Hey, friends! And how are you on this fine Tuesday morning? I am still trying to figure out this new training schedule of mine, to be honest. I feel like after the marathon, I gave myself an inch and took a mile when it comes to the whole working out in the AM. I have really lost my mojo for it. It really is just the thought of being cold, even if I’m not actually that cold once I get out there! And really, a lot of it is in my head.
Like this weekend’s run, for example. It took me forever to get my butt out there, and I think I convinced myself that it was a slog for much of the run. And then? It just clicked. Much like I have with my new Newton Kismets. I’ve been wanting to talk a bit about my experience with them for a while now, and when Sara announced that she was going to do a Tried it Tuesday link up, I thought it would be the perfect time to go into more detail!
As many of you know, my body is a bit of a lemon (as in, a nonfunctional car). A cute lemon (as my mom would say), but a bit of a lemon nonetheless. Many of you also know that I have been loyal to the Brooks Running brand for many years–in fact, my relationship with Brooks is as long as my relationship with my husband! I slowly developed into a “runner” in Brooks and have run all of my races in them. In all, I’ve had close to 15 or so pairs. And I ran my entire marathon training cycle this year in a single pair of Ravennas.
Issues with my pronated ankles, weird alignments, and not great tendons basically made me the worst possible candidate for minimalist and zero drop shoes, so though I was interested in Newtons, I always shied away. But when the new Ravennas that I got at the marathon expo didn’t work (PS THEY ARE FOR SALE. 8.5 womens–email me if you are interested!), I decided that now was as good a time as ever to test the waters. For more information on my decision making rationale, please check out this post.
Let’s start with some disclaimers:
- This is MY experience. Not the one that you are going to have, should you try them. Get the shoes that are right and best for you. Not because they are “cool” or even because they are given to you.
- I have pronated ankles, but customized orthotics–this means that, when looking at shoes, I am looking for a more neutral shoe, but I like mine with a little bit of security in the arch and cushion in the feet.
- I have, over the course of this year, basically reinvented the way that I run. My stride now is very much focused on the mid-foot, with great attention given to activating my glutes and preventing “play” as I stride. I used to cross over and would hit my own feet quite a bit. Now I basically run on 2 tracks, with as even pressure as possible. When you look at my shoe soles, the wear is pretty much a circle from the middle center out. I’m pretty darn proud of that.
About the Newton Kismet:
The Newton Kismet is a standard, daily running, support shoe designed for a mild overpronated foot motion; ideal for intermediate Newton users. Smooth-riding efficiency and stability come together in the Newton Kismet. Featuring a broad base and an underfoot arch bridge, this trainer provides mild support to combat overpronation. A P.O.P. 2 platform encourages an efficient stride while retaining a forgiving underfoot feel and a smooth transition from footstrike through toe-off. The Newton Kismet is ideal for everything from longer races to everyday use (Running Warehouse)
Find out more about the Kismets, a “stability core trainer” and the POP2 platform, described as “smooth and lively” on the Newton website. The womens Kismets are about 7.9 oz. Other notes on the construction from Newton:
5-lug P.O.P 2 platform • Action/Reaction technology in the forefoot and heel • Biomechanical metatarsal sensor plate • Open ground surface EVA in mid-stance • Durable s.h.a.r.c (super high abrasion rubber compound) outsole composite in forefoot • e.m.b extended medial bridge for additional stability (Newton Website)
First thoughts on the Kismets:
The first thing I noticed about these shoes (with my orthotics in, remember), is that there were absolutely no pressure points in the foot bed–an issue with many of the other shoes I have tried, including the new Ravennas, because of the way the orthotic sits in them. I felt like the Kismet accommodated the orthotic very well, and that they worked together, rather than kinda fighting each other. Also, I realized that the lack of drop didn’t really feel that weird to me–I was just kind of standing in them.
Second thing I noticed: my feet felt like they were getting a hug. I am not joking. Like I had wrapped them in a blanket. And when I stood up in them, my feet felt supported, but cushy. Kind of like standing on a tempurpedic type mattress. The new Ravennas had felt much more firm (regardless of the orthotics), which had surprised me.
Trying out the Kismets:
When I first walked in them, I could immediately feel them propelling me forward a little bit, but that lessened over time, and I think was more a product of the flooring in the store. Running in them (in a very small space for it), I felt fast and light, and could feel them helping me to propel and roll my foot forward. Not in a distasteful or forceful way (because it would be distasteful), but in a “let me help you there” fashion. I felt fast in them, and light.
Actually running in the Kismets:
I transitioned to these shoes very, very quickly, and with minimal discomfort or strain. I could feel certain muscles and tendons working a bit harder around my ankles and in my leg muscles, but not in a necessarily bad way. I practically had to keep myself out of them! I ran 1 mile in them in 2 consecutive days, then a 5 miler, then an 8 (those with days in between). Again, some tiredness in my plantar flexing muscles, but not much.
I love how when I land, I land directly on the POP pad, and it gently helps me roll forward as I stride. That is what I have noticed the most–that I have more cushion than ever before. Furthermore, I can feel it helping me to utilize the muscles in my legs more efficiently. I can see where you might get in trouble by over-using certain muscles if you weren’t paying attention, but if you are mindful of your activation and keeping power in your glutes, this and over striding shouldn’t be a problem.
Other notes on fit:
I have triangular feet (narrow heel, wide toe), and though I did have a little movement at first in the heel, that has subsided with better lacing and the settling of the orthotic in the shoe. There is plenty of toe box room and my feet have never felt cramped.
I feel like I have found the right shoe for me at this point in my running. I don’t think that it would have been the right shoe last year, and likely not even in April–I would have relied far too greatly on my calves and strained them. But with proper form and glute activation (thus protecting my hamstrings as well), these shoes are pure pleasure for me. I think that Runner’s Warehouse is dead on in calling them an “intermediate” Newton shoe–you need to run properly in these. But if you are a midfoot striking, cushion loving, glute-activated runner, I say give them a shot!
And as a token of my appreciation for listening to all of this, I want to give you all a chance to “try it” on this Tuesday! No, I can’t give you a pair of Newtons, but I can give you a TON of coupons to try out a bunch of my favorite products! From Ezekiel bread, to Power Crunch bars, to Oikos yogurt, to so many other awesome things, this is your chance to “try it” and see if you’ll like it! And there will be some actual samples in there, too!
Ends Thursday, Nov 20, at midnight. Prize will be sent out Friday Morning!