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DISTANCE ELITE-Newton® Running Shoes-Review


Maybe it was the brrr anticipation of doing a long training run-starting under a frigid 7PM night's sky-with the wind chill bringing the outdoors feel to -10ºF…and all those layers, ugh…that we maybe had a brain freeze and wore our brand new pair of Distance Elite running shoes by our go-to brand, Newton-instead of our usual multi-mileage trainer, the heavier Distance kicks.

Of course, by the time we got to Central Park, the hard top-and more or less dry surface we run on-was devoid of human/animal activity except for the occasional appearance of NYPD in their patrol cars, a few ice skaters on the north/south ends of the Drive, a massive raccoon the size of a baby dinosaur…and a woefully under-dressed guy- newly arrived from Senegal- who asked for directions-to the Bronx (yikes).

Left-Distance, middle two-Distance Elite, right MV3-the Distance have more overlays on the breathable mesh upper
Point being-for our 2:50 hours run…well the foot ride was as impact protective, energy returning---as usual-but with that great racing shoe glove-like fit -that frankly, we didn't notice-or feel anything weighing in on our feet. And it's not like we had frost bite either.

So WHAT'S different:

Newton managed to shave off .6 ounces on the women's Distance Elite-6.2 ounces (7.2 for men) vs. the 6.8 ounces (7.8-M) of the Distance. It is definitely noticeable---when holding 'em and even---when moving in them.

We should add-that as mid-foot strikers---with a kinda high pace cadence, more low impact stride-Newton's in general have been our running shoe of choice for a few years now…and for shorter distances (10k and under Olympic triathlon race) -we (happily) wear the really light weight racing MV3s. (Review)…that helped us shave off a minute of run time during an Olympic distance tri we have done before-and which we did after our initial review.

The similarity in fit with the MV3s---with its slightly asymmetrical lacing-is a  major plus-the non-slip laces held and we didn't have to stop and adjust the tongue part-which is attached to the main body of the shoe via two black mesh strips.
not a great pic-the black 'thing' attached to tongue ad body of the shoe. So initially adjustable but not slippy/sloppy/sloshy

A fabulous occurrence as we sure didn't want to take off our gloves for anything while outdoors.

Another bonus-the impact/bounce off-trampoline, highly responsive feel of the Distance (why we love the brand to begin with), is similarly- in the Distance Elite.

Which had us thinking this lighter version of Newton's might be our new shoe of choice, like always-except for triathlons with 10K less distances on the run part.

Left-Distance, middle two-Distance Elite, right MV3

In fact, the forefoot cushioning of the Distance Elite looks the same as the neutral four lug Distance …with the weight saved via a "streamlined midsole" (couldn't see) but also fewer overlays of the lightweight mesh upper mesh-which we could see.

left-Distance, right-Distance Elite -we have run more miles in the Distance-look slightly worn-cause they are
SO same outsole…with the brand's acclaimed "Action Reaction™ "technology onboard…which is a good thing.

ALSO-we tried out the Distance Elite-on a slightly warmer occurrence-this time wearing lighter cushioned running socks vs the rather thickish ski socks that adorned our feet prior. The feel of the Distance Elite-meaning that great fit-with the mid foot part hugging us perfectly…was still there. We just needed to lace-up a little tighter.

The newish Distance Elite-are more than serviceable kicks for a variety of forward motion purposes-tempo runs, training runs, and a slew of race distances- including 10k plus-up to marathon miles on their own or as part of long course triathlons -for those with a mid foot, efficient neutral stride. (FYI Newton's website offers the 411 on how to tell if one pronates, shoe type etc).

What Else:
The seamless (chafe-free) upper is a breathable mesh---über light---which will matter even more when it gets warm out---there's a 2mm heel to toe drop-like the Distance- (perfect for our mid-lowish arch), and as mentioned prior, the impact protection is on par with the Distance-we felt.

The toe box is roomy-but not insanely so-and there's super excellent ground feel ("biomechanics sensor plate").

The responsiveness-and great ground feel of a running shoe-is really important to us. Some brands we tried out are too roomy up there and we feel like we're grip-lessly swimming just like that rat that appeared in our toilet bowl 2 years ago, courtesy of the NYC sewer system, that tried to claw its way out of the porcelain throne. Did not succeed T.G.

Additionally--  there's the ideal amount of mid foot flexibility for push off/pop-up-on flat or hilly (up/down) terrains. And again-that asymmetrical lacing snug fit- in combo with the overall construction- helps in that department too.


No doubt, when we start going out for runs with less than 6 lbs of protective clothing on, we'll really notice  the lightness (difference) of the Distance Elite even more.

FYI: The Distance Elite $155- was developed at the request of the brand's top tier racing team athletes…who def. (obvi) run at a faster pace than we do…but IMO- "natural" runners-including speed racers- of any pace, really- will find this light running shoe a perfect training and/or racing shoe for them.

We're thinking- for less than elite runners (us), we can see alternating between the Distance-which feels like a slightly more supportive shoe-via more secure overlays -mesh uppers-(metatarsal stretch panels)...for long hauls on roads, shorter stints on looser turf like packed dirt trails- or uneven byways with minor obstacles (annoyances)…and the Distance Elite for training and races with more than a 10k run.

Fit=true to size. Durability-so far-seems similar to the Distance- we run on pavement-or concrete 90% of the time-so we switch out after about 48 hours of running wear.

INFO+E-Commerce/Retailers- NEWTON RUNNING

From the company website:

  • Upper

    • Seamless, highly-breathable, fast-drying, open air mesh
    • Asymmetrical lacing system
    • Midfoot welded support straps
    • Minimal heel counter

  • Outersole

    • High-density rubber in midfoot
    • Lightweight EVA heel

  • Midsole

    • Action/ReactionTM in the midfoot
    • Biomechanical metatarsal sensor plate
    • High-rebound EVA