Youâ€™ll see from several previous posts that I first looked in to whether racing flats really make that much difference and secondly, a look at my shortlist of the five best racing flats around in 2014.
Well… I finally decided on going for some Newton MV3â€™s. Newton call this a ‘lightweight performance racerâ€™ and at 5.4 ounces they really are. I think my flip flopsÂ (thongs to you guys in the US) weigh more. I think I have socks actually that weigh more! The mesh upper is barely there. When youâ€™re running, you kind of forget youâ€™re wearing shoes and, after wearing heavily cushioned Nike Lunar Glides for two years, I could suddenly actually feel the road beneath my feet.
Feel and Flex
Best shown through the medium of video:
These shoes have a zero drop and with the five lugs at the front they feel like they have a slight raise at the front even. They do come with inserts to raise the heel by 3mm for a gradual adjustment if required. I havenâ€™t inserted these yet, but having done a 7.5k test run earlier my left Achilles is definitely sore as is my right calf. I may therefore add them before the next run. I can see why some people say these are only good to wear up to half marathon distance… Newton even have a ‘good running form‘ guide on their website to help you run right:
One of the worries with ultralight racers is sizing as they generally seem to be a snug fit. I run a size 9 in my Nikes so after checking with a Newton rep which size I should go for, he recommended to go a full size up to a 10. Well the shoes arrived on the same day I had a track speed session to go to, but no matter how optimistically I looked at the huge gap between the end of my big toe and the front of the shoe, the phrase ‘clown feetâ€™ kept entering my mind. So I sent them back on the Thursday and by 9am Monday I had a new pair of size 9â€™s. I went for a run in these today. They felt ever so slightly small on first try but after just a couple of km I felt I was running barefoot but with trampolines on my toes!
It took a LOT of research getting to the point of actually ordering the Newtons and I have to say Iâ€™m pretty pleased with them. Super light and they look the part too if Iâ€™m honest – looks shouldnâ€™t matter but of course they do! When running with them I could feel the shoes urging me to run raster with the Action/Reaction tech.