Newton MV2 Racing Flat Review
Type: Minimalist Road Running
Heel-Toe Differential / Drop: 0mm
Weight: 5.2oz women’s / 5.8oz men’s
The Newton MV2 is Newton’s first zero-drop model, another entrant to the ever-growing featherweight category of running shoes. The MV2 strives to satisfy the minimalist runner, while still employing the signature physics of the Newton design. It packs more technology than the typical racing flat, and has more protective substance than a “barefoot” shoe.
The MV2 upper is a barely-there mesh – seethrough, actually – that is super-breathable, yet fine enough to keep dirt from entering. Additional support straps are seamlessly molded to the inside fabric for reinforcement where you need it. The MV2 is narrower than other Newton models, and is supposed to provide a snugger ‘racing fit’. I have narrow feet and can achieve a much more enveloping feel with the MV2 than I am typically able to with Newtons. The non-slip laces and double-eyelets help give you that extra lockdown. My chief complaint with the shoe lies with the upper; as usual with weigh-conscious shoes, it is stripped down to the essentials. Where the tongue attaches to the upper near the toes, the seam is not tacked down, and tended to fold and dig into my foot. To prevent blister formation, I put a piece of electrical tape across that seam to make it smooth. Not exactly elegant, and likely much heavier than the fraction of an ounce that was saved in the omission of that tacking.
The midsole story is, as you would expect, all about the forefoot. It features Newton’s second-generation Action-Reaction Technology, which is driven by actuator lugs that deliver energy return and shock absorption. The lug pattern on the MV2, however, is different than the pattern on other Newton models. Instead of four actuator lugs, the MV2 has five, which are lined up with the foot’s five metatarsal bones. The outer lugs are also oval-shaped, as opposed to rectangular, which I presume is intended to provide additional surface area for landing and toe-off. The MV2 lugs are appropriately lower profile in comparison. Also built into the midsole is a thin, biomechanical metatarsal sensor plate that protects the underfoot without disconnecting you from the road.
The outsole is a high-density rubber in the heel and toe which gives this lightweight a feeling of real durability. The actuator lugs also have a slight tread pattern for traction.
I put about 75 miles on these shoes before reviewing, since I was curious about what the appropriate length of run would be for MV2. I typically do not wear racing flats for longer distance training runs. Please note that I am an experienced natural-form runner and also have years of experience with Newton technology and the associated actuator lugs. If you are new to the natural running form, you would be much better off in a low-offset (not zero offset) shoe to help you more gradually and successfully make the transition. See other Newton models.
Lacing them up reminded me of my high-school track spikes, a minimal shoe with a feeling of something underneath the forefoot. Because the MV2 is so slight, you really notice the actuator lugs underneath, unlike other Newton shoes where they are less apparent. The first couple of runs were shorter distances (5-8 miles) and I loved combination of close connection to the surface and the forward propulsion that the lugs create. I unplugged my music and focused entirely on form. In looking at the wear pattern on some of my primary road shoes, I noticed a slight (and new) sign of supination. The MV2 is fantastic for showing you exactly what is going wrong with your form, so I paid particular attention to how my foot was striking, and, through the anatomically-placed lugs as a landing surface, was able to feel the difference when making micro-changes in attempt to correct my form. I ran on the MV2 as part of a shoe rotation (i.e. not every day), mostly for tempo-run days, and found this to be ideal for me. I took the MV2s out on one longish run (15 mi) and had no issues, though my personal opinion is that zero-drop racing flats are best used for shorter training runs and/or racing. This shoe can make you a better runner, but if used improperly (either mileage overuse or with ‘improper’ running form), it will do more harm than good.
The Newton MV2 is a very fast shoe for experienced natural runners (and even better for those who are already Newton-experienced). It shouldn’t be your only shoe, but indeed a great shoe to put in the mix to keep you running strong and in good form.
MSRP : $125