Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Newton Gravity III Review

Pic courtesy of
Intro- We here at Vagabond are really big fans of Newton Shoes (see our review of the BoCo AT, MV3 and Energy NR). While we are generally skeptical when it comes to new shoe technology, The Newton line up is one we've come to really believe in. The Gravity III is marketed as a distance racer/trainer and I would agree that it fits well into both categories. For those who are already used to low drop shoes (0mm-6mm), and particularly Newton's unique Action/Reaction technology the Gravity III will be a good next step after one of their more transitionary/introductory models like the Energy or one of their new Pop 2 line of shoes. It has fast become my favorite daily trainer. 

Looks- Newton is known for its intensely bright color schemes. These yellow/red Gravities are tame by comparison featuring only two bright colors. The colors of the Gravity III kind of look like a well-known fast food chain ;). Free association aside, the color scheme is more cohesive than many Newton shoes have been in the past (I'm looking at you 2012 Lime/Neon Orange/Red/Yellow Distance). Frankly they were a bit overwhelming. I came to like them but only in the way that I like pugs i.e. in the so-ugly-it's-cute sort of way. Newton's new line of shoes seem to know who they are from a design perspective at this point and I like what I see.
Great reflection at 4am in the morning!

5th Lug- Proprioception is the name of Newton's game and Newton is winning so hard that it would make Charlie Sheen blush. Thanks to their patented lug and chamber technologies, Newton found a way to shatter the dichotomy of cushion and ground feel. Originally Newton's featured four lugs in the four foot. The lugs however did not stretch across the entire width of the forefoot which, for some, felt unstable especially around corners. Newton's response was to add a fifth lug. They first introduced the 5th lug in the Energy NR which we really liked (read our review here). I've run in the four lug Distance S and did not notice and instability, but I understand intuitively what the problem was and can not discount other runner's experiences. Joshua noticed increased stability with the addition of the 5th lug when running fast repeats on the track.

Gravity III with 5 lugs (pic from

Distance II with 4 lugs (pic from

Performance- Not a shoe I'd run a short race in (maybe half marathon), but my favorite daily trainer. If you're looking for a Newton shoe with a bit of pop, check out the MV3. Especially in my long slow distances (LSD's) the Gravity III is well cushioned, but I never feel like I'm fighting the shoe. Joshua liked these for longer road repeats, such as 1 mile or greater, as well as long slow distance runs. They perform pretty well on dry mud trails and jeep roads, but when there is trail with lots of rocks, the pebbles get stuck in the lugs. That's ok, though, as this is a road shoe and not a trail shoe. The farthest Joshua ran in these was up to 13 miles, and he wouldn't hesitate to use them for distances up to the marathon. It just kind of lacks 5k/10k road speed requirements.

Fit- One thing we loved about Newtons is that we always know what we are going to get in terms of fit. With the exception of the MV3, Newton shoes fit our feet exceptionally well and are consistent across the models. There's plenty of room in the toe box without feeling sloppy and they are accommodating yet secure through the midfoot and heel. Consistency with a brand is important, and exceptional fit goes a long way in my book.

Overall- We put quite a bit of miles on these shoes. Jordan fractured his ankle and couldn't run as much in this shoe as Joshua, but Jordan said that that this is the first shoe he's going to run in when he gets clearance from the doc to start running again. Overall, we give this shoe 5/5 stars since it feels comfortable (secure throughout the midfoot with enough forefoot room), performs well on longer runs, and the fact that the lugs on these seem a bit more durable than the one's on the Energy NR. 

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