Best For: Newton fans seeking a dedicated off-road trainer, or experienced forefoot runners looking to tackle technical or muddy terrain.
Security (of fit): The BOCO AT hugs your foot just right in the heel and midfoot, and the traditional lacing system allows you to customize the tightness up and down the midfoot. There was very little slippage of the foot inside the shoe during our testing.
Stability (on impact): Newton has dabbled in trail models before, but on previous models, the company’s signature forefoot lugs were a little too prominent, preventing full surface area contact on impact and decreasing stability. One key modification to the BOCO is extended outsole lugging on the medial and lateral sides of the forefoot area; they effectively extend the contact area across the entire forefoot, making for much improved stability on impact. The outsole rubber is dependably grippy, and the BOCO features the most aggressive multidirectional outsole lugging Newton has ever made – even the forefoot lugs are carved into sections so that they’re more like closely aligned cleats than Newton’s traditional long rectangular lugs.
Smoothness (flexibility): The heel area is fairly rigid, but there is moderate anterior-posterior flexibility from the midfoot area forward. The increased lugging and contact surface area in the forefoot make the BOCO feel clunkier than other Newton models, especially the true road trainers. Ground feel is quite limited by the relatively high stack height of the heel and forefoot.
Comfort: Top-to-bottom padding provides a soft contact area around the entire heel area, and the interior material construction is comfortable throughout the midfoot and forefoot. A pleasantly roomy toe box provides plenty of room for your toes to separate on impact and prevents hot spots or chafing. The closed mesh rubber insulates quite well in cold conditions, and runs somewhat warm on hot days.
Speed and agility: Newton’s single-density EVA and action/reaction energy return system make for a nice ride, and the BOCO’s fit and stability contribute allowed us to be fairly nimble on technical terrain. However, the relatively high-end weight prevents it from being truly built for speed.