Newton Running’s first shot at this shoe was the MV2 (MV squared,) and it was a light and speedy shoe. Opinions on the shoe varied from runner to runner. There were no unanimous thumbs down or thumbs up. I did like the the shoe. It was my go to shoe for racing up to 10 milers. My current 10 mile PR in a race was run in the MV2 in Brooklyn. There were parts of the shoe that felt unfinished but overall I liked how fast they felt on my feet. I was pretty excited when Newton Running sent us the MV3 to review. Here are our thoughts.
Meaghan: The MV3 is a tiny, tiny shoe. I was convinced I received the wrong size when I first opened the box. I even checked the tag to make sure (they were). They fit surprisingly well given my initial reaction.* The shoe is pretty snug through the midfoot and forefoot, but the upper is flexible enough that they never felt too constricting. The laces also provide some flexibility with the fit. There isn’t much material to the mesh upper; it’s open, breathable and dries super fast (my first run in these was in the pouring rain.) You could easily run sockless; but I paired them with some thin, light socks. The outsole consists of nothing but the necessities – high traction lugs in the midfoot for speed and some sturdy rubber through the heel and toe. My speed workouts felt easy in these shoes; I was exceeding pace goals with (what felt like) minimal effort. I’m not exactly sure what it is about these shoes, but the second you put them on, you want to run fast. Ricky Bobby, style.
Thomas: Everything in the outsole feels like it stayed the same. The 5 lug pattern feels stable on the road and the track. Other than the formidable traction, the shoes are barely noticeable. These suckers are light! They only weigh 5.2 oz! An improvement over the MV2’s upper is the first thing you will notice looking at the shoe. The material is softer and more breathable. I believe it will hold up a little better too. I had fast speed workouts in the MV3. These shoes filled me with confidence during workouts.
Alan: I really enjoyed the lightness of the Newton MV3 and at 5.4oz for a size 9, that’s by far the lightest shoe I’ve run in. The size 12 I used couldn’t have been much more than that. I was a touch worried it might be too light for me at 210lbs, but after getting to pace it felt really good. The fit was nice and snug around the foot but still had enough toe box area for my feet not to feel cramped. The upper around the foot used a very open dual layer mesh to reduce the weight but also allows for the non cramped feeling since it is so open. This mesh also kept my feet from getting hot but not sure how it would feel in the winter or when it’s wet out.
Meaghan: I wish I had some more room in the forefoot of these shoes. I would highly recommend getting a half size larger than normal. I also found these shoes to be a bit stiff. As race flats, that’s to be expected, but I wish they had a little more give. They are also limited by design in how far you can run.
Thomas: I think there is still room to refine the finishing details on the MV3. The lacing is a little off. It takes a little adjusting each time to achieve the fit just right. When I race in these I will change out the laces with Lock Laces.
Alan: The annoying bad was the laces on this shoe, not an issue if you remember to double knot them. I was barely able to get a mile in before they would come untied. The sad bad was the two 3mm inserts for the heel. This is to allow someone to step down to the zero drop (actually a -1mm drop) while building leg strength. To me, these seemed like an afterthought. Neither of mine were cut the same and when under foot they felt a bit odd. When at pace with the inserts in, my foot didn’t seem to land as natural as it did without them. Could have been the cut of the inserts.
Meaghan: I have a hate/love relationship with the Newton MV3. I was at the peak of marathon training when I received them. The speed workouts were tough and I was logging more miles a week then I ever had. I took these shoes out for 3 of my speed workouts (each 10 to 13 miles). Shortly thereafter I experienced pain in my knee and Achilles. I am not blaming the shoes necessarily (or at all), but I wouldn’t recommend the MV3 for anything over a 10K. They are minimal by design and although, speedy, not meant for long distances. If you’re trying to kick some ass in the next local 5K, by all means, go get a pair.
Thomas: Some of my favorite workouts this training season involved mixing two of the Newton Running shoes. I would run 3 miles to the track in the Newton Energy NR, then switch into the MV3 for 6 miles of fast speed work, and finally, put the Energy NR on for the 3 mile run home. The combo was perfect. I felt I could maintain the fast paces without much more effort. When you are ready for a speed work or race day shoe give the Newton Running MV3 a shot. You will have fun picking up the pace and feeling fast. For my running and foot strength I would run these for anything under a 1/2 marathon distance.
Alan: Overall I really enjoyed the Newton MV3. Super light, airy and has some flash about it with the bright yellow color. The -1mm drop (17mm heel and 18mm forefoot) feels odd when walking or slow jogging but feels just right when at pace. One feature that I thought would bother me was the tongue supports on the inside. But this turned out to be a non-issue and helped keep everything in its place. As far as distances for the shoe, I was able to easily handle 5k worth of intervals without any leg soreness, so as long as someone has prepared for this type of shoe they should be fine. I’m looking forward to more speed work and a 5k in this shoe over the next few months.
*Note that the MV3 is designed for a race fit. If you are a Newton Running customer and are looking for a snug fit in both length and width, stay with your current size. If you are looking for a comfortable, everyday fit, you may want to go up a half size over your current Newton Running shoe size.