with their ETC Sockliner helps for comfort and creates an anti-bacterial barrier that helps with foot odor left on the shoe.
The upper is coupled with a molded heel counter that locks your foot in at the heel and truly doesn’t let go until you take them off.
This security is something that made me feel that much more comfortable upping the pace and pushing myself on all my runs.
The upper fits true to size, as my 13s were perfect with a little room at the end of the toe for your foot to move. It is tight in the heel and in the midfoot — great for speed — and opens up to a medium-to-medium-wide toe box.
Newton Distance 7 Conclusions
Overall, the Distance was a wonderful shoe for every short, tempo or speed run I did in them. I also view them as an excellent option for a long distance racing shoe and I plan to use them as the shoe for my 20k and half marathon coming up this summer.
At $155, these shoes demand a steep price. And that could be more than most would be willing to pay. However, I think they would be worth adding to the rotation of someone looking for a way to up the pace and/or a trainer that can work as a racer.
However, I would tell most beginning runners, and those on the heavier end of the spectrum, to probably steer clear of these for now.
Although there is enough padding, it would not be sufficient for those who do not yet know what they are doing or need the extra padding.
We purchased a pair of Newton Distance 7 from runningwarehouse using our own money. This did not influence the outcome of this review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.