Shoe Reviews

Newton Running Kismet Review

Thomas: I was sent the Kismet which is the sister shoe to the Newton Fate. Meaghan will be reviewing the Fate. The difference between the shoes is that the Kismet is Newton’s stability version of the Fate. I don’t need stability so I wasn’t sure how I would like the shoe. I reviewed the Motion III  and liked that stability shoe from Newton. My understanding is that Newton makes the shoe wider in the throat to create the extra stability and does not use posting or stiffer materials to compensate for pronation. Let’s face it, if you are running the way Danny Abshire wants you to, you don’t really need extra stability.

The Good

Newtons have style. I have always liked the way they use colors and shape to make a shoe that looks and feels fast. At first I wasn’t sure about the Kismet’s color scheme, but they really grew on me. They remind me of  Star Wars, like they could have been designed for the movie. The woven upper is slick and has held up well on the almost 100 miles I have put on them. The shoes have 360º of reflectivity. Between that and the bright colors, nobody will miss you. The big feature in the new line of Newtons is the P.O.P levels. The Kismet and Fate are designated P.O.P. 2, a less aggressive feel to the lugs than P.O.P. 1 and more than P.O.P. 3. I like the P.O.P. 1 feel and thought I would miss something in the P.O.P. 2.   I found the 2’s to be noticeable when I put them on, but quickly disappeared once I started running. When I concentrated on the lugs I could feel them and work on my form. I ran in the Distance III (P.O.P. 1) to see if I could notice a difference in the levels. It is a noticeable difference. The Distance lugs are firmer and more pronounced throughout the run. I did several runs in these shoes including 20+ milers and my feet always felt about as fresh as they can after that many miles. I also did some track work in the Kismet. At 9.35 oz. (size 10.5) they feel light enough for fast days too.

newton-kismetThe Bad

Live by the sword, die by the sword. Lugs are Newton’s sword. Some feel that Newton is giving up what made them special by watering down the lugs to different levels. I have been convinced by the models I have worn that Newton is making some top notch trainers; but there will be some dissenters.

Like tall grass, anything that sticks out gets cut down.  The lugs have some wear (see pic) but it isn’t enough to have an effect on the feel of the shoe. The price point on Newtons is also a point of contention. The Kismet, at $129, doesn’t seem too far out there as other shoe companies have raised their prices. It’s still $40-50 more than some good competitors.

The Conclusion

It seems like I get shoes in waves, a few great followed by a few mediocre, and then some lemons. The Kismet fall into the the shoes I love to run in category. I look at the rack in the morning and I reach for them first. I have other shoes lined up for review but I will go with the Kismet for my long run today. As of now, the Kismet are my favorite new addition to the Newton line up. They feel lighter and less stiff than the Motion III, and have just the right amount of more shoe than the Distance III. This may be harrassey to some die hard Newton lovers out there, but I like the P.O.P. 2 ride as well. I am very curious to see if I would like the Fate over the Kismet.

From Newton

The Newton recipe for success: one part determination and one part Kismet. Kismet? Destiny. This 5 lug P.O.P 2 Core Trainer is the everyday go-to shoe for a runner needing the extra bit of functional stability found in our broad and stable e.m.b platform. Responsive, comfortable and stable with a 4.5 mm drop – this shoe is the entry into our open-chamber Action/Reaction technology. It’s easy to put on and impossible to take off. It’s love at first stride. It’s Kismet.

Weight • 9.7
Platform • P.O.P 2
Heel-to-toe drop • 4.5 mm

Seamless engineered mesh upper • 360 degree reflectivity • Heel lace lock

5-lug P.O.P 2 platform • Action/Reaction technology in the forefoot and heel • Biomechanical metatarsal sensor plate • Open ground surface EVA in mid-stance • Durable s.h.a.r.c (super high abrasion rubber compound) outsole composite in forefoot • e.m.b extended medial bridge for additional stability

Additional disclosure from Believe in the Run:

Newton is a product partner for Believe in the Run providing shoes and clothing for the TransRockies Run 8/2014


  1. Do they run true to size, or should I order larger? I’m a new runner using Asics, and needed to get those half a size larger. Thanks for your guidance!

  2. I’m torn between the Kismet and Motion III. I’m a high mileage cyclist and want to add running. I know I want Newtons but not sure which. Goal would be to train for half then full marathon.

  3. Have you had a chance to run in the Fate? How would you compare them? I have done all my runs up to 16 miles in the Distance Elite, but need more for the full marathon and it’s down to these two.

  4. Can the Newton Kismet running shoes be used for exercise walking? If so – what size should I order – I currently use an 11 1/2 Wide in Sauconys and 11 EE in New Balance. Thanks.

    1. It would work fine for walking, but it would not be my first choice. Is there a reason you want the Kismet? If you want a Newton for walking I recommend a Pop 3 model. The lugs will be less noticeable.

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