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Summer 2014 Running Shoe Previews Part 2: Newton Fate, Newton Kismet, Newton Aha, Newton BoCo Sol

Newton Fate heelThis is Part 2 of a 4-part series – you can also view previews of Altra, New Balance, and Hoka summer 2014 releases. Since these shoes have yet to be released, I have not run in any of them. If you have, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Newton has several new models set for release within the next few weeks. Traditionally known for relatively high-priced shoes, Newton seems to be aiming for the lower end of their pricing spectrum with a few these new releases (Fate, Kismet and Aha), and the BoCo Sol seems to address some of the limitations of the original BoCo AT. Release dates for all of these seem to be in the late June/early July window.

Newton Fate

When Newton made the move to 5 lugs across the board this year they introduced what they are calling the POP scale (POP stands for Point of Power). As I understand it from this RunBlogRun interview with Newton president Craig Heisner, lower POP numbers mean more prominent, responsive lugs (e.g., POP1 shoes like the Distance III), and higher POP numbers indicate more forgiving, less protruding lugs. The Newton Fate is middle-of-the-road as a POP2 shoe, and price is $129 MSRP, so lower than most Newton shoes other than the Energy NR (and the Aha described below). Specs reported in a few places indicate that the Fate slots in at 4.5mm drop and a bit under 10oz. The Fate is the “neutral” partner to the Kismet (see next). Great looking shoe!

Newton Fate

Newton Fate Sole

Newton Kismet

The Newton Kismet appears to be the stability equivalent to the Fate. Not sure what the exact differences are, but the Fate/Kismet pairing seems similar to the Gravity/Motion neutral/stability pairing at the high end of the Newton pricing spectrum. Specs look very similar to the Fate: 4.5mm drop and just under 10 oz in weight. Also like the Fate, MSRP for the Kismet is $129.00.

Newton KismetNewton Kismet Sole

Newton Aha

I first heard about the Newton Aha in the Running Shoe Geeks group on Facebook. I know very little about this shoe, and the only place I have seen info on the shoe posted is on the Road Runner Sports website. It looks to be the first of the Newton POP3 shoes, which means the lugs should be the least pronounced among Newton shoes.

The Aha is spec’d at 6mm drop and 7.4 ounces, so lighter than the Fate and Kismet. MSRP is $109.95, so the combo of price and the POP3 lug platform would suggest that this may be intended as an entry-level shoe for people interested in the Newton platform (as a way of transitioning into the feel of a shoe with forefoot lugs, which can take some getting used to). From a color standpoint, the Aha is rather subdued for a Newton shoe – wonder if that’s a strategy to get people onto the platform and then attract them to the brighter (and more expensive) models.

Newton AhaNewton Aha sole

Newton BoCo Sol

I reviewed the Newton BoCo AT trail shoe last December. They fit great, have a nice roomy toebox, and the sole offers excellent protection and decent traction. My one big concern with the BoCo AT was that the upper was rather thick and I had concerns about how it would handle the heat of summer from a warmth and breathability standpoint. The Newton Boco Sol looks to have been built to address this concern as it swaps in what appears to be a more breathable mesh upper onto the BoCo AT platform.

Newton BoCo Sol Newton BoCo Sol sole

Next Post: Part 3 – New Balance Summer 2014 Releases (or jump to Altra or Hoka previews)

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. David Henry says:

    These newer shoes from Newton are definitely more attractive to someone like myself who hasn’t ever run in Newtons. I do wonder, as they make the POP3 platform available, would they ever make a shoe without the lugs? It is interesting how some companies get stuck with a technology (in Newton’s case the forefoot lugs) and some manage to branch out while others seem confined. These new shoes from Newton look good enough that I’d try them even if they didn’t have the lug system.

    • I’d be surprised to see a no-lug Newton. Too much part of the Newton ethos I think. Like Mizuno and the Wave Plate – the Cursoris and Levitas we’re non-wave plate shoes, but don’t think we’ll be seeing that happen again anytime soon. It’s unfortunate as I think it stifles innovation when you have to include a particular piece of tech in your shoes.

      • Hi Peter,
        I sent an email to Newton a couple weeks back to see if I could get some more info on the new models. Basically I was told that the Fate and Kismet are replacing the Sir Issac Models, but are much lighter. The Aha is very close to the Energy models but are a “neutral” version of those. Hope this helps and It was the right info I was given. :)

        • Thanks for the info Mark! I was not a fan of the Isaac so hopefully these will be an improvement. I love seeing the terms neutral and stability thrown around, not sure I noticed anything about the Energy that would make it anything but a neutral shoe.

          • You and I had the same opinion on the Energy being a neutral shoe. RRS lists the current Energy as a performance neutral and the new Energy II as a performance stability shoe. I’m thinking the Aha is the “new” Energy and the Energy II is now a stability shoe.
            Wow, Newton as all their bases covered!

  2. Mark Kapitan says:

    Pete,

    Had a chance to get the ear of a Newton rep at a scavenger hunt put on by my local running store and take both the Fate and Aha for a spin.

    Fate is designed as a replacement for the Energy and comes in about 9oz for a Men’s size 9. Being someone who returned his Energy’s after about 25 miles due to pain under my 4th and 5th Met Heads I started out a skeptic but after a few miles in them they felt GREAT. The toe box and lug platform is much wider than the old Energy and the rep even acknowledged that they knew the Energy had problems right after release and my symptoms were fairly common. Biggest changed I felt was the Fate is now MUCH more flexible underfoot with considerably deeper flex grooves. The Newton pop is still there but the forefoot transition is much smoother and they just felt like real winners.

    The Aha is really more targeted as a replacement for the MV3 and has a lot more EVA than I have ever seen on a Newton. Rep claimed the weight will be in the low 7′s and they felt about that in a short spin. Platform is very similar to the Fate with a much wider toe box and a more stable platform. Although they are Pop3 the Aha felt a lot less snappy underfoot and the rep stated they wanted a shoe to go after a lot of the high school runners so they might not have the under lug air pillows as a cost/weight saving measure? Still seems like a nice shoe even if it ends up being more race day specific for some.

    • Thanks for the info Mark! The Energy was a great shoe for me, but only when I swapped out the included insole for something thinner. Out of the box it had way too much heel slippage. Didn’t know they were planning to drop it. Should have the Kismet soon myself, looking forward to giving them a try!

      • In response to Mark, not so on the idea of the Fate as an Energy replacement and Aha as MV3 replacement. Aha is an entry level Newton, SOFT and the lugs are hardly there. Fate is more like a slightly less aggressive Distance 3. I run for Newton Running Elite and work in the industry. Either Mark misheard his rep or the rep was off. Having run in Distance 3, Motion 3, Gravity 3, MV3, Energy, and now the Fate, I can really say there is NO connection between Fate and Energy. Especially as there is an Energy 2 coming out. What makes that a ‘stability’ shoe is an increased amount of ground-feel under the medial bridge near the arch, connecting rear foot to fore foot more smoothly. That’s my two cents. Thanks

        • Just heard the same thing myself from a specialty run store owner who spoke with Newton. Fate and Kismet are supposedly replacing the Isaac, and the Aha and Energy II are the neutral and stability versions of their entry level, minimal lug feel shoes. MV3 is a racing flat so would make no sense to replace it with the Aha.

  3. Danny Carr says:

    Hi!

    Nice article, as always.

    Any idea on when Newton are going to support larger sizes?

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