Newton Gravity V ReviewFebruary 25, 2016
- Supports natural biomechanics
- Energy return from action/reaction lugs
- Comfortable toebox and forefoot
- Rigid rear and midfoot
- Heel strikers will get minimal benefit from midsole technology
Newton has one of the most loyal followings in the shoe industry, and the Gravity V will remain very close to their liking. Changes to the uppers improve both comfort and ventilation, with all of the design and construction elements underfoot remaining intact.
Gravity models now represent the middle ground in Newton’s racing footwear category, with the Distance shoes on the lighter side and the Motion shoes at the heavy end. The Gravity series may no longer be considered revolutionary, but it functions well as a day-in, day-out high mileage comfort trainer that combines natural biomechanics with high-tech performance construction.
Newton’s anatomic lasts are historically generous in the forefoot, wide in the midfoot, and narrower in the heel, and the Gravity V is true to form. The heel area cups the foot securely, if somewhat rigidly. The toe box provides enough space for full toe splay without being excessively roomy. A traditional lacing system with a redesigned and slightly padded stabilization tongue holds the midfoot area securely.
Testers found the Gravity V to be stiff with initial runs, but felt great after a few breaking-in runs. The seamless upper is soft and comfortable, and the newly expanded mesh upper is more effective at ventilation and temperature regulation than the previous version. Lightweight padding around the heel collar is comfortable against the ankle, and the roomy toe box prevents hot spots from high mileage days.
Action-reaction lugs are the hallmark of Newton shoes, and they are highly effective at transferring energy from midfoot through toe-off. They are especially responsive for midfoot strikers, but heel strikers will find them less effective. The Gravity V earned high marks for providing a consistent and dependable level of responsiveness during long-distance road sessions.
Newton categorizes its suspension lug system in POP (point of power) ratings; the Gravity V is POP1, which is designed for fast and efficient response. Each lug is individually suspended, which allows for greater freedom of movement, and they are more rigid than other POP versions to provide quicker and smoother transition to toe-off. The Gravity V also has fairly high stack heights (28/25mm) that provide extensive cushioning and support. If you run with midfoot form as these shoes are intended, they will give you one of the smoothest rides available.
As a high-mileage trainer, the Gravity isn’t primarily focused on speed as much as it is on comfort, durability, and comfort. However, the underfoot engineering does allow you to throw some fast turnover work into your everyday training sessions. Another point to note is that this shoe has the biggest discrepancy between the advertised weight and the actual weight of our size 11 test pairs – so while it’s billed as a lightweight trainer, it’s definitely not your model of choice if shaving ounces is important.