Newton Gravity 7

Price: $175

Specs: Men’s (size 9): 26mm (heel), 23mm (forefoot), 3mm heel-toe offset
Women’s (size 7): 26mm (heel), 23mm (forefoot), 3mm heel-toe offset

Weight: 8.7 oz. (men’s size 9); 7.4 oz. (women’s size 7)

The Scoop: Despite many changes with the brand over the past two years—most notably the departure of co-founder Danny Abshire, original co-owner Jerry Lee taking over the company from an outside investment firm and that there are fewer Newton retailers—Newton is still cranking out lightweight shoes aimed at helping runners run more efficiently and, ultimately, faster too. It’s hard to believe the company unveiled its first shoes more than a decade ago, helping kick-start the lightweight, minimalist and brightly colored storm of innovation in the shoe industry. Much has changed since then, but the Gravity, one of Newton’s flagship shoes, is still a competent player in the lightweight performance category.

It maintains the company’s well-known Action/Reaction Technology, a system in which five external lugs press into a resilient rubber membrane upon impact to absorb energy, then return the energy as the lugs release from the membrane during the toe-off phase of a stride. Part of the Newton design ethos has always been about building shoes with a low-angle heel-toe offset. The Gravity 7 has a 3mm heel-toe drop, but in reality it runs with a near-level profile as the forefoot lugs penetrate into the air-filled chamber upon impact.

This year’s version of the Gravity features a thin layer of the brand’s new Newtonium Cushioning compound and a new engineered mesh upper with very minimal overlay supports. The new enhanced-EVA foam slice directly under the foot makes the Gravity feel much more energetic without adding weight (Newton says it’s 52 percent more responsive based on lab tests), while the revised upper serves up a better fit for more foot shapes, thanks in part to a four-way stretch piece on either side of the pinky toe and big toe.

Who’s It Best For: Runners interested in running more efficiently with a midfoot gait style and those who like to train in light and fast performance trainers will like this shoe. In our brief wear-test of this shoe, we appreciated it quite a bit for its light, nimble and responsive feel. It has a lightweight construction and smooth, comfortable step-in feel, but it’s one of only a handful of shoes in this review that feels even lighter on the run.

Plus: The shoe fits snug and secure at the midfoot saddle and reinforced heel, but it has a slightly wider and more voluminous (but not sloppy) fit in the forefoot that allows toes to move and flex naturally.

Minus: As has always been the case, the only real challenge with this shoe and other Newton shoes is whether or not you can get used to the sensation of the protruding forefoot lugs. Those who can will love this shoe; those who can’t or won’t will want to opt for something else.