running shoes are a relatively new brand of running shoes on the market that seem to becoming increasingly popular. I have recently had a few patients/clients ask me or talk to me about these shoes. That's when I know its time to do a little digging and write about it. I'd welcome any comments as I like to hear what others opinions are on this topic.
These shoes have a relation to my two previous posts because they claim to promote a "more natural form" or a forefoot striking. As I discussed previously, increasing your cadence or decreasing your stride length works to achieve a similar goal of decreasing impact-loading common with rearfoot strikers. So I asked myself the question of what role do Newton shoes have in the average recreational runner? After researching them a bit and discussing the topic with collegues and an elite runner who wears these shoes, I conclude that these shoes are not for everyone and should not be looked at as an easy form-fix for the average runner.
The Newton shoe seems to work best for the runner who already is a natural forefoot/midfoot striker or someone who has successfully made this transition and find them comfortable in this running style. Most commonly, that runner will be someone who has refined their form to a point that they are a very efficient runner, has a lean body type and has good to excellent lower extremity muscle strength. The shoe tends to be overall less supportive, thus I believe works best for the person that fits the above description.
If you are thinking about making a footwear change and are interested in becoming a more serious runner, it is always best to consult with a professional before making the switch. I've seen a number people who have injuries simply because they make the wrong and uneducated footwear choice.