Newton Distance Elite

The Newton Distance Elite is a neutral minimalist running shoe that can be used as a race day option or as a daily trainer. The shoe was actually designed for and has been tested by top-level runners. Yielding positive results, the Distance Elite was then introduced to the wider public. Many runners have lauded the Newton Distance Elite as a light, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing trainer. Perfect for those who need a reliable daily trainer for short or long-distance training, or for those who want Newton’s excellent reputation to help them push towards the finishing line on race day, the Newton Distance Elite may be one of the more high-end trainers you may ever purchase—and one whose results will be reflected in improved overall time. This lightweight shoe is made of a seamless construction that provides an incredibly comfortable fit. Using Newton’s proprietary Action/Reaction technology in its outsole, the Newton Distance Elite provides a firm, comfortable ride every time. Its quick-drying, breathable mesh keeps the foot cool and dry throughout a run. Featuring solid arch support, runners can expect a responsive, lightweight ride in a pair of Distance Elites. Ideal for road performance, this trainer can handle both long and short distance runs and can be used in competition, as well. For the runner who’s serious about their pursuit and is looking for a solid advantage when tackling the toughest opponents, the Newton Distance Elite may just be the answer to their footwear concerns.

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Where to Buy
Road Runner Sports Link
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Where to Buy
Road Runner Sports Link
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Pros & Cons
  • Extremely lightweight and provides great energy return
  • Low to the ground design provides stability
  • Designed for road running
  • Can handle both long and short runs
  • Cons
    • Requires a breaking-in period
    • Not as supportive as other high-end shoes
    • Noticeable lack of cushioning
    • Some slippage inside the shoe may be experienced 
    • Key Features
      The outsole of the Newton Distance Elite is composed of high-density rubber that’s concentrated in the midfoot area. The heel area features lightweight EVA for enhanced cushioning and is also covered with carbon rubber. Newton’s Action/Reaction lugs underfoot provide excellent energy return and protection for the wearer and soften the blow of impact. The outsole’s design also ensures that the runner is close to the ground, providing a close connection with running surfaces for greater surface control and stability. The outsole's rubber compound provides good grip while providing a smooth, fast ride. The carbon rubber heel enhances durability and ensures that runners won’t slip on surfaces.
      The Newton Distance Elite's midsole is fairly thin to help reduce the overall weight of the shoe. Even with minimal cushioning, the shoe is comfortable. The Action/Reaction lugs underfoot help attenuate shock and provide energy return. The foot can flex naturally in a pair of Elites thanks to the Meta-flex groves featured in the shoe's forefoot.
      The upper of the Newton Distance Elite is made of very breathable open mesh. The open mesh design is meant to keep feet cool while the material itself is quick-drying to keep the shoe—and the runner’s foot—dry and comfortable. The asymmetrical laces are slip-proof and feature a double eyelet design to ensure the shoe's fit is snug after lace-up. The upper also features support straps that provide an added layer of support. The toe cap, featured in the forefoot, is nice and thick to protect the toes from impact with debris and rocks.

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      The Newton Distance Elite is a very lightweight shoe. Weighing in at 7.6 ounces/215 grams in men’s and 6.2 ounces/176 grams in women’s, it's light enough to be considered a valid option for race day. The reduced weight of the shoe means it's capable of running fast and long without the runner feeling any drag after a while. This low weight comes thanks to the minimal midsole cushioning and reduction in material used to construct the shoe.
      The Newton Distance Elite features a breathable upper constructed of open mesh that helps to ventilate and keep feet dry. This material does a good job at wicking away moisture and its seamless construction help to minimize the chances of blister formation. Rainy conditions or hot weather shouldn't be a problem when running in the Newton Distance Elite.
      The Newton Distance Elite fits like a glove. When worn, it almost feels like you've got nothing on. Featuring a wide toe box that provides room to breathe and play naturally and it's perfect for runners with wide feet. Many runners will find that the maximum level of comfort is achieved by running on pavement. The minimal cushioning still provides a decent layer of protection. Most of the padding can be found in the front of the foot, but you'll also find cushioning in the midfoot and a bit of padding in the heel. In addition, the Action/Reaction lugs on the outsole also provide a fair amount of cushioning. The Distance Elite features neutral arch support and provides good traction, but when making quick movements it's possible that some runners may experience some slippage inside the shoe. This effect may be uncomfortable for some, so ensuring the asymmetrical laces are done up securely may reduce potential slippage.
      The Newton Distance Elite is available in several bright colors. Not so flashy as to be distracting or bothersome, instead, it looks bright and cheerful as many Newton brand shoes do. Newton is a smaller shoe company whose designs seem to favor efficiency over style, and as such the Newton Distance Elite is a particularly minimalist-looking running shoe. This may not appeal to everyone, but stripping away all extraneous stylistics in favor of keeping weight down is a small price to pay for an ultra-lightweight, high-performance trainer.
      Durability is often dependent on how a person uses their shoes. The Newton Distance Elite lacks the substantial layer of rubber in the heel section of the outsole that many other running shoes feature. For those who tend to heel strike, this may mean the shoe's outsole will wear out significantly faster. The lightweight construction means that Newton sacrificed some elements, mostly to the detriment of the shoe's overall lifespan. If used on technical terrain, the shoes are likely to last a short period of time. But of course, this depends on your style of running and frequency of wearing the Newton Distance Elite.

      The Newton Distance Elite features a lower heel to toe drop than the average running shoe. For those who are used to a higher drop, the Distance Elite may take some getting used to. When a shoe is closer to the ground, you work different muscles in your leg and may find yourself getting sore in new places after a run in minimalist shoes. If you're transitioning from a traditional shoe, it's probably a good idea to ease into the Distance Elite. Start slowly--don't jump into a long run wearing this shoe. Considering these are minimalist lightweight trainers, while the runner is protected against most of the regular hazards found on traditional running surfaces, more extreme climes and conditions will present a challenge for those wearing Newton Distance Elites. Best in ideal running conditions, they will not protect your foot like a maximalist shoe or trail running gaiter would. But if you’re using these for performance and training in regular conditions, the standard protection a running shoe can provide is there.
      The Newton Distance Elite features Action/Reaction lugs on the outsole. These lugs provide excellent energy return, shock impact, and provide great grip on a variety of surfaces. Runners are able to go fast and enjoy a smooth ride thanks to this technology. However, those who are not used to minimal cushioning need to take caution. Even with a good amount of rebound, the lower cushion level takes some time to get used to and many runners will not be used to this change immediately.
      The Newton Distance Elite is a neutral shoe that’s best used on the road. It's a shoe made for runners who do not have issues with over-pronation or fallen arches. Though still supportive, this Distance Elite is not a good choice for runners who require extra stability or support.
      The Newton Distance Elite is meant to perform on race day. It's perfect for running on a variety of regular running surfaces, such as asphalt, pavement, and tracks. Y You can even enjoy gravel trails in these shoes. However, it is not designed to handle technical terrain and does not have enough protection on the outsole to handle rough trails. But if a runner uses this trainer for road running, you should feel comfortable and protected.
      One drawback some runners will find with the Newton Distance Elite is that it’s a fairly expensive shoe. It's not the priciest Newton brand shoe, though, and since Newton has a great reputation for providing runners with a high-quality product, its price tag is reflective of its durability and performance. Providing runners with a comfortable, fast ride that's also responsive, for the dedicated runner that’s looking for a lightweight, minimalist trainer that will perform both during training and race day, the Newton Distance Elite is a good investment.
      The Newton Distance Elite features Newton’s proprietary Action/Reaction lugs, which are a dynamic piece of technology that both absorbs impact and provides great energy return while providing a great deal of traction on regular running surfaces. Made for races and to maximize a runner’s potential speed, the Distance Elite is a lightweight trainer that aims to take off seconds from your running time and get you across the finish line with great haste—and great traction.
      The Newton Distance Elite features unique lugs on the outsole, the Action/Reaction technology that Newton has developed. The lugs are placed in the forefoot area of the shoe. Because of this placement, the forefoot of the shoe lacks flexibility. The midfoot, free of lugs, provides flexibility for the wearer. In addition, its breathable upper is quite flexible and provides the runner with a fairly good overall fit after lace-up.
      The Newton Distance Elite can handle smooth surfaces quite well. The low heel to toe drop means that the wearer will have a good ground feel. However, on harsher terrains, this can be a problem. When the ground underfoot is unstable, the Distance Elite tends to suffer in terms of stability. Although it has a low heel to toe drop, it is a bit outside of the standard arch support, and the outsole may feel slightly off-balance to those not used to lightweight minimalist trainers. In other words, stability is not the strongest suit of the Newton Distance Elite.

      The Newton Distance Elite features a 2mm drop, which is quite low but similar to many other Newton racing shoes. As the company has managed to create a lighter shoe, the ground feel has become more pronounced. The low drop (almost zero drop) does take some getting used to especially for those who have been wearing running shoes with the standard 10mm drop. As such, it’s recommended a runner transitions to this type of shoe slowly, as a lower drop means different muscles in your legs will be in use during a run. Add in more runs with this shoe, but make sure you're not doing all your training in the Distance Elite to start, somewhere between two weeks and a month after purchasing this shoe.
      Key Features
      • Breathable open mesh upper Asymmetrical lacing system provides a secure fit

      • Midfoot support straps provide additional support

      • Heel counter locks in the rearfoot

      • High-density rubber in the outsole provides good grip

      • Heel composed of EVA adds a layer of comfort

      • Action/Reaction lugs featured in the forefoot

      • Midsole EVA cushioning provides good energy-return
      Bottom Line
      The Newton Distance Elite is a good option for both short and long-distance runner. It's perfect for road runs that traverse even terrain. Meant for neutral runners who want to go fast, The Newton Distance Elite is not a shoe that every runner will either like or appreciate. It’s ultra-lightweight, minimalist, and features less cushioning than many runners are used to. In addition, besides its neutral arch support, there isn’t much to recommend for those who suffer from either over- or under-pronation. However, if you are a runner dedicated to racing—particularly competitive racing, either long or short—the Newton Distance Elite was specifically made with you in mind. Although the price may lead to sticker shock, for runners who know what they’re looking (mainly speed) will find it in this trainer. This shoe is an investment to shave seconds off your run and gain a slight advantage against your competitors on race day. For runners that know exactly what this means, the Newton Distance Elite is going to give you that extra boost.
      Where to Buy
      Road Runner Sports Link
      See Deal
      By Ryan Sabin
      Last updated:
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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