I was thrilled to learn last year that Running Free would be carrying shoes from Newton Running. For those unfamiliar with the company, Newton have developed a line of lightw
eight shoes that cater to the natural (barefoot) style of running, aiding in faster speeds at less effort and reducing chance of injury. While most of Newton’s products are aimed at biomechanically efficient runners, the Sir Isaac was introduced as a ‘guidance trainer’ aimed at easing the transition to the more efficient midfoot strike. I have been working through the off season to improve my running form, and these were the shoes recommended to me by the folks at Running Free in Milton.
When I first tried the shoes on I was pleasantly surprised to find they were as comfortable (if not more) than my favorite Asics Nimbus shoes I have been using for years. The upper of the Sir Isaac is closed mesh as opposed to more open air mesh of their other shoes which has been great for winter running as it keeps the bits of sand and road salt out while keeping your feet warmer. I’ve run in them at -100 C with just a thin pair of socks, and I’ve run in them sockless at 300 C and my feet have been comfortable throughout.
Do they help improve running form? Absolutely. With my other trainers I found it a constant battle to keep my cadence high and I was continually counting strides especially at slower paces. The design of the Sir Isaac helps guide you onto a midfoot landing, reducing the time your foot is on the ground. This has made if much easier for me to keep a quick turnover, even at recovery pace.
I had been warned by the staff at Running Free to ease into running with these shoes as the muscles in the lower legs will need some time to adapt. I took their advice and limited my time in these shoes for about the first month, so I only have around 100 km on them, but they seem to be standing up very well, even the lugs on the bottom which I expected to wear first look brand new.
If you are working to improve your running form to improve your run splits, cut down the wear and tear on your body and reduce your risk of injury, the Sir Isaac is a great tool to have in your closet. You can learn more about them at www.runningfree.com and www.newtonrunning.com